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Copyright © 2003 to perpetuity by RMW

 

 

Solo Artists & Composers


ALAIN D WOOLF

Singer
Bio details:
Rhodesian born.

Musical Career

 


ALAN GARRITY 

Singer
Bio details:
Born Manchester, England, on 14 October, 1947. Instruments: Piano & guitar

LOOKING SUAVE IN 2012!

Musical Career

The son of a British army officer, Alan moved to Rhodesia with his parents shortly before his fourteenth birthday. As a child he performed in various school musical activities but harboured no pretensions of being anything more than ordinary. He learnt to play guitar at fifteen and, after completing his schooling at Milton High in Bulawayo, trained and worked as a radiographer. As a hobby he sang in local pubs and hotels. It was during this period that Alan realised that he had a three-octave range in his voice. He formed a band in Bulawayo (see TABBRON TRIO) and penned his first seven single, a song called "Coloured Rain". He scored an immediate success with this tune as it raced up the Rhodesian record charts, peaking at Number 2.

With gathering confidence in his musical prospects, Alan gave up his occupation as a radiographer and landed a job as the resident vocalist at the Swaziland Holiday Inn in 1972. The well known Peter Lotis of Gallo records heard Alan perform at this venue and offered him a recording contract. At Peter's suggestion, Alan recorded "Put Your Hand In The Hand" and the song achieved instant success, quickly dominating the local charts. It also made Alan a household name. The song topped the Springbok Top 20 for four weeks and the Rhodesian charts for five. This run at No 1 started on 5 June, 1971.

In 1971 he was presented the Springbok Award as South Africa's 'Most Promising Male Vocalist'. In September, 1971, his first album predictably entitled "Put Your Hand In The Hand" was released.

His next chart success, "I Need Someone", held the record for over ten years as the song with the longest chart run on Springbok Radio's Top 20 hit parade. It spent 33 weeks on the charts between June 1972 and January 1973. This song - which peaked at No 2 on Springbok's Top 20 - earned him two Gold Discs, as well as the 1972 SARI Award as 'Best Song Of The Year'. In 1973, he won that year's award for 'Best LP Of The Year', as well as the SARI Award for 'Best Male Vocalist'.

IN CONTROL!  Toronto 2012

"Home Isn't Home Anymore" was Alan's next chart entry, spending 16 weeks on Springbok's Top 20, peaking at No 5 in 1973. In December, 1973, he released his third album, "Goodbye Mama", which peaked at No 15 in January, 1974, spending 7 weeks on the Top 20. The single, "Give Me Back My Woman", from this album reached No 9 in the Top 20 in April, 1974, and was present on the charts for 10 weeks. In November, 1974, he released the album "Words and Music" having composed all the songs and lyrics himself.

In 1975 he won his second SARI Award as 'Best Male Vocalist' and succeeded in getting yet another song onto the charts - "She's My Woman". This release reached No 15.

In 1976, Alan's acting skills came to the fore when he took the lead role of Joseph in PACT's  "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat", performing alongside well known artists such as Richard Loring, Jody Wayne and Wayne and Alvin Collison. This production toured extensively throughout South Africa and Rhodesia.

Hit singles continued to accumulate with "Santa Maria" reaching No 4 on the Springbok Top 20 in 1981, spending 11 weeks on the charts. Once again, in 1981, he garnered the SARI Awards for 'Best Male Vocalist', as well as 'Best Top Twenty Artist'. In April, 1982, he swan-songed the charts with "You Stood By Me" which reached No 18.

Since then Alan and his family have spent much of their time touring the world from their home in Manchester, England, although he maintained a home in Kleinmond as well. He continues to sing and is involved in cruise director's duties aboard luxury ocean liners.

WITH LOVE FROM...ALAN GARRITY (Circa 2005)!

Recordings:

Singles

Put Your Hand In The Hand (1971)
The Dream Waltz (1971)
Somehow, Somewhere (1971)
I Need Someone (1971)
Till The Rivers All Run Dry (1972)
Home Isn't Home Anymore (1972)
I'll Have To Dream (1973)
Goodbye Mama (1973)
Give Me Back My Woman (1974)
Look What You've Done (1974)
She's My Woman (1975)
Sunshine In My World (1976)
You're Losing Me (1980)
Santa Maria (1981)
You Stood By Me (1982)
Oh Louisa (1982)

Albums

Put Your Hand In The Hand (1971)
I Need Someone (1972)
Goodbye Mama (1973)
Alan Garrity & Pat Matthews (1973)
Words & Music (1974)
Feelings (1976)
Santa Maria (1981)
A Song For You (1982)
Christmas With Alan Garrity (1985)
Licensed To Sing (1989)
A Portrait Of Alan Garrity (1997)

Alan has had his music published and recorded overseas and his records have been released in Holland, Germany, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and Argentina.

SARIE Awards

1972 - Song Of The Year (I Need Someone)
1973 - Album Of The Year (I Need Someone)
1973 & 1975 - Best Male Vocalist
1981 - Top 20 Artist Of The Year (Santa Maria)


ALBERT ALAN OWEN

Musical Career

Although born in Wales of Welsh and Latvian parentage, Albert grew up in Rhodesia. His father was a leading figure in African Education, a connection which exposed him to African music alongside the classical music studies he was undertaking. He was active on the folk music scene and performed as a member of THE PLEBS.

He went on to study music at The Royal Academy of Music and was a piano student of the legendary teacher, Nadia Boulanger, for two years. This association ended with Boulanger's passing. He also received tuition from Harold Craxton, Angus Morrison and Jacques Fevrier.

In due course, Albert became a professor of piano at The Junior School of The Royal Academy of Music (London) for 15 years. He also taught piano to degree students at Kings' College (London), Goldsmiths' College and Kingston University. It would appear that he particularly enjoyed his 12 years of teaching at The Working Men's College in London. Here he became the Dean of Studies, the first musician to achieve this distinction at the College. Since 1994 he has taught music at The Aberystwyth Arts Centre, University of Wales

It is as a composer than Albert is probably most recognised. He is regarded as one of Britain's most original and visionary composers, preferring to maintain his independence whilst he exerts his influence in the field of contemporary music.

His works have been performed at many of Britain's finest venues, including The South Bank and the Wigmore Hall. Musicians who have performed his music include Simon Climie, David Russell, Ronnie Hughes, The London Chorale, The New Symphony Orchestra and The Paradise Dance Orchestra.

In 1985 Albert was invited to write The Grand Finale for The Halley's Comet Royal Gala Concert, which took place at the Wembley Conference Centre in the presence of the Princess Royal.

