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Origins: African songs, becoming popular western.

GUEST 23 Jan 13 - 10:39 AM
Vic Smith 23 Jan 13 - 12:42 PM
GUEST,Mike Yates 24 Jan 13 - 10:39 AM
GUEST,leeneia 24 Jan 13 - 11:32 AM
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Subject: African songs that became popular in the west.
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Jan 13 - 10:39 AM

Hiya, what was Tom Hark first called, if you know anything about this song? Was it written in 1956 or did it start life as a 1926 song? It would be great to know this soon as possible! :) Skokiaan and the Mbube have all got their history and have come well documented, although any information on these as well would be ace.


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Subject: RE: Origins: African songs, becoming popular western.
From: Vic Smith
Date: 23 Jan 13 - 12:42 PM

Tom Hark was recorded by Elias and his Zig Zag Jive Flutes and was released as a single in the UK on Columbia 45-08-4109. I bought this single when it was first released in 1958 and I still have it

The band was led by Jack "Big Voice" Lerole from Alexandra township near Johannesburg though his brother Elias Lerole was the nominal leader.

I thought it was the most wonderful sound and it turned me on to South African township music which I have loved ever since.

Following the unlikely Hit Parade success of Tom Hark there was a weekly 15-minute programme on Radio Luxembourg for a time under the title Kwela 15 (or some such). When I first listened to those programmes, that single was the only kwela music that I had heard, but I soon found out that there were many finer bands than Lerole's playing this music - particularly the one led by Spokes Mashiyane who became a lifelong favourite.


Elias and his Zig-Zag Jive Flutes - Tom Hark

Spokes Mashiyane - Dolos


Jack Lerole on Wikipedia


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Subject: RE: Origins: African songs, becoming popular western.
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 24 Jan 13 - 10:39 AM

While not a massive hit in the UK or America, Jean Bosco Mwenda's guitar solo "Masanga" has influenced more than a few folk guitarists in the West. Self taught, he was only 22 years old when Hugh Tracey discovered him in Katanga, Congo, and made the recording. This is now available on the four CD set "Opika Pende - Africa at 78 rpm" (Dust-to-Digital 22). As a matter of fact this set is a delight and the accompanying book goes a long way to explaining just what was happening to African music during the 78 era. It is a fabulous piece of music and really deserves to be heard.


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Subject: RE: Origins: African songs, becoming popular western.
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 24 Jan 13 - 11:32 AM

Thanks for the info, Vic and Mike. I enjoyed the videos.


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