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Rasputin was a Russian monk who had a vision of the Virgin Mary. As a result he began to wander the country visiting monasteries and religious sects. He preached the best way to get close to God was to sin and then repent. The adulterous monk, (his surname was a derivation of the adjective "rasputny" meaning "loose living"), had remarkable healing abilities. Rasputin adhered himself to the Russian Czar Nicholas and his wife by his healing of the hemophiliac Alexei. He appeared to have the gift of healing their sick son every time he began to hemorrhage. Upset at his increasing influence over the Russian royal family, several Russian nobles poisoned and beat him in the basement of Yusopov Palace then shot him several times. The monk refused to die so finally he was drowned by his enemies in the canals of St Petersburg.
Boney M. was the brainchild of German record producer Frank Farian, and they became one of Eurodisco's most successful acts. The group was composed of four singers all of West Indian origin: Marcia Barrett, Bobby Farrell, Liz Mitchell and Massie Williams. Farian later repeated formula with Milli Vanilli and Far Corporation. Their double sided single "Rivers Of Babylon/Brown Girl in The Ring" is one of only 5 singles to have sold over 2 million copies in the UK and is the biggest selling record by a black act there.
The textured rhythm was created by a balalaika, which is a 3-stringed, triangular, Russian instrument. (thanks, Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England, for all above)
Boney M Frontman Bobby Farrell passed away at the age of 61 on December 29, 2010 in a hotel room in St Petersburg, Russia, a few hours after performing in the city. Coincidentally, Rasputin also died back in 1916 on December 29th in St Petersburg.
This mysterious and wildly eclectic singer/songwriter talks about some of his most memorable songs and collaborations.
This all-female group of country rockers were on their way to stardom in the '00s, with a Starbucks deal and major label backing.