Albert runs his own "State Of The Art" digital recording/electronic music facility in Wales. Here he continues to compose and record his musical creations.

https://soundcloud.com/rhodie-mellows/perfect-love-alan-owen

Recordings

His solo recordings include:
Keyboards and Strings - Apollo Sound (AS1026)
Following The Light - Apollo Sound/Chord/Famous (FAMDAT010)
Themes - BTW (BTW108)
High Life - Sound Stage (Amphonic)
Techno Town - Sound Stage (Amphonic)
Office Hours - Sound Stage (Amphonic)
Globe Trotter - Sound Stage (Amphonic)
High Places - New Experience (NEO5)
The Source Of Light - New Experience (NE010)
Voyager - Vigiesse (Rome)(CD1050)

Contributions from Albert Alan Owen on also featured on the following recordings:

Eiropas Latviesu Dziesmu Svetki - Sutton Sound
Relax - Sound Stage (Amphonic)
Jingle Pursuit - Sound Stage (Amphonic)
Manhatten Collection - Chord (CDCol2)
Owen and Debussy - Famous (CDFAM011)
Famous Classical Sampler - Famous (CDFAM010)
New Experience Sampler - New Experience (NE07)
Special Hearts - Charity Album (SH01)

The Source Of Light - New Experience (NE05)

See also Albert Alan Owen's website at:

http://members.aol.com/tecartpro/tapweb.htm


ALISON BIGGS (Updated 21/04/2013)

Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist

Alison was born in Chichester, Sussex, and moved to the Isle of Wight with her parents whilst still at school.  Having completed her senior schooling on the island, she  spent the time indulging herself in various pursuits, including visiting Norway and picking strawberries!  Returning to the Isle of Wight, she took up employment at the Osborne House guesthouse.  Having a good ear for music and having sung in school choirs and the like, she invested in her first guitar and set about teaching herself to play it.   The fact that she was left-handed made her approach somewhat unorthodox.

 After a time, Alison moved to London where she took up a secretarial position.   In the hope of refining her rudimentary guitar skills, she decided to take formal guitar lessons and quickly found that being a left-handed player brought with it some challenges!    As Alison recalls, she became frustrated “because my strings were upside-down and everything was the round the wrong way!”  Realising that her preferred guitar playing style, and her guitar teacher’s desire to turn her into a right-handed player, were incompatible the lessons ended and she continued on her chosen path.  By now Alison was building up a repertoire of popular folk artists of the day, from Joan Baez to Leonard Cohen, John Denver and Bob Dylan.

 In 1971, with the encouragement of a London housemate, Alison boarded an ocean liner at Southampton and set sail for South Africa.  During the course of this journey she met a fellow passenger, himself an aspiring guitar player, who was from Bulawayo in Rhodesia.   They jammed together on the trip which eventually led, after spending three months in Cape Town post her arrival from the UK, to her relocating to Bulawayo,  After a short stay in Bulawayo she proceeded to Salisbury where she had family contacts and found gainful employment.

 After an enjoyable time in Salisbury, and having fallen in love with the charm and the  “Africanness and Englishness” of Rhodesia,  wanderlust returned and she decided, primarily for family reasons, to move on.  Meandering northwards, Alison found herself in Ethiopia in 1973.  From there she travelled to Kyrenia in Cyprus where she secured herself regular gigs in local restaurants.  The money she made from these gigs became a small but nevertheless reliable source of income that summer.  She recalls that the local tradition seemed to be for appreciative audience members to shove rolled up notes between the guitar strings and into the guitar hole.  On returning to her temporary digs at night she’d shake the notes out of her guitar, feverishly unrolling them to see how much she had to live on for the next day or two!    

 After a short time in Cyprus, Alison found herself back in London.  It was late 1973 and she was set up in a comfortable house in Chelsea.  Her peace, however, was soon shattered – literally!  One evening, minutes after arriving home by foot, a bomb planted by the IRA exploded two doors down from her home.  The force of the detonation blew the front door off her residence.  The bomb, one of three which exploded in Chelsea that evening suggested to her that, despite the expanding bush war, Rhodesia was probably a safer place to be! 

 Back in Salisbury Alison worked at various companies, Phillip’s Central Cellars, Edwards & Co Stockbrokers and Anglo American.  It was from her work in the public relations department of Anglo that C G Tracey asked Alison to become involved with a very big conference to be held in the new Zimbabwe in 1980.  And it was from this conference that she began organising conferences which would decide her career for the next thirty years, both within Zimbabwe and the SADC region as a whole. 

 

Alison does Beverley!

It was in 1975 that she became involved in the Beverley Rocks folk scene and became a regular performer at these gatherings.  As a result she became friendly with many stalwarts of the Rhodie music scene, including Clem and Jean Tholet and Paddy Rocks.  For a while Alison was partnered as a duo by a visiting American Greg Skiba who, coincidentally, bore an uncanny likeness to John Denver!

 

In tune - Alison and "Denver" Greg

One of Alison’s favourite recollections of this period relates to a weekend when the club were asked to travel to the Vumba to perform over a weekend.  The performance would be for the troopies who were based in that area and an effort to boost twindling tourism.  With a large contingent of folk club members present, the function was held at the Leopard Rock hotel before a packed house of troopies with the hotel foyer piled high with weaponry.  With a smile on her face, Alison wonders what might have happened had the hotel been attacked that night as none of the troopies present was anywhere near his weapon!

In 1977,  whilst convalescing at home after a bout of flu, Alison propped herself and wrote a song which would become her hallmark – Bushwallah.  It was after performing the song one Sunday evening at the folk club that Clem Tholet asked Alison if his advertising agency could make use of it in an anti-emigration campaign that was being launched.  At that time, people were leaving the country in droves and, in response to the deteriorating situation, the Government had enlisted Clem’s agency, Matthewman, Banks and Tholet, to create a publicity campaign in a bid to reverse this disturbing trend.

Bushwallah - Lyrics

 Alison was obviously flattered at this request and immediately gave it her blessing.  Her heart sank, however, when Clem told her the song would need to be recorded professionally and that a man’s voice would be preferable.   The latter suggestion was, however, revoked and so it was that she arrived at the recording studios, guitar in hand, to make her first recording.  Then came another surprise - she wouldn’t be needing her guitar either since the backing had been pre-recorded.  She duly recorded her version of the hauntingly beautiful song she had penned on her sick bed.  To this day she has no idea who the musicians were who had recorded the backing track.

 

Alison recorded a second self-penned song at these sessions, The Eagles, which became the ‘B’ side to Bushwallah.  This song had been written on a visit to Kyle dam and was shortened for the purposes of the recording. 

 Clips from the chorus of Bushwallah were subsequently used in the anti-emigration campaign’s publicity campaign, including on television.  Alison felt honoured and humbled that her modest song had been recorded and chosen for such exposure.  The song was duly released as a 7” single, however, it only enjoyed very modest sales and, somewhat surprisingly, never became a hit as such.  The song resurfaced when it was included on the popular Rhodie CD, Rhodesia Was Super, and Alison’s name came to the fore once again.

Alison remained in Rhodesia through the transition to Zimbabwe and, in 1987, married Christopher Notley, a British army officer who had been seconded to Zimbabwe with BMATT.  In 2002 Alison and Christopher decided to relocate from Zimbabwe to Villiersdorp in the Western Cape, South Africa, where they have established one of the first alpaca breeding farms in the country.  You can get an insight into their lives, and learn all about these wonderful animals, at their website at:  www.helderstroomalpacas.co.za

The good news is that, whilst no longer active on the local music scene, Alison still produces her guitar on the rare occasion for family and friends and no doubt reminds them all of what it is to be a Bushwallah. 


ANNE POWER 

Singer
Bio details: Rhodesian born

Musical Career

Anne left Rhodesia in 1970 and went to study drama - her first love at the time - at Cape Town, before progressing to Indiana University (USA), the University of Rhodesia and Unisa. She played leading roles in productions such as "The Tempest", "The Cocktail Party", "Murder At The Vicarage" and "Best Little Whorehouse In Texas". In 1980 she appeared in Des and Dawn Lindberg's "Act". Anne married the whole known South African actor and entertainer, Bill Flynn. She has featured in numerous television shows and plays.

