Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Last Chicken Dance

Anyone who has been around an accordion knows that sooner or later you are going to get up and do "The Chicken Dance". We recorded it as the "Duck Dance" on our 1st cassette release and performed it in Lithuania. People all the world seem to know the song and the dance that goes with it. We'd like to take a moment and honor the man who wrote the tune. Here's to you Bob. We know they are all doing the "Chicken Dance" behind the pearly gates tonight.

WEDNESDAY, April 9, 2008, 5:36 p.m.

Bob Kames, of chicken dance fame, dies

Bob Kames, Milwaukee's own music man, died of prostate cancer today, according to his family.

Kames popularized an old-world tune called "Dance Little Bird" - better known as "The Chicken Dance." He long operated the Bob Kames Wonderful World of Music stores here in Milwaukee. He recorded more than 70 albums in his long career. Other professional work included a stint with the Lawrence Welk Orchestra.

His legal name remained Robert Kujawa, but he was known as Bob Kames, his professional name.

Another one of Kames' songs also made the big-time, said his son, Bob Kames, Jr. In 1949, Kames composed a pop tune in honor of his future wife, calling it, "You Are My One True Love." The tune was based on a Polish folk song. After being turned down by major labels, he recorded it himself, paying for the first 5,000 records himself.

It was picked up by London Records in England, becoming a huge hit.

"He wrote that for her," Bob Jr. said of his late mother, Edith Kames. "It was a million-seller. Lawrence Welk recorded it and Frankie Yankovic, and John and Sandra Steel, and others."

Funeral services are pending.

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