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Keep On Bumping-South African Disco & Boogie – Part 2

January 14, 2017

 

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see also Keep on Bumping in 2017 -South African Disco & Boogie Part 1

here is the second part of  the story of South African Disco & Boogie, published in the 3rd volume of “Hot Stuff” the online magazine focusing mainly on Disco & Boogie. See pages 19 through 25 for the full spread….

SOUL GEMS, BOOGIE BOMBS, DISCO DYNAMITE and ULTRA-RARE HOLYGRAILS !!!

BOOGIE WONDERLAND

botsoso-soundtrack-cover-watermarked      In the first South African disco movie “Botsotso” (1979), the recurring plot is a fairy tale similar to the story of Cinderella. The hero is a dustman who wants to go to the ball, but like Cinderella, he does not have the approriate clothes. Miraculously, he gets the clothes, wins the princess and the respect of his peers. By the end of the film his brother is no longer ashamed of him, and in the followup Botsotso 2 (1983), leading man Luki starts as a cook, but ends up owning the disco.

The suggestion is that class mobility can be effected by changing one’s clothes and learning to dance. Of course that idea is a wellknown theme that was first glorified in the classic disco movie ‘Saturday Night Fever’, starring John Travolta as Tony Manero, a troubled youth from Brooklyn who found glory on the dance floor.

The success of disco music was soon spreading over South Africa as wildfire. Many youth from the townships were trekking to the big cities to find fame and glory under the mirror ball. Simultaneously eager producers from local record companies, always keen on easy sales, flocked to the dancefloors to watch the action. Some great talent escaped the poverty and grim life of the townships and made it big. But most of these young hopefuls ended up as one-hit wonders or simply took the bus back to their homelands on a one-way ticket.

harari-home-brew-album-cover-watermarked             One of the biggest names to dominate the booming disco scene of the 1970s was Harari, even being invited to perform in the US with jazz trumpeter Hugh Masekela in 1978. During this tour, the band’s leader Selby Ntuli died, leaving Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse as the new leader. This eclectic ensemble was impossible to categorise; mixing funk and disco with jazz, while also using traditional African instruments to create a completely unique sound that many tried, but failed to imitate. They were the ultimate party band, yet boasted some of the best musicians around at the time, such as Alec ‘Om’ Khaoli and Lionel Petersen. The single ‘Party’ from the album ‘Heatwave’ (Gallo 1980) even entered the American Disco Charts giving the group worldwide exposure and making a superstar of Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse. Harari will forever hold legendary status, even after their split in 1982.

Another star of that same era is Blondie Chaplin, a former member of Durban’s soul & rock band The Flames who made it quite big on his own, while scoring his biggest hits with Pappa Makhene.

pappa-and-blondie-boogie-on-up-label-watermarked

A select Blondie discography on 45 rpm

Blondie And Pappa ‎– Don’t Burn Your Bridges / Boogie On Up -Bullet ‎– B150 (1978)

Blondie And Pappa -I Can’t Get Along Without You / I’m Here, You’re There –CCP Records –CCP1 (1980)

Blondie And Pappa -Going Home To My Mama / I Like It –CCP Records –CCP7 (1980)

Blondie And Pappa -Never Gonna Let You Go / Cape To Nassau –CCP Records –CCP17 (1981)

Spankk featuring Blondie –The Air That I Breathe (Love Of My Life) / Hallelujah (Praise His Name) -Family ‎– FLY 507 (1983)

Blondie ‎– Communicate / Sugar I Like It   -Family ‎– FLY 517 (1984)

Blondie ‎– Overtime/D Good Day   -Family ‎– FLY 528 (1985)

TEEN IDOLS & THE FOUNDATION OF ZOMBA/JIVE RECORDS

Another dance success story in the mid 70s came from Cape Town with The Rockets, a band and dance group fronted by singer Ronnie Joyce who would later go solo to become South Africa’s youngest child star at 13. He was discovered by the popular soul crooner Richard Jon Smith, who introduced his protegee to producer Cliver Calder . This ex-South African correspondent for Billboard magazine would relocate to the UK in 1974 where he would form Zomba Records with his partner Ralph Simon.

