Curation: “Rhythm of the Rain”

Paleo Retiree writes:

I always think of the song as “Listen to the Rhythm of the Pouring Rain,” and it’s one that, ever since it was released in 1962, has never failed to cast a little spell on me. Thanks to the miracle that is YouTube I’ve been able to enjoy a lot of different versions of it. Here are my faves.

The original, by The Cascades (a band that named itself after a brand of dishwashing detergent), is in a bland, whitebread-heartbreak mode that I often find irresistible. OK some part of me flat-out identifies with it. Plus: those bells!

Hey, I love a lot of Ricky Nelson’s music too. It seems that part of me will remain a 12 year old mid-American white boy forever.

I’ve also returned many times to the mellow funk and smooth Technicolor masculinity of the Ka’au Crater Boys:

But my fave version of the song is unquestionably this charmer by the Vietnamese-American performer Trish Trang:

The robotic-porn choreography, the adorably cheesy concept and costumes, the genuinely snappy synth bassline and Trish’s demure facial expressions — such a foxy, seductive contrast to the hard and overbright expressions we’re used to in American showbiz — send my brain into a seriously happy whirl. And I find those inanely-funky instrumental breaks a blissful sugar high. Evidently it isn’t just the Japanese who can be geniuses at crossing sexy and cute.


  • I didn’t manage to get hooked by the other Trish Trang performances that I explored, but Trish is unquestionably a pop-music force and talent, so why not sample some of her work for yourself?
  • Cascades member John Gummoe wrote the song. Who’d have predicted that it would last as long as it has? Here’s his website.
  • I enjoyed a live show by the Hawaiian group Hapa.
  • I dug up and passed along a couple of topflight performances by the legendarily erratic Van Morrison.

About Paleo Retiree

Onetime media flunky and movie buff and very glad to have left that mess behind. Formerly Michael Blowhard of the cultureblog Now a rootless parasite and bon vivant on a quest to find the perfectly-crafted artisanal cocktail.
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1 Response to Curation: “Rhythm of the Rain”

  1. Faze says:

    Love the Cascades “Rain”. The celeste is the hook, and that stinging organ break, right out of the Joe Meek bag of of tricks. Early Ricky Nelson cut some boss singles, and not just a few. His bandleader dad said, “If my kid’s gonna play rock and roll, he’s gonna have the best rock and roll musicians backing him up.” And so he did (lead guitar: James Burton). His post-rockabilly work was fantastic, too. “Travelin’ Man”, “Teenage Idol”, great production, great songs.

    Liked by 1 person

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