Recordings

Singles

Evil Ways (1979). Warner Brothers


BRUCE MILLAR

Singer
Bio details: Born in Bulawayo, Rhodesia

Musical Career

1964 - 67  B.A. Joint Hons. (Drama & English) Bristol University, UK

1967- 69    Trained as actor Bristol Old Vic Theatre School

 Worked briefly as an actor in England before being brought out by the Academy Theatre, Johannesburg, to perform in local production of the musical THE BOY FRIEND by Sandy Wilson.  He broke a bone in his foot during rehearsal and has been here ever since....

Bruce has been in the theatre for over 30 years, doing everything from Shakespeare (Prince Hal in HENRY IV) to “Jacques Brel” for Taubie Kushlik.

Some theatrical highlights:

  • 1972 - The blind boy in “BUTTERFLIES ARE FREE” (Nominated for                       Stewart Leith Award for Best Actor)

  • 1973 - Jesus in “GODSPELL”  (Won Gallo Award for Best Performance in a  Musical)

  • 1974 - 1984  Joseph in “JOSEPH & HIS AMAZING TECHNICOLOR           DREAMCOAT”  (Nominated for Gallo Award)

  • 1978 – Johnny Casino and Teen Angel in Brickhill-Burke production of “GREASE”

Bruce has acted in literally thousands of radio plays and serials in the 70s, during the days of Springbok Radio.  In 1976 he garnered two SARI Awards for "Top 20 Artist Of The Year", as well as "Best Male Vocalist".

His recording of I WON’T GIVE UP was at #1 on the Hit Parade for 6 weeks and was awarded a Gold Record

He has released one album through EMI, originally released with the title BRUCE MILLAR, then changed to CHILDREN OF THE RAIN

’76 - Appearance on the first variety show broadcast on the fledgling SABC-TV (thus becoming one of the first local artists to be switched off…)

Has appeared as a performer, actor and presenter on numerous TV shows over the years, most recently in several episodes the sit-com SUBURBAN BLISS and the soapie GENERATIONS.

FEATURE FILMS include:

“Makhulu”
“Glenda”
“Oh Brother!”
“Rally”
“Kingstreet’s War” (Assistant Director)

1987 – ‘92  Project Coordinator and Talent Judge on SHELL ROAD TO                     FAME TALENT SEARCH

1991  Joined SAfm as a Radio Drama Producer

Has won 2 ARTES Awards for Best Radio Drama Production and in 1996 won an ARTES for ‘Best Broadcaster in English”

Coordinated, edited, produced and performed in SAfm’s  ‘A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE BALLOT BOX”,  dozens of short satirical sketches that peppered the airwaves during the 1994 election.  It included writers and performers such as Gilda Blacher, Irene Stephanou, Robert Kirby, Gaby Lomberg, Russel Savadier, Annabel Linder, Nigel Vermaas,  Michael Mayer, Nicky Rebelo and Guy Willoughby.

1995-96 - Worked with Bobby Heaney in a consultative capacity and as script writer on the first two shows of ‘IT’S A FUNNY COUNTRY’,  an occasional series featuring local comedy.  Also presented the first programme.

1996Served on the jury for Television Artes ‘96, judging best Contribution to YOUTH & CHILDREN’S PROGRAMMES

‘94 – ‘98  Anchored and scripted THE BIG BIG BRUNCH - a live Saturday morning radio show on SAfm.  This included writing a weekly humorous monologue based on local and international current events.

He continues to produce and present programmes with the SABC, one of the most popular being THE BRUCE MILLAR SHOW.


CLEM THOLET 

Singer, guitarist & songwriter

Bio details: Born Salisbury, Rhodesia.


Music Career:
Clem started writing songs whilst an art student in Durban. One of his early songs, “Vagabond Gun” was a category winner in the SA Music Festival in 1966. On moving back to Rhodesia to work in advertising, he started singing at Rhodesia’s first folk venue, The Troubadour in Salisbury’s Angwa Street. There he met Sue Eccles and Andy Dillon and together they formed a trio called “The Kinfolk” Shortly after they moved to Johannesburg, Sue left the group, and Clem & Andy joined up with Yvonne Raff to become “The Legend Trio”. Apart from singing at the original Southern African “Troubadour”, the trio were involved in a number of SAFMA’s National Folk Fests. Clem married Jean Smith in 1967, and he began a solo career, recording some singles with Art Heatlie at Trutone. Mel Miller, Peter Leroy and Sylvia Stott briefly joined Clem to form a group in 1970, before Clem moved back to Rhodesia in 1971, where he soon built up a strong following. He did a series of shows on Rhodesian Television, and presented a radio programme called “Folk on the Rocks” on radio for two seasons. The name came from the folk club Clem ran at The Beverley Rocks, where it played to regular packed houses and featured some stellar guests, such as comedians Spike Milligan and Shelley Berman, and folkies like Jeremy Taylor, Brian Finch and Tony Bird. Clem did the opening half of The Shelley Berman Show at the 7-Arts Theatre in Salisbury. A popular star of the annual “Bless 'Em All” Troop Shows, and in great demand in the Rhodesian entertainment scene, Clem recorded his first album “Songs of Love War”. Self-penned and produced, the album was awarded a Gold Disc. He wrote the soundtrack and songs for the C.I.S. film “What A Time” and the theme song for a film honouring the wounded troopies of Rhodesia, “Tsanga”. He produced a second album, called “Two Sides to Every Story”, before moving back to South Africa. After living and working in the advertising industry for many years in Cape Town, Clem sadly passed away on 06 October, 2004, having suffering from the effects of a debilitating illness for a number of years.

Recordings

The Cold Side(1968) Renown

Mirror of My Mind (1968) Renown

With Pen In Hand (1968) Renown

True Love is a Tear (1968) Renown

Vrystaat (1969) Renown

Rhodesians Never Die (1973) Blackberry

Hey, Hey Jerome (1973) Blackberry

Zambesi, Zimbabwe (1980) Stanyan

Peace Dream (1977) Teal

The Last Farewell (1978) Teal

Song For Johnny (1978) Teal

What a Time (1978) Teal

Sunny Days and Rain (1980) Stanyan

Used Car Dealer (1980) Stanyan

Somebody Else’s Song (1981) Stanyan

Albums

Songs Of Love War. Teal

Two Sides To Every Story. Teal

Film Tracks

What a Time

What a Time it Was

Golden Days

With These Hands

Peace Dream

Another Hitler

Tsanga, Tsanga

Clem sadly passed away after a long illness in Cape Town on Wednesday, 06 October, 2004.  Read Clem's self-penned obituary under the Obituaries page.

 


DAVID SCOBIE (Updated 01 January 2006)

Singer/songwriter
Bio details: Born in Dundee, Scotland, in 1964.


Music Career

David was raised on traditional Scottish music which influenced his musical interest. In 1973 he emigrated with his parents to Rhodesia and, by 1975, was appearing regularly at the Beverley Rocks Motel Folk Club in Salisbury. During this time he was further influenced by Zimbabwean folk singer, Iris Jones, as well as Neil Diamond. As a result he started to write his own songs and approached Martin Norris at Shed Studios in Salisbury who facilitated a recording deal for him. Martin penned David's debut single - "Gypsy Girl" -and it went straight to No 1 in Zimbabwe and No 4 in South Africa.

