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Stan Ridgway

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Stan Ridgway’s tenure with Wall of Voodoo may have launched him to semi-stardom, but his solo musical style is more blues rock, almost Americana-ish, than WoV’s big hit “Mexican Radio.” Multiple solo albums and collaborations later, Ridgway morphs with each release.

Multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter Stan Ridgway was the original lead singer for the band Wall of Voodoo, singing on their debut EP and first two albums, including their only hit song, “Mexican Radio”. Wall Of Voodoo’s genesis was in a Hollywood company called “Acme Soundtracks”, a commercially unsuccessful venture founded in 1977 in Hollywood by Ridgway. Ridgway’s intent for the company was to provide soundtrack music for independently produced low-budget horror films; unfortunately, the company found few takers for its services. Instead, Acme Soundtracks evolved into a band that played live shows.

The band was named Wall Of Voodoo by Ridgway before their first gig in reference to a comment made while recording and overdubbing a Kalamazoo Rhythm Ace drum machine, a gift to Ridgway by writer and iconic voice over artist Daws Butler, partner to Stan Freberg, voice of Yogi Bear and many other Hanna-Barbera characters. When someone jokingly compared the multiple drum machine and farfisa organ laden recordings to Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound, Ridgway commented it sounded more like a “Wall Of Voodoo”, and the name stuck.

Actually, for new listeners, the voodoo reference was a little misleading, as it referred to the music’s often spooky quality, as opposed to any Haitian or Caribbean influences.

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