Voom-Ba Voom -Rock ‘n Roll in South Africa

 

In the 1930’s African Jazz Music became an important feature in the lives of many urban Africans and some remarkable talent began to emerge in Johannesburg.

In 1952 the Union of Southern African Artists came into being with the dual function of promoting the talent that had already been shown to exist in the musical and dramatic field and to act as an Artist’s Equity. The union promoted Township Jazz concerts which were the first large scale African entertainments to be presented in the capital of South Africa, and arranged for white and non-European audiences to see and hear a wide range of entertainment by black and colored artists.

South African Institute for Race Relations presents African Jazz and Variety

The Woody Woodpeckers -Fanagalo 

Fanagalo is a pidgin or simplified language, based primarily on Zulu. It is used as a lingua franca, mainly by workers in the gold, diamond, coal and copper mines.

the-woody-woodpeckers   This rare 10″  includes two songs by The Woody Woodpeckers, a group around  songwriter and musician, Victor Ndlazilwane, who was awarded the Metro FM Lifetime Achievement award in 2006 in South Africa. During his early career, Ndlazilwane was part of the legendary Woody Woodpeckers group as well as the Jazz Ministers, both of which were signed to Gallo Record Company. The Jazz Ministers were the first African jazz band to perform at the prestigious Newport Jazz Festival in New York.

King Jeff & His African Jazz Troupe -Rock Around The Clock 

At the end of the 40’s and mid-50’s when Rock ‘n Roll swept through the world like a tsunami, a bleached derivative of American Jazz and R&B music was popular in South Africa. Black and white musicians, singers and performers catered for the refined taste of the well heeled visitors and sophisticated dancers that frequented the big hotels and nightclubs of the big cities like Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.  There existed a circuit of hip hangouts and palaces of nocturnal pleasures; theaters, nightclubs, bars and restaurants where live music was an extra attraction to the fine dining and luxurious surroundings. Valet parking included. But the jungle rhythms of the American originals  were a wee bit too adventurous to serve as a soundtrack for an exquisite night out at The Colony Hotel or The Beachcomber. So more musicians, singers and bands turned towards the then popular sound of the Mediterranean countries like Italy or Portugal. Many landed in Johannesburg , the city of gold & diamonds where riches and fame was to be found aplenty.

a night at Franco's watermarked    Such a nightclub/restaurant was Franco’s, located in downtown Johannesburg. The nightclub was a famous hangout for the city’s well-heeled crowd, musical entertainment consisted mainly of evergreens from around the world, sometimes local songs were included in the repertoire. A mixed bag really, something you can dance to or just listen to in the safety of a segregated environment.

The Beachcomber in Durban and The Grand Hotel Beira in Mozambique were similar hangouts, where well-to-do visitors from Portuguese Angola, the Belgian Congo or the Rhodesias could unwind on a dream holiday. Or they came to make a business deal, or simply to be entertained by the best of performers around.

Grande Hotel, a beautiful Art Deco resort in Beira, Mozambique opened in 1955.

The Three Petersen Brothers and Nico Carstens and his Orchestra

The Three Petersen Brothers, Mervyn, Basil and Andy, are really brothers who belong to one of the oldest theatrical families in South Africa. They are versatile and musically gifted, touring the country, appearing on stage, in variety and as cabaret artists in every nightclub in South Africa, in addition to regular radio performances. ‘On Safari’ is their first LP recording together with the famous Nico Carstens Orchestra.

from the original liner notes by Anton De Waal of ‘On Safari’ Columbia 33JS 11011 South Africa 

Three Petersen Brothers -Voom-Ba Voom 

Three Petersen Brothers -Pondoland

Three Petersen Brothers -Jo’burg Samba

Nigel Crawford with the Gold Diggers

“Gold Rock (You’ve Got to Dig, Dig, Dig for Gold)” is the title of a 78 rpm by Nigel Crawford with the Gold Diggers. The song explains why a small settlement in Gauteng could grow into the famed capital of ‘eGoli’, a Zulu word meaning “place of gold”. Johannesburg could not be bettered as an appropriate locale for the story of all those who came starry eyed to the big city, chasing a dream.

Nigel Crawford with the Gold Diggers -Gold Rock

Nigel Crawford with the Gold Diggers -Hamba Lala (African Calypso)

john massey and his warriors -fanagalo watermarked

 

John Massey and his Warriors -African Rock ‘n Roll 

John Massey and his Warriors -Fanagalo 

 

 

Best African music finds 2017 # 8 -Brenda & The Big Dudes -boogie/bubblegum 1984

one post a day for the remainder of 2017 featuring a selection of some of my best finds of African music last year…not necessary brand new releases. Mostly vintage records found during my travels all over the world.

#8 Brenda & The Big Dudes ‎– Let’s Stick Together

Family Records‎– FLY(V) 8 -South Africa 1984

brenda & the big dudes -let's stick together cover front watermarked

the early years of Bubblegum or Mapantshula Afro pop.