 

26 ANSWERS FROM DAVID SCOBIE (14 December 2005)(Added 01/02/06)

On the eve of his departure from Zimbabwe for the fairer and greener climes of the United Kingdom, we were lucky enough to spend some quality time with David, picking away at his memories, experiences and views.  Thanks, David, for accommodating our request - there is no doubt many people will enjoy what you have to say.

 Q1       Where were you born and when?

Dundee Scotland 17 Sept 1964

Q2       What schools did you attend - and for what periods?

Ardler Primary Dundee until 1972

Nettleton Junior Harare 73 - 77           

Cranborne Boys High Harare 78 – 79

Prince Edward High Harare 80 – 83

(  Approximate dates! )

Q3       When, how, where did your interest in music start to surface?

In Scotland when I was five or six years old. I was climbing Glen Clova , one of my favourite places in Scotland with my parents. They started singing some songs casually as we were climbing and I joined in. They were surprised with what they heard, and so was I! At the Clova Hotel that evening they stood me on the bar top and I sang a song or two. I’m pretty sure that that was the start of a musical interest. Around ‘71 or ’72 my parents took me to see a Scottish Trad duo live at the Caird Hall in Dundee, called the Corries, I was so blown away. I was also taking in their music via the records that my parents were playing. This started my life long affection for Celtic music.

David - Queen's Ferry (United Kingdom) - 1966

Q4       Were either of your parents musical?  If so, to what extent?

My father (also David) has a good voice and would sing at parties etc. My parents loved music and influenced me with music from the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Neil Diamond. For that I am very grateful.

Q5       Did you have any music lessons and, if so, on what instrument?   Can you read music?

I had a few guitar lessons with a classical teacher but it was over my head at the time. I just wanted to learn chords to be able to accompany myself or anyone else. My parents were friendly with Iris Jones who was a guitar teacher. She explained keys and chords to me and was very encouraging in all aspects of music. I still cannot read music.

Q6       Singing?  How did that begin and where?

Iris Jones sang at the Beverley rocks folk club with Clem Tholet. I was lucky enough to be asked to sing there a few times. I used to perform Scottish folk music, as well as music from Neil Diamond and The Beatles. My father also sang Scottish folk there a couple of times. Clem had just released ‘Songs of Love and War’. I was very proud to be sharing the stage with someone who had released a record and was famous within our community.

Colour Study - David Creates His "Gypsey Girl" (1980)

Q7       How did your music “career” begin and how did it take shape before you recorded “Cleaning Up!” 

I played at local amateur variety and charity shows, a couple of night clubs and folk-pop evenings with Nic Pickard. I was around 12 or 13 at the time. It was great fun at the time. I played with my acoustic guitar only, doing pop cover songs.

Q8       Who really assisted you during these early years – parents, teachers…friends?

My parents encouraged me so much to play, there was no question there. Iris, Clem and Nic had also given me a chance to play to a live audience a couple of times a month. Martin Norris and Steve Roskilly turned out to be a great influence some years later.

Q9       Who were your early influences?

The Corries, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Neil Diamond and later, I discovered the Police, whom I loved. I still listen to them today. Sting, Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers had injected a whole new rhythmic approach into my music. I was hooked on them as a teenager.

Q10     How did getting to record “Cleaning Up!” come about?  How did you become involved with Steve Roskilly & Martin Norris?

Clem Tholet suggested to Steve and Martin that he needed my sort of voice for an advertising jingle for Musgrove and Watson called ‘Travelling Man'. When I was in form 3 I was called away from my classroom to speak to Steve about it. Within a couple of days I was nervously singing the jingle at Shed Studios. Luckily the jingle went on to win Clem’s Advertising Agency an award, thanks to all involved. I loved being at Shed, I sang a few more jingles for them, and then Martin approached me one day with ‘Gypsey Girl’, which he had written for me.  I had just begun writing at that stage and ‘Don’t Pass Me By’ was recorded for the B side. I could not believe what was happening at the time. It was very exciting stuff for a fifteen year old.

Q12     How old were you when you recorded “Cleaning Up!”?

The album was recorded early 1981 and released later that year. I was sixteen. 'Gypsey Girl' was recorded in 1980 when I was fifteen and released later that year in time for Xmas.

"Why do you play those games - you know it ain't right..."

David recording vocals during the "Gypsey Girl" days (1980)

Q13     Did you have any say in the material chosen for the record & how was this decided?

            The three of us decided. Steve and Martin were musical guru’s to me then and I trusted their opinions. I would not have sung any songs which I didn’t like though. I was very open to suggestions and so were they.

Q14     What were your ambitions, musically?

            At that time having a single out (Gypsey Girl) and staying at number one for so long, and then having a successful album too, my ambitions were fulfilled completely. It was all happening too fast to take in.

Q12     You wrote some great songs on that album – “Maybe Life Don’t Care”, “Help Me”, “On The Phone”, “Don’t Pass Me By” and “The Girl Was You”.  Did you compose the lyrics and tunes?  What was the story behind each song (if you can talk about it!!!)?

            Yes, the lyrics and the tunes are all mine. Thank you very much for the compliment. I am very proud of ‘On the Phone’. I was trying to do a Lennon at the time, hence the change in my voice. Steve and Martin had produced, in my mind, the most beautiful arrangement for that song, as well as many others. Thanks again guys. I can’t really remember now what the original influences were. 'Don’t Pass Me By' was the first song I had written. The lyrics for these songs seem to me to have been some kind of plea to be taken seriously as a writer. There were some strange lyrics then like ‘reigning king of the statues’ from ‘The Girl Was You’; I remember Steve Hughes, who was also involved with Shed, ragging me about that line. 'Maybe Life Don’t Care' seems a bit Diamond influenced.

Desk Drivers - "Gypsey Girl" Life 'n Times - Production Pause (1980)

Q13     I know this album did phenomenally well in Rhodesia – what did it do elsewhere?

            It did well in South Africa too.

Q14     Tell me about the huge success that was “Gypsey Girl”.  Has it been your most successful commercial song?

            Yes, without a doubt. I have sung it a thousand times at various functions over the years. It brings out a sense of proud nostalgia to audiences. It takes them back to old good times. I have a sample of ‘Gypsey Girl’ from Canada where it was released for airplay as a DJ sample but unfortunately it did not break through to that market. It seems to be a favourite for compilation CD’s in South Africa to this day.

Pride Of Place - "Cleaning Up"

Q15     What happened after “Cleaning Up!”?  Those of us who were mad fans of yours were desperately waiting for a follow-up album(s) to “Cleaning Up!” which just never came!

            The second album Reborn (nothing to do with religion) was released in South Africa. The 3rd and 4th albums, ‘Photograph’ and ‘Special Edition’ were released in Zim. They didn’t have the same impact as ‘Cleaning Up’. My feeling now is that I had probably been taken as a bit of a novelty act – “the young guy with the big voice”; once people had seen and heard me, then it seemed a case of "been there, done that! Now let’s go and buy some real ‘imported’ music". Local white artists in Southern Africa have never been taken seriously for very long. It’s a shame.

Q16     Your composition of original songs also seemed to have dried up – why was this?  Are there any incredibly valuable and highly sought after “basement tapes” stashed anywhere?

I did keep on writing and recording for a few years and I do have copies of some material from that period as well as unreleased demos etc.

Q17     Have you only worked in the music field all these years or did music become a “night time job” whilst you did something else to earn a living?

            I eventually became employed at Shed studios and produced or engineered various artists. Sometimes writing for them. I also became involved in producing/arranging/writing advertising jingles for a living which became my bread and butter for fifteen years during which time I built my own music recording studio.

