Cherry Poppin' Daddies

Cherry Poppin' Daddies
Cherry Poppin' Daddies

The Cherry Poppin' Daddies performing in California in 2007.
Background information
Origin Eugene, Oregon, United States
Genres Ska, swing, ska punk, rockabilly, funk rock
Years active 1989–2000; 2002–present
Labels Space Age Bachelor Pad, Mojo, Rock Ridge Music
Associated acts The Visible Men, White Hot Odyssey
Steve Perry
Dan Schmid
Dana Heitman
Dustin Lanker
Joe Manis
Kevin Congleton
William Seiji Marsh
Willie Matheis
Past members
See: Cherry Poppin' Daddies former members

The Cherry Poppin' Daddies are an American band established in Eugene, Oregon, in 1989. Formed by Steve Perry (vocals) and Dan Schmid (bass guitar), the band has experienced many membership changes over the years, with only Perry, Schmid and Dana Heitman (trumpet) currently remaining from the original line-up.

The Daddies' music is a mix of swing, ska and rock, characterized by a prominent horn section, heavy guitars and Perry's sardonic, often morbid, lyricism. While the band's earliest releases were rooted predominantly in punk rock and funk, their subsequent studio albums have since incorporated influences from many diverse genres of popular music and Americana into their sound, including rockabilly, glam rock, psychedelia, rhythm and blues, country, soul and world music.

In spite of years of extensive touring within the third wave ska scene, the Daddies ultimately broke into the musical mainstream with their 1997 swing-based compilation Zoot Suit Riot. Released at the onset of the late 1990s swing revival, Zoot Suit Riot sold over two million copies in the United States while its eponymous single became a radio success, launching the Daddies to the forefront of the retro-swing genre, a perceived pigeonholing the band openly denounced in favor of their ska and punk influences. By the end of the decade, however, the Daddies' mainstream popularity declined with that of the swing revival's, and the resulting commercial failure of their ska-flavored follow-up Soul Caddy led to an abrupt hiatus in 2000.

The Daddies officially regrouped in 2002 to resume touring, independently recording and releasing their fifth studio album Susquehanna in 2008 before signing to indie label Rock Ridge Music the following year. Their most recent album, Skaboy JFK, was released in September 2009.




Following his high school graduation in 1981, Steve Perry left his hometown of Apalachin, New York, for Eugene, Oregon, to pursue track and field and a chemistry degree at the University of Oregon.[1][2] A punk rock fan since adolescence, Perry became engrossed in the Northwest hardcore scene pioneered by the likes of the Wipers and Poison Idea, where he eventually met and befriended musician and fellow University student Dan Schmid. Sharing similar musical ambitions and a mutual disinterest in school, the pair agreed to drop out of college together and start a band, forming the punk trio The Jazz Greats in 1983, which evolved into a Paisley Underground-styled garage rock group called Saint Huck, who lasted from 1984 to 1987.[3][4]

As the rise of grunge began to phase punk and hardcore out of the Northwest underground by the late 1980s, Perry set out to start a band that stood in defiant contrast to the shoegazing attitude of alternative rock, showcasing high energy dance music and Zappa-esque theatricality in an attempt to create something that an audience would react to viscerally instead of passively.[5][6][7] Recruiting a horn section led by alto saxophonist Brooks Brown, Perry and Schmid formed their latest band Mr. Wiggles - named after a Parliament song - in November 1988.[4][5][8]

"My conception of punk", Perry told The Rocket, "was doing whatever the hell you wanted as long as it had vitality and wasn't overly stupid...something exploratory and experimental", citing influence from genre-bending bands such as The Clash and the Meat Puppets.[1][8] In their earliest incarnation, Mr. Wiggles played funk and Mod-inspired punk and soul music, though Perry's songwriting soon grew to draw heavily from a newfound interest in jazz, swing and rhythm and blues, combining punk rock and jazz arrangements in what Perry described was an attempt to contemporize American roots music by infusing it with punk energy and using modernist, socially aware lyricism.[5][9]

Early years (1989-1993)

By early 1989, the title of Mr. Wiggles had been renounced as the band switched to the intentionally risqué "Cherry Poppin' Daddies". Derived from a jive phrase the band had heard on a race record,[10] the name intended to reflect the group's jazz and blues influences as well as an edgy punk irreverence in the same vein as the Butthole Surfers, though the decision was ultimately made on impulse, as the members had run out of time to figure out a name to put on their posters and doubted their longevity past one or two shows.[11][12][13] The band played their first show as the Cherry Poppin' Daddies at Eugene's W.O.W. Hall on March 31, 1989.[4]

