Jive Bunny

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Jive Bunny

Oh no! Oh yes! Or should it be where is HE now? C’mon everybody, swing your mood and ‘jive’ back to 1989 with Jive Bunny!

I could wrap this one up in one sentence, given that rabbits have an average life expectancy of about four years, which means Jive Bunny (had he been alive) would of died around 1993. Not so this carrot crunching, finger clicking mastermixer. Thirty years ago ‘he’ achieved three consecutive chart toppers with his first three single releases that either delighted or infuriated anyone that owned a pair or ears.

Mr. Bunny was just a front man, however. The star. The face. His team – The Mastermixers – were DJ and producers Les Hemstock, Andy Pickles and Ian Morgan, who hit upon the ‘novel idea’ of taking hits from the 1950’s and 60’s and, well, mixing them all together to create one new dance craze to get everyone on their feet and shimmy, shimmy, shimmy! The year was 1989, the month was June and Jive’s first production “Swing The Mood” was unleashed upon an unsuspecting world.

Mashing “Rock Around The Clock” with “Shake, Rattle And Roll” and a little bit of “In The Mood”, the song entered the UK singles chart at No.31. The following week it shot up an astronomical twenty eight places into the top three and seven days later, knocked poor old Sonia (“You’ll Never Stop Me Loving You”) off her perch to claim top dog (or should that be top bunny?!). Jivey B spent the next five weeks there ultimately becoming the second highest seller of the year with over 800,000 copies sold! It was a similar tale elsewhere, topping the charts in a further eleven countries and peaking at number eleven in America.

They were onto something here! “Swing The Mood” was still charting high when, in October, a follow up emerged, “That’s What I Like”, this time bringing together the likes of “Let’s Twist Again”, “Let’s Dance” and the Hawaii Five-O theme, “That’s What I Like” repeated “Swing”s success and rocketed to the top of the charts, although it was less successful in America where it could only reach No.69.

Christmas was soon upon us Bunny lovers and guess what? Yes, Jivey baby was there for us with a collection of Christmas crackers from “Merry Xmas Everybody” to “Another Rock And Roll Christmas” and “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday”. “Let’s Party” entered the UK singles chart at number one – boom – three straight chart toppers with the first three singles issued! Not only that but three singles in the top twenty biggest selling records of the year! “Jive Bunny – The Album” was issued at the same time peaking at No.2 in the UK and No.26 in the US as well as topping the Australian album chart (poor Kylie!).

If you thought Bunny music was just for 1989, think again. As a new decade dawned, single number four “That Sounds Good To Me” topped the Irish singles chart in March and reached No.4 in the UK as well as proving a big hit all across Europe. This was followed by “Can Can You Party” (UK No.8) and “Let’s Swing Again” (UK No.19) that same year, all taken from ‘his’ second album “It’s Party Time”.

Releases continued into 1991 and 1992 but by now were missing the charts altogether, even though a “Best Of” collection appeared in 1994. You may think we’ve been spared of further releases but Jive and his team continued to ‘record’ well into the 21st century with a Christmas party album being issued in 2010.

Les Hemstock has since worked with legendary DJ Paul Van Dyk, Ian Morgan became a successful club DJ and Andy Pickles created his own company, U-Explore, that provides career advice to students – presumably in how to have three number singles?(!)

Andy Pickles

Check out all of Jive Bunny’s releases at his WEBSITE and his official FACEBOOK page

Take a look at all our other Where Are They Now posts and don’t forget to follow the playlist!

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Written by Christopher Smith

So perhaps you’ve read an article or two that I’ve written and wondered “just who is this character?”! Well I thought maybe it would be time to introduce myself and what I’m all about. Well it’s all about the music! Having been born in the late 1970’s I was heavily influenced by my parent’s love of ‘popular’ music and rock and roll of the 1950’s and 60’s. My Mother always said she should of married Elvis and my father was, and is still, in love with Sandie Shaw! But while my Dad’s tastes stopped in about 1967, my Mum carried on loving music throughout the 70’s, 80’s and beyond. My first memory was playing on the floor whilst my Mother was ironing one day with the radio on, and hearing ABBA’s “Super Trouper” dancing my nappy off to it! Maybe that’s where it all went wrong…?! Having been subjected to all and sundry in my infant years, I finally found my feet in the mid-1980’s and began ‘partying’ to the likes of Culture Club, Stevie Wonder(!), Elkie Brooks and Bananarama to name but a few! The year 1987 would have a profound effect on my listening tastes and from thereon in my life would be dominated with buying and listening to music. Any number of outstanding songs were released and listened to that year, most notably “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “La Isla Bonita”. That Summer my mind was completely taken over with music and sounds I’d never heard before and I was totally taken in by it all. My father would say “whaaar rubbish you got on naaaaao?” (I’m from Norfolk!) but I was hooked. And it continued so for the rest of the decade and the next. At the beginning of 1988 I ‘met’ my true love and the singer I’ve worshipped more than any other artist or group. You may know of her. She’s from Australia…! Aside from pop music, my tastes are many and varied and continues to grow and expand as I ‘mature’ in age. I’ve always been heavily interested in films and in particular the mechanics of film making and of course film music, so scores and subsequently orchestral music takes up a lot of my tastes and collection. 90’s dance and club tunes also takes up much of the space in my head and I’m surprised my brain has stopped shaking from the years of abuse it took being dragged to nightclubs, often three times a week in my 20’s! I find with each year that passes I regress back to my youth and of course the 1980’s. 80’s music dominates and the lust to see as many 80’s acts and singers play live now is insatiable. I’m still getting into the groove as much as every breath I take, but I’m never gonna give up listening to my heart and pumping up the volume, simply because I LOVE MUSIC…any kind of music!
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