In last week’s Shouts From the Back Row podcast about our favourite movie musical numbers, we naturally mentioned the famous dinner scene in Beetlejuice where the characters all break out into a spontaneous dance number set to Harry Belafonte’s “Day-O” (a.k.a. “The Banana Boat Song”). Well, Harry Belafonte’s rendition of “Day-O” is not the only hit version of that song. In 1956, a folk band called The Tarriers recorded a much different rendition of “Day-O”… and one of the members of that band just happened to be 22-year old Alan Arkin! Arkin’s official film debut came when The Tarriers made a guest appearance in a 1957 musical called Calypso Heat Wave. You can see the band at the 0:42 mark of the trailer, and that’s Arkin singing and playing guitar right there in the middle. Here’s a clip featuring the band’s full version of “Day-O” and though you’d never recognize his voice behind the fake Jamaican accent, those are definitely Alan Arkin’s vocals on the song.
Behind the Curtain