The original concept of “Santa Esmeralda” was formed as a production project in 1976 by Jeanne- Manuel de Scarano and Nicholas Skorsky in Paris, France. Santa Esmeralda was inspired by the heroine of the same name from the Victor Hugo Classic “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”. American musician/vocalist Jimmy Goings recorded six of the group’s seven studio albums, permanently replacing American singer/saxophone player Leroy Gomez, who was used as lead vocalist for the first album titled “Santa Esmeralda”. That album featured the projects first international hit “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”, and the popular ballad, “You’re My Everything”. Creative differences lead to Gomez’s departure in late 1977. Goings joined the project in December of that year, recording lead vocals for the already complete follow up album “The House of the Rising Sun”, which garnered the projects second international hit with the title song. Showcasing a wonderful collaboration of French arranger Jean Claude Petit, brilliant Page 2 of 4 Flamenco/electric guitarist Jose Souc, and French studio guitarist Slim Pezin, the song’s Gypsy infused Flamenco style soon became a Latin disco innovation around the world. Goings was granted the rights to tour the concept and created his first touring band in January of 1978. The group hit the road immediately, touring with disco legend Barry White, and joining the resurgent tour of Carlos Santana. Santa Esmeralda quickly became international headliners, embarking on a world tour that included Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Brazil, Canada, and the United States.
Goings went on to record two more albums for the Skorksy/de Scarano team: “Another Cha Cha” which was a completely original collection of songs with Goings making his first co-writing contributions on all tracks. The title song went on to become another world wide disco hit. The album also contained the popular songs, “Generation”, “Answer”, and “Back to the Beginning”. The final album recorded with the team was C’est Magnifique” also titled “Don’t Be Shy Tonight”, which contained the follow up hit “C’est Magnifique”, and the radio hit “Don’t Be Shy Tonight”, again with Goings contributing to the song writing, providing the lyrics for five of the albums six tunes. Skorsky and de Scarano spilt up in 1980, and Goings continued his collaboration with Skorsky on the next two albums. The group reprised its original sound, on the cover version of another popular 60’s hit, “Hush”. On this album Goings also collaborated again with Jose Souc on “Welcome to the World” and “What I Wanna Do With Your Love”, and provided original arrangements for the cover songs “No Reply” and “Street Fighting Man” which were then transcribed and orchestrated by Souc. The final album of the collaboration came in 1982 with Jimmy Going and Santa Esmeralda “The Green Talisman”. This collection returned to the concept album genre and produced the striking title tune “The Green Talisman” as well as covers of “Siboney” and “Children of Sanchez”, and the lush ballads “Sweet Fusion” and “Eternal Light”. Goings continued to tour through 1982 and the group disbanded officially in 1983 While many greatest hits compilations followed, Goings put his touring aside to raise his daughter, Genevieve, and son Jesse. He was reunited with his first son Dominic in 1989. He continues working in the entertainment field as a music producer, talent agent, and event coordinator through his entertainment company, GFI ENTERTAINMENT, located in the San Francisco Bay Area. (associatedentertainment.com)
Okay … this is disco music ! Not my kind of music, of course.
And this album was even released in Russia:
Jimmy Goings (vocals)
Celmar Engel (synthesizer)
Unknown Orchestra conducted by Jose Souc (on 02. + 05. + 07.) and Slim Pezin (on 01. + 06.)
01. The Green Talisman (Skorsky/Carmone/Goings) 9.41
02. Sweet Fusion (Skorsky/Ellis) 3.45
03. Children Of Sanchez (Mangione) 3.29
04. Siboney (Lecuona) 4,28
05. Fortune Teller (Skorsky/Goings) 3.44
06. Eye Of The Cat (Skorsky/Ellis/Goings) 4.10
07. Eternal Light (Skorsky/Ellis/Goings) 3.56