Kung Fu Fighting Carl Douglas
Carl Douglas was born in 1942 in Jamaica. He grew up in both Jamaica and California. Douglas eventually moved to England to study sound engineering. In 1964 Carl formed the group the Big Stampede, which released two singles in Britain. In 1966 Douglas formed another band called the Explosions while living in Spain.
He then returned to England and teamed up with the band Gonzales prior to becoming a session vocalist for Pye Records. Carl worked with Indian-born music producer Biddu on the soundtrack to the movie “Embassy” in 1972. Two years later Biddu asked Douglas to sing the vocal on the song “I Want to Give You My Everything.” Biddu needed another song for the B-side to the single, so Biddu came up with a melody for some lyrics Carl had written about the then trendy martial arts craze that was sweeping the United States in the 70’s.
The resultant song “Kung Fu Fighting” was recorded in a mere ten minutes and was released as the A-side to the single. “Kung Fu Fighting” peaked at #1 on the pop charts in both Britain and America alike and went on to sell over nine million copies worldwide.Moreover, the song’s tremendous smash success gave Douglas the distinction of being the first Jamaican-born singer to score a #1 hit song in the United States. Alas, the follow-up single “Dance the Kung Fu” bombed in America, but was a top 20 hit in Britain. Carl had another top 30 hit in England with “Run Back” in 1977.
He released the albums “Love, Peace and Happiness” in 1979 and “Keep Pleasing Me” in 1983. One of the most beloved of funky disco novelty one-hit wonder songs of the 70’s, “Kung Fu Fighting” has been featured on the soundtracks to such films as “Rush Hour 3,” “Epic Movie,” “Daddy Day Care,” “Bowfinger,” “Beverly Hills Ninja,” “Mortal Thoughts,” and “Spirit of ’76.” Carl Douglas now lives in Hamburg, Germany and owns a production company that supplies music for films and advertisements.
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