Boasting a full horn section, a penchant for stage theatrics and encouraging their audiences to dance, the Daddies sought to prove themselves the antithesis to the then-current state of Northwest rock.[1] As Perry spoke of the Daddies' ideology, "It was our way of saying 'screw you' [to alternative rock 'phoniness']"..."we wanted to have fun, outrageously have a good blast without even thinking about it".[14][15] By the end of 1989, the Daddies had built a strong following within Oregon's counterculture, frequently selling out shows and gathering critical acclaim, earning praise from Eugene Weekly as being the city's best band "by far".[16]

The Daddies recorded their first demo cassette 4 From On High in July 1989, composed of four tracks of punk-swing and funk rock. The tape went on to sell over 1,000 copies in the Eugene and Portland areas,[17] enabling the Daddies to self-produce their debut LP, Ferociously Stoned, the following year. Fusing punk rock and jazz horns with funk grooves, the album garnered the band comparisons to Faith No More and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.[18] Before it was even released, Ferociously Stoned became a regional best-seller, setting a record for advance sales in Eugene record stores and then remaining for over a year on The Rocket's Northwest Top Twenty list,[2] helping expand the Daddies' touring reach to as far as Alaska and Los Angeles by 1992.

Eugene controversy

In addition to their unusual mix of musical styles, the Daddies became perhaps most notorious for their extravagant and often provocative stage shows. With the band donning a rotating array of flamboyant costumes, a typical Daddies performance would often feature go-go dancers, phallic stage scenery, prop-heavy vaudevillian skits and choreographed dance numbers.[16][19] Perry — performing under the mad scientist stage persona of "MC Large Drink"[12] — would engage in absurdist shock rock antics such as mock crucifixion, flag burning, property destruction and wearing adult diapers filled with food.[19][20][21] The most infamous element of the Daddies' early stage show, however, was the "Dildorado" (alternately "Dildozer"), a penis-shaped modified ride-on lawnmower that mimicked ejaculation by shooting salvos of colorful liquids from its tip.[20][22]

Almost immediately, the Daddies emerged a controversial presence within Eugene's actively political atmosphere. Feminist and P.C. groups condemned the band's performances as "pornographic", accusing their band name and sexually-charged lyricism as a promotion of misogyny and sexual objectification, claims which Perry boldly disputed, claiming that the controversial elements were misinterpreted satire.[19][23][24] In what Eugene Weekly called "the most hotly discussed topic in the local music scene" and "the Eugene flash point for the growing national debate on censorship [and] free speech", the Daddies endured a storm of controversy which nearly ended their career.[19] Vigilante protest groups habitually tore down or defaced the band's posters and led boycotts against venues that would book the group or even newspapers which gave them a positive review.[25] The Daddies' concerts regularly became sites of organized picketing and, on one occasion, a bomb threat.[8][19][26] The band members themselves were frequent recipients of hate mail, threats and physical harassment: once, Perry claimed, an irate protester threw a cup of hot coffee in his face as he was walking down the street.[7][8]

At first, the Daddies refused to change their name on the grounds of artistic freedom, but after venues refused to book them due to the negative publicity that naturally accompanied their shows — including a temporary ban from the W.O.W. Hall, where the Daddies had previously served as house band[1] — the group caved into community pressure, taking to performing under pseudonyms such as "The Daddies", "The Bad Daddies" and similar variations just within Eugene, retaining their full title while traveling abroad.[19][27][28] As the Daddies advanced in their career and their live shows had tamed, the controversies surrounding them waned and the band returned to using their full name in their hometown, though some minor protests resurfaced during their mainstream success in the late 1990s.[29]

National touring and independent success (1994-1996)

The Cherry Poppin' Daddies' rhythm section on stage in Los Angeles, California in 2009.

