With their third album released in 1982, Kid Creole and the Coconuts became a worldwide phenomenon. Buoyed by great singles (“Stool Pigeon”, “Annie I’m Not Your Daddy”, “I’m A Wonderful Thing Baby”), Tropical Gangsters broke the mould and set the band off on a series of world tours. For many, it was the birth of a super combo with a crazy concept: fusing the artful music of New York post-disco with the extravagant sounds of the 1940s. August Darnell (Kid Creole) and Andy Hernandez (Coati Mundi), the two masterminds behind the band, had spent at least six years waiting for a hit.
Together with his older brother Stony Browder, Darnell – as bassist, composer and singer – created a crazy project named Dr Buzzard’s Savannah Band. Andy Hernandez was already on board. A multi-instrumentalist and vibraphone prodigy, the Puerto Rican had the imagination needed to become a brilliant arranger, handling strings, brass and choirs. Dr. Buzzard’s second album scored with tracks like “Cherchez La Femme” and “Sunshower” and two more LPs followed. At the same time, Darnell and Hernandez were making records with several other characters. From 1977 to 1980 the concepts were similar, a long name and a retro/modern mix: Sonny Jenkins And The New York Potpourri Strings, Gichy Dan’s Beachwood #9, Don Armando’s Second Avenue Rhumba Band and finally Kid Creole And The Coconuts. This allowed Andy Hernandez to take on the guise of Coati Mundi, becoming a sidekick just as famous as the Kid’s three sublime backing singers, the Coconuts.
At around the same time, they wrote and produced albums for Cristina (who was signed to the same label), for the concept band Elbow Bones And The Racketeers, and for the disco combo Machine. Solo albums by Coati Mundi and The Coconuts were released and they were so successful that the artists went to Europe to produce Swiss and British musicians. But from 1983 onwards, only Kid Creole and the Coconuts were still in full swing, releasing an album every year. There were always a few hit singles (“The Lifeboat Party”, “Endicott” and “Pepito”) but their albums have received less and less attention recently. Despite Darnell and Hernandez’s split, Kid Creole has never stopped recording and touring.