Derek Gunning at The Caravelle Johannesburg

Derek Cunning at The Caravelle cover

Derek Gunning at The Caravelle Johannesburg

with accompaniment directed by George Hayden

Derek Gunning -autumn leaves

The Caravelle is one of the leading restaurants/night spots in Johannesburg, and its discreet intimate atmosphere provides an admirable setting for the polished entertainment of singer Derek Gunning and pianist George Hayden.

Presided over by charming hostess Olive Lawrence and genial host Freddie Pezold, The Caravelle has become synonymous of good cuisine and is famous for its special dish ‘Rock Lobster Ala Turque’, a tempting concoction that draws gourmets from far and wide.

Truly the ideal combination…a warm, friendly atmosphere…excellent cuisine…and discreet, intimate entertainment.

Derek Gunning -hello young lovers

Derek Cunning foto copy

Derek Gunning -it happened in Monterey

Derek Gunning; 30 years old Derek Gunning has been a leading vocalist in the main night spots of Johannesburg, Durban and Margate. In 1955 he migrated to England where he joined the famous Eric Winstone Orchestra at Butlins Holiday Camp and at the well known Millroy Club in London, and later toured the South of France sharing top of the bill honours with The Trio Los Paraguaro.

Derek Gunning -just in time

He also appeared in several leading TV shows in London, amongst them ‘The 6.5 Special’, ‘Follow the Stars’ (a radio show) and ‘The Late London Show’. On his return to Johannesburg, Derek featured as resident vocalist on a popular Radio Show and was featured with such prominent guest artists as Alma Cogan, Anne Shelton, Eve Boswell, Roy Castle and many others. Derek is now resident vocalist at The Caravelle (Johannesburg) where, with pianist George Hayden, he blends admirably into the intimate atmosphere of this leading restaurant/night spot.

Derek Gunning -the lady is a tramp

from the original liner notes of the album Derek Gunning at The Caravelle (Johannesburg) Rave Records RMG 1161

Johannesburg Night Club Festival 1964

Johannesburg nightclub festival

mp3 introduction to Johannesburg Nightclub Festival

music for restaurants, nightclubs and lounges in Johannesburg 1964, South Africa

this particular collection of records started mainly for the fabulous covers.  Little by little I started to collect  a musical map of Johannesburg and discovered the music on these albums that were originally released in  the early and mid 60’s in very limited quantities. Of course this selection gives only a restricted view of  the popular music of the 60’s in South Africa. Remember this was pre-1994, long before Apartheid ended. In those days black musicians and artists were simply banned from performing in restaurants, nightclubs and theatres frequented by the white ruling class. Popular black music like Mbaqanga, Zulu Jive, Marabi, Kwela or African Jazz was reserved for the townships or could be heard via local black radio-stations.

All featured artists on the album  ‘Johannesburg Nightclub Festival 1964’ were regulars on the circuit of restaurants, nightclubs and lounges of the big hotels in Johannesburg or working in other big cities like Durban or Cape Town,  or they were residing in  holiday resorts in Lourenco Marques, now Maputo in Mozambique.


mp3  ‘it better be tonight

Little by little I became fascinated with the nightlife of Johannesburg in the 1960’s. It must have been quite a jolly good time for the people who could live and party there at the time.

mp3  one exciting weekend -The Balalaika, The Cockatoo Room


Imagine all the wealth and privileges of the era. The start of  a swinging nightlife based on the customs and culture of  Europe, USA and the rest of the world rolled into one.

the LP  ‘Johannesburg Night Club Festival’ kicks off with an introduction to the music by the bands and vocalists of those restaurants who have contributed to this album.  Due to contractual reasons their names are not credited but the restaurants participating are ‘Tiffany’s’, ‘His Majesty’s Cellar’, ‘The Balalaika’, ‘The Grove’, ‘Dawson’s’ and ‘The Colony’

the colonyNone of these places exist any longer. The original sites have been demolished or renovated and the map of  the nightlife in Johannesburg has dramatically changed since the day of recording these tunes

mp3  ‘my baby don’t care for me’  from The Grove at The Orange Grove Hotel

the grove