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NOD TO THE GODS: Dick Dale, ‘Hava Nagila’
May 4, 2014
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Each and every Sunday night when the clock hits eight, The Strombo Show takes over CBC Radio 2. It's music for music lovers by music lovers. To kick off the program, we always tip our hats to the legends, the noisemakers and the ground-breakers in a segment that we like to call: Nod to the Gods.

What other way to kick off the radio program than with a birthday boy, Dick Dale. In keeping with the celebration of the Beastie Boys tonight, we'll spin his take on the traditional Jewish folk song, "Hava Nagila."

The song was delivered on his sophomore record, the aptly titled King of the Surf Guitar. Dale served as an influence to many modern masters of the fret board; the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eddie Van Halen learned from his ability to explore undreamed-of sounds though his single-note staccato techniques and with his showmanship.

At an early age, Dale bought a plastic ukelele for a few bucks and taught himself to become a cowboy singer (he was a big admirer of Hank Williams). Combine those influences with his fascination in Arabic music, and his Lebanese heritage, and the result was an incomparable style that dominated the charts before the British Invasion of the early 1960s.

However, his legacy is not forgotten. His instrumental track "Let's Go Trippin'' has been frequently referenced as the origin of surf-rock with its reverb and wet sounds, which were quickly adapted by the likes of Beach Boys and Link Wray. And of course, in the early nineties, Tarantino introduced the triumphant sounds of Dale to new audiences..

Earlier this season, comedian and occasional hip-hop influencer Will Ferrell sat in the red chairs and discussed his father's musical presence, which included a handful of collaborations with Dick Dale in the Del-Tones, including "Hava Nagila."

For further musical musings, new and old, join the collective for The Strombo Show on CBC Radio 2, every Sunday night at 8PM. And if you'd like to catch up or relisten, all of the episodes are archived here.


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