Santa Maria – Alan Garrity
After his 1975 hit with ‘She’s My Woman’ Alan Garrity’s career waned somewhat as that would be his last hit in the 70s. He had been very successful up to then having had 6 Springbok top 20 hits, topping the charts with ‘Put Your Hand In The Hand’ and holding the record for number of weeks in the chart by a song with ‘I Need Someone’ spending 33 weeks in the top 20 and this went on to become the all time record for a song spending time in the top 20 (Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton’s ‘Islands In the Stream’ managed 36 weeks in the charts , but that included time in positions 21 to 30 once the charts were extended).
After ‘She’s My Woman’, we didn’t see Garrity on the charts again until 1981 where he returned with ‘Santa Maria’, a cover of a song which had been a hit for Italian chaps Guido & Maurizio De Angelis who went under the name Oliver Onions. Their version topped the German charts for 6 weeks and was immediately followed by a German version by Roland Kaiser which was at number 1 there for 5 weeks.
Listening to the Oliver Onions version may come as a bit of a shock to those who have only heard the Alan Garrity version as the lyrics (in Italian) are sung in a high pitched falsetto voice, but those looking for a more familiar sound in their cover versions would find the Roland Kaiser one closer to the Garrity version.
‘Santa Maria’ is a pleasant song telling the story of a sailor returning home to his wife and child after a long absence which was rather fitting as it returned Garrity to the charts after a lengthy time away. It climbed to number 4 and spent 11 weeks in the top 20.
Where to find it:
Various Artists – Yesterday’s Best Vol 3, 1995, Teal, MORCD563