The Mistake That Immortalized Cannibal and the Headhunters

In a profession that included signature tunes such as “In the Midnight Hour” (which he wrote) and “Mustang Sally,” it’s astonishing that Wilson Pickett’s biggest achievement was 1966’s “Land of 1000 Dances,” a cover of Cannibal & the Headhunters’ hit in the preceding year Naa Songs.


Pickett’s cover has been a quicker, grittier, rhythm and blues cover of this Headhunters’ tune.

Cannibal & the Headhunters were East Los Angeles garage band rockers who used music to escape their difficult neighborhood. Lead singer Frankie Garcia got his identifying name since his brother has been nicknamed “Big Cannibal.” Frankie, obviously, became “Small Cannibal.”

The group’s raucous noise has been achieved by packaging the recording studio together with individuals, such as the many women that followed the band. Cannibal captured his vocals by another sound booth.

However, the Headhunters’ “Land of 1000 Dances” was itself a pay; the first was written and first recorded in 1962 by Chris Kenner, a hard-living longshoreman and R&B shouter who had previously hit with “I Like It Like This”

Kenner, who’d been part of a gospel group, said the inspiration for “Land of 1000 Dances” came in the religious “Children Go Where I Send You.” However, for all of the dances said, the name of this monitor is never found in the lyrics.

The famous “naa na na na naa” chant so recognized with the tune wasn’t discovered in Kenner’s original. The tune’s most memorable term started because Kenner’s litany of dances was really hard for Cannibal to recall. It was in a performance that Cannibal, who had lost track of the numerous dances, rather substituted “naa na na na naa.” It seemed so great that the


The tune became a staple of garage bands since it had been really simple to play and singwith. Dozens of artists have covered the tune, such as Tina Turner, Patti Smith and Tom Jones. Cannibal’s “error” was contained at the Pickett hit and became the song’s signature.