Rednex during a video recording in Berlin, New Year's Day 2015. Whippy, Dagger, Joe Cagg, Ace Ratclaw and Boneduster Crock.
|Also known as||Collo Rossi|
|Genres||Eurotronica, pop, Techno|
|Years active||1994–2002, 2006–present|
|Associated acts||C.E.J., Merrygold, Dreamhouse, Sideburn|
Roy van der Haagen
Christine van de Ven
|Past members||Annika Ljungberg
Rednex is a Swedish musical group, known for their unique sound comprising modern dance, pop and eurodance sounds mixed with classical country music, folk, and bluegrass elements. The band originally consisted of the lead singer Mary Joe (Annika Ljungberg), alongside Bobby Sue (Kent Olander), Ken Tacky (Arne Arstrand), Billy Ray (Jonas Nilsson) and Mup (Patrick Edenberg). The group enjoyed massive success throughout the 1990s with novelty hits such as "Cotton Eye Joe", "Old Pop in an Oak", "The Spirit of the Hawk" and "Wish You Were Here". Pat Reiniz (Patrick Edenberg) also served as the band's producer.
- 1 Band history
- 1.1 1994–1995: Formation and Sex & Violins
- 1.2 1996–1997: Departure of Ljungberg and Riding Alone
- 1.3 1998–2000: Farm Out and controversial Lineup changes
- 1.4 2001–2004: The Best of the West and Lineup changes
- 1.5 2005–2006: Return of Ljungberg and Comeback
- 1.6 2007–2008: The Cotton Eye Joe Show and Rednex Tribute
- 1.7 2009–2011: Second departure of Ljungberg and Singles
- 1.8 2012–2014: Second departure of Tulley and Singles
- 1.9 2015–present: Return of Löfgren
- 2 Artistry
- 3 Members
- 4 Controversy
- 5 Other brand ventures
- 6 In popular culture
- 7 Discography
- 8 References
- 9 External links
1994–1995: Formation and Sex & Violins
Rednex was initially the brainchild of Swedish producers Janne Ericsson, Örjan "Öban" Öberg, and Patrick Edenberg, who decided to try mixing American country and folk with modern dance and pop music. The name "Rednex" was chosen as a deliberate misspelling of the word "rednecks". The band originally consisted of the lead singer Mary Joe (Annika Ljungberg), alongside Bobby Sue (Kent Olander), Ken Tacky (Arne Arstrand), Billy Ray (Jonas Nilsson) and Mup (Patrick Edenberg). In 1994, Rednex reworked the traditional folk song "Cotton-Eyed Joe", retitled "Cotton Eye Joe", as a dance track, which became an international hit single. Edenberg was soon replaced by BB Stiff (Urban Landgren) after the "Cotton Eye Joe" release. The group's debut studio album titled Sex & Violins followed, spawning several more hit singles including "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). Two more tracks of the album, "Wild 'N Free" and "Rolling Home", have been released and became moderate hits. A promotional one-off single, the Nicole cover version "Ein Bisschen Frieden", has been released and labeled as "Collo Rossi" for the release.
1996–1997: Departure of Ljungberg and Riding Alone
In 1996, Rednex have been featured on the charity single "Children", as part of the supergroup "Hand in Hand for Children". Later female lead singer Ljungberg 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. In 1997, the remaining four men released one more single, "Riding Alone", out of Sex & Violins, two years after the previous release "Rolling Home". Next to that, in 1997, also Arstrand started a side project called Explode, a progressive power metal band, and released the debut studio album Live Forever in Sweden.
1998–2000: Farm Out and controversial Lineup changes
In Fall 1998, Whippy (Mia Löfgren) became the new female vocalist. They released their first single "The Way I Mate" in 1999. Soon after that release, Arstrand left the band, reducing the quintet to a quartet. The second studio album entitled Farm Out followed in 2000 and found some success in Europe, with the most successful single from the album, the second release "The Spirit of the Hawk", peaking #1 in the German Singles Chart. The album spawned a third and final single, the ballad "Hold Me for a While", which became a moderate success. In 2000, in the wake of Napster's rising presence in the music industry, co-founder Edenberg 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. Nilsson replied: "We will not become a goddamn circus act!". The aftermath of this conflict resulted in the whole band, all four members, Löfgren, Olander, Nilsson and Landgren, being replaced for the first time.
