” Puttin’ On the Ritz ” is by Taco ( Taco Ockerse ), the Indonesian-born Dutch singer and entertainer. It was in 1975 in Hamburg, the second largest city in Germany, that Taco began his career as an entertainer.
After roles in Children’s Theater, he later joined the cast of West Side Story at Hamburg Opera House, playing ” Chino “. It was in 1979 that he formed Taco’s Bizz, his first band and two years later he signed his first recording contract with the German arm of Polydor ( Universal Music Group ).
” Puttin’ On the Ritz ” was written by Irving Berlin ( Israel Isidore Baline ) in May 1927 with the first publication of the song on the 2nd of December 1929.
Irving published his first song ” Marie From Sunny Italy ” in 1907, for which he was paid the grand sum of 33 cents for the publishing rights. In a career which spanned sixty years he wrote over 1,500 songs and is considered by many to be one of the greatest songwriters in American music history.
The song was produced by David Parker ( John David Parker Tanja ) who also produced Taco’s other singles, ” Singin’ In The Rain ” and ” After Eight “.
” Puttin’ On the Ritz ” was released in 1982 by record label RCA ( Sony Music Entertainment ) and taken from Taco’s album, After Eight.
The album was released in forty different countries and became a success for Taco. It reached number four in Norway, five in Canada, eleven in Austria, seventeen in New Zealand, twenty-three in the United States and fifty-nine in Germany.
Lyrically the song took its theme from a popular expression in the 30s, when someone dressed fashionably they would be Puttin’ On the Ritz, a reference to the luxurious Ritz hotel.
Taco released his synthpop cover version of ” Puttin’ On the Ritz ” in 1982. His version didn’t stay true to the original, Taco’s version had other pieces of Irving’s songs featured, such as the biggest selling single of all time, Bing Crosby’s ” White Christmas “.
There were initially two versions of a music video to accompany the song which became hugely popular where the late Fred Astaire is honoured with a tap dance. Due to characters appearing in blackface, many networks have banned the video.
Blackface was a style of makeup was used in the past by white performers in theatre to represent a black person, with the most well-known being The black and White minstrel show and Al Jolson, who in the 30s was America’s most famous and the country’s highest-paid entertainer.
Although the blackface characters were edited out later and replaced with a photograph of Gary Cooper during the ” super duper ” line of the song, the characters can still be seen in a few shots.
” Puttin’ On the Ritz ” was a commercial success for Taco. In the United States, the song reached number four on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1983 and spent twenty-one weeks on the chart. It also reached Number One on the Cashbox chart, the now defunct music industry trade magazine.
With Taco taking the song to number four, Irving Berlin became the oldest living songwriter ever, at the then age of 95, to have a song in the Top Ten on the Billboard Hot 100.
The single was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America ( RIAA ) for sales over one million copies; it was to be Taco’s only chart hit in the United States.
Outside of the United States, the single reached Number One in Sweden and New Zealand and made the top five in many other countries including Australia, Norway, Austria and Canada.
BillBoard Hot 100 Highest Chart Position: 4
UK Highest Chart Position: N/A
Other Countries Highest Chart Positions: Australia (Kent Music Report) 5, Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40) 3, Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders) 13, Canada (CHUM) 3, Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM) 1, Canada Top Singles (RPM) 2, France (IFOP) 74, Germany (Official German Charts) 20, Ireland (IRMA) 24, Netherlands (Dutch Top 40) 12, Netherlands (Single Top 100) 18, New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ) 1, Norway (VG-lista) 2, South Africa (Springbok Radio) 3, Sweden (Sverigetopplistan) 1, Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade) 6
Official Website: Taco.tc/Taco
FaceBook Page: Facebook.com/taco-ockerse
Wikipedia Page: Wikipedia.org/TacoMale Artists puttin on the ritztacotaco puttin on the ritz