After numerous member changes including the departure of co-founder Brown and the addition of guitarist Jason Moss, the Daddies had evolved into a full-time touring band by early 1994. Now traveling coast-to-coast, the band was playing upwards of 200 shows a year, earning spots at festivals such as SXSW in Austin, Texas and New York's CMJ Music Marathon.[30][31] The Daddies eventually developed a steady following in the San Francisco Bay Area, where they became a staple of the region's burgeoning third wave ska scene, acting as regular touring support for ska bands like Skankin' Pickle, Let's Go Bowling, Fishbone and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones.[30][32] In 1994, the group was awarded SF Weekly's title of "Best Unsigned Band".[33]

While the mainstream's growing focus on punk and ska by the mid-1990s began presenting the Daddies with commercial opportunities - leading The Register-Guard to predict them as becoming the next Northwestern act "to go national"[34] - the band chose to remain wholly independent during this time to allow themselves unlimited creative freedom, supposedly after several major contract offers (including a brief attachment to Hollywood Records[15]) had been withdrawn due to the Daddies' refusal to adhere to any one particular genre.[35][36]

This experimental freedom was fully exercised on the Daddies' second album, Rapid City Muscle Car. Self-produced and self-recorded, Rapid City Muscle Car was the band's attempt at creating an eclectic concept album wherein each track was composed in a different musical style yet were all thematically united through interconnected lyricism, utilizing funk, ska, punk, swing, psychedelic rock, country, rockabilly, big band, heavy metal, hard rock and lounge.[15][37][38] Released on the band's self-owned label Space Age Bachelor Pad Records in December 1994, the album sold decently, though failed to match the success of Ferociously Stoned.[35]

Throughout the mid-1990s, the Daddies toured constantly, carrying out six cross-country tours in 1996 alone following the release of their third independent album, Kids on the Street.[39] A remarkable departure from their previous work, Kids on the Street was primarily a showcase of the ska influences which had gradually become a major part of the Daddies' live sound, forgoing the usual brassy funk and swing-based eclecticism in favor of guitar-driven ska, rock and punk.[38] Distributed by noted indie label Caroline Records, Kids on the Street wound up becoming the Daddies' then-most successful release, remaining on The Rocket's Retail Sales Top Twenty for over seven months and eventually working its way onto Rolling Stone's Alternative Charts.[30][40]

Zoot Suit Riot and major label years (1997–1999)

With the breakthrough of third wave ska into the American mainstream by late 1996,[41] the Daddies seemed poised for commercial success. Though almost exclusively playing ska bills at the time, the band began to attract a larger audience for their swing material when the coincident radio success of Royal Crown Revue[42] and the Squirrel Nut Zippers[43] started drawing media attention towards the formerly underground swing revival movement. Once concert attendees would regularly approach the Daddies' merchandise table to ask which of their albums had the most swing songs, the band's manager convinced the group to compile all of their swing music onto one CD until they could afford to record a new album, using their available money to record several bonus tracks for inclusion.[6][44] The result, Zoot Suit Riot: The Swingin' Hits of the Cherry Poppin' Daddies, became an unexpectedly hot item as the band went on tour, reportedly selling as many as 4,000 copies a week through their Northwest distributors.[6]

Despite the promising success of Zoot Suit Riot, this period proved to be the most difficult of the Daddies' career. Consistently performing to little media recognition, full-time touring was becoming both a personal and financial strain, leading to frequent quitting among band members. The Daddies experienced at least fifteen line-up changes from 1996 to 1997, including the departure of original keyboardist Chris Azorr and co-founder Schmid, leaving only Perry and trumpeter Dana Heitman as the sole remnants of the original line-up.[26] With no label backing them, the band had trouble securing distribution and press outside of the Northwest, oftentimes being unable to get their CDs sold in cities they were touring to.[45] Feeling they had finally hit a glass ceiling as an independent band, Perry said the Daddies were ultimately left with one of two options at this time: either sign to a label or break up.[9][45]

The Cherry Poppin' Daddies in 1998, having adopted a more subdued swing/ska look to accompany the release of Zoot Suit Riot.

In the midst of a national tour together, ska band Reel Big Fish helped arrange a meeting between their label Mojo Records and the Daddies in the hopes of obtaining the band a distribution deal, negotiations of which instead led to Mojo signing the Daddies to a full recording contract.[39][46] Zoot Suit Riot was licensed and reissued by Mojo and given national distribution in July 1997, less than four months after its original release.