2001–2004: The Best of the West and Lineup changes
As of January 2001, the group now consisted of the female lead singer Scarlet (Julie-Anne Tulley, formerly known as Jules Tulley from Dreamhouse) from England, alongside the three male members Dagger (Anders Sandberg) from Sweden, Joe Cagg (Roy van der Haagen) and Jay Lee (Jean-Paul Engeln) from the Netherlands. It was the first time the band were not all Swedish. In 2001, the single "The Chase", the first single out of their 2002 first compilation album The Best of the West, has been released and charted in Germany and Switzerland. In 2002, the second and final single out of the album, a reworked 2002 remix of "Cotton Eye Joe", was released and made the Top 30 in Austria. In 2003, the two Dutchmen van der Haagen and Engeln were replaced by Ace Ratclaw (Tor Penten) from Sweden and Boneduster Crock (Björn Scheffler) from Germany. In October 2004, Tulley resigned from the group due to exhaustion.
2005–2006: Return of Ljungberg and Comeback
In 2006, original female vocalist Ljungberg returned as Tulley's replacement in the group, she was assigned exclusive rights to license the Rednex trademark until January 1, 2009. During this period the group's focus shifted towards Scandinavia. In January 2005, Ljungberg sacked Scheffler, replacing him with her husband Snake (Jens Sylsjö). In 2006, also Sandberg was sacked and replaced by Maverick (Anders Lundström). Four former members, Scheffler and Sandberg, alongside Tulley and van der Haagen, and later in April 2007 joined by Penten, also a former Rednex member, began to tour under the name "Rednex Tribute". 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 the first single in a few European countries. The band's Scandinavian comeback continued as they released the second 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, peaking #4 in the Swedish Single chart.
2007–2008: The Cotton Eye Joe Show and Rednex Tribute
Rednex, now reduced to the trio, when Penten left in 2007 to join the "Rednex Tribute", comprising Ljungberg alongside Lundström and Sylsjö, continued to perform as a trio until December 2008. 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. In 2007, three more singles were released, "Anyway You Want Me", "Looking for a Star" and the promotional Christmas song "With Bells On", a Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers cover. In 2007, Rednex's controlling company, Rednex AB, was put on sale on eBay, starting at $1,500,000. The band remained available for purchase, but as of November 2012, no sale had been finalized. In 2008, 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 initially 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 #1 in the Swedish Single chart in the late summer of 2008.
2009–2011: Second departure of Ljungberg and Singles
On January 1, 2009, after the end of Ljungberg's management licence, control of the Rednex brand returned to the band's founders. The remaining Rednex personnel Ljungberg, Lundström and Sylsjö were fired by the returning management following a dispute, and were replaced by members of the "Rednex Tribute" (Tulley, Sandberg, Penten and van der Haagen), all themselves former official Rednex. It was the second time the whole lineup had been replaced simultaneously. 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 the planned album Saturday Night Beaver, which to date remains shelved due low single sales. Tulley soon also left Rednex for a second time, and was replaced by Dakotah (Nadja Flood), making her the fourth official female lead singer of Rednex.
2012–2014: Second departure of Tulley and Singles
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 of permanent members Flood, Sandberg, van der Haagen and Penten alongside possible replacements Scheffler, new male member Rufus Jones and new female vocalists Abby Hick and Misty Mae. At the time of the dissolution of the permanent Rednex lineup Tulley again left the band.
The second single "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 band in these two video now consisted of Flood, van der Haagen, Sandberg and Penten with Rufus Jones making a cameo appearance in the "The End" video. Since yet no new material had been released since 2012, the characters of the pool extension and spin off franchise have never been officially recognized as Rednex members. However Flood, alongside Sandberg, van der Haagen and Penten, have been performing constant as Rednex ever since, like on the "We Love The 90s" festival in Helsinki 2014.
2015–present: Return of Löfgren
In 2015, it was announced that second female singer Löfgren would replace Flood and rejoin the band. Also Scheffler returned to the group. In New Year's Day, Rednex recorded a music video for "Innit for the Money". The single for "Innit for the Money" followed in 2016. In the meantime, Ljungberg continued to perform with her band Cotton Eye Joe Show, now reduced and retitled to Cotton Eye Joe or simply C.E.J. alongside a new member, and released the single "We Were in Love".
Rednex is a mix of modern dance, pop, techno sounds with classical country, folk and bluegrass elements. Their dance tracks also features eurodance sounds, which were very famous and popular in Europe, Oceania and South America at that time. Rednex are best known for their dance country songs "Cotton Eye Joe", "Old Pop in an Oak", "Way I Mate" or "Racing". The style of eurodance was dance music with a female singer for the refrain and a male rapper for the verses to follow a traditional verse-chorus structure. However Rednex reversed it, with the female singer singing the verses and the male vocalist singing the bridge and the refrain. Although there are also tracks from other genres featured, such as pop ballads like "Wish You Were Here", "Hold Me for a While", "Rolling Home" or "Anyway You Want Me" or classical country driven songs such as "Riding Alone", "Ranger Jack" or "Nowhere In Idaho" with less dance sounds. These tracks don't belong to the europop genre. While their debut studio album "Sex & Violins" has the same amount on dance/country, classic country songs and ballads, their second album "Farm Out" is full of their dance/country style songs, except one ballad "Hold Me for a While" and one country song "Ranger Jack". Since 2006, Rednex returned with a more mature country pop sound such in "Mama, Take Me Home", "Fe Fi (The Old Man Died)" or "Football Is Our Religion". The lyrics are of tongue-in-cheek, innuendo and sexual topics.
