Carl Douglas

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Carl Douglas
Birth nameCarlton George Douglas
Born (1942-05-10) 10 May 1942 (age 76)
Kingston, Jamaica
GenresDisco
Years active1961–present
Websitecarl-douglas.com

Carlton George Douglas (born 10 May 1942), also known by his stage name Carl Douglas, is a Jamaican recording artist who rose to prominence with the 1974 disco single "Kung Fu Fighting".

Early life[edit]

Douglas was born as Carlton George Douglas on 10 May 1942 in Kingston, Jamaica to Jamaican parents. After his grandmother passed away, his family relocated to the United Kingdom. He spent his childhood in England playing soccer, and vocal training. In his youth he developed a passion for jazz music (citing Sam Cooke and Otis Redding as his biggest influences) and a trained tenor voice, which he would display in church singing various religious songs.[1]

Career[edit]

Douglas's career was based in the United Kingdom. His single "Kung Fu Fighting" ranked number one on both the U.K. Singles Chart and the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in 1974. The single sold 11 million copies worldwide,[2][3] making it one of the best-selling singles of all time. The single was later certified gold by the RIAA on 27 November 1974.[4]

The single, which is a homage to martial arts films, has overshadowed the rest of Douglas's career, and has led to his appearance on other artists' versions of the song. In the United States, Douglas is considered a one-hit wonder, since he is only known for "Kung Fu Fighting" and the follow-up "Dance the Kung Fu" did not crack the Top 40. However, in the United Kingdom, two other singles of his made it into the Top 40: "Dance the Kung Fu", which peaked at number 35 in the charts, and "Run Back", which peaked at number 25.

Douglas was once managed by Eric Woolfson,[5] who later became the primary songwriter behind The Alan Parsons Project.

In 1998, a re-recording of "Kung Fu Fighting", performed by British dance act Bus Stop and which featured Douglas's vocals, peaked at number 8 in the UK Singles Chart.[6]

The single "Dance The Kung Fu", was sampled on "Cuda nie widy" from 2001 album Nibylandia, and later by DJ Premier on his 2007 remix of Nike's 25th Air Force One anniversary single "Classic (Better Than I've Ever Been)", featuring Kanye West, Nas, KRS-One, and Rakim. Douglas is represented by music publisher Schacht Musikverlage (SMV) in Hamburg, Germany.[7]

In 2008, CeeLo Green covered "Kung-Fu Fighting," which appeared on the soundtrack for the movie, Kung Fu Panda.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Title US US R&B
1974 Kung Fu Fighting and Other Great Love Songs 37 1
1977 Love Peace and Happiness - -
1978 Keep Pleasing Me - -

Singles[edit]

Year Title AUS AUT BEL CAN FRA GER IRE ITA NLD NOR NZL SWI UK US
1964 Crazy Feeling (with The Big Stampede) - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
1968 Serving A Sentence Of Life - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
1969 Eeny Meeny - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
1972 Somebody Stop This Madness - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
1974 Kung Fu Fighting 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 3 1 3 1 2 1 1
1974 Dance The Kung Fu - 19 8 46 - 5 - - 7 - - - 35 48
1974 Blue Eyed Soul - - 25 - - - - - - - - - - -
1977 Shanghai - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
1977 Run Back - - - - - 45 - - - - - - 25 -
1998 Kung Fu Fighting (re-issue with Bus Stop) 15 - 22 - 25 - 12 - - - 1 - 8 -

Chart information provided by TSORT,[8] All Music[9] & MusicVF.[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Carl Douglas 2011 interview [1]
  2. ^ James Ellis. "Biddu". Metro. Retrieved 2011-04-17.
  3. ^ Malika Browne (20 August 2004). "It's a big step from disco to Sanskrit chants, but Biddu has made it". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 2011-05-30.
  4. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 344. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  5. ^ "Eric Woolfson: Singer and songwriter with the Alan Parsons Project | Obituaries | News". The Independent. Retrieved 2016-06-26.
  6. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums. London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 167. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  7. ^ "SMV | Schacht Musikverlage". Smv.de. Retrieved 2012-02-10.
  8. ^ "Song artist 778 - Carl Douglas". Tsort.info. Retrieved 2016-06-26.
  9. ^ Steve Huey (1942-05-10). "Carl Douglas | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-06-26.
  10. ^ "Carl Douglas Songs ••• Top Songs / Chart Singles Discography ••• Music VF, US & UK hits charts". Musicvf.com. Retrieved 2016-06-26.