Mainstream breakthrough

By October 1997, steady sales of Zoot Suit Riot and the rising popularity of swing led Mojo to release one of the album's bonus tracks, "Zoot Suit Riot", as a single and distribute it among modern rock radio stations. The Daddies, believing that a swing song would never receive airplay on mainstream radio, ardently protested this move, concerned the band would end up having to recoup the marketing costs.[8][45][46] Mojo persisted, and to the band's surprise, "Zoot Suit Riot" soon found regular rotation on stations such as Los Angeles' KROQ-FM, helping to establish the genre in the mainstream and leading to its eventual commercial breakthrough the following year, with the Daddies at the forefront.[47][48] By mid-1998, the Daddies had emerged as one of the most successful bands of the swing revival: after climbing to number one on Billboard's Top Heatseekers, Zoot Suit Riot became the first neo-swing album to crack the Top 40 on the Billboard 200, peaking at number 17 and spending an ultimate total of 53 weeks on the charts.[49] In June 1998, the album had sold 500,000 copies, going on to surpass sales of 1.4 million by August.[50][51]

For the remainder of 1998 and into 1999, the Daddies were touring non-stop, playing over 300 shows a year and traveling internationally as one of the headliners on the 1998 Warped Tour beside Rancid, NOFX and Bad Religion.[52] By this time, the group's touring conditions had greatly improved, thus enticing Dan Schmid – who had originally left the band due to health concerns – to return as the Daddies' bassist.[53]

Although the Daddies were experiencing commercial success under the guise of swing revivalists, having been declared the "leaders" of the movement by Rolling Stone, the band openly contested being labeled a retro act at the exclusion of their dominant ska and punk influences, and adamantly tried to disassociate themselves from the swing scene and in particular its nostalgia-based mentality.[18][52][54] While still vocal supporters of both the movement and its bands, Perry explained to Spin in July 1998, "it's not our mission to be a swing band. I'm not a guy from the '40s. That's why we play ska and use heavy guitars",[55] noting elsewhere "I can't fully take us out of the retro classification, but we harp on the fact that we're contemporary music".[18] Thus, the Daddies avoided touring with swing bands, selecting Ozomatli and The Pietasters as support on their first headlining US tour, and opening for Los Fabulosos Cadillacs on their 1998 North American run.[47][56] At one point, the Daddies attempted to arrange a tour with Primus which never materialized;[54] said Perry, "I know there are people who come to our shows who'd like nothing more than for us to play swing 24/7...there are plenty of bands who want to be swing bands and swing bands only. We're trying to find the audience who'll let us write songs and just be who we are".[57]

During the height of the Daddies' popularity, Perry found the band's mainstream notoriety was having an alienating effect on his personal life. "There was a period of time when my relationships, even with my friends, changed due to 'success', and random people wished me ill. I found that depressing".[58] He said in a 2000 interview, "It's a total cliché, but [fame] doesn't make you happy. There's a lot missing. Success has given people the right to yell at me on the street, but I don't really feel like it's given me any dignity".[59] Perry's frustration was only exacerbated by the media's continued pigeonholing of the Daddies as a retro act, though he later claimed to have felt pressured to maintain the image due to audience and media expectations.[57][60][61] When the band began to face criticisms and accusations of selling out from their Northwest fanbase,[62][63] the Daddies fought to further push themselves away from their mainstream typecasting: in a 1999 interview, responding to their place in the swing scene, Perry retorted "[we'll] unapologetically play ska right in the face of people who want to hear swing".[64]

Zoot Suit Riot had sold over two million copies in the United States by the time the swing revival's mainstream popularity had declined, finally falling off the charts in January 2000.[3] With their touring schedule coming to a close, the Daddies began work on their next studio album.

Soul Caddy (2000)

The Cherry Poppin' Daddies in 2000. Transitioning out from the swing revival, the band altered their visual style to reflect the 1970s rock and glam influences on Soul Caddy.

In the fall of 1999, the Daddies returned to the studio to record their fourth album, Soul Caddy. A loose concept album reflecting Perry's disillusionment over the cultural zeitgeist and his experience with fame (as he described it, a "bittersweet" record about "being alienated and hoping to connect"[60]), Soul Caddy marked a continuation of the band's musically varied format, intended to introduce the Daddies' true sound and personality to both their swing-based fans and a wider audience.[61][65][66] Drawing from the rock and pop of the 1960s and 1970s, Soul Caddy interweaved swing and ska with glam rock, soul, psychedelia, folk, Mod revival, funk and punk.[67]

Despite allowing the Daddies creative control over Soul Caddy's production, Mojo's response to the album was marginal.[67] Claiming that the new material was not like "the Cherry Poppin' Daddies people know and love", the label did little to promote either the album or its glam-styled single, "Diamond Light Boogie", at one point releasing the latter without the band's name on it, allegedly due to hesitancy over marketing a rock single from a band primarily known as swing.[68][69] With virtually no promotion, Soul Caddy was quietly released on October 3, 2000.

