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Discovering the 90s Swing Revival with Royal Crown Revue’s “Hey! Pachuco!”

It’s #SongLyricsSunday! Today’s theme is to find a song or lyrics that have the words greet, Hey or Howdy. The song I choose for this prompt is “Hey! Pachuco!” by Swing revival (or neo-swing) band Royal Crown Revue. Many people will recognize this song as it was featured in a very famous 90s movie that featured Jim Carrey and Cameron Diaz. Keep on reading to find out what movie this is!

In Dedication

Before I discuss the song, I want to first dedicate this post to a dear friend who passed away last Sunday. John was a big guy in every sense: personality, attitude, and heart. He was super generous, kind, and could make your day with his jokes and warm personality. We were in a production of Our Town that was supposed to be performed this weekend but got canceled due to COVID. He was a talented actor but also could ham things up, especially with his portray of Belligerent Man in Our Town.

John was also a great friend. He gave me a couple of (like a packet of M&Ms on my birthday a few weeks ago), but he also gave me lots of support and advice. John advised me on acting, my blog, and also on my career. John was also a great buddy to eat and speak with as we went to various restaurants over the past two years, including his favorite pizza place called Shakey’s. The last time I was with him is one of my favorite memories of him: we sitting on a bench, talking about life, and just enjoying the beautiful sunny weather and the sea of beautiful flowers in front of us.

He also loved music. I can see him dancing to “Hey! Pachuco!” as both the song and John shared the same energy: fun, outrageous, and just upbeat. This one is for you, John!

Just Dancin’ and Swingin’

Royal Crown Revue

“Hey! Pachuco!” is a song by Royal Crown Revue that was featured in the 1994 movie The Mask. One will remember this song during the famous dance scene with The Mask and his crush Tina Carlyle at the hottest club in town, the Coco Bongo. A little trivia for you about this dance scene: Jim Carrey and Cameron Diaz did the majority of their own dancing during this scene. The only time when they used doubles was when there were any couple moves, and you would notice that during the overheard shots. Also, the band featured in that scene was actually Royal Crown Revue themselves.

Speaking of Royal Crown Revue, the band was formed in 1989 when vocalist Eddie Nichols and guitarist James Achor teamed up with tenor saxophone player Mando Dorame. Nichols and Achor, who were in a Los Angeles punk band together, decided that they wanted to make music that was completely different and went for creating swing music. The band added more members and played at various clubs from the beginning. It was at their residency in the Hollywood nightclub The Derby where the makers of The Mask discovered Royal Crown Revue and asked them to perform for the movie.

“Hey! Pachuco!” helped to bring the swing revival genre (and the band too) into mainstream media. The reason is the band’s ” energetic musical blends of traditional swing, jump-boogie, hot jazz, bebop, and rock”.[1] The tune featured similar sounds as blends as it is upbeat, fun, and outrageous. From the first beat, listeners are hooked to the big entrance of the horns section and the lively drumbeat. I especially love Eddie Nichols’ vocals as they feature that perfect blend of smokiness and cool. I just love how he bends notes at certain parts of “Hey! Pachuco!”

This song by Royal Crown Revue was an important tune to help the swing revival genre become more mainstream, and all for the right reasons. The song is such an infectious one with its upbeat, fun, and outrageous energy. How about you, what do you think of “Hey! Pachuco!”? Listen to the song below and let me know what you think in the comments!

Here is the dance in the movie The Mask:

My favorite version on the US TV show Dancing With the Stars featuring Nyle DiMarco and Peta Murgatroyd:

Lyrics for “Hey! Pachuoco!”

Hey, Pachuco

Summer of ’43
The man’s gunnin’ for me
Blue and white mean war tonight
Say damn my pride
And all the other cats livin’ down the eastside
Or maybe just my brim’s too wide

Ooh, Marie
You better grab my jack and zip gun for me
And I’ll face no shame
‘Cause tonight’s the night I die for our name

Well, I’d like to be swingin’
Dancin’ and swingin’
Just havin’ a time
Free to do whatever
Now more than ever
I’ve gotta stick with that gang of mine


Hey, Pachuco

The Rules for #SongLyricsSunday

(This challenge is currently hosted by the generous Jim Adams.)

