Happy New Year 2013!
Kaapse Kloppe -Cape Town Carnival
January 2nd 2013 Cape Town
Read more on Kaapse Klopse in the Mother City and Cape Minstrelsy in my previous post SA Jazz -Abdullah Ibrahim speaks! Staffrider interview with poet Hein Willemse NYC Dec 1986
While most of the songs heard during the colourful parade are the “Moppies” and “Lietjies” that have been handed down by tradition and which are the feature of the Cape Carnival, there will also be found some of the American songs which are more frequently heard during Carnivals.
Here is a rare 10” recording, probably recorded in 1956 that represents ‘The Coon Carnival Company’, a group of musicians, singers and a compere. Some of the spirit and enchantment of the Coon Carnival can be heard, gay as a fiesta, colourful as Mardi Gras. Here is the A-side recorded in its full length, only the crackling noise of the original record has been cleaned. Side 2 follows on request.
Maurice Smith presents The Golden City Dixies in Coon Carnival Time. With Majiet Omar, Henry Wilson, Alfred Stokes, Solly Bagus, Eddie Davis, Danny Williams and The Coon Carnival Band.
Side 2. Sous Boonties –Henry Wilson/Grietjie –Majiet Omar/Gone Fishing –Majiet Omar and Alfred Stokes/Kossies Van Die Kaap –Eddie Davids/Apple Pickin’ Time In Georgia –Solly Bagus/My Mama Was ‘n Hottentot-Alfred Stikes/ Compere –Solly Bagus
The Golden City Dixies have a large repertoire of feeling good tunes, some of the old Dixieland variety, others more modern. The troupe have made a feature of mimicry , and their impersonations of American singers are so lifelike that hey have often been accused of miming their songs to the accompaniment of gramophone records. The song ‘Gone Fishing” is included as an example of this type of song.
Maurice Smith was a local Durban promoter who picked up local acts from the street to record them.
Here is the story how Maurice Smith discovered The Golden City Dixies.
Although the Carnival is associated particularly with the Cape Province, an enterprising singer of Malay origin, Majiet Omar, decided to spread the idea of Coon Music even further and it was he who thought of forming a Coon Carnival troupe in the Golden City, Johannesburg.
At that time Coon competitions were held annually in Johannesburg, and Majiet, helped by his father, formed a troupe, The Dixie Merrymakers.
The owner of the hall was telephoning the police, when the Durban promoter, Maurice Smith appeared on the scene. He had been passing by, heard the singing, went in and watched the show from the back of the hall. He extricated them from their plight and took them to a cafe for their first real meal in days. There the idea of the ‘Coon Carnival Company’ was born.
Excerpts from the liner notes of ‘Maurice Smith presents The Golden City Dixies in Coon Carnival Time’ South Africa RCA T33001