Met by an audience largely unaware of the Daddies' eclectic background, Soul Caddy was received negatively by both fans and critics, one of the more prevalent criticisms being its lack of swing tracks.[70] Many reviewers chastised the band for what was being seen as an abandonment of their swing "roots" in favor of a trendier sound,[71] while some criticized the Daddies' entire musical aesthetic — UGO's Hip Online stated bluntly, "covering five or six genres on one album is just insane".[72] The Los Angeles Daily News placed the album on their list of the 10 worst albums of 2000, the reviewer wondering what made a swing band "think it could get away with an album of recycled psychedelic pop".[73]

Despite some moderate critical praise, including a glowing review from allmusic, who called the band's "impressively surprising" array of sounds "refreshing coming from a band who was assumed to be generic retro swing",[74] Soul Caddy failed to achieve the chart success or commercial attention of its predecessor. After low ticket sales brought the Daddies' accompanying national tour to an early close, the band reached a mutual agreement upon taking an indefinite hiatus in December 2000.[63]

Hiatus (2001-2006)

With nearly a decade of full-time band activity come to an end, the Daddies went their separate paths. After briefly relocating to Manhattan, Perry returned to Eugene to form the glam punk band White Hot Odyssey with Jason Moss, releasing an album on Jive Records in 2004. During this time, Perry pursued an undergraduate degree at the University of Oregon, graduating in 2004 with a B.S. in molecular biology.[68] Dan Schmid and keyboardist Dustin Lanker devoted themselves to their own project, the piano rock band The Visible Men, recording two albums and touring extensively throughout the early and mid-2000s. Drummer Tim Donahue, after a stint with The Visible Men, played in Yngwie Malmsteen's band on his 2001 European tour and worked as a session drummer for artists including TobyMac and Shawn McDonald.[75][76]

The Daddies officially regrouped in February 2002 to play a sporadic series of music festivals in the Northwest, though announced no future plans for recording new material or carrying out another national tour. Now playing as few as ten shows a year, the band's performances became limited entirely to hometown shows and commissions for one-off "swingin' hits" concerts at various fairs and festivals across the United States.[63][77]

Susquehanna and return to independent label (2006–2009)

Following several years of relative inactivity, Perry spontaneously began writing new Daddies material in early 2006, claiming to have come to the realization of a cathartic reliance on songwriting.[78] In an April 2006 radio interview, he confirmed that the band was in preparation over recording a new studio album, noting that the music would cover new territory for the Daddies, drawing mostly on tropical themes.[79] This was followed shortly thereafter by the band's first US tour since 2000, where much of this new material was debuted.

Independently recorded in Eugene during the summer of 2007, the Daddies' fifth album, Susquehanna, was released via digital download exclusively through the band's website in February 2008, receiving a limited CD release several months later. Taking the shape of a narrative concept album which Perry detailed as a portrait of "various relationships in decay", Susquehanna featured prominent strains of Latin and Caribbean-influenced music, incorporating flourishes of flamenco, Latin rock and reggae into the band's traditional mix of rock, ska and swing.[80][81] Though its low-profile DIY release went mostly unnoticed by the mainstream media, response from internet-based publications ranged from mixed to positive, with reviewers once again polarized over the album's eclectic blend of genres.[82][83] In support of Susquehanna, the Daddies embarked on another full-length tour in mid-2008, followed by a headline tour of Europe, their first visit to the continent since 1998.[84]

In July 2009, the Daddies announced having signed to independent label Rock Ridge Music for the release and national distribution of two albums, a re-issue of Susquehanna and Skaboy JFK: The Skankin' Hits of the Cherry Poppin' Daddies, a compilation of the band's ska material.[85] Perry explained that fans had been suggesting the concept of a ska collection for years, and that such an album might help show a different side of the Daddies than the swing persona they're generally recognized for.[84] Skaboy JFK was released in September 2009 to a mostly positive critical reception. Goldmine magazine, in praising the "irresistible" ska grooves, enthusiastically cited the album - along with Susquehanna - as a strong re-establishment of the Daddies as "an ongoing (and worthwhile) entity".[86]

