Galas Del Sabado
A couple weeks back, I was unable to get to bed, and instead, I was started on a YouTube adventure by my friends (and former employers) at the Archive of Contemporary Music blog. Most of the best things on YouTube, if you ask me, are the salvage jobs; things people have saved from old video recordings or old film prints and graciously put on the YouTube for everyone to see. The subject of today's post is a program called "Galas Del Sabado", which aired on the Spanish government/publically run station "Television Espanola" during the sixties and seventies. It was basically your average sixties variety show, with musical performances, comedy, all that jazz, that ran for an hour every Saturday night. Except it was in Fascist, Francoist Spain.
Here are some fun performances from the program, both musical:
Gotta love the presentation on this one, even if the song is sorta insipid:
And then of course, there's also comedy, uh, of a certain sort:
Not knowing the language, and not really knowing much more about this program then what I could dig up on the internet, I can't really comment about this in depth. Just that it astounds me that performers could keep it going under Franco's regime. Granted, "Limon Limonero" isn't bringing down the state anytime soon. But Marisol, the Spanish Lulu-type in the first video, was secretly a member of the Communist Party. And some of these groups were legitimately rocking, most specifically, the Spanish group from this period that everyone has probably heard of, Los Bravos:
Los Bravos hit it big state-side with the song "Black Is Black" (in case you ever wondered who sang that song, it's these guys), hitting number 4 in the US and number 2 in the UK. The band was sort of a supergroup formed from two Madrid rock bands. In 66, they moved to Mod UK and recorded most of their hits. The organist is a sad story, unfortunately. He killed his girlfriend in an auto accident and then felt so guilty that he shot himself. Anywho, Los Bravos certainly had a lot of fun while it lasted, making two Beatles-like movies. Here are some more of the groovy sixties stylings of Los Bravos, this time in English, for all you gringos:
Gotta love the lead singer. That's good showmanship, right there.
By the way, in case you're interested, the Archive of Contemporary Music, the fellows responsible for this wild goose chase, is having their biannual fundraising sale from December 8th to the 16th. If you happen to be in New York City, swing by 54 White Street. There's tons of excellent vinyl priced to go, and even a whole bunch of neat, cheap CDs. Tell them Dylan sent you. They'll probably charge you more.