Kid Creole & The Coconuts – Annie, I’m Not Your Daddy (Sire Records)
Flamboyant, extravagant, sexy, irresistible. As many adjectives comin’ to mind when thinkin’ of Kid Creole & The Coconuts‘ live performances and music. With the Caribbean tinged ‘Annie, I’m Not Your Daddy’ makin’ no exception.
The third and final single from their ‘Tropical Gangsters’, ‘Annie I’m Not Your Daddy’ stands as the band’s highest charting single on the UK Singles Chart. Besides, speakin’ of it back in 2011, August Darnell eventually said that the income royalties from this song alone would have been enough for him to live on!
Strangely enough, Darnell had initially thought of ‘Tropical Gangsters’ as to be a solo album. But he had to compromise upon demand from his label which was facing financial difficulties back then. This being how it got out as a Kid Creole & The Coconuts‘ album. And also how it appeared with a deliberately Pop feel. With the jazzypnotic ‘Annie I’m Not Your Daddy’ brilliantly embodying this will.
A native of the Bronx, NYC, August Darnell put his first band together – The In Laws – at the early age of 15. This along with his half brother, Stony Browder, Jr.. An experience which didn’t last though. As they disbanded soon after to allow him to pursue his studies to become an English teacher. And, although he managed to obtain a master’s degree in English, his passion for music and obvious interest towards multiple cultures, legends and personalities pushed him and his brother back to where they’d stop. Thus givin’ birth to a new band by the likes of Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band. Eventually remembered for classics such as ‘Whispering/Cherchez La Femme/Se Si Bon’, ‘I’ll Play The Fool’ and ‘Mister Love’. Meanwhile displaying a unique blend of Disco beats with rhythms inherited from genres such as Calypso, Rumba, Compas and Cha-Cha-Chá. And somehow appearing as preview of what Kid Creole & The Coconuts would be a few years later.
In the meantime, he would also produce Don Armando’s Rumba Band. But also Machine, on a more Disco/Funk tip. Themselves responsible for gems such as ‘There But For The Grace of God’, ‘Power And Reason’ and ‘Is It Love’.
Although Kid Creole & The Coconuts saw the light back in 1980 from the association between Darnell and Coati Mundi, they would have to wait until 1982 and the release of their third album – Tropical Gangsters – to get the commercial success. This with classics such as ‘Annie I’m Not Your Daddy’, ‘Stool Pigeon’ and ‘I’m A Wonderful Thing, Baby’. As many pieces of music which typically illustrated the temper of a central character – Kid Creole – inspired by Cab Calloway and the Hollywood films from the 30’s and 40’s. Dressed in colorful zoot suits with style and grace. Dancing onstage with his inimitable, relentless and self-proclaimed cool in the middle of a big band. And this along with sexy dressed backing singers/dancers (The Coconuts)
As many assets that would be for much on the band’s performances. With the latter remaining among some of the most exciting and spectacular ones may think of…