little-ronnie-joyce-working-on-a-groovy-thing-cover-watermarkedRonnie Joyce’s biggest inspiration of course was young Michael Jackson, whom he resembled with his afro hairdo and funky dance moves. The band had a number of hits like ‘Surrender’, ‘Situations’, ‘Ooh La La’ and ‘Gimme A Break (Dance). Ronnie Joyce embarked on a solo career and released hits like ‘Working On A Good Thing’ and ‘What Went Wrong With Us?’. The young singer teamed up on TV shows and radio programs with another child star; Jonathan Butler. jonathan-butler-front-cover-watermarked

Best known nowadays as a respected and well known jazz artist in the Cape Jazz genre Jonathan Butler started his career as a teen idol in the same vein as Justin Bieber. The album ‘Spotlight on Jonathan Butler’ contains a selection of uptempo soul & boogie tunes and some classic soul ballads, produced by Peter Vee for Clive Calder Productions.

BREAK DANCE PARTY

Breakdancing, another street craze that started in the New York slums of Bronx and Harlem in the US took the South African youth by storm in 1984, especially in the urban areas. Hot US albums by Break Machine ‘Break Dance Party’, produced by Jacques Morali and Henri Belolo, fueled the popularity of dance styles like the head spin, moonwalking, electric boogie, spider and glide in South Africa where local acts became known nationwide. The Ghetto Slickers, a high energy breakdance trio from the house of popular singer, dancer, actor and disc jockey Cocky ‘Two Bull’ Tlhotlhalemajoe became the most popular dance act.

The Black Consciousness movement of the seventies promoted locally by activists like Steve Bantu Biko as well as African American artists like James Brown, saw individuals and organisations contribute towards building the self-esteem of the oppressed masses of South Africa. ‘Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud’ became the slogan for black South Africa.

In 1985 the Black Glamour Exhibition in Johannesburg showcased progressive young blacks and their culture. Amongst the musicians who participated in this massive show of self-pride were Ebony, Stimela, Street Kids, Pappa & Blondie a.o.

THE BIG BANG

But nobody was prepared for the tsunami that in 1986 would sweep the country when came Paul Simon released his ‘Graceland’ album. The release of this worldwide hit record created an enormous international interest in South African musicians and their music. Simon faced controversy for seemingly breaking the cultural boycott imposed by the rest of the world against South Africa because of its policy of apartheid. In addition, some black critics viewed Graceland as an exploitive appropriation of their culture.

Back in 1972, after breaking up his career with Simon & Garfunkel, he had already succesfully engaged Jamaican artists to bring the reggae effect into his music. In 1985 Simon engaged South African musicians like Ray Phiri, Isaac Mtshali, Bakithi Khumalo and Ladysmith Black Mambazo in the recording of the ‘Graceland’ album in New York. The rest is history.

letta-mbulu-ill-never-be-the-same-front-watermarked

Earlier in 1985 Stevie Wonder demonstrated outside the South African Embassy in Washington and released an album ‘In Square Circle’ that same year. On a protest track ‘It’s Wrong (Apartheid) exiled South African musicians Tshepo Mokone, Thandeka Ngono, Linda Tshabalala and Fana Kekana were featured as backing vocalists. In 1987 Michael Jackson asked Letta Mbulu for the song “Liberian Girl” that was part of his groundbreaking album ‘Bad’.

Local record companies responded to this with a non-stop flow of dance records that initially broke first on the radio, followed by success on dancefloors.

The radio broadcast industry, which had earlier seen the end of the SABC’s monopoly with the launch of Radio SR in 1977 with black deejays broadcasting in English, was more diversified then most radio stations. When Radio SR introduced South Africans to smooth talking jocks like Cocky ‘Two Bull’ Tlhotlhalemajoe, Meshack Mapetla or Danisile Lavisa, many young black boys and girls started gearing themselves to a wider and freer broadcasting industry. The radio landscape would never be the same.

Suddenly there was airtime and a healthy market for locally produced black dance music that came from within the community itself, not being imported from US or UK. Labels like On Records, formed by Ronnie Robot, Sound of Soweto and Flash dominated the local markets.

tata-afro-break-dance-label-watermarked

Here is a personal and select discography of my favourite South African SOUL GEMS, BOOGIE BOMBS, DISCO DYNAMITE and ULTRA-RARE HOLYGRAILS !!!

