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June 21, 2007



It has been a (minor) hit in the UK: # 49 in 1965.
But I've got it on a Spanish 60's Hits CD (bought in Spain), so it must be Spanish.
Although the names of the 2 brothers are not really Spanish: Johnny Kurt and Charley Kurt.


According to this site, the 2 Kurt brothers weren't spanish, but from the north of Europe - German, maybe?

La Yenka

Johnny and Charley

Johnny & Charley Kurt, un dúo llegado del norte de Europa hizo de este baile la canción del verano de 1965.



And according to this other site, the song was the hit dance of 1965 (in Spain, I presume).

El baile de moda es "la yenka"
Johnny & Charley Kurt, un dúo llegado del norte de Europa hizo de este baile la canción del verano de 1965.

letra de la canción:

Vengan chicos, vengan chicas a bailar,
todo el mundo viene ahora sin pensar.
Esto es muy fácil, lo que hacemos aquí,
esta es la yenka, que se baila así:
Izquierda, izquierda, derecha, derecha,
delante, detrás, un dos tres.
Izquierda, izquierda, derecha, derecha,
delante, detrás, un dos tres.
Con las piernas marcaremos el compás,
bailaremos sin descanso siempre más.
Y no hace falta comprender la música,
delante y detrás, y venga ya.
Izquierda, izquierda…
Aquí se baila la yenka,
ay, qué fácil, es la yenka,
mira qué bien va la yenka
y qué graciosa es la yenka.
Izquierda, izquierda…



Apparently, La Yenka is not forgotten...


It was re-recorded in the eighties by spanish duo Enrique y Ana and it was a hit in Spain and Latin America (in the children's market)

See a video here: http://youtube.com/watch?v=orn04ENU7Is

And learn to do the yenka.


any relation to Japanese "Enka" music?





Thanks for the Youtube link. Shame it wasn't Johnny and Charley but it was suitably ghastly all the same. The footprints on the back cover lied! There's a lot of unheralded leg waving and hopping going on in that video. So it was actually relatively popular. Well I'll be. . . yenked.


I always thought it was a Spanish act who invented this dance (It was covered back in the day by quite a bit of Spanish bands). My native language is Spanish so I can tell the two guys sing like Englishmen trying their best at Spanish (their accent is the dead giveaway, much like when Nat King Cole decided to record songs in Spanish).

And yes, it was a weird dance. But what wasn't weird about the 60's anyway?


The Swedish version, Letkis-Jenka by Lill-Babs, is worth a listen if you can find it.


re: Johnny and Charley being from northern Europe. As soon as I heard these guys sing I thought "OUCH! *DUTCH* !!". Really, these guys have such a strong 60s/70s dutch accent it's silly. I can't find any info on them and I don't remember having ever heard them in Holland.


Thanks for the Youtube link!


La Yenka is composed by Rauno Lehtinen. It is based on Finnish "Jenkka" style of folk songs, which have German influences. Jenkka is a pair dance. It's modification "Letkajenkka" (Letkiss) is danced in one long line. The first version of Letkiss was recorded in 1961 by Finnish Letkiss All-Stars. The dance was huge hit in latin countries at 1965.

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