Q18     What were you favourite performance venues in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe?

            In 1998 a great local team and I put together a Neil Diamond tribute show at Reps Theatre. It was great fun and very successful too. It then toured the country and we performed for the farming community who were going through rough times. I loved playing at all the little venues throughout the country. (Nobody seemed to cater for these communities.) I then wrote a comedy in 1999 with Steve Hanly and Fraser Mackay called ‘My Private Parts’ which also toured to full houses.

Q19     Who are the biggest names you have shared the stage with at performances – names, dates & venues, if possible, please?

            I can’t remember the exact dates, it was either ‘81 or ’82, I was interviewed on a South African TV show called ‘Open End’; The other guests were Olivia Newton-John and Sol Kerzner. That was amazing. I met Rita Coolidge after one of her shows in Johannesburg; Paul Simon on the Harare leg of his Graceland tour, I was doing sound for the supporting local artists; Randy Crawford, when I was doing supporting act sound for The Rusike Brothers.

            I have played at various festivals over the years and shared the stage with S.A. acts; Lesley-Rae Dowling, P.J. Powers, Ballyhoo, Jeremy Taylor and Watershed. I’ve met The Corries in 1988 during their last tour in Scotland. Chris Martin from Coldplay once worked at Shed studios for a brief period, before he became world famous, so I’ve met him too.

Q20     How did the “Diamond Files” project come about?  Full history, please!

            Many people over the years have said that I sound a little like Neil Diamond, which lead me to the idea of doing The Neil Diamond Masterworks show at Reps in Harare. I recorded and played the music in my studios over three months, January to March 1998, and the show was directed by Steve Hanly. I painstakingly finished the tracks; trying to copy every nuance of Neil Diamond’s arrangements so that we could convincingly sell the show soundtrack to theatre audiences and for radio promotion etc. A few years down the line I received a phone call from Grant Edmond (John Edmond’s son) who wanted a release for South Africa. He persuaded me to re-record the vocals, so they were dubbed onto my backing tracks over a rushed two day period in Jo'burg and The Diamond Files were released. Unfortunately, I had severe flu during the sessions and it is audible on the recording, so I prefer the original vocals and mix which I had recorded in 1998 in Zim.

Q21     Do you see yourself as mainly - a singer, an instrumentalist or a songwriter?

            I’d like to think that I can try my hand at all three. I have spent most of my time in a studio and would love to get a great band together and play live.

Q22     You are on the brink of leaving Zimbabwe – what are you future intentions in the music field?

            I have been singing with my girlfriend Brigitte, who is also a musician, for five years now, gigging at numerous functions, festivals and venues in the Southern African region.  This year, however, has been an even busier time for us in the studio, as we have recorded sixty-four Scottish traditional tracks (four albums worth). We plan to release them in Scotland at some stage; get together a live band and hopefully score some success in the Celtic arena.

Q23     Besides the “Diamond Files” and “Gypsey Girl”, are any of your other songs available on CD?  Any plans to have “Cleaning Up!” released on CD?

            Not that I know of at the moment. I am looking at having a website built and hopefully everything will become available again one day.

Q24     People love anecdotes, amusing stories and experiences from a musician’s career – can you share any of these with me?  I’m sure there must be loads to tell!

            I was lucky enough to have had a one hour television special in SA in the early eighties; They were shooting the ‘Don’t Pass Me By’ video for insertion into the show and one of the shots needed was for me and a sexy model to romp around together in the sea. This was a brilliant task for a young Scobie, and what made it even better was that every time a wave came ashore, her almost see-through dress rose with the waves to reveal that she wasn’t wearing any underwear! What a great way for a seventeen year old to start his short TV career!!

Q25     Family details – wife, children?

   I am currently enjoying a happy relationship with Brigitte.

Q26     Any advice for any youngsters who might wish to follow in your footsteps

            If you plan to get into the music world, make sure that you’re truly enjoying your self and that the style of music is close to your heart, as this will be reflected in your live shows, videos and audio recordings. (If you’re doing something that you’re not really in for and it becomes popular, it’ll only come back to haunt you later!) There will always be people who try to tell you what to do, and how to do it – take the advice, absorb it and see if it suits your vision in the long run. At the end of the day if you are doing something musical the best thing is to be honest and true to yourself. Most of all good luck – IT’S NEEDED!

Recordings

Singles

Gypsy Girl (1981). Stanyan
Taking The Easy Way Home (1981). Stanyan

Albums
Cleaning Up (1981). Stanyan
Reborn
Photograph
Special Edition
The Diamond Files - Volumes 1 & 2


DYLLIS STEVENSON

 



EDUARDO MATOS (Added 16/11/09)

Pianist
Circa: 1920 - 1972

Eduardo Matos was a classically trained pianist who had studied in Lisbon, France and Germany.  He initially arrived in Africa in the mid-1920's with the Gypsy Orchestra.  Not long after, and whilst still on tour, he became smitten with one of our lovely Rhodie lasses whom he was soon to marry.  The couple then moved to South Africa where his stay was short-lived as he could not obtain a work permit.  Not wishing to leave southern Africa they relocated to Lourenco Marques, remaining there for seventeen years.  Eduardo was the resident pianist at the Polana Hotel and was the first musician to play on the Radio Club of Mozambique.  This station later became LM Radio.

He then successfully re-applied for a South African work permit and played at the LM Restaurant and worked, also, with the SABC symphony orchestra under the Anto Hardman.

In 1962 Eduardo moved to Rhodesia where he settled in Bulawayo.  Regular work in Bulawayo, however, was not easy to come by and so, after a year in that city, he moved to Salisbury.  There he managed to land a residency at the Meikles Hotel, as well as playing a regular gig at the Ambassador Hotel.  He also taught piano and proved a popular and skilful tutor, amassing many pupils over the years.  Many a visiting performer from South Africa or overseas would take lessons with him during their seasons in Salisbury. 

Eduardo Matos & his band at the George Hotel

 

Eduardo resided and taught at 11 Baker Avenue, the name being the inspiration for his son's band, the BAKERSVILLE 5 which would emerge some time later.   Amongst the musicians who took lessons at 11 Baker Avenue were Johnny Gibson (Johnny Gibson & The Gamblers) and Mick Spooner (Peanut Butter Conspiracy).

In 1970 a Brazilian band commenced a season at Brett's Night Club.  Shortly after their arrival, having heard about the Portugese pianist who lived and taught in the city,  the pianist sought him out to meet him.    Having been introduced at 11 Baker Avenue, the visiting pianist asked Eduardo to play a couple of pieces for him.  In response to this request, Eduardo immediately played some Latin American tunes.  The visiting Brazilian pianist, who was no mean musician in his own right, was so impressed that he also started lessons with his host!

A fortnight later there was a knock at the door and, when opened, there was Eddie Calvert standing on the step.  Eddie said that he had heard about Eduardo's talents from Johnny Gibson and was hoping that he could prevail upon to show him his skills.  This he did and suitably impressed Calvert who invited him to attend one of his cabaret performances at La Boheme.  Eduardo accepted the offer, and accompanied by his son, they attended the show.  It was during this performance that Eddie Calvert introduced him to the audience as "one of the most incredible pianists he had ever seen or heard"!

