In our age of revivalism, this CD is a particular nugget of nostalgia rescued from oblivion and the late 60s. It's a complete catalogue of everything The Mixtures ever put out—the original 12-cut LP and the 6 Linda Records singles (A & B sides)—but it's also has a highly unusual back-story of racial diversity long before such became a post-80s watchword. The Mixtures were named for the wide spectrum of cultures in the combo: African, Hispanic, Caucasian, Asian, even Native American. Fortune favored this combination business-wise in the person of Eddie Davis, a Catholic/Jewish (!!!) businessman who wanted some entertainment for a chain of restaurants, including the Rainbow Gardens (where LP was recorded), and ended up, as liner notes writer Denise Sullivan puts it, marketing equality.
The Mixtures played in the era of Dick Dale, the Dave Clark 5, The Ventures, and doo wop amid a backscatter of African, Hispanic, and other influences (jazz, Richie Valens, etc.), all of which show prominently in their work, a jumping and wildly dance-able congeries of period sax ditties and frug-aloo workouts. Cannibal & the Headhunters, also known as Hannibal & the Headhunters, and any number of chart ensembles would have greater success in this mode than The Mixtures, but this integrated combo needn't take a back seat to anyone, playing with spirit and punch. One can well envision zoot suits, panatelas, poodle skirts, and bobby sox while listening through 25 tracks evoking a completely different world from the one we know now.
Baby booming Jurassic dinosaurs are going to get flashbacks to dances in the high school gym, the back seats of Chevies, weekends spent with Red Mountain and Spanada, hollerin', ravin', and hootin'. Stompin' at the Rainbow is prime period music from a band that reflected the changing spirit of the times well in more than one attribute, an ahead-of-its-time collective of social farsightedness that reveled in the rollicking sounds that issued from its fathers' generation. And...waitaminnit!…is that Wolfman Jack I hear howling in the distance?
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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