Meet Taco [PHOTOS/VIDEOS]
Yes, his name is Taco. His first name, that is…and he had a “one hit wonder” in the “Decade Of Decadence!” Remember?
Talk about being “international!” Taco Ockerse, born on July 21, 1955, is an Indonesian-born musician of Dutch lineage…who started his career in Germany!
Taco was a “globetrotter” in his youth. After Jakarta, Indonesia, he lived in Holland, Singapore, Luxembourg, Belgium, Germany…he spent some time here in America, too!
Taco graduated from the International School Of Brussels in 1973. Afterward, he studied interior decoration, and finished acting school in Hamburg, Germany…acting in school productions including “Fiddler On The Roof” and “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown.”
1975 brought Taco professional acting credits in children’s theater, and adult fare, such as “West Side Story” at the hamburg Opera House. He also directed shows, and was a choreographer.
How does this translate to an international hit record, you ask?
Taco formed his first band, “Taco’s Bizz” in Hamburg in 1979!
In 1981, Taco signed his first record contract, with Polydor (Germany). It was a two-record deal.
“Puttin’ On The Ritz” was the first release.
The song was written by Irving Berlin in 1929. It was a #1 hit for Harry Richman in 1930!
Doesn’t sound very 80’s…right? Taco put his own “spin” on the “classic,” and it struck a worldwide chord!
Released in New Jersey on RCA Records, “Puttin’ On The Ritz” got lots of airplay on the radio through the summer of 1983, and shot up the Billboard Hot 100 charts, stopping at an impressive #4 during the week of September 3, 1983 (it was #1 on the “Cashbox” chart).
Taco earned an R.I.A.A Gold Record, with sales of over a million copies of “Ritz.”
“Puttin’ On The Ritz” would be Taco’s only hit record in America.
Taco toured Europe extensively in 1983 and 1984…and “Puttin’ On The Ritz” went to #1 in Sweden and New Zealand. It was a Top 5 tune in many countries including Norway, Austria, and Canada.
Taco’s hit-inspired album, “After Eight” was released in 40 countries.
Taco’s second single, “Singing In The Rain” was…a disappointment…worldwide.
“Let’s Face The Music,” was the next album for Taco. It was recorded for Polydor (Germany) in 1984. When it failed to grab the record-buyer’s attention (except in Canada, where it peaked at #46 and Germany at #49), Taco decided to concentrate his swing and classics-inspired efforts on the German record market.
In 1989, Taco changed his style…flirting with disco and dance, modeling himself in the Rick Astley style. When that didn’t put him back on the pop charts, taco re-branded himself as a swing/soul singer.
From 1989 through 1996, Taco returned to his acting roots, with roles on German TV. He appeared in a German film…and returned to the stage in Berlin, Germany, and in Austria.
Taco lives in Germany…and plays out front with his band.