New album and future (2010-present)

The Daddies are currently carrying out a series of select tour dates in support of Skaboy JFK for the remainder of 2010 and into 2011, which included further tours of Europe, Australia and a headline performance alongside Fishbone at the 11th annual Victoria Ska Fest in British Columbia.[87] Perry first announced plans for a new Daddies album during these tours, further detailing the project in a February 2011 interview, mentioning the band would be returning to a stronger swing-oriented sound, as well as an exploration into psychobilly and harder-edged rockabilly.[88][89] According to Perry, recording is expected to last through the summer, with a tentative release date at the end of the year.[90]

Musical style and influences

While the Daddies are generally labeled as swing and/or ska, critics have conceived terms such as "punk swing",[91] "power swing"[28] and "big band punk rock"[92] to describe the band's unique approach, mixing "the propulsion of swing beats and rabbit-punch bursts of brass with grimy rebel-rock guitars to give the jumpin' jive sound a much-needed facelift".[93] The Pacific Northwest Inlander wrote of this style, "atop the swing of the band's jazz you can hear strains of Parliament-Funkadelic, crumbs of barrelhouse rhythm and blues, snippets of ska, and huge whiffs of in-your-face punk rock", likening the Daddies to "Cab Calloway-meets-Johnny Rotten, or the Duke Ellington Orchestra pumped up on steroids and caffeine".[7]

The Daddies themselves often classified their music as "swing-core",[94] exemplified by the fast tempos and frequent use of guitar distortion in their swing material.[6][54][95] In recent years, however, Perry has described the Daddies as simply "a rock band with horns", comparing their style of musical eclecticism with that of Fishbone, Mink DeVille and Oingo Boingo.[21][96] He has listed further influence from The Specials and Roxy Music, as well as from Fletcher Henderson, Jimmie Lunceford and Duke Ellington on his composing and arrangements.[8][38][97][98]

Each of the Daddies' studio albums feature a collective assortment of varied and often diametrically opposed genres of music alongside the constants of swing, ska and, on earlier recordings, funk. Some of the genres the band has experimented with include blues,[7] country,[8] disco,[99] Dixieland,[57] flamenco,[80] folk,[100] glam rock,[67] hard rock,[101] hardcore punk,[102] heavy metal,[7] jump blues,[103] lounge,[28] psychedelic pop,[103] rhythm and blues,[67] reggae,[80] rockabilly,[68] soca,[82] soul[67] and western swing.[104] As opposed to playing fusions, the Daddies perform each genre separately, contrasting one style against another so that the album's musical texture may continually change.[105] Perry has explained that the group's "detournement" of using vastly different genres is both a means for band experimentation and evolution beyond their typically swing and ska-oriented live shows, as well as an artistic choice, lending each song a distinctive musical personality and using certain genres to effectively fit (or ironically contradict) the tone of the lyrics.[9][60][106][107]

Steve Perry is credited as the creative force behind the Daddies.


Steve Perry is the Daddies' sole lyricist, and writes the majority of his songs in a fictional narrative format he credits as being influenced by Randy Newman and Ray Davies, often told about or through the unreliable perspective of downtrodden characters struggling against adversity.[1][7][18] Alcoholism, mortality, sex, class struggle and family dysfunction are recurring themes in his lyrics, often dealt with satirically.[18][19][36] The Register-Guard has described Perry's lyrics as "ribald [and] often despairing", "[probing] the underbelly of society, stabbing at oppressors such as...the pressure to conform".[2] While the Daddies have been criticized for juxtaposing lurid subject matter and profanity with jazz and swing music,[108][109] The New York Times has lauded Perry's lyricism as "vivid poetry" containing "an inventiveness missing from the other swing bands' lyrics".[110]

All of the Daddies' studio albums are written to varying extents as concept albums, featuring recurring lyrical themes or a progressive narrative as means of providing threads of thematic stability despite wildly varying musical styles.[9][111]