Anyone can participate in #SongLyricsSunday, even if you aren’t a music blogger! If you want to participate, here are the rules:

  • Post the lyrics to the song of your choice, whether it fits the theme or not.
  • Please try to include the songwriter(s) – it’s a good idea to give credit where credit is due.
  • Make sure you also credit the singer/band and if you desire you can provide a link to where you found the lyrics.
  • Link to the YouTube video, or pull it into your post so others can listen to the song.
  • Pingback to this post will eventually work, as long as you are being patient, but you can also place your link in the comments if you don’t like to wait.
  • Read at least one other person’s blog, so we can all share new and fantastic music and create amazing new blogging friends in the process.
  • Feel free to suggest future prompts.
  • Have fun and enjoy the music.

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Discovering the 90s Swing Revival with Royal Crown Revue's "Hey! Pachuco!"



This Post Has 23 Comments

  1. Jim Adams

    I never saw the Mask, but it looks like a fun movie. I am sorry about your friend John and it was nice of you to dedicate this post to him Amy. Nice music and great videos.

  2. barbara

    So sorry for the loss of your dear friend.
    I do remember this movie. Great dancing and song! 🙂

  3. J-Dub

    Sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. What a wonderful dedication to him. Love this song and love the movie. I’ve always wanted to try swing dancing, looks like tons of fun.

  4. Neely Moldovan

    I am so sorry to hear this. Love the song and the movie!

  5. Stephanie

    Oh my gosh, I remember The Mask! I’m totally a 90s kid, so this is so fun as a reminder of it all. I’ve lost friends and it is never east, so sorry for the loss of what sounds like a wonderful person.

  6. Knashz

    Condolences on the loss of your friend. This is wonderful. Hope you are doing good now.

  7. Agnes

    First time to listen to their music and I love it! True blooded 90’s kid here. 🙂

  8. Cristina Petrini

    A genre that I always love to have in the background. Fills the soul and the heart!

  9. Candle

    The Mask is one of my favorite movies! The 90s is the best era. Jim Carey played this role well. Thanks for sharing the history of this band. I would’ve never known.

  10. Ivan M. Jose

    Condolences to you and prayers for the soul of your dear friend. I love The Mask and, yes, I faintly remember this song. I love every bit of the 90s.

  11. Cynthia Nicoletti

    So sorry to hear the loss of a friend. I remember the Mask, what a great movie.

  12. Dominique

    I remember this movie but I had to play it to remember the dance scene. Cameron Diaz always liked to dance in her movies.

    I am sorry about your friend/

  13. Kenneth

    Sorry to hear your loss, a very dear friend who also loves music will surely sing and dance for you in heavens especially with this dedication you made. MASK movie is a good comeback to watch again ei?

  14. knycx journeying

    It was a classic moment in the 90s and glad that you make a revival here! – Knycx Journeying

  15. henri

    So sorry about the loss of your friend John. Thanks for the memory lane music!

  16. Melanie williams

    IT is very sad when we lose someone, so very sorry for your loss. stay strong and keep safe

  17. Aditi

    So sorry to hear about your loss. I so remember this movie and this dance, one of the first English films I saw with friends while we were in school.

  18. Ramil Hinolan

    Sorry to hear the loss of your good friend, John. anyway, the 90’s bring back so many memories of my youth.

  19. Dipika Singh

    Sorry to hear your loss and this musical dedication is really nice idea I have never heard this band it seems good.

  20. Rochelle

    I enjoyed the mask so much! I’m sorry you lost your friend

  21. Khushboo

    I really liked the music of this band. Sorry for your loss please take care

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