Biography All Music GuideWikipedia
All Music Guide:
A major favorite in funk collectors' circles, sweet soul crooner Darondo was born William Pulliam in Berkeley, CA. After receiving his first guitar at the age of eight, he later teamed with a handful of school friends to form the house band at the Lucky 13, an area teen club. According to Oliver Wang's profile in the April/May 2006 issue of Wax Poetics, Pulliam later trained as an electrician but retained his musical aspirations, and in 1970 cut his first Darondo single, "How I Got Over," for the fledging independent label Ocampo. Suggesting an earthier, street-smart Al Green, the record was hampered by distribution problems but nevertheless became a fixture on local radio station KSOL, earning Darondo the attention of Ray Dobard's Music City imprint. Despite recording an entire LP's worth of material, the label issued just one lone single, the lush "Didn't I." Darondo also opened for James Brown and enjoyed an extended residency at the famed San Francisco club Bimbo's, but following a third single, the obscure Af-Fa World release "Legs," his music career ground to a halt. He spent the remainder of the decade as a pimp before abandoning the life in 1981 to host a series of local cable television showcases including Darondo's Penthouse After Dark, Doze Comedy Videos, and the children's program Tapper the Rabbit. After spending the late '80s on the Fiji Islands, Darondo returned to Berkeley and studied physical therapy. When the acclaimed 2005 compilation Gilles Peterson Digs America vaulted "Didn't I" to the attention of soul aficionados across the globe, the race to discover the singer's current whereabouts was on, and in 2006 the Luv 'N Haight label released Let My People Go, collecting Darondo's three classic singles as well as several unreleased cuts from the same sessions.
William Daron Pulliam, who performed in the 1970s under the name Darondo, was a funk and soul singer from the San Francisco Bay Area. Although he is not widely recognized today, serious enthusiasts of the soul genre consistently rate him in high regard. The mythology surrounding Darondo describes him as a pimp, although he has denied this claim. His performing name is said to have originated as a compliment from a waitress who was fond of his generous tipping habits. Darondo still lives in San Francisco and has received more attention in recent years thanks to London DJ Gilles Peterson playing his 1973 single, "Didn't I" on his BBC Radio 1 program.
In 2007, Darondo's song "Didn't I" was covered by Jack Peñate on his Spit At Stars EP and in 2008, featured on an episode (season 1, episode 4) of Breaking Bad. "Didn't I" was also featured in the 2010 film Saint John of Las Vegas in a scene featuring Steve Buscemi. In 2009, the song "Legs" was featured in an episode (season 1, episode 8) of the American version of Life on Mars. In 2010, "Didn't I" was featured in the films Night Catches Us and Jack Goes Boating. It also appeared in the New Element video, Future Nature.
Recordings of Darondo are available from Luv N Haight, an imprint label of Ubiquity Records. Other works can be purchased from Omnivore Recordings.