Rednex usually perform as personas that parody the "redneck" stereotype. For events and promotion, but also for music videos and cover arts, the group is styled in the American redneck stereotypes as well. On live performances and interviews, the members usually act crazy with a rough and bad behavior. Each member got an individual redneck nickname (see "Members" area to see the nicknames). 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 2015, there have been 16 performers in the permanent band.
- 1994: Annika Ljungberg (Mary Joe), Kent Olander (Bobby Sue), Jonas Nilsson (Billy Ray), Arne Arstrand (Ken Tacky), Patrick Edenberg (Mup)
- 1994–1995: Ljungberg, Olander, Nilsson, Arstrand, Urban Landgren (BB Stiff)
- 1996–1997: Olander, Nilsson, Arstrand, Landgren
- 1998–1999: Mia Löfgren (Whippy), Olander, Nilsson, Arstrand, Landgren
- 2000: Löfgren, Olander, Nilsson, Landgren
- 2001–2002: Julie-Anne Tulley (Scarlet), Anders Sandberg (Dagger), Roy van der Haagen (Joe Cagg), Jean-Paul Engeln (Jay Lee)
- 2003–2004: Tulley, Sandberg, Tor Penten (Ace Ratclaw), Björn Scheffler (Boneduster Crock)
- 2004–2005: Ljungberg, Sandberg, Penten, Scheffler
- 2005–2005: Ljungberg, Sandberg, Penten, Jens Sylsjö (Snake)
- 2006–2006: Ljungberg, Anders Lundström (Maverick), Penten, Sylsjö
- 2007–2008: Ljungberg, Lundström, Sylsjö
- 2009–2012: Tulley, Sandberg, van der Haagen, Penten
- 2012–2014: Nadja Flood (Dakotah), Sandberg, van der Haagen, Penten
- 2015–Present: Löfgren, Sandberg, van der Haagen, Penten, Scheffler
- Göran Danielsson (Original studio singer of Ken Tacky's vocals)
Pool extension members
(Since yet no new material had been released since 2012, these characters have never been officially recognized as Rednex members)
- Rufus Jones, Misty Mae, Christine van de Ven (Abby Hick), Sawtooth Sam, Spades (Possible replacement members, no material has been released yet)
After leaving the official band in 2009, Ljungberg, Lundström and Sylsjö 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. Ljungberg 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”.
Rednex are known for their controversial lineup changes. First in 1996, female lead singer Ljungberg was fired, partly due to disagreements with the other band members and replaced by Löfgren. During the Farm Out era in 2000, in the wake of Napster's rising presence in the music industry, co-founder Edenberg 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. Nilsson replied: "We will not become a goddamn circus act!". The aftermath of this conflict resulted in the whole band, all four members, Löfgren, Olander, Nilsson and Landgren, being replaced for the first time. In 2003, the two Netherlands performers, van der Haagen and Engeln, were replaced by Ace Ratclaw (Tor Penten) from Sweden and Boneduster Crock (Björn Scheffler) from Germany. In October 2004, Tulley resigned from the group due to exhaustion. In 2006, original female vocalist Ljungberg returned as Tulley's replacement in the group, she was assigned exclusive rights to license the Rednex trademark until January 1, 2009. During this period the group's focus shifted towards Scandinavia. In January 2005, Ljungberg sacked Scheffler, replacing him with her husband Snake (Jens Sylsjö). In 2006, also Sandberg was sacked and replaced by Maverick (Anders Lundström). Four former members, Scheffler and Sandberg, alongside Tulley and van der Haagen, and later in April 2007 joined by Penten, also a former Rednex member, began to tour under the name "Rednex Tribute". On January 1, 2009, after the end of Ljungberg's management licence, control of the Rednex brand returned to the band's founders. The remaining Rednex personnel Ljungberg, Lundström and Sylsjö were fired by the returning management following a dispute, and were replaced by members of the "Rednex Tribute" (Tulley, Sandberg, Penten and van der Haagen), all themselves former official Rednex. It was the second time the whole lineup had been replaced simultaneously.
