Saturday, March 29, 2008
Turban Alert! The Fabulous Ottomans
A glance at the photo might lead you to think that this group dates from the '50s. But no, The Fabulous Ottomans are a working band, based in Barcelona, Spain, who play the "finest turban headed rhythm & blues."
You can download their very fine track, "Shake Shout Soul," on their myspace page. And also here, at Soulful Torino Records, which is where I found it.
For some reason, turbans were very popular among rhythm 'n' blues artists of the '50s and '60s, among them Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Chuck Willis, and Professor Longhair. Here's a photo gallery. Kim Wilson of The Fabulous Thunderbirds (is this where the Ottomans got their 'Fabulous' moniker?) used to wear a turban, back in the day (I first saw him perform in one in 1978). Meanwhile, here's one of my all-time fave turban wearers, Sam the Sham (Domingo Samudio) of Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs, of "Wooly Bully" fame. (And I guess, considering what The Pharaohs are wearing, it's a kufiyaspotting too.)