March of the Mods (Finnjenka Dance)
(Tony Carr)
Australia 1966

The theme to Channel 0's pop TV show Kommotion (1965-67).

Single on Kommotion label by studio band under Festival producer Pat Aulton.

Finnjenka is related to a traditional Finnish party dance, the basis of a dance craze originating in Finland in the mid-60s: see below under JAN ROHDE and RONNIE KRANCK.

The Pat Aulton Mob also released a recording of the Theme From This Day Tonight (the current affairs TV program) in 1964. See discography at Instromania.

Suggested by Ron Nordberg. Thanks to Frank Calabrese through Rock&Roll Scars discussion group.
March of the Mods (Finnjenka Dance)
(Tony Carr - arr. Leslie Vinall)
UK 1964
#31 UK

Single on HMV, around October-November 1964. Arranged for Joe Loss by Leslie Vinall, vocalist with the Loss band.

March Of The Mods may remind some listeners of the Theme to The Addams Family (1964), composed by Vic Mizzy who performed it on the soundtrack of the TV series with Dave Kahn and Ted Cassidy: see the FAQ at The Unofficial Addams Family Site.
March of the Mods
(Tony Carr)
UK 1964
Original version

Single on Columbia, around July-August 1964.
Not the well-known Australian band of the same name.

The Executives were a Blackpool band who recorded a handful of singles.

Morecombe, 1967. Photo: Robert Owen.

March of the Mods was written by Tony Carr, the father of Executives frontman Roy Carr. A friend of the band at the time, Robert Owen, recalls that Tony Carr was a hairdresser by profession, with connections going back to the big band era.

Roy Carr himself became well-known as a music writer with New Musical Express and other magazines, and as the author of several books on popular music including Beatles at the Movies and A Century of Jazz. He later became executive editor of music magazines published by the IPC Group, including NME and Uncut. For more details of Roy Carr’s varied career, see Richie Unterberger’s account at All Music Guide.

Executives bass player Glenn Cornick became a founding member of Jethro Tull (another band with Blackpool origins) and later formed Wild Turkey.

Tony Williams, The Executives’ guitarist, joined Stealers Wheel soon after its formation in 1967. He also joined Jethro Tull for a while in 1978.

References: Blackpool reminiscences of Robert Owen (email); Pages on The Executives, Glenn Cornick and Tony Williams at Collecting Jethro Tull; Entries for Roy Carr at All Music Guide and Wikipedia; other pages linked above.
Further reading
: Glenn Cornick’s website; Executives bio (in Polish) at Rock klasyczny i progresywny.
Thanks to Stewart Edwards for nailing the original, and to Robert Owen for key information and photo.

(Georg Malmsten - Albert Sandstrom)
Finland 1964
Red herring

Similar title and style but not the same song as 'March Of The Mods (Finnjenka Dance)' .

Single on Sonet by Norwegian singer, influenced by the Ronnie Kranck jenka hit Letkiss (1963). Jan Rohde also recorded Doin' The Jenka in 1963.

Letkiss (aka Letkajenka)
(Rauno Lehtinen)
Finland 1963
Red herring

The original Finnish jenka hit, an influence on Jan Rohde's 'Finnjenka', but not the same song as 'March Of The Mods (Finnjenka Dance)'.

A popular and much-recorded instrumental in the traditional Finnish jenka style, also a type of linedance similar to the Bunnyhop and traditionally known as letkajenka. Composer Rauno Lehtinen apparently played sax on this recording which influenced Jan Rohde's Finnjenka (1964).

Arnold Rypens writes at The Originals that this was a dance craze in Finland at the time, incorporating steps based on the Madison, the Conga and the Bunnyhop. Letkiss was subsequently recorded in over 90 countries in one form or another: many are listed at The Originals Letkiss page.

Composer Rauno Lehtinen himself recorded this in 1964 with his Finnish Letkiss All-Stars, engineered by Ronnie Kranck.

Thanks to Butcher Pete Hoppula at Wang Dang Dula! and to Joop Jansen via The Originals.

Later versions:

Let's Party
UK 1989
Later version
#1 UK

Christmas sample medley mixed by Dave Tanner that showcases Joe Loss's March Of The Mods (Finnjenka Dance) [Amazon]. The third of three Jive Bunny party mix #1s in the UK in 1989, after Swing The Mood (also a big hit in Australia) and That's What I Like.

March Of The Mods (Finnjenka Dance) was also sampled on Jive Bunny's Hopping Mad [Amazon].

For a connection between bunnies and finnjenka, see above under RONNIE KRANCK'S ORCHESTRA.
March of the Mods
(Tony Carr)
Later version

Stand-alone version of previous medley item. Appeared on Party Crazy (2002) [Amazon].

Also recorded by The Mods (1980s, single on Badge) and by Black Lace (2000, on album Going To A Party).

Corrections or comments? Contact the writer.