HIT FM TV - Dan-I - Monkey Chop
Today, thirty-five years ago, we proudly featured DAN-I performing live on stage his mega-hit MONKEY CHOP at the Disco 91 (HIT FM's precursor) 1979 New Year's Party. This was a rare event and to the best of my knowledge DAN-I's only performance in Scandinavia.
But let's first go a bit further back in time. It's late in the fall of 1979 and I get hold of an import copy of a remarkable track, MONKEY CHOP, by a then little known artist, DAN-I (Selmore Lewinson). It really caught my attention as it sounded like an instant HIT and it was also perfect for our then (bit crazy) disco format. As it was on the Island label, I tried to alert the Swedish record company Sonet (Island's Swedish rep) to release the record, but their Swedish label manager (he shall remain unnamed here) told me (then a young crazy DJ from a small FM station) that it was "not interesting enough to release in Sweden as it had no potential".
Yeah right. And "guitar groups are out", Beatles were told.
Anyway. We liked it. We played it (as an import). And it got great feedback from our listeners (Sonet eventually had to release it).
Meanwhile, somehow it's brought to my attention that Dan-I's father Everald Lewinson actually was a friend of my family and, to top it off, I had actually visited him in Jamaica only the year before. That's some weird stuff and I had absolutely no idea when we started plugging the song on air! I manage to get hold of Dan-I in the UK, and he agrees to come over to Sweden. Amazingly he also agrees to join the Disco 91's 1979 New Year's party, where he performs Monkey Chop on stage in front of a cheering crowd, for some odd reason accompanied on stage by two of Disco 91's DJ's (in quite odd outfits, I might add and much to the amusement of the crowd). There are no photos left of this event (and that may actually be a good thing) :)
Selmore Lewinson continued his musical career until his untimely death in 2006, but was not able to top the success of MONKEY CHOP. The track, geniously produced by a young, uncredited Trevor Horn still feels fresh and funky today, thirty-five years later. We very much enjoyed having Dan-I performing this great track at our New Year's party just as the 70's drew to a close. We hope you do, too, now!
/ Jocke B.
Selmore Lewinson 1956-2006, Everald Lewinson 1927-2005 R.I.P
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