Not many of these releases ever made it further then the borders of South Africa, but they are not forgotten! Just like Cinderella, these records are waiting to be rediscovered after a period of obscurity and neglect.

By no means do I claim that this list is complete….still adding!

Letta Mbulu -I’ll Never Be The Same LP -Tamla Motown ‎– TMC 5242 (1973)–rare LP by a South African legend, one of the holy grails

Little Ronnie Joyce –Give A Little Love / Working On A Good Thing –Bullet Records (B14) (1974)

Jonathan Butler -‘Spotlight on Jonathan Butler’ -MFP 54748 (1975)

Lionel Petersen –I’ll Take You Where The Music’s Playing -Plum Records (PLC 5019) (1975)

Rene Richie and her Cosmic Band –Love In Space -Gallo Records ML 4181 (1978) –Italo Disco from South Africa

Qondile Nxumalo –Mad World / Uthando Olungaka -Soul Brother (PB 75) 1978

Malcolm Soul –Mr. Cool / I’m Gonna Give In CTV Disco -CTS 715 (year of release unknown)

Botsotso –original soundtrack –Buffalo Records (BFL 1005) (1979)

Thandeka Ngono –s/t –Atlantic (ATC 8004) (1979)

Alec ‘Om’ Khaoli –Magic Touch / Be My Wife Gallo Records –PD2007 (1981)

Masike “Funky” Mohapi -Hamba Sibali Wami (pts 1 & 2) –Raintree Records (RAB 311) (1982)

Caiphus Semenya ‎– Listen To The Wind Moonshine 2002 (1982)

Dudu Mazibuku & The Paper Dolls –Disco Beat / Botsoso Girl -Zasha Records (AAB3) (1983)

Piliso –Thumela –Peach River Records (BBSLP 02) (1983)

Brenda & The Big Dudes ‎– Weekend Special Family Records ‎– FLY(V) 4 (1983)

Brenda & The Big Dudes ‎– Let’s Stick Together Family Records ‎– FLY(V) 8 (1984)

Street Kids –Try Me (Game Nr. 2) Right Track PRO RTS 35 (1984)

Ebony – I Need Somebody / You Are The One–Right Track Records (RTS 619) (1985)

Tata –It’s A Mess / Afro Breakdance -Hot Stuff (HST (C) 1507 (1985)

Eric D -Slow Down / Nothing For Nothing -Sounds of Soweto (SOS 2) (1988)

Travolta –Leb 3 (Amarovers) Bubblee Records (Buble 5) (1988)

travolta-leb-3-label-watermarked

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SA boogie/disco/Mbaqanga & some rare jazz-January ebay auction

January 9, 2017

a new Year, a new auction on eBay!

All records  for sale are original pressings from the Soul Safari archives…all with soundclips. Here is your change to own some rare and seldom heard sounds from South Africa and beyond.

All soundclips are taken from the actual record without any form of ‘pimping up’…what you hear is what you get, mostly in VG++ to NM condition.

The auction starts on 9th January and lasts for 7 days…don’t sleep!  Here is the link.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/eedeecee/m.html?item=142240381942&hash=item211e2ffbf6%3Ag%3Ac-AAAOSw241YdLev&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2562

the-toppers-ngixolele-label

 

vungu-vungu-yini-themba

the-special-5-isondo-liyadilaya

the-pedlars-at-the-club

the-big-six-you-have-got-to-be-straight

the-big-six-ngoaneso

tou-nontsiki-label

tou-imini-label

the-toppers-akukho-label

the-special-5-isondo-liyadilaya

the-special-5-indoda

the-blue-revues-spook-mahala

sophie-mcgina-thabo

mike-makhalemele-15th-ave

lujo-zip-up-your-boots

lujo-that-somebody

lionel-pillay-plum-label

lionel-pillay-cherry-label

izinkanyezi-label-b

izinkanyezi-label-a

and a few rare field recordings as well….

