Quiet Village

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"Quiet Village"
Single by Martin Denny
Released 1957
Recorded 1956
Length 3:46 (see note +)
Label Liberty Records
Writer(s) Les Baxter

"Quiet Village" is an exotica instrumental that was written and originally performed by Les Baxter in 1952. In the liner notes to his album, Ritual of the Savage (Le sacre du sauvage), Baxter described the themes he was conveying in the work:[1]

[t]he jungle grows more dense as the river boat slowly makes its way into the deep interior. A snake slithers into the water, flushing a brilliantly plumaged bird who soars into the clearing above a quiet village. Here is a musical portrait of a tropical village deserted in the mid-day heat.

Seven years later, in 1959, Martin Denny added exotic sounds to the song, and his instrumental version made it to number four on the pop singles chart on June 1 and number eleven on the R&B chart.[2] Denny also recorded a bossa nova version of the song in 1964 and a version on Moog synthesizer in 1969. In 1977, The Ritchie Family recorded a disco version of the song and added vocals. The single was included on their African Queens album. Along with the album's title track as well as "Summer Dance", "Quiet Village" hit number one for three weeks in 1977. However, unlike the Martin Denny version, The Ritchie Family recording did not chart on the pop singles or R&B chart.[3]

(note +) The original single hit was a mono recording edited to 2:42, and a 3:38 version was used on the Liberty album. There was a different recording, done in stereo, used on stereo Liberty LP's and many subsequent reissues.


  1. ^ Baxter, Les (1952). "Ritual of the Savage (Le sacre du sauvage)" [sleeve notes]. Capitol Records.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 155. 
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974-2003. Record Research. p. 356. 
Preceded by
"Accidental Lover" / I Found Love (Now That I Found You) by Love & Kisses
Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single
(The Ritchie Family version with "African Queens"/"Summer Dance")

August 13, 1977 – August 27, 1977
Succeeded by
Village People by Village People