Rednex during the video recording of "The End" in Budapest in September 2012. Joe Cagg, Dakotah, Dagger and Ace Ratclaw
|Members||Anders "Dagger" Sandberg
Rayanna "Randy" Payne
|Past members||Jay Lee
Julie-Anne "Scarlet" Tulley
Mia "Whippy" Löfgren
Jonas "Billy Ray" Nilsson
Urban "BB Stiff" Landgren
Kent "Bobby Sue" Olander
Arne "Ken Tacky" Arstrand
Annika "Mary Joe" Ljungberg
Jens "Snake" Sylsjö
Anders "Maverick" Lundström
Rednex are a Swedish techno/folk/bluegrass band. They had an international novelty hit with their cover version of the song "Cotton Eye Joe" in 1994. They were very popular in Germany, where the band holds the record of most total weeks (25) at number one on the German singles chart over the past 30 years—scoring such hits as "Old Pop in an Oak", "The Spirit of the Hawk” and "Wish You Were Here".
Rednex usually record their songs with studio musicians, while for concerts and videos there are separate performers, who take on personas that parody the "redneck" stereotype. Since 2000 Rednex have functioned as much like an entertainment troupe as like a band, with an ever-shifting lineup of performers representing the band (as of 2013 there have been 23); and in 2012 an entire separate Rednex group was created in order to perform in Australia and New Zealand.
- 1 History
- 1.1 1994-1999: formation, and Cotton Eye Joe
- 1.2 2000-2004: band restructure, and new line-ups
- 1.3 2005-2008: new manager, Rednex Tribute, "for sale"
- 1.4 2009-2011: return of tribute band members
- 1.5 2012 onwards: "Pool" line-up, NZ/Australia franchise
- 2 Discography
- 3 In popular culture
- 4 References
- 5 External links
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2014)|
1994-1999: formation, and Cotton Eye Joe
Formation and Rednex name
Rednex was initially the brainchild of Swedish producers Janne Ericsson, Örjan "Öban" Öberg, and Pat Reiniz, who decided to try mixing American folk music with eurodance. The name "Rednex" was chosen as a deliberate misspelling of the word "rednecks".
Cotton Eye Joe, and first album
In 1994, Rednex reworked the traditional folk song "Cotton-Eyed Joe" as a dance track, which became an international hit single. A debut album titled Sex & Violins followed, spawning several more European hit singles including the up-tempo "Old Pop in an Oak" and the ballad "Wish You Were Here". However, "Cotton Eye Joe" remains the group's only U.S. hit as of 2013 (#25 on the Billboard charts in March 1995).
Band members (1990s)
The founding Rednex line-up, featured in the video of Cotton Eye Joe, comprised characters Mary Joe (aka Karin Annika Ljungberg, who sang most of the female vocals on Sex & Violins), Ken Tacky, Bobby Sue, Billy Ray and Mup (aka Pat Reiniz). Soon after the release of Cotton Eye Joe, the character Mup was replaced by BB Stiff.
In 1996, lead female vocalist Mary Joe was fired, partly due to disagreements with the other band members, and went on to pursue a solo career. The rest of the band took a break from live performance and started working on new material.
Whippy (aka Mia Löfgren) became the new female vocalist in 1998. In 1999, Ken Tacky left the band, reducing the number of male performers from four to three.
2000-2004: band restructure, and new line-ups
Second album, and single releases
Rednex' second album entitled Farm Out was released in 2000 (featuring Whippy as the female lead) and found some success in Europe, with the most successful single from the album, "The Spirit of the Hawk", reaching number one in the German singles chart. In 2001, the single "The Chase" was released, charting in Germany and Switzerland.
Greatest hits album, and Cotton Eye Joe remix
In 2002, the band released a greatest hits album, The Best of the West, including previous hits plus new material. The same year, a remix of Cotton Eye Joe, "Cotton Eye Joe 2002" made the top 30 in Austria.
Band members (2000-2004)
In 2000, in the wake of Napster's rising presence in the music industry, co-founder Pat Reiniz outlined a new strategy for Rednex. The group would become an entertainment group rather than just a band, so not to be solely dependent on record sales. As he presented this idea to the performers during the video recording of "Hold Me For A While" in Kenya, he was met by great skepticism. Billy Ray replied: "We will not become a goddamn circus act!". The aftermath of this conflict resulted in the whole band being replaced for the first time.