AFRICAN SANCTUS – For African tapes, choir, operatic soprano, light soprano, shouter, African drummer, rock drummers, two percussion, electric guitar, bass guitar, piano, and Hammond M.100 organ.

amankentshane-mtaka-mtimande

abathokozisi-somandla

abathokozisi-maskihonze-kumdali

a-h-c-in-zion-thina

abakhwenyana-inkunzemnyama

abafana-beishingishane-nomoya

futuru-dont-hold-back

futura-feelin-hot 

rare recording of an actual auction of tobacco in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Published by Tobacco Auctions Limited, Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia

bob-cage-tobacco-chant-label-a

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Keep on Bumping in 2017 -South African Disco & Boogie Part 1

December 26, 2016

 

Keep on Bumping in 2017…

keep-on-bumpin-pic

Syndicate – Keep On Bumping

Scroll to page 18-24 for Soul Gems & Bump Music in this volume of  ‘Hot Stuff’. The story of South African Disco & Boogie Part 1…discover how  soul singer Margaret Singana became known as Lady Africa….read a collector’s story on one of the rarest records by Percy Sledge produced and recorded for a South African movie…and remember why David Thekwane and Patricia Majalisa became household names in South Africa and beyond.

Percy Sledge -Soul Fire 

This post features an extended article on South African Disco & Boogie I wrote for the ‘Hot Stuff’ online magazine. This specialist publication is recommended wholeheartedly, chockablock with  interesting interviews, articles, reviews and memorabilia of the Disco era.

More rare stuff in Part 2 of South African Disco & Boogie to be published soon…

Thank you for being a part of Soul Safari! Just to let you know that Soul Safari appreciates your visit to these pages. May 2017 be a safe, prosperous and healthy year for all of you!

sa-x-mas-postzegels

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Township Jive & Kwela Jazz -new Volume 4 (1940-1965)

September 6, 2016

This is an exclusive offer for readers of Soul Safari!

180 grams vinyl LP edition including Registered Airmail Worlwide € 20

 Payments via PayPal. Fast delivery worldwide!

Buy Now Button

Downloads via iTunes are available now.

 KwelaJazzVol4iTunes

the fourth issue in the series ‘Township Jive & Kwela Jazz’ selected by Soul Safari.

Another outstanding collection of rare gems from the International Library of African Music (ILAM) Archives, South Africa.

Soul Safari presents Township Jive & Kwela Jazz Volume 4 (1940-1965)

Catalog nr. UP 2016.007 LP

Side A
1-Stamkoko -Izintombi Zesi manje manje (1965) 02:16
2-Udali– Maphela  (1960) 02:38
3-Sabela –Maphela  (1960) 02:30
4-Usana Lwam’– Mississippi Brothers & Beauty Diloane (1940) 02:36
5-Ukhiye–Susan  Gabashane & Her Honeybees  (1960) 02:46
6.Ukuhlupheka – Susan Gabashane & Her Honeybees (1960) 02:35
7.Umsakazo E Grahamstown– Alabhama Kids  (1960) 02:27
8.Lizzy–Mississippi Brothers (1940) 02:17
9.Asinamali– Alabhama Kids (1960) 02:21

Side B
1.Baboon Shepherd–Black Duke & Peter Makana (1950) 02:35
2.Battle Of The Flutes–Black Duke & Peter Makana (1950) 02:37
3.Shukuma Duke-Black Duke (1950) 02:27
4.Duke Blues-Black Duke (1950) 03:00
5.Black John–Peter Makana (1950) 02:20
6.Blood Mixture-Peter Makana – (1950) 02:15
7.Egoli Zinyozi –Alfred Dlezi & Dlamini (1950) 02:31

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Soul Safari presents Township Jive & Kwela Jazz Volume 4 (1940-1965) -preview

August 16, 2016

KwelaJazzVol4 LP hoes voor -WATERMARK 2

 the fourth issue in the series ‘Township Jive & Kwela Jazz’

Another outstanding collection of rare gems from the International Library of African Music (ILAM) Archives, South Africa

Soul Safari presents Township Jive & Kwela Jazz Volume 4 (1940-1965)

Catalog nr. UP 2016.007 LP

Available as 180 grams vinyl LP from September 2016

LPhoesdeel4 achter -WATERMARK 2

 

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16 early vocal & jazzy tunes from the Golden Age of Jive & Kwela in South Africa. Released originally on fragile shellac discs only. Shellac is a very delicate material but the music survived thanks to the archives of ILAM. A truly great source of South African music is being preserved here for new generations, to inspire young and hopeful musicians and singers from all over the world.