Legends like the late Brenda Fassie and the Big Dudes, Chicco Twala, Dan Nkosi, Ebony, Richard Makhubale of Volcano, Dan Tsahnda of Splash, Yvonne Chaka Chaka to name a few, are some of the most known South African artists in the genre. But the genre crossed borders as well, from Namibia to Zimbabwe, Bubblegum became most popular through the radio and rapidly captured the dance floor. Bubblegum was a response to Western styles like disco and the fast spreading house music which originally came from the black ghettos of Chicago and New York. When the second Summer of Love took the UK over in 1988, first house, and later techno conquered the world. DIY – do it yourself – a motto that had already appeared in the punk movement, lifted the young house scene to the next level. With a minimal set up – keyboards, some drum machines and samplers it was suddenly possible to make music without having to rent expensive studios. Township disco was born, Bubblegum was the next logical step, followed by Kwaito.

read the full article August Mix Special! From Bubblegum 2 Kwaito

 

brenda & the big dudes -let's stick together label A watermarked

Gimme Gimme Your Love

Let’s Stick Together

Could We Do It?

 brenda & the big dudes -let's stick together label B watermarked

Do It Now

Can’t Stop This Feeling

I Wanna Be Single

 

Brenda & The Big Dudes

Best African music finds 2017 # 9 -Sandile –Uzuthuzweni EP

one post a day for the remainder of 2017 featuring a selection of some of my best finds of African music last year…not necessary brand new releases. Mostly vintage original pressings found during my travels all over the world.

# 9 Sandile ‎– Uzuthuzweni EP

Teal Records ‎– XPD 2479 South Africa 1986

Sandile -Uzuthuzweni cover watermarked

Sandile -Uzuthuzweni label A watermarked

I Won’t Let You Down   5:51

Hold Me Close  4:52

Sandile -Uzuthuzweni label B watermarked

   Give Me,Give Me           6:29

Producer – Ray Phiri

Produced by the late Ray Phiri of Stimela fame.  Two fantastic disco/boogie tracks and a soulful tune from 1986 by Sandile Ngema

See also

Stimela -Look, Listen And Decide 1986

Guitarist Ray Phiri R.I.P. (1947-2017)

Discovery of the Week -Thoughts Visions and Dreams -Ray Phiri

Best African music finds 2017 # 10 -Letta Mbulu –Kilimanjaro

 

one post a day for the remainder of 2017 featuring a selection of some of my best finds of African music last year…not necessary brand new releases. Mostly vintage original pressings found during my travels all over the world.

# 10. Letta Mbulu –Kilimanjaro – MJS 101

 MJS Records ‎– MJS-101 Promo, 33 ⅓ RPM  US 1981

Letta Mbulu -Kilimanjaro A side watermarked

  Kilimanjaro  Vocal Version       5:52

Letta Mbulu -Kilimanjaro B side watermarked

      Kilimanjaro (Instrumental)         6:00

Producer – Caiphus Semenya

Written-By – Caiphus Semenya, Letta Mbulu

This is the 1981 US pressing of one of the big boogie/disco-tunes by Letta Mbulu. Especially interesting since the B-side contains a great instrumental version…. Mixed with love by the legendary American producer Ray Martinez

see also Township Soul & Boogie Vol 13; Letta Mbulu -I’ll Never Be The Same (Mosadi) -Tamla Motown

hey sista, go sista, soul sista -Township Soul & Boogie

hey sista, go sista, soul sista -Township Soul & Boogie Vol 2

REFORM SOUND SYSTEM 2 DEC 17 JHB

reform 2 dec 2017

6 decades of soul, rare groove, springbok radiohits, township jive & kwela jazz, northern soul, girl groups, vintage disco, indie, funk, hip hop, nigeria 70s, dancehall and other rarities heard nowhere else….

Saturday 2nd December 2017 from 2pm-12 am

dj’s Charles Leonard, Marc Latilla, Eddy De Clercq (Soul Safari, Amsterdam), Mxolisi Makhubo, dj Jun (aka Ninja 45, Japan)

Eclectic laid-back afternoon session & dancing under the Johannesburg Skyline Sunset

The Troyeville Hotel
1403 Albertina Sisulu Road (corner Wilhelmina)
Johannesburg

entrance; 50 Rand

reform 2 dec 2017

August Special! South African Boogie & Kwaito – GROOVY G. -Viva Dance 1994

 

Today’s post shares a rare South African dance 12″ released in 1994.

Groovy G. consists of rapper and singer Marlon, ace muso The Big A and Funky DJ, muso and hot dance producer, the man behind the grooves on ‘Viva Dance’.

‘Viva Dance’ was produced by Patric van Blerk, the man who produced the mega hits of Margaret Singana in the 70’s,  besides successful innovative Dance compilations in the  80’s.

The mini-album features a mix of dance styles popular in the mid 1990’s, referring clearly to house, rap  and pop…but in a typical South African mellow vibe

Groovy G. -Viva Dance! (Tusk PVC 57 South Africa 1994)

Groovy G. -SOUTHERN JAM

Groovy G. -SOMETHING ABOUT YOU

Groovy G. -LOVE THANG

Groovy G. -GIVE ME A LITTLE TIME

Groovy G. GIVE IT TO ME

Groovy G. -lOVE ON THE DANCE FLOOR

 

 

South African Jazz Celebration on World Turning, WTJU Aug 18 2017

Tune in this Friday afternoon, August 18th from 12-2 for a special look at South African Jazz.  Joining us in studio on WTJU will be South African natives Wendy Grove and Lisa Grove, as well as Todd Leback.