Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Who Was He?

Several years ago, I went through a short period of time during which I came across a bunch of Scandanavian related 45's and 78's that I really really liked. These were all dance records, in most cases made by American descendants or perhaps immigrants. My favorite of these, "The Norway Rhinelander" has already been posted here, well over a year ago.

But a close second would be a recording with a more roundabout story. At some point during that phase, I found a 45 with a curious title. It read "Johan Pa Snippen". That wasn't the curious part. The subtitle, presumably a translation, read "The Jazz Farmer". (That was the curious part.)

It was quite enjoyable, and I played it a bunch of times, put in o a mix tape, and moved on to whatever came next. Around that time, I came across an estate sale-sized batch of reel to reel tapes recorded by a reel/real pack-rat, someone who recorded just about anything and everything off the radio and kept detailed notes of every last recording, sometimes dozens of separate recordings on one reel.

I was listening to one of these, which featured the sound from about 10 minutes of a local Chicago TV show called "International Cafe". Coming out of applause for one performance, I heard a familiar melody, followed by some fairly hyperactive singing in Swedish. Near the end of the performance, I realized that it was "Johan Pa Snippen", and was rewarded for my close attention when the announcer indicated that I was correct.

As far as I can tell, he identifies the singer as "Siggy Furst", but I could be wrong on the spelling and prounouciation of both names. Regardless, this is a recording that I find completely infectious, more than 15 years after I first heard it. The energy in the singer's performance is wonderful, and, well, I love this sort of instrumental performance anyway.

Who was Siggy Furst? Darned if I know. What is he singing about? A Jazz Farmer? What is a Jazz Farmer? Anyone who can translate this is certainly more than welcome to offer up the translation!


Stuart Shea said...

Thanks for putting these up! Two of your best.

Diana said...

I've sent you more information on this artist your gmail adress Bob :)

Ted Hering said...

The chorus sounds a lot like "Lord of the Dance." I'm not sure I've ever heard this song before, but it sure has some neat "hooks."

Anonymous said...

Sigge Fürst (1905-1984) was a very popular actor, singer, entertainer and radio/tv host. Most of his acting was lightweight but in the early 60s he was hired by no one less than Ingmar Bergman to play Brecht at the Swedish Dramatic Theater.ürst

In 1993 Swedish doom metal band Candlemass did an ep called Candlemass sings Sigge Fürst.ürst

The links are in Swedish so they might not be to useful. Let me know if you need more info.