Percy Sledge -introduction, ‘Cover Me’ + ‘Knock on Wood’

The Luxurama Theatre, Cape Town, darkened, there was a momentary hush, then the audience exploded in a deafening roar as Percy Sledge walked on stage. Everyone of the 1300 seats was filled, people were sitting in the aisles and the happy audience screamed and cried, shouted and stamped, clapped and cheered for the King of Soul was here in South Africa at last!

‘Don’t leave Percy’ they cried. ‘Stay here in South Africa with us!’

Percy Sledge -I got to get a message to you

The live-recording of this show, at The Luxurama, Cape Town, has captured many exciting moments  with songs like ‘My Special Prayer’  and Percy’s first time singing of  a Beegees composition  ‘I got get a message to you’. The crowd loved the message

In South Africa (At the Luxurama) – ATC 9257

My special prayer / cover me / heart of a child / takes time to know her / warm and tender love / i gotta get a message to you / silent night / come softly to me / what am I living for / when a man loves a woman.

Percy Sledge -My Special Prayer

And stay he did.  For it was on Friday, May 29th 1970 that he opened at the Luxurama Theatre and stayed there for three weeks. One June 22nd he opened at The Three Arts Theatre, Cape Town and played for four weeks to open on  July 20th at The Empire Theatre in Johannesburg on July 31st and August 1st, 1970.

Percy Sledge -Any Day Now (1970 at The Empire Theatre Johannesburg)

Rumors have it that this album is not really live but a collection of Sledge’s songs with dubbed in crowd participation and ‘live’ announcements by Percy himself. But the tracks on this album  are raw and 100% real without a doubt Percy Sledge…deep, intense Southern Soul

Showtime for the King Of  Soul himself …Percy Sledge,  backed by members of Harari

after these memorable live events  Percy was  King of Soul in South Africa and became a major cult figure as well. His appeal was so widespread that Pepsi Cola Co asked him as the star to  launch a new soda-pop drink TEEM…

this resulted in the release of a promotional record with Percy singing about the joy of drinking TEEM. This disc contains 2 radio-commercials and the full version of the tune, produced for South Africa exclusively

Percy Sledge-The TEEM Theme Song

Crisp and cool, with the bub…bub…bubble-fresh taste. TEEM-lifts you up with the life that tells you it’s the best. Go with TEEM, and get refreshed. Yeah…TEEM, and I will dig you baby

30 thoughts on “Percy Sledge in South Africa 1970

  1. Wow!! This brings back memories. I saw Percy Sledge years back in Malawi, probably about two years after South Afrika.

    About four years ago, I saw him at a Casino in Indiana (US) and I reminded him of his Afrikan tours. He was very happy and just excited remembering the performances.

  2. I saw him live in 1970 in Jo’burg and had both albums, I would love to get my hands on copies today. I was very young at the time but some of his songs live with me today

    1. There’s a record shop that operates under the name VINYLPLUS in South Africa. They have Percy Sledge In South Africa available on a vinyl LP in ex/ex condition. They want $14.69 for the album. no idea what the shipping will be.

      He has a listng on Gemm Records, but you can contact him directly at

      I’m trying to locate a movie I saw in South Africa in the early 70’s. Don’t recall the title or director, but it was a live concert filmed in Swaziland if my memory serves me correctly.

      There were 3 featured artists : Percy Sledge, Arlo Guthrie, and I can’t recall the third one. Do you know about this? Have you perhaps seen it? The IMDB does not even have any record of this, and they informed me that I must be mistaken. This movie was never filmed.

      I know it exists. I saw it.


    2. Found some more LP’s on GEMM of Percy Sledge in South Africa.

      One is in South Africa at VINYLPLUS priced at $10.00

      The second one is at EELKE in the Netherlands, a steal at $57.00, and the bargain of the month is at a dealer named HAL, in France, at a very reasonable $263.00.

      I suggest you stick to the South African dealers.


    3. Dear Charlie. I also saw the show in 1970 in Durban. I had the LP but it got lost. On the
      original LP it featured all the local artists viz Sydney Cain, Eddie
      Watts and Vivian Kensley from Durban. I am interested in purchasing this LP with all the local artists. Please help me. My cell number is 0723784122 and email

  3. I am from Mozambique, and looking for a cd of Percy Sledge movie—-SOUL FIRE filmed in Swaziland if I am not wrong. Any tips?
    I used to have the LP…..but just disappeared!!!!!!Help

  4. Yes, there is an LP called Soul Africa featuring Percy Sledge on all tracks. I found it on ebay after looking for quite some time. It was a soundtrack to a film and some of the tracks were recorded at Capricorn studios. Paul Hornsby, record producer, remembers this film being made and says the masters are still on reel to reel tape and stored at Capricorn studios. There are tracks by Percy not found anywhere else, for example “Swazi Lady” and “Sister Soul”, written by Jackie Avery, Capricorn Studios in house song writer. I did speak to Hornsby about this a few years ago, so I did get first hand info. The film was produced by a guy named Lazarus. you cannot find it anywhere. I would say this would be a rare find if you search enough. I believe the album came out in 1971. I have it here if anyone has more questions about it. I’m just glad someone else knows of its existence.

    1. now that’s a rarity that seldom pops up. Never seen it in SA. What is the exact name of the film or the soundtrack??

      Thanks for the information, great!

  5. Wow! talk about ablast frm. the past, I remember having to lie about going to Percy’s 1st S.Ashow, @ The Luxie in Wynberg! Is there any video of that show? 40 something yrs. ago!!!!! Thnx.

    1. having witnessed Percy Sledge in person must have been quite an experience. What a nice memory that is.
      Has any performance of Percy in South Africa been taped or broadcasted?? Youtube should know…

  6. Please feature Sydney Cane and Eddie Watts from live album
    1970 in South Africa Cape Town

  7. Sydney Cane stole the show by getting a standing ovation where
    fans were shouting out we want Sydney. Sydney sang Lonley Girl
    which was better than the original. Do some research to find out.

  8. I saw Percy the first time he came to south africa and I am going to see him again on Saturday at Grand West!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Hi. I saw Percy Sledge perform live in Durban in 1970. I bought his LP which featured all the local suppporting artist on the show viz Eddie Watts, Sydney Cain, Candy and Vivian Kensley. My LP disappeared.
    The mentioned artists were from Durban. I am interested in purchasing in purchasing this vinly LP. Please help me.

  10. Good day . My name is Siven Ragavan. I’m am looking for any recordings or videos of Sydney Caine singing with Percy Sledge in 1970 live in Durban , South Africa . Sydney is my grandfather’s brother . We are trying to recover recordings of him . Please can you email me if you know of anyone who has recordings or if you have any recordings . Thanks


    she sang at our Concert in 1970

  12. i saw Sydney doing Lonely Girl at the Durban City Hall. Who was the Main Act I don’t remember. Did Sidney appear on any other show at the Durban City Hall from say 1965 onwards? – 1970 and Percy Sledge don’t seem to fit ? ? I did see Tommy Rowe ?
    – Clive

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