Eduardo (Matos) meets Eddie (Calvert) outside Salisbury's La Boheme Night Club.   Also in the picture is Eduardo's daughter, Fran Matos

Not long after the pianist in the Brazilian band fell ill and asked Eduardo to stand in for him.  Victor Gomes (Portugal's answer to Tom Jones at the time) was appearing in cabaret, backed by the band.  When Eduardo was asked to attend rehearsals he replied that it was not necessary ~ all he needed were the musical scores on the night and he would deliver!  (None of the musicians involved realised that he could sight-read).

Needless to say, and despite the lack of rehearsals, the evening was a resounding success.  So much so that, when the Brazilians took their leave of Salisbury, they asked Eduardo to join them as, in their opinion, he was "wasted" in Africa.    He had no intention of leaving, however, and remained in the country performing and teaching throughout the years until he passed away at the Andrew Fleming hospital in 1972.

Eduardo's talents also manifested themselves in his children, Eddie and Fran.  He tried to teach Eddie the rudiments of piano playing at a young age, however,  the young man's heart was set on playing the guitar.  Recognising this, Eduardo taught him some basic chords and scales.  It was not long before Eduardo started to use Eddie in his band which, at that time, was nothing more than a trio comprising piano, drums and rhythm guitar.  Many of these functions were events like weddings at the local Portugese club.

It was during this period that they were joined by a young Portugese chap from Angola called Rui Castelho.  Rui had a very pleasing voice and could sing in Portugese and English.  They performed regularly at the Seven Miles Hotel and the Lake McIlwane Beer Garden on Sundays!  Further afield they appeared at the Mazoe Hotel, Karina Hotel and various venues in between the two.  Eddie was all of 17 years old at the time.

Bringing it on at The 7 Miles Hotel
 ~ Rui Castelho on lead vocals & Eddie Soares on rhythm ~

In 1965 Eduardo's daughter, Fran, moved up from Johannesburg and became the band's lead vocalist.  A new drummer, Joe Castello (no relation to Rui), joined the fold full of energy and enthusiasm!  Eddie tried his hand at singing but realised that it wasn't his forte, leaving the vocals to sister Fran and Rui.  The band appeared on a television show hosted by Geoffrey Atkins on which Rui sang "Cukkoroo Paloma" in Spanish!  The response from the television audience was a very positive one and gigs flowed in.  A regular gig on Friday and Saturday nights at the Golden Dragon Chinese Restaurant was also landed. 

It was at this time that Rui, the band's drummer, decided to start his own band with a few friends, amongst whom was a Portugese organist called Juanito who had arrived from Beira.   Not surprisingly, he had been having lessons with Eduardo.  Thus was born the NITE STARS.  

Eduardo roped in one his aspiring pupils, Peter Bishton, to replace Rui.  As a result of these personnel changes they lost their regular gig at the Golden Dragon.  The band set themselves to practicing with commitment and Eddie tried his hand again at singing.  As with his previous attempts, he was not an immediate success!  Influenced by the Shadows Eddie started to hone his guitar skills.  It was during this phase that he started to pay a lot more attention to Trini Lopez.  His singing started to improve, as did his "ear" and rhythm guitar skills.  The band still lacked a bass player and, when Eddie suggested to his father that they engage one, his response was that he should pursue this on his own as he, Eduardo, wanted to concentrate on his teaching activities.  Eddie respected his father's wish and started to scout around for additional band members.

Peter Bishton knew of a bass guitarist, as well as a lead/rhythm guitar player.  Eddie asked that they be introduced and so it was that Mike Reed and Jimmy Irvine emerged on the scene.  Mike was actually in the throes of teaching Jimmy, a recently arrival from Scotland, how to play guitar.   It wasn't soon after this that Peter decided to leave the band.   He was replaced by a drummer called Rodrigues and the band, the DIONS, came into being. 

To follow the continuation of this story please refer to DIONS under "BANDS".

 SEE ALSO BAKERSVILLE 5 UNDER 'BANDS'


ERIC BIRRELL (Added 05/11/2011)

As a serving member of the British South Africa Police at the time, singer, Eric Birrell, was affectionately described by Sonya Hattin, whenever he appeared on her shows, as "the singing policeman".  Eric's vocal talents were in great demand in Bulawayo in the 70's and he appeared regularly with many of the leading function bands, alongside such well known local musicians as Mike Barker and Johnny Booyse.  His fine voice was present at many a Saturday afternoon wedding at Meikles.  He also performed in the presence of President DuPont at the City Hall.  His personal favourites were his appearances on RTV at the Montrose studios on the Sonya Hattin Show, as well as John Aldrige's "Hoedown" programme. Eric recalls that he didn't make much money  but he enjoyed great times.  A regular comment they were exposed to, especially when playing with Mike Barker's bands, was that the "drinks bill" was more than their fee!!   Today, Eric is retired in Scotland.     


GLENN IRVING  (Updated 25/05/2012)
Solo Singer/Entertainer
Circa: 1969 to 1981

Glenn Irving emigrated from the UK to become a proud resident of Rhodesia on the 8th November 1972 following two earlier successful cabaret tours to the country, one in 1969 when he played Bretts Restaurant in Salisbury with the Vance Clayton Trio and Kerry James, and again in 1971 when he revisited Bretts before continuing to venues in Port Elizabeth and Durban. It was while playing Durban he was asked to extend his tour by coming back up to Rhodesia to top a five act bill at the La Boheme nightclub in Bulawayo, with a stop off on the way to do two nights at the Royal Hotel in Ladysmith.


Glen Irving was an experienced professional cabaret entertainer with six years in the business before his emigration to Rhodesia. Working throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland he was equally comfortable working a distant stage as he was working close on a cabaret floor. Throughout those six years he appeared with and supported many top British show business names and was one of two acts selected to appear at a formal dinner where the guest of honour was none other than Harold Wilson. (Not one of Glenn's favourite people he adds, but the money was good!).



R.T.V. viewers first heard and saw Glenn when he made a guest appearance with a song on the Mini Christmas Cheer Show in December 1972. His relaxed style and easy-on-the ear baritone voice, with shades of Val Doonican and Bing Crosby, immediately had viewers writing to Pocket's Hill wanting to know who this singer was and when would he be on television again.



An article on Glenn's appearance at the Golden Mile Motel, Que Que, in 1978

Between that Christmas and the New Year, Lyn Mehmel approached him to appear with the Marden Singers in a half hour show she was producing called "Light and Bright" and again letters came pouring into R.T.V. Then, in 1973, he had one of his most memorable nights when he did cabaret at the Doma Sports Club, Mangula, with Tony Logan on keyboards. This show was for the farming community and to aid the Police Reserve Fund. The evening very nearly had to be cancelled due to a 'contact' the previous night, but those farmers weren't going to be done out of their long awaited entertainment so the club was surrounded with security forces and the buffet dance and cabaret went ahead! "What a fabulous night, what an unforgettable audience, what wonderful people", Glenn recalls.

The Vance Clayton who backed Glenn on his first visit to Brett's in 1969


Appearances on the Mayor's Christmas Cheer and Troop Shows followed, in which he not only sang, but acted in comedy sketches with Paul Tingay. He had his own Christmas show called 'A Song for the Season', and provided the vocals for the 'Founders' and 'Glen's Care' television and radio commercials. He hosted a weekly radio programme for Kaplans Paint and Glass, sang Neil Jardine's haunting song, 'I Come From Lalapanzi' for R.T.V's Rhodesian history production called '84 Years On' which was produced by Glenn's great fishing friend Michael Hart-Jones.  In addition, he made many guest appearances on numerous R.T.V. productions.

