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Everybody Loves Saturday Night By The Tarriers

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Published on Jul 7, 2010

The Tarriers were one of only two or three reasonably popular folk singing group in the U.S. after the political blacklisting of The Weavers (the first vocal group with million-selling folk records in 1949 and 1950) and before the unprecedented explosion of popularity of that music created by the Kingston Trio at the end of the 1950s.

Ironically, perhaps, the two biggest hit songs that started the folk boom, "Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)" by Harry Belafonte and "Tom Dooley" by the Kingston Trio, were first recorded by The Tarriers. The original line-up of the group included The original group included Alan Arkin (who went on to great fame as a character actor in NY and Hollywood), Erik Darling (master banjoist and folksinger who later joined the Weavers and started the Rooftop Singers), and Bob Carey (who became a successful record producer). Carey was African-American, and the Tarriers became the first racially integrated vocal group in America.

The "Saturday Night" song originated in Nigeria, and a number of stories have grown up around it - that it was a Weavers song (it wasn't, though Pete Seeger included it in one of his solo songbooks) and that it was composed as a protest against military government imposed curfews (lifted on Saturday night only) in Lagos in either the 1950s or 1970s. Actually, it existed well before those curfews . The original Nigerian song apparently was only a fragment of a forgotten older piece. It was Trinidadian calypso singer Aldwyn Roberts "Lord Kitchener" who popularized it in Britain in the late 1940s by repeating the song's one line over and over in different languages - hence the association of this African song with Caribbean rhythms and styles.

A favorite of jazz bands as well, the song was covered by Bud and Travis, the New Christy Minstrels, and the Serendipity Singers, among many others.

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