Reception and influence

In their native Oregon, the Daddies have been called "a Northwest institution",[112] having been inducted into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame in 2009.[113] The Register-Guard has credited the band with shaping Eugene's musical culture in the 1990s, dubbing the scene "the house that the Daddies built",[114] while Eugene Weekly added likewise, "when some people think of the Northwest music scene, they think of grunge. If you’re a Eugenean, however, you might think of swing, thanks to [the] Cherry Poppin' Daddies".[115] Seattle's The Rocket commented on the band's influence in 1997, stating "[t]he Daddies were busting out the swing before the Squirrel Nut Zippers, stirring cocktails before Combustible Edison and skating the ska before Sublime...the band shakes out an incredible variety of sounds with peerless verve and polish."[1]

The band has also drawn a fair amount of criticism. The Portland Mercury have been frequent detractors of the Daddies, deriding them as "at best, an edgeless recycle of a rather particular musical fashion movement; at worst, a self-conscious parody of the genre they purport to love",[116] while the Willamette Week once dismissed them as "an annoying white-boy funk rock band who, seeing the opportunity, milked the swing revival for all it was worth".[112]

The Daddies are more widely recognized, however, as one of the first bands to bring swing music into the musical mainstream, helping spearhead the swing revival of the late 1990s which paved the way for the larger successes of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and the Brian Setzer Orchestra.[3][47] Although the Daddies have also been cited as an influence on ska punk fusion band the Mad Caddies,[117] SF Weekly claims the band has "never gotten the accolades it deserves" for their eclectic funk-ska repertoire.[36] The Phoenix New Times expressed similar sentiments, listing the "woefully unsung" Daddies as among the bands that defined the Northwest's "alternative to alternative", "[delivering] rock with more complexity than three-chord guitar riffs and social critique without heavy-handed cynicism".[28][33] In a 2008 editorial, a Rolling Stone editor, reviewing the band's punk history, declared the Daddies "one of the most misunderstood bands of the nineties".[118]


Studio albums

Band members

Current members
Former members
  • Chris Azorr – keyboards (1990–1997)
  • Tim Arnold – drums (formation – 1990)
  • Adrian P. Baxter – tenor saxophone (1993–1996)
  • Brooks Brown – alto saxophone (formation – 1994)
  • Darren Cassidy – bass (1996–1998)
  • Jesse Cloninger - tenor saxophone (2008–2010)
  • Tim Donahue – drums (1997–2008)
  • Ian Early – alto saxophone (1997–2006)
  • Sean Flannery – tenor saxophone (1996–2008)
  • John Fohl – guitar (1990–1992)
  • Adam Glogauer – drums (1996)
  • Johnny Goetchius – keyboards (1999–2000)
  • James Gossard – guitar (formation – 1990)
  • Jason Moss – guitar (1992–2010)
  • Sean Oldham – drums (1996)
  • Jason Palmer – drums (1996) (2009 - studio recordings)
  • James Phillips – tenor saxophone (formation – 1992, 1996) (deceased, 1961 - 2011[119])
  • Rex Trimm – alto saxophone (1996–1997)
  • Hans Wagner – drums (1996–1997)
  • Brian West – drums (1990–1996)


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  2. ^ a b c Siegle, Lisa (March 15, 1991). "The Daddies Are Poppin' Up from the Underground". The Register-Guard. 
  3. ^ a b c Leahey, Andrew. "Allmusic: Cherry Poppin' Daddies Bio". AllMusic. Retrieved August 15, 2009. 
  4. ^ a b c "The Formative Years of the Cherry Poppin' Daddies". 2001. Archived from the original on October 15, 2002. Retrieved December 14, 2009. 
  5. ^ a b c Young, Quentin (c. 1998). "Interview with Dan Schmid of the Cherry Poppin' Daddies". 
  6. ^ a b c d Foyston, John (September 6, 1998). "Cherry Poppin' Daddies". The Oregonian. Archived from the original on June 22, 2001. Retrieved August 14, 2009. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f Cavendish, Jill (April 6, 1994). "Rockin' and Rollin' for a Good Cause". The Pacific Northwest Inlander. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Kane, Laura (1998). "Pop Your Cherry". Lo-Fi Magazine. 
  9. ^ a b c d Bliss, Karen. (July 28, 1998). "Cherry Poppin' Daddies Will Blow Your Mind". Jam! Showiz. 
  10. ^ Bell, Carrie (March 1998). "The Modern Age". Billboard 110 (12): 105. ISSN 00062510. 
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