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Kid Creole And The Coconuts: A Big Heart

Kid Creole and his band The Coconuts are an unlikely source for one of the year's kindest songs: "Stony and Cory."
Courtesy of the artist
Kid Creole and his band The Coconuts are an unlikely source for one of the year's kindest songs: "Stony and Cory."

The lead track on I Wake Up Screaming, the 12th album August Darnell has released as his "tropical gangster" alter ego Kid Creole (the Coconuts are his backing singers), has plenty of wit. That's to be expected — everything Darnell does has wit. But "Stony and Cory" is also one of his most touching and autobiographical songs.

The title characters are the people who guided the mid-'70s New York disco unit Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band, in which Darnell played bass and wrote lyrics. Stony Browder was Darnell's brother and bandleader, Cory Daye was the band's singer. Their romance was a whirlwind, their breakup an emotional mess — "It's guaranteed to break your heart," Darnell sings in his most tender falsetto, and he's not wrong.

But the takeaway is what matters here: "And all the music, it goes on, on, on / And I'm so grateful for it all, all, all / There's no right without a wrong / And there's no rise without a fall." It's one of 2011's biggest-hearted songs, and it's doubly sweet coming from a world-class satirist.

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