Then in 1974, R.T.V. built a one hour show around him called 'Welcome to My World' which was filmed entirely on location at Mermaids' Pool with a guest appearance from Jo-Ann Pezarro from South Africa. Jo-Ann was working at the Le Matelot in Salisbury at the time and Glenn had seen her show and was so impressed with her voice he invited her to join him on the show. 'Welcome to My World' was directed by Martin Norris and produced by Brian Ault and it received great press reviews stating this was the best music show R.T.V. had ever produced. At that time Glenn was working as a graphic artist with R.T.V. and providing cartoons for Jack Ogston's fishing column in the Herald newspaper.

A cabaret trip to South Africa saw him record a single on the Nitty Gritty label for David Gresham, 'My Mother's Hands' and 'Over The Hills'.

It's A Dealian!!

Glenn enjoys a cup of coffee back stage with the Dealians trumpeter, Len Cooper, during a South African tour with "Meet The Stars" in 1975

R.T.V's Australian producer/director Rick Larkins approached Glenn to play the part of a Mafia type with violin case for a Hertz Rent-A-Car television commercial with the then Miss Rhodesia, Trudy Cliffe. Apparently when the commercial was aired, kids were heard copying the voice, saying "Scusa me, is this-a where I renta da car".....

It Really Hertz!!

Looking like a character from Peter Sellars' "The Party", Glenn shoots a television ad for Hertz car hire

Down at heel!!

975 saw him on a four month tour of South Africa, South West Africa and Rhodesia with Chris Joubert's 'Meet the Stars Show' with Gert Potgieter, Gwynneth Ashley Robin, Shelena, Johnny Noble, Len Cooper of the 'Dealians', Jody Wayne, Sammy Brown and Sandy Ann-Lee who, later in the UK, changed her name to Maggie Moon and became well known on British television. The show was compered throughout by Canadian entertainer Gerry Leader, and the music was from 'The Sounds of Ohio' band.

Glenn at the Kamfinsa Hotel with Harry & Fran Clifton, The Vance Clayton Trio, his Agent, Miles Knox and Kerry James

Sadly, following that tour, due to family problems back in the UK Glenn had to leave this beautiful land with its short history and its peoples he had come so much to love. He had committed the rest of his life to Rhodesia and he was having to leave to start over in England. He was devastated.

He made three more cabaret trips back between then and 1981 and it was on one of those visits he contacted Martin Norris and Steve Roskilly at Shed studios in Salisbury with some words he had been inspired to write through his admiration for Rhodesians and their stand, calling it 'The Cecil Rhodes Man'. Martin liked the words and Glenn recorded a single which was released on the Shed label through Teal Records with a song called 'Tribute' on the B side.

CECIL RHODES MAN

TRIBUTE



Now:

Today, Glenn Irving is a successful wildlife artist and cartoonist living in England. He specializes in African elephant and lion studies, working in oil, pastel and ink. He has appeared on British television with the stars of the film 'Born Free', Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers who founded 'Zoo Check', the organisation aimed at improving conditions for wild animals kept caged in zoos worldwide. He travelled to the Tsavo National Park on a painting safari with a television film crew and was invited to exhibit at the Fourth World Wilderness Conference in Denver, Colorado in 1987. He tries to visit Kenya every year now, not only to gather photographic reference for his painting, but also to simply be back in Africa.

A sample of the work from Glenn's incredibly talented brush


Glenn has not been back to Zimbabwe since 1981 but still regards himself as being very fortunate to have had the opportunity to experience the clean way of life and the Rhodesian spirit. He, like so many today, still lives with Rhodesian memories that will just not fade and his one regret today is that he no longer has any contacts there to correspond and share memories with.

Recordings:

  • MY MOTHER'S HANDS
  • OVER THE HILLS on the Nitty Gritty label, South Africa
  • THE CECIL RHODES MAN TRIBUTE on the Shed Label through Teal Records, Zimbabwe

HENDRIK BARRY BEKKER (Added 7/09/08)

BARRY In The Studio

Hendrik Barry Bekker was born on 13 December 1955 in Mufulira, Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) and, as a child, moved to Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) with his parents, Hennie and Erica Bekker who were divorced shortly thereafter. As a scholar in Salisbury he attended David Livingstone Junior School and Alan Wilson High School.  His passion for music and obvious talent first emerged as a young teenager when he started to teach himself acoustic guitar on his mother’s instrument.  Encouraged by his mother, who had since remarried, Barry attended the Rhodesian College of Music where for a short time he was tutored on classical guitar.

In 1972 Barry’s father, Hennie Bekker, who was already an established figure on the Rhodesian and South African music scene that would lead to an international career in the industry, came up from South Africa to attend his daughter’s wedding following which the 16 year old Barry join Hennie in Johannesburg. In Johannesburg Barry worked at several jobs, all the while honing his guitar skills, until he and two partners, one of whom was Colin Shapiro, opened a music school at which a variety of disciplines were taught – piano, flute and guitar. Subsequently he and Colin started a music recording studio, enjoying a very successful partnership, which was to last for over 20 years. Married to Karen, the couple had a son, Jonathan, who is also artistically talented, and in 1995 the family immigrated to Toronto, Canada as his father had also settled there.  In 2002, whilst living in Toronto, Barry suffered a heart attack and died.

During the course of his lifetime, Barry won acclaim as a composer and musician, his work being widely used in television and film productions, the film, “Fiela Se Kind” being one of his earliest. While in Canada Barry wrote and produced from his own studio for the commercial market a variety of compact discs of different musical tastes, and shortly before his death he was awarded a gold disc for his compact disc entitled “Kikuyu.”


HENNIE BEKKER (Revised 29/07/07)

Instrumentalist
Bio details:  Born in Rhodesia
Instruments:  Piano/keyboards

Musical Career

Hennie was born in the Zambian town of Nkana before relocating, as a one year old, to Mufulira where he was to spend the first decade of his life.  During these years he attended the Mufulira Mine school.  His father was a boilermaker on the mine and neither of his parents were musically inclined ~ nor were any of his four brothers!  In 1945, at the age of 11, Hennie’s parents moved to the suburb of Hillside in Bulawayo where he completed his junior schooling at Milton before going on to the Bulawayo Technical High School. 

Hennie’s first musical influence came from two enormously talented aunts, stirring a great desire within him to learn the piano.  Essentially self taught, he came to the attention of Sholam Middledorf, an extremely good piano tutor who gave lessons from home.  Although never formally a student of Middledorf’s, the piano tutor took it upon himself to invest time in the young Hennie, guiding him and taking many hours to discuss, describe and explain musical issues to him.  Later on, Hennie would deputise for his mentor at gigs at the ever popular Warnborough Mansions venue.

Hennie did not participate in any school musical activities being content to find his own path through life.  In his early years he was influenced by George Shearing, Art Tatum and the big bands and jazz of the 40’s and 50’s.  In latter years these influences grew to include the music of the 60’s and onwards, Vangelis and many others.

Hennie joined his first band as a 15 year old, the Bulawayo group YOUTH MARVELS.  From there he progressed into the professional ranks, as an 18 year old, in the mid-50’s to THE GERRY DE VOS BAND.   The other members of this band were Gerry De Vos on guitar and violin and Noel Kidwell on bass.  He remained with Gerry for five years playing many gigs at the New Carlton Hotel. 

