Darondo (né William Pulliam) passed away today at the age of 67. His single, “Didn’t I” remains one of my favorite Bay Area records (and really, just an all-time great slow jam).
I interviewed Darondo back in 2006 for Wax Poetics and they just reprinted the article on their site. Here’s an excerpt:
The name “Darondo” is so unique, it’s hard to forget. But for many years, all people knew of him was only that: a name on a faded label. In his brief recording career, the Bay Area native only released three 7-inch singles, all in the late ’60s and early ’70s. In the music world, only a select circle of sweet-soul aficionados and Bay Area music collectors had any awareness of his existence, though he held his own notoriety in local cable television and, shall we say, “other” pursuits.
The thing about Darondo’s music though—especially the sublime “Didn’t I,” his best-known single—is that once you hear it, you crave more. That curiosity is largely how the Bay Area native has resurfaced after thirty years. Ubiquity recently released Let My People Go—less an anthology and more of a long-delayed debut album that combines his six songs on single plus an additional three songs taken from a previously unreleased reel of recordings from the same era. At last, Darondo is finally emerging out of obscurity, bringing his small but intriguing legacy with him.
Read the rest here.
I forgot I had these…Justin Torres, who was a huge force behind Darondo’s rediscovery, recorded a few tracks with Darondo live and shared them with me. I shared these, in turn, on the site back in 2006 and I’m bringing ’em back:
And here’s some clips from Darondo’s old local cable show:
(Title photo by Oliver Wang, 2008)