Thursday, July 26, 2012

Jay Epae - Jungle speaks

Jay Epae headed to the USA in 1957, eventually scoring a record deal. Here's a few of his singles, my fave is Jungle speaks.

"His first single was released on the American Mercury label. It came out in 1960 and was "Hawaiian Melody"/"Putti Putti". This was followed in 1961 with "Hula Cha"/"It's Driving Me Wild". 1962 saw "Wassa Matta You"/"Dance With Me Lulu" and "Hokey Pokey Hully Gully"/"Jungle Speaks". A switch to the American Capitol label gave him two more singles in 1962, "Coffee Grind"/"My Girl" and "Surfin On Waikiki"/"Patu Patu". Source.

Jay Epae's brother Wes, was a member of the Maori Hi Five. They topped the charts in Sweden for several weeks in 1963 with their song Poi Poi and toured there as well, alongside Duke Ellington and Count Basie. Watch the excellent Maori TV documentary on them here - Mary & The Maori Hi Five - Unsung Heroes of Māori music.

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