Soul and funk singer and guitarist, DARONDO died from heart failure on Sunday, June 9th.
DARONDO, whose real name was WILLIAM DARON PULLIAM, was born and in Berkeley, California in 1946 and he first played professionally at the age of 18 as a guitarist in THE WITNESSES. In the early 70s he struck out as a solo performer peddling an idiosyncratic guitar/vocal style that mixed elements of his favourite artists – AL GREEN and THE DELLS.
In the late 1970s DARONDO quit the music business and began a bizarre career odyssey that took in – cable video presentation, cruise ship entertaining and unorthodox therapies before reappearing as a cult performer in the late 2000s.
His recording activity was sporadic. In 1973 he was signed briefly to music biz hustler RAY DOBARD’S Music City label and officially just three self-penned singles, ‘How I Got Over,’ ‘Legs’ and ‘Didn’t I’ were ever released. Much later, knowing crate diggers discovered his ‘Didn’t I’ which subsequently was heavily sampled and featured on a number of soundtracks.
In 2008, music writer and archivist ALEC PALAO uncovered the tapes for two albums worth of material recorded by DARONDO during his tenure at Music City. The music was subsequently assembled as ‘Listen To My Song: The Music City Sessions’ and released on Ace/BGP (Omnivore in the States) in 2011. Excited by the reissue, DARONDO was enjoying something of a renaissance on the soul underground prior to his death.
Check out our review of DARONDO’S ‘Listen to My Songs’ in our reviews archive