Darondo (nÃ© 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 â€œDarondoâ€ is so unique, itâ€™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 â€™60s and early â€™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, â€œotherâ€ pursuits.
The thing about Darondoâ€™s music thoughâ€”especially the sublime â€œDidnâ€™t I,â€ his best-known singleâ€”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 Goâ€”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 theseâ€¦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)