Sandy Warner, The Exotica Girl on album sleeves

It was Martin Denny, a bandleader from the USA who initially played latin music in small clubs in the Los Angeles neighborhood, who introduced model Sandy Warner to the world on his 1957 debut album Exotica. Since 1954 the Martin Denny Group played at Don The Beachcombers Polynesian restaurant and club in Honolulu Hawaii. He brought the Les Baxter composition Quiet Village to a wider audience and added the sound of frogs and exotic birds. It became an instant hit and the album entered the charts immediately. On the frontcover was a strange lady behind a bamboo curtain watching at us in a sensuous way. Martin Denny says: “She was a stunning model, extremely photogenic. She posed for at least the first dozen albums I did. They always changed her looks to fit the mood of the package.” Because of the succes she became the main ingredient on the sleeve of almost every Martin Denny album and a welcome marketing tool for the increasing album buying public. The so called cheesecake albums (always a nice lady on the front) were very popular, but Sandy Warner stands above the mediocrity, she had that true exotic feel, that intriguing eyes and a beautiful mouth. She became known as The Exotica Girl. She can be seen on 16 albums by The Martin Denny Group, the album ‘Most Mishige’ by Mickey Katz, on ‘Mmm… Nice! and ‘Just For Kicks’ by Bob Thompson, on ‘Caribbean Holiday’ by Lord Russels Bongo Percussionists, Don Swan’s album ‘Latino’ (an off-shoot of the Martin Denny ‘Latin Village’ photo sessions) and others yet to be discovered. She even made her own solo debut ‘Fair & Warner’, as presented by Steve Allen.

 

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Exotica (Liberty LRP-3034 – mono 1957 / LST-7034 – stereo 1958)

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Exotica–II (Liberty LRP-3077- mono / LST-7006 – stereo 1958)

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Forbidden Island (Liberty LRP-3081 – mono / LST-7001 – stereo 1958)

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Primitiva (Liberty LRP-3087 – mono / LST-7023 – stereo 1958)

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Arturo Romero Y Sus Violines Magicos – Cascade De Cuerdas (Orfeon LP 12-127) (probably the same photoshoot)

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Hypnotique (Liberty LRP-3102 – mono / LST-7102 stereo 1959)

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miscellaneous photograph

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Afro-Desia (Liberty LRP-3111 – mono / LST-7111 stereo 1959)

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Exotica–III (Liberty LRP-3116 mono / LST-7116 – stereo 1959)

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Quiet Village (Liberty LRP-3122 – mono / LST-7122 – stereo 1959)

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The Enchanted Sea (Liberty LRP-3141 – mono / LST-7141 – stereo 1960)

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Exotic Sounds from the Silver Screen (Liberty LRP-3158 – mono / LST-7158 – stereo 1960)

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Exotic Sounds Visit Broadway (Liberty LRP-3163 – mono / LST-7163 – stereo 1960)

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Exotic Percussion (Liberty LRP-3168 – momo / LST-7168 – stereo 1961)

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The Exotica Suite (with Si Zentner) (Liberty LMM-13020 – stereo / LSS-14020 – mono 1961)

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Romantica (Liberty LRP-3207 – mono / LST-7207 – stereo 1961)

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Latin Village (Liberty LRP-3378 – mono / LST-7378 – stereo 1964)

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Photo session outtake

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Spanish Village! (Liberty LRP-3409 – mono / LST-7409 – stereo 1965) and…

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Bob Thompson – Mmm… Nice! (RCA Victor LSP-2117)

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Bob Thompson – Just For Kicks (RCA Victor LSP-2027) (starring her legs only!)

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Mickey Katz – Most Mishige (Capitol T-1102) see moving image on: http://vimeo.com/67005143

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Lord Russell’s Bongo Percussionists – Caribbean Holiday (Crown AL-FI C-4078)

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Don Swan – Latino, Volume 2 (Liberty LRP-3123)

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Hugo Winterhalter – Goes Hawaiian (RCA Victor LSP-2417)

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The George Shearing Quintet – Burnished Brass (Capitol T-1038)

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Chick Floyd – Little Grass Shack (Liberty LST-7129 1960)

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Mischa Novy – Continental Hors D’Oeuvres (CG Records CGM-1000 1960)

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Sandy Warner – Steve Allen Presents Fair & Warner (Tops L-1733)

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Sandy Warner – Steve Allen Presents Fair & Warner (Mayfair L-1733)

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The Polynesians – Hawaiian Wedding Song (Crown CSt-535)

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Les Paul Trio – More Of Les (Decca DL-8589) (the girl on the left probably is Sandy Warner)

The lady behind the bamboo curtain, etc.

inspired by Martin Denny’s Exotica album and the model Sandy Warner or the other way around

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Arthur Lymon And The Mahi Mahi Singers – The Primitive Sounds Of Now (Wilanco …)

(a fake …?)

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Percy Faith – Festival Of Strings (Columbia House Party 10″LP CL-2536) 1955

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The Art Van Damme Quintet – same (Columbia House Party 10″LP CL-2585) 1956

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Ray Ellis And His Orchestra – I’m IN The Mood For Strings (MGM E-3779) 1959

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P.A.O.L.A. – Si T’As Ete A Tahiti (Philips 7″ EP 432327-BE) 1958 / Luc Davis – Mes Freres (Philips 7″ EP 432379-BE) 1959

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Throbbing Gristle – …’s Greatest Hits; Entertainment Through Pain (Rough Trade ROUGHUS-23) 1981

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Los Caibarien – Cafe Antilliano (Musart D-623) 196.

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Luc Davis – Mes Freres (Philips 7″ EP 432379-BE) 1959

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Toni Carroll – Sings Hits Of The Roaring 20’s (Longines Symphonette Society LWS- 150) 1964

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… – … (Thailand) 196.

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Barbara – … Chante Jacques Brel (Odeon 10″ LP OS-1266) 1961 / (CBS 10″ LP OS-1266) 1961

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Barbara – … Chante Brassens (CBS 10″ LP OS-1260) 1960

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Melody’s Echo Chamber – same (Weird World WEIRD-019-CD) 2012

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Rendezvous – Rock & Roll Disco Boogie (Polydor 2374151) 1979

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Tempo Tropica – same (Philips 6401032) 197.

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The Yokohama Knights – same (Eye / GRT-10002) 1969

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Viginia Lee – Darling It’s Wonderful (RCA Victor 32092) 196.

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Morgana King – Folk Songs A La King (United Artists UAL-3028) 1959

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Mary Lou Brown – My Man (Westminster WST-15010) 195.

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Britney Spears – Oops! … I Did It Again (Jive 9220392) 2000

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Bobby Gillespie – … Presents Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down (Ace CDCHD-1453) 2015

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Carmen Miranda