Shona Laing was fairly well known in her native New Zealand for years before finally scoring an American record deal in the late 80s with fledgling indie label TVT Records (who, a year later, would sign Clevelander Trent Reznor). Laing’s first U.S. album, 1987’s “South”, generated two light rotation MTV hits, “(Glad I’m) Not a Kennedy” and “Soviet Snow”.“(Glad I’m) Not a Kennedy”
is a strange little thing, all violins and, er, JFK samples looped around a nice little melody about being glad one is not a member of the seemingly cursed family. Words not
mentioned in the song include, “assassination”, “Compound” and “Chappaquiddick”.
Follow-up single, “Soviet Snow”
is a bit less metaphoric, focusing on the then-recent Chernobyl disaster. Not quite pop music subject matter, yet this song crossed over into the Dance Charts – I remember hearing it quite a bit at the Nine of Clubs, Cleveland’s premiere alternative music dance club back in the day. Ah, the Nine of Clubs…there’s a series of entries in and of itself…”(Glad I’m) Not a Kennedy” peaked at #14 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks Chart in 1988.
“Soviet Snow” peaked at #32 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play Chart that same year.