These pearls of musical genius were recorded in the glory years of jive and kwela, the years 1940-1965 . On side A it is not difficult to recognise the similarities to American popular music like R&B and small combo close harmony singing.

But most of all notice that typical South African swing, that jive, that incredible smooth form of African jazz on side B; Kwela!

The rarest and most treasured finds are collected here, some with the original spoken intro’s, ‘sketches’ as these were called. Characteristic conversations between the musicians, often in a humoristic slang, always extremely funny.

 see also your guide to Cape Town Slang

Township Jive & Kwela Jazz Volume 4 (1940-1965)

Side A
1-Stamkoko -Izintombi Zesi manje manje (1965) 02:16
2-Udali– Maphela  (1960) 02:38
3-Sabela –Maphela  (1960) 02:30
4-Usana Lwam’– Mississippi Brothers & Beauty Diloane (1940) 02:36
5-Ukhiye–Susan  Gabashane & Her Honeybees  (1960) 02:46
6.Ukuhlupheka – Susan Gabashane & Her Honeybees (1960) 02:35
7.Umsakazo E Grahamstown– Alabhama Kids  (1960) 02:27
8.Lizzy–Mississippi Brothers (1940) 02:17
9.Asinamali– Alabhama Kids (1960) 02:21

Side B
1.Baboon Shepherd–Black Duke & Peter Makana (1950) 02:35
2.Battle Of The Flutes–Black Duke & Peter Makana (1950) 02:37
3.Shukuma Duke-Black Duke (1950) 02:27
4.Duke Blues-Black Duke (1950) 03:00
5.Black John–Peter Makana (1950) 02:20
6.Blood Mixture-Peter Makana – (1950) 02:15
7.Egoli Zinyozi –Alfred Dlezi & Dlamini (1950) 02:31

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Township Jive & Kwela Jazz vol 4 (1940-1965) coming soon!

August 5, 2016

Soul Safari is proud to present a brand new release

Township Jive & Kwela Jazz 4 (1940-1965)

coming soon!

KwelaJazzVol4iTunes

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What Happened, Miss Simone?

May 18, 2016

what happened, miss simone

in this fascinating biography on Nina Simone by Alan Light,  the late singer also speaks, through the many documents from her legacy of private correspondence and diaries. This brand new book is part of a revival on the artistry and life of Nina Simone, a militant and successful but also troubled singer who became an icon of American jazz & blues.

Director Cynthia Mort of ‘Nina’, the film released earlier this year in the US received a lot of criticism  by casting the lightly colored actress Zoe Saldana, who does not resemble the singer physically and had to be transformed rather drastically to perform as the ‘blackskinned’ Nina Simone.

Then of course there was the Netflix documentary ‘What Happened, Miss Simone’ by Liz Garbus on which the book by Alan Light is based.

Ms Simone, known as one of the last great jazz divas, was also a committed civil rights activist in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s, fighting oppression as a black woman from the segregated southern US states. Songs like “Mississippi Goddam” and “Four Women” became iconic statements of that period.

As a young jazz piano player and singer, Nina Simone was quickly discovered and found immediate success. She became a millionaire and a star on the  American and international stages and performed in numerous television shows. But at the same time Simone began to become more and engaged with the emerging black protest movement of nonviolent protest of Martin Luther King to the racial separatism of Malcolm X. Her rants about racial discrimination in America from the stage alienated her public.

On April 21st 2003 hundreds of mourners gathered in the southern French town of Carry-le-Rouet to pay their last respects to legendary US jazz and blues singer Nina Simone (born Eunice Waymon 1933)

South African singer Ms Miriam Makeba, a close friend of Ms Simone, was among those in attendance at the funeral in the Our Lady of the Assumption church at Carry-le-Rouet, just west of the port city of Marseille.

“She was not only an artist but also a freedom fighter,” Ms Makeba said before taking a seat inside the church next to Simone’s 36-year-old daughter Lisa for the ceremony.

“Nina Simone was a part of history. She fought for the liberation of black people. It is with much pain that we received the news of her death” read a message sent from the South African government.

At her request, Ms Simone’s ashes were spread in several African countries.