Other brand ventures
Spin offs and franchises
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". 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 lineup include: Rayanna Randy Payne (Theresa Murphy), Rawtooth Rick (Anthony Sibbald) and Slimboy (Pascal Roggen). A press release accompanying the franchise launch stated: ”it's the first time an internationally known pop band has cloned itself”. This project has been met by with great skepticism by both, fans and permanent band members.
- 2003: Rednex Revival Band (Ljungbergs band in 2003, when she wasn't allowed to perform under the Rednex trademark before she rejoined Rednex)
- 2005: Rednex Tribute (Tulley, Sandberg, van der Haagen, Penten, Scheffler, all former Rednex members, when they weren't allowed to perform under the Rednex trademark)
- 2009: Cotton Eye Joe Show (Band name, when the Rednex lineup Ljungberg, Lundström and Sylsjö lost the rights to perform under the Rednex trademark)
- 2012: Rednex NZ (An entire separate created Rednex group to perform in Australia and New Zealand consisting of Murphy, Sibbald and Roggen)
- 2015: C.E.J. (Since 2015, Ljungberg and Sylsjö, alongside new member Fredrik Jernberg (Pinnball) perform as Cotton Eye Joe or simply C.E.J.)
Use in media
"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, Beavis and Butt-head and a Season 13 episode of Family Guy, and in TV commercials by Telia and Telefonica. "Hittin' The Hay" and "Wild 'N Free" are featured in the film Barnyard. "Ride The Hurricane's Eye" was title track for German TV-series WinneToons. "Spirit of the Hawk" was title track for the German version of Fort Boyard in 2000.
The Inbred With Rednex extended play features the interactive multimedia part "Inbred With Rednex" as the first track of the disc, which is a point 'n' click adventure game starring Rednex, playable only for Windows & Mac. The whole release is housed in an 18x23cm game box. "Cotton Eye Joe" has been featured in the video games Just Dance 3 by Nintendo Wii and Carnival Games. PlayStation's SingStar features the songs "Cotton Eye Joe" and "Old Pop in an Oak".
In popular culture
- "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.
- "Cotton Eye Joe" is frequently played at sports venues including the gold medal game in ice hockey at the 2010 Winter Olympics and during the seventh-inning stretch at Yankee Stadium.
- 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.
- Billboard.biz (2007-05-14). Rednex On Sale For $1.5 Million. Retrieved on 2007-06-16.
- "Ongoing Conflicts", RedNex Music, 25 July 2014.
- "Annika 'Mary Joe' Ljungberg Solo Career", KDJ Eurodance', 25 July 2014.
- "Historien om Rednex", Magasinet Novell, 4 June 2009.
- "Rednex stämmer falska kopiorna". Expressen.se. 2007-07-26. Retrieved 2012-12-03.
- Press release (2012-11-05). Pop band starts franchising. Retrieved on 2012-11-05.
- rednexforsale.com (2008-09-26). Rednex exchanges the whole band!. Retrieved on 2008-09-27.
- "Devil's on the Loose". The Pirate Bay. Retrieved 7 January 2010.
- "Rednex Music". Rednex. Retrieved 2010-01-07.
- Norrtelje Tidning (2009-08-28). Rednex video recording of Devil's On The Loose. Retrieved on 2009-08-28.
- "Rednex – Official site for No.1 pop band Rednex". Rednexmusic.com. Retrieved 2012-12-03.
- "JulieAnne Tulley – United Kingdom". LinkedIn. Retrieved 2012-12-03.
- "The End". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-11-05.
- "Rednex Blikk". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-11-05.
- "Rednex: Facebook". Facebook. Retrieved 2012-11-05.
- "Pesti gettóban, csövesekkel forgatta legújabb klipjét a Rednex". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-12-03.
- Fraud Reports (2009-05-25). Fraud Reports. Retrieved on 2009-05-25.
- Nerikes Allehanda (2009-05-25). Annika Ljungberg abuses the Rednex trademark. Retrieved on 2009-05-25.
- Nyheter24.se (2009-05-25). The Rednex copy. Retrieved on 2009-05-25.
- "Rednex NZ". Rednex NZ. Retrieved 2012-11-05.
- "Rednex on IMDB", imdb, 27 October 2012.
- "Rednex on IMDB series", imdbseries, 27 October 2012.
- "Just Dance 3 Amazon", Amazon, 17 November 2009.
- "Telia TV commercial", Telia, 2008.
- "Carnival Games", Carnival, 2011.
- "WinneToons", WinneToons, 2003.
- "Rednex on SingStar", SingStar, 27 October 2012.
- "Kiraly", Kiraly, 27 October 2010.
- "Yankees", Yankees, 24 September 2005.
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