In January 2001, only five months after the former lineup released the best-selling single in Germany in 2000, four new and unproven band members entered the scene: female vocalist Scarlet (aka Julie-Anne Tulley) from England and male performers Dagger (aka Anders Sandberg) from Sweden, Joe Cagg (aka Roy van der Haagen) and Jay Lee (aka Jean-Paul Engeln) from the Netherlands. It was the first time the stage performers were not all Swedish.
In 2003, Joe Cagg and Jay Lee were replaced by Ace Ratclaw (aka Tor Penten) from Sweden, and Boneduster Crock (aka Björn Scheffler) from Germany.
In October 2004, Scarlet resigned from the group due to exhaustion. Mary Joe returned as Scarlet's replacement.
2005-2008: new manager, Rednex Tribute, "for sale"
As Mary Joe came back as a performer in the group, she was assigned exclusive rights to license the Rednex trademark until 1 January 2009. During this period the group's focus shifted towards Scandinavia.
Band members (2005-2008), and Rednex Tribute
In January 2005, Mary Joe sacked Boneduster Crock, replacing him with her husband Snake (aka Jens Sylsjö). In 2006, Dagger was sacked and replaced by Maverick (aka Anders Lundström). Boneduster Crock and Dagger, together with former Rednex Scarlet and Joe Cagg, began to tour as "Rednex Tribute". In April 2007, they were joined by Ace Ratclaw upon his departure from the official Rednex. Rednex continued to perform with only two male characters until December 2008.
Competition performances, and new singles
Focusing on live performance in Scandinavia, Rednex appeared at the 2005 IAAF World Championships in Athletics, in Helsinki. On March 11, 2006 Rednex entered the song "Mama Take Me Home" in Semifinal 4 of the Swedish Melodifestivalen in Gothenburg. They qualified for the final via the Second Chance Round, finishing an overall sixth in the final. "Mama Take Me Home" was subsequently released as a single in a few European countries. The band's Scandinavian comeback continued as they released the single "Fe Fi (The Old Man Died)" in November 2006, after having performed it at the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards. The single was surprisingly successful, reaching number four in the Swedish charts.
Rednex planned to take part in the 2007 Romanian national final for Eurovision preselection, together with the Romanian band Ro-Mania, performing "Well-o-Wee". The act was however disqualified, since the judges deemed that several parts of the song had been published and performed as early as 2001.
The following year, Rednex entered the 2008 Romanian Eurovision selection contest, in another collaboration with the band Ro-Mania. The song "RailRoad, RailRoad" qualified for the semifinals, but initial failed to reach the national final. After another song was withdrawn however, "RailRoad, RailRoad" was admitted to the final, held in Bucharest in February 2008.
In June 2008, Rednex released an unofficial single for the 2008 UEFA European Football Championship, which took place in Austria and Switzerland. The new song "Football is Our Religion" went to number one in the Swedish charts in the late summer of 2008.
Proposed sale of Rednex
2009-2011: return of tribute band members
Band members (2009-2011)
On January 1, 2009, after the end of Mary Joe's management licence, control of the Rednex brand returned to the band's founders. The remaining Rednex personnel of Mary Joe, Snake and Maverick were fired by the returning management following a dispute, and were replaced by members of Rednex Tribute (Scarlet, Dagger, Ace Ratclaw and Joe Cagg), all themselves former official Rednex. It was the second time the whole line-up had been replaced simultaneously.
After leaving the official band, Mary Joe, Maverick, and Snake continued to tour as "The Cotton Eye Joe Show presented by the Rednex Band Ltd", causing trademark owners Rednex AB to threaten them and concert organizers with legal action, and resulting in the cancellation of some shows. Annika Ljungberg (Mary Joe) claimed the rights to the Internet domain name rednex.se, leading Rednex AB to accuse her of “spreading economical damage, lies, ulcer and insomnia like a plague not only within the Rednex group but also other parts of Swedish show business”.
