Friday, August 2, 2013
Quinn The Eskimo
Reccomended for our Class Reunion CD by my best buddy and 1973 WRVU Station Manager Steve Womack, "Quinn The Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn)" was a song a lot of us at the station loved to play.
That's particularly true for those of us who ran our News Department (including Steve or Step as we called him). We called ourselves "The News Council" and we also ran and stocked the station's "General Store" to keep everybody at 91 Rock fortified with lots of candy bars, pop tarts, cokes and all the other healthy (read:junk) food of the day. Well, at least we could eat that stuff in those days!
Getting back to "Quinn." It was written by Bob Dylan in 1967 who, according to Wikipedia, first recorded it as a part of his Basement Tapes session that year. He didn't get around to releasing it himself until three years later which, by that time, the English group Manfred Mann had made a big pop hit out of it in 1968, rising to #10 on the Billboard listings and #4 on Cash Box.
It was even a even bigger hit overseas, reaching #1 in Germany and #2 in both the Netherlands and Norway. Here it is from back in the day, courtesy of YouTube. This appears to be a 1968 TV teen dance show appearance perhaps taped in Germany given some of the graphics in the video. Also check out the hair and the clothes of those on the dance floor.....groovy, man!
Wikipedia offers a couple of possible explanations as to who "Quinn" the main character in the song might be. One is that he's based on a role Anthony Quinn played in the movie "The Savage Innocents" in 1960. Dylan himself reportedly said it was just a nursery rhyme.