The other day at work, I was asked to fill in at the front reception desk. While the front desk doesn't have the stunning 13th floor view of Lake Michigan that my regular desk has, it does have the computer network, so my indexing of top-secret documents can continue unabated. The front desk is the first place visitors see when they arrive at our company, so there's a lot of "Show Biz" involved. I sign visitors in, direct calls on the switchboard, schedule meetings, and coordinate countless pizza and sub deliveries to the employees.
There was one corner of the reception area that I found particularly annoying, though. There is a television feed, usually set to CNN or Fox News. Since other parts of the screen run local welcome messages and weather conditions, it is necessary that the television feed be ON all the time. The news was what you'd expect - rehashing over and over the celebrity gossip, terrorist activities, terrifying weather reports (hey, there's always going to be a tornado somewhere). But what gets to you first is the repetitious ads. Smug old farts with golf clubs selling reverse mortgages, gold investments, class action suits, insurance, and on and on...
Then I discovered a music channel. We don't have any of the Sirius or Warner channels, but there are two channels run by public television channels, one is jazz and one is classical. The classical channel plays a wonderful variety of music spanning five centuries, and I was able to hear many familiar favorites as well as some new discoveries.
One song grabbed my attention so completely that I had to find out all about it. An Adagio movement from a score by Aram Khachaturian, written in the 1950s for a production (movie or ballet?) of Spartacus. This familiar passage (about 50 seconds into the example below) was the basis from the song "Hooked on a Feeling" that had been on the soundtrack of my life in at least three different versions in the 1960s and 1970s. The most infamous version was the Blue Swede version that was popular in the early 1970s, featuring a chorus of about six people chanting "Hooka Chokka Hooka Chokka".
I decided to research the connection - and, amazingly, nobody else had discovered the unmistakable link between these two pieces.
Am I the only one on the Internet who ever noticed this similarity?
Khachaturian Adagio from Spartacus:
And here's the Blue Swede version from the 1970s. Imagine, this song is 40 years old! A new generation is discovering the song, now, as it was used in a film "Guardians of the Galaxy" which I have not yet seen. If you've never heard the version, crank up your woofers and tweeters, and let 'er rip!
And if you're interested in further research, use this link for the complete history of Hooga Chokka:
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