” Cotton Eye Joe ” became a worldwide hit single for the Swedish group Rednex. Taking this traditional American country folk song and remixing into a dance track using modern beats with instruments like banjos and fiddles.
The most successful single from their album, Sex & Violins, it reached the Number One spot in many countries including the United Kingdom, Sweden, Norway, Austria and Belgium but in the United States a chart-topping single eluded the group, and the song peaked at number twenty-five.
The song is believed to predate the American Civil War; it is unclear exactly where the song originated from although some think it to be linked to the slaves working on plantations during those years.
A favourite folk song for many years with about 134 recorded versions since 1950, the song has started to lose its appeal due to the association with the slavery which is now considered to be a taboo subject. However, this song is still a favourite folk song in the American deep south.
The original version is enjoyed the world over in line dancing clubs and venues. Many artists have covered ” Cotton Eye Joe ” including The Moody Brothers and Irish group, The Chieftains, with many receiving Grammy nominations for ” Best Country Instrumental Performance ” for example, although that accolade is something that has seemed to pass by Rednex.
Rednex certainly enjoyed making the song likeable again, even if it was for just a short time. However, not everyone shared the same level of enthusiasm for the song, with Blender magazine ranking ” Cotton Eye Joe ” at number 38 of the worst 50 songs ever. ”
Alvin and the Chipmunks and The Chipettes made a cover version of ” Cotton Eye Joe ” for their live stage tour in 2015.
BillBoard Highest Chart Position: 25
UK Highest Chart Position: 1
Other Countries Highest Chart Positions: Australia (ARIA)8, Austria (Austria Top 40) 1, Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders) 1, Canada Top Singles (RPM) 10, Canada Dance (RPM) 1, Denmark (Tracklisten) 1, Europe (Eurochart Hot 100) 1, Finland (Suomen virallinen lista) 1, France (SNEP) 10, Germany (Media Control Charts) 1, Ireland (IRMA) 2, Netherlands (Dutch Top 40) 1, New Zealand (RIANZ) 1, Norway (VG-lista) 1, Spain (AFYVE) 8, Sweden (Sverigetopplistan) 1,Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade) 1, U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play 5, U.S. Billboard Top 40 Mainstream 30.
Official Website: Rednexmusic.com
FaceBook Page: Facebook.com/therednexhaystack
Wikipedia Page: Wikipedia.org/Rednex
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