Internet single release, 2010
In January 2010, Rednex released a new single, "Devil's On The Loose", in a partnership with The Pirate Bay for free and legal download worldwide. A video for the track was recorded in August 2009 in Norrbyggeby, Sweden. The song was released as the first single from future album Saturday Night Beaver.
2012 onwards: "Pool" line-up, NZ/Australia franchise
Flexible band membership (2012 onwards)
In January 2012, Rednex announced that they had dissolved the concept of a permanent band, intending instead to use a larger pool of characters from which one female and three male performers would be chosen for each performance. Rednex claimed that this idea was "totally unproven and unheard of in the music industry".
The pool of performers in 2012 included Dagger, Joe Cagg, Ace Ratclaw and Boneduster Crock, new female vocalists Dakotah, Abby Hick and Misty Mae, plus new male member Rufus Jones. At the time of the dissolution of the permanent Rednex line-up Scarlet again left the band.
Single releases, 2012
Single and video "Racing" was released in May 2012. This was followed in November 2012 by "The End". The video for "The End" was recorded on September 2, 2012 at Garay Utca, the ”ghetto of Budapest”, and is a flowumentary. Rednex refuted the notion that "The End" is related to 2012 doomsday theories. The characters featured in the video are Joe Cagg, Dagger, Dakotah, Ace Ratclaw, and Rufus Jones.
Australia/New Zealand franchise
In November 2012 Rednex began a franchise operation in Australia & New Zealand. Four new performers from Auckland and Wellington were recruited to form a second Rednex with a non exclusive license to perform in Australasia. Performers in the NZ/Australian line-up include: Rayanna Randy Payne (aka Theresa Murphy), Rawtooth Rick (aka Anthony Sibbald), and Slimboy (aka Pascal Roggen). A press release accompanying the franchise launch stated: ”it's the first time an internationally known pop band has cloned itself”.
|Title||Details||Peak chart positions||Certifications
|Sex & Violins||2||37||14||27||2||21||3||1||146||68|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart|
|The Best of the West||
|Year||Single||Peak chart positions||Certifications
|1994||"Cotton Eye Joe"||1||1||1||2||1||1||1||1||1||25||Sex & Violins|
|"Old Pop in an Oak"||1||1||2||11||11||1||1||2||12||—|
|1995||"Wish You Were Here"||1||6||1||—||26||1||3||1||—||—|
|"Wild 'N Free"||12||11||18||—||—||—||37||24||55||—|
|1999||"The Way I Mate"||22||—||34||—||58||—||22||37||—||—||Farm Out|
|2000||"The Spirit of the Hawk"||1||—||1||—||78||—||10||3||—||—|
|"Hold Me for a While"||16||—||25||—||—||—||—||19||—||—|
|2001||"The Chase"||44||—||65||—||—||—||—||54||—||—||The Best of the West|
|2002||"Cotton Eye Joe" (remix)||32||—||83||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2006||"Mama Take Me Home"||—||—||—||—||—||3||—||—||—||Non-album songs|
|"Fe Fi (The Old Man Died)"||—||—||—||—||—||—||4||—||—||—|
|2007||"Anyway You Want Me"||—||—||—||—||—||—||8||—||—||—|
|"Looking for a Star"||—||—||—||—||—||—||4||—||—||—|
|"Football Is Our Religion"||—||—||59||—||—||—||1||—||—||—|
|2010||"Devil's on the Loose"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart|
In popular culture
Cotton Eye Joe is featured in the films The Negotiator, Space Truckers, Hood of Horror, Studentfesten, Les 11 Commandements and Milk Punch, in the TV series Malcolm in the Middle, My Name Is Earl, Peep Show, New Girl (s02e25), The Morgana Show, Lukas and Beavis and Butt-head, in the video games Just Dance 3 by Nintendo Wii and Carnival Games, and in TV commercials by Telia and Telefonica.
Spirit of the Hawk was title track for the German version of Fort Boyard in 2000.
Rednex released their own CD ROM game in 1995 called Inbred With Rednex, including unreleased songs.
Cotton Eye Joe has been performed numerous times in various talent shows including Americal Idol. One of the more regionally famous performances being by Király L. Norbi in the Hungarian X-Faktor.
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