Monday, 23 December 2013

DICK JENSEN / TOM MOFFATT "DOIN' THE TAMURE / SURFIN' IN HAWAII" (1963)



Well, I guess that this is one of the rarest Dick Jensen items I happen to have in my collection, it took me quite some time to track it down and as usual I'm very glad to share it here for anyone interested.

This little record is also important because it documents a collaboration between Jensen and Tom Moffatt, who was very influential at the beginning of Jensen's career and had a profound effect on the cultural life of Hawaii.

Dick Jensen was a live musical performer of the Rhythm and Blues, Soul, and Gospel genres; a native Hawaiian athletic song stylist and a prime mover of nightclub shows. For a more detailed biography I suggest that you have a look at this other post available here on Stereo Candies.

Born Richard Hiram Jensen in 1942, he first became interested in music through the numerous luaus his family would attend. His first experience on stage was in the fourth grade when he put together a group for a teacher's show.

Dick continued to sing through his formative years and began to gain a local reputation. While he was at Honolulu's Farrington High School, he entered a local talent contest, winning first place, and adopted the stage name of Lance Curtis at the suggestion of Tom Moffatt and Earl Finch, both active as promoters in the local Hawaii scene; the name was choosen for its illusory Hollywoodian qualities.


Dick Jensen, circa 1966-67

In 1960 Jensen graduated from Farrington and forgot his music momentarily, as he began to pursue a career in athletics. After winning Hawaii's "Athlete of the Year" award, he accepted a swimming scholarship to the University of Washington.

When Jensen returned to Hawaii in 1963, he re-estabilished his career ambition as a singer. At the time he appeared in shows at the now-defunct Civic Auditorium on King Street, fronting dance bands during a lively period in the Honolulu entertainment scene; more into rock now, he also began to perform on the Waikiki Strip.

During the same year he appeared on two singles: Swamped / Waikiki Rumble on Amber Records as part of The Swamp Men (a name probably inspired by Da Swamp club in Waikiki), and Doin' the Tamure / Surfin' In Hawaii on Tom Moffatt's Mahalo Records, which is the subject of this post.




Tom Moffatt: radio DJ, TV show host, event promoter, record producer, music publisher, and author all describe the man who's been at the helm of Hawaii's show-biz scene for more than fifty years.

In 1950 Moffatt came to Hawaii from Michigan. Little did the twenty-year-old Moffatt know that he would soon have a profound effect on the cultural life of Hawaii. As a radio disc jockey, he brought Rock'n'Roll to the Islands, literally spinning the first Rock'n'Roll record.

As a concert promoter, he managed to bring the biggest acts to the most isolated spot in the world. From Elvis Presley concert of 1957; to early rockers like Chuck Berry, the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, the Doors; to pop superstars Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, and Elton John; to legends like Frank Sinatra and Ray Charles, Tom Moffatt brought the world to Hawaii and helped to forge life-long bonds between the islands and some of the world's greatest entertainers.


Tom Moffatt in the late '50s

Decades before the Internet, he helped connect Hawaii with the rest of the world. As a record producer, manager, and promoter, he also played an integral role in the Hawaiian Renaissance of the '70s and '80s.

Moffatt likens himself to Forrest Gump, always being in the right place at the right time in order to usher in the next big thing... Named one of the most influential people in the history of Honolulu, he has kept the 50th State hoppin' with attractions for every taste.

In 2005 Moffatt has published "The Showman of the Pacific - 50 Years of Radio and Rock Stars", an autobiography full of revealing anecdotes and pictures that is a must for anyone feeling the 'Aloha state of mind'.


Here's the track list for this split 7" single:

01. DICK JENSEN - Doin' the Tamure (2:07)
02. TOM MOFFATT - Surfin' In Hawaii (2:32)

Both tracks were remastered from vinyl in December 2013 and are available in FLAC lossless format or high-quality 320 Kbps MP3 files, both formats include scans of the original item in PDF format.

Please have a look at the comments for the download links.

According to the disc labels, both tracks of this single were written by Dick Jensen and Tom Moffatt - they are respectively credited Jensen-Moffatt on Side A and Moffatt-Jensen on Side B - while the backing band duties were performed by The Diamond Head Surfers, of whom I'm afraid I don't know nothing, except that their name was surely inspired by this stunning natural beauty.

On Side A Jensen performs a rather exotic number devoted to the Tamouré, a dance from Tahiti and the Cook Islands popularized in many '60s recordings, while on Side B Moffatt explores more traditional Rock'n'Roll and Surf territories crooning about the joys of surfing in such a beautiful scenario.

The following videos offer a preview of the remastered single, enjoy!






Here below you can watch two other videos, courtesy of YouTube, that offer an interesting insight about the careers of Dick Jensen and Tom Moffatt.






More information about Dick Jensen and Tom Moffatt is available here:

http://archives.starbulletin.com/2006/06/22/news/story02.html

http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2006/Jun/22/il/FP606220304.html

http://www.oahuislandnews.com/May05/Home.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Jensen

http://www.pbshawaii.org/ourproductions/longstory_transcripts/LSS%20420%20Transcript%20-%20Tom%20Moffatt%20Lifetime.pdf

http://www.oldies1079honolulu.com/Article.asp?id=624284

http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/Global/story.asp?S=8897850

http://www.discogs.com/Tom-Moffatt-Beyond-The-Reef-Rock-Along/release/4342389

http://www.amazon.com/The-Showman-Pacific-Years-Radio/dp/0975374079/

I'm currently compiling a Dick Jensen biography, the first part of this work-in-progress covers the period 1942-1972 and is available here.

I'm also trying to compile a Dick Jensen exhaustive discography, my work-in-progress is available here.

Last but not least, I'm also trying to build a collection of Dick Jensen pictures and memorabilia, my work-in-progress is available here.

All my posts dedicated to Dick Jensen on this blog are available here.


I will post more Dick Jensen stuff in the next months, if you have any other useful information about him and his releases or if you spot any dead links, just get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

2 comments:

  1. Dick Jensen / Tom Moffatt "Doin' the Tamure / Surfin' In Hawaii" (7", 1963) [FLAC]

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  2. Dick Jensen / Tom Moffatt "Doin' the Tamure / Surfin' In Hawaii" (7", 1963) [MP3]

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