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.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


The Fabulous Ottomans got their "Fabulous" moniker in an alcohol soaked night, and basically it was because the mighty, excellent, awesome and incredible "Fabulous Wailers", and don't you ever forget it!

signed: an Ottoman