For a short time, thereafter, he co-hosted a “live” daily early morning radio broadcast for the Rhodesia Broadcasting Corporation, alongside Leslie Sullivan.  He then returned to performing, creating a trio of musicians playing a residency at Salisbury’s The Chicken Inn at the Punch Bowl Hotel.  The other members of the trio were Eddie Van Dierman on drums and Doug Graham on bass.  Their repertoire comprised mostly top 40 hits and latin music.

In April, 1962, Hennie relocated to South Africa where, with little money and prospects, he succeeded in landing a job with Gallo Records as a staff music director and producer.  Here it was that he started to write, produce and record commercial jingles.  He also continued to gig in jazz clubs, particularly The Montparnasse in Hillbrow, a leading venue of the day.  During these years he played with many distinguished musicians and groups, including Tony Moore, Kevin Kruger, Malcolm Watson, Eddie Payne, Profile, Music Corporation, Johnny Kongos, The Four Saints and The West Coast Giants.

Hennie quickly built a glowing reputation for himself within the music industry for his boundless energy, commitment, passion and, of course, his obvious, if unschooled, natural talent.  He was soon independent enough financially to leave Gallo and he continued with his activities, spending time in the United Kingdom.  He worked extensively in London as musical director of the Duchess Theatre (West End) and played the keyboards for stage productions such as Isabel's A Jezebel and wrote scores for films, including 'Tigers Don't Cry'.   He also produced records with Emil Dean Zoghby on Magna Carta's "Prisoner On The Line" album (1979).

Hennie’s curriculum vitae over the following years includes the following:

Late 1962 – The Colony Night Club – Johannesburg

·         Hennie Bekker – piano
·         Doug Graham – bass (another Rhodie!)
·         Pat Higgins – drums
·         Eddie Payne – trumpet and vocals

1963 – Bretts – Salisbury

·         Hennie Bekker – piano
·         Doug Graham – acoustic bass, bass guitar, flute and percussion
·         Tony Moore – drums
·         Eddie Payne – trumpet and vocals

1964 – Club Navale – Luanda – Angola

·         Hennie Bekker – piano and vibes
·         Doug Graham – acoustic bass, bass guitar, flute and percussion
·         Derrick Graham – vocals
·         Eddie Van Diermen – drums

1964 – The Riviera Hotel – Durban

Same line-up as above.

1965 – The Mikado – Johannesburg

Same line-up as above.

1969 – The Hennie Bekker Band – Bretts – Johannesburg

·         Hennie Bekker – piano and organ
·         Johnny Boshof – bass and percussion (another Rhodie!!)
·         Tony Moore – drums
·         Jeff Sonn – saxophone, flute and vocals
·         Eddie Payne – trumpet and vocals

1973 – The Hennie Bekker Band – The Branch Office – Johannesburg

·         Hennie Bekker – keyboards
·         Judy Page – vocals
·         John Fourie – guitar
·         Johnny Boshof – bass
·         Lofty Schultz – saxophones and flutes
·         Eric Norgate – trumpet
·         Tony Moore – drums

1973 – Profile – The Branch Office – Johannesburg

·         Hennie Bekker – keyboards
·         John Fourie – guitar
·         Johnny Boschof – bass
·         Lofty Schultz – saxophones and flutes
·         Eric Norgate – trumpet
·         Kevin Kruger – drums and vocals

In 1987, Hennie and his wife, Jacky, decided to leave South Africa and emigrate to Canada.  At 54 this was a significant challenge which confronted them with Hennie fearful as to whether he’d be able to make it in a new, and strange, environment.  Initially he struggled to get established in Toronto until he was put in contact with John Parry of Parry Music.  Impressed by Hennie’s demos, he was asked by Parry to score and produce music for the company.  The rest, as they say, is history!

Over the next three years, Hennie made six instrumental albums for Parry, as well as 10 instrumental albums for Sound Ideas.  He attributes their survival in Canada to the income generated by these albums.  At the suggestion of  Parry, Hennie was engaged by Solitudes Limited to combine music with Dan Gibson’s wildlife sounds.  This resulted in the emergence of Hennie’s own new age recordings which were released through Solitude.  The first release, “Harmony” in 1989, has since sold over 400 000 copies worldwide.  He has since released 13 nature sounds/music albums.  His latest offering, entitled “Mirage”, was released in January 2007.   Now 64, he has been nominated for one of Canada’s most prestigious music awards, the Juno Award, for top instrumentalist of the year.

Aside from all this, Hennie has also taken the opportunity to demonstrate his diversity by being a  member of the popular BKS techno-dance group.  Their album – “Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Techno” - is setting the pace in rave music clubs across Canada.  B stands for Bekker, K for George Kavanagh and S for Toronto DJ Chris Sheppard.

Hennie’s late son, Barry, was also an exceptional musician.  He was born in Mufulira and relocated to Johannesburg as a 17 year old to join his father.  Partnering with Colin Shapiro – as the “Musicos” - he did many highly acclaimed movie sound tracks, as well as radio and television commercials in South Africa.  He subsequently also moved to Canada where he wrote, produced and recorded a number of outstanding albums before his untimely death.

Internet references:

Official website site

http://www.henniebekker.com

BKS

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BKS

My Space

http://www.myspace.com/henniebekker

You Tube

http://www.youtube.com


JIMMY SAUNDERS 

Circa:
Home town:  Que Que

Well known Que Que hotelier and entrepreneur, Jimmy Saunders', musical contribution to the morale of the nation at the time.


JODY WAYNE

Singer

Born in Bangalore, India, of Canadian parents, Jody accompanied his parents when they relocated to Rhodesia via a short time in England.  After completing high school, Jody teamed up with Mike Shannon to launch THE DIAMONDS.  THE DIAMONDS later moved to Australia and, subsequent to their departure, Jody  started to appear on Rhodesia Television to much acclaim in the 60's.  

In 1965 he moved to Durban, South Africa where he formed LITTLE JO & THE TRAVELLERS with John Rice and Bill Fleming on guitars.  LM DJ Dave Davies noticed their potential and gave them daily exposure on LM Radio.  During this period the band appeared on radio shows together with such international names as Jim Reeves, Floyd Cramer, Francois Hardy, Chet Atkins and John D Loudermilk, all of whom visited the country (RSA) in the 60's.

After a period of about 18 months the band ceased due to military call-ups and Jody went solo winning the South African Song Festival in 1965 with 'A Voice In The Dark'.  A long series of hits followed this breakthrough.  During this time Jody formed THE JODY WAYNE SCENE which later became GUYS & DOLLS. 

In the 70's Jody turned his hand to producing other artists including Barbara Ray, Gwynneth Ashley Robins, Neil Herbert and The Stockley Sisters, some of whom he discovered.

 In 1975 Jody played the lead role in PACT's production of 'Joseph & The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat'.  Following that production he continued to perform widely throughout South Africa at various shows and festivals.   This he continues to this day.

Recordings

Singles

A Voice In The Dark (1965) PYE
Tell Laura I Love Her (1966) RCA
Are You Sure (1966) PYE
Sixteen Candles (1966) PYE
Patches (1966) PYE
The Three Bells (1966) PYE
Cookie (1976) PYE (with Glennys Lynne)
All For The Love Of A Girl (1968) PYE
Little Tin Soldier (1968) PYE
Ragamuffin Girl (1969) PYE
The Wedding (1970) RCA
A Time For Us (1970) RCA
The Wonder Of Your Love (1971) RCA
Louanne (1971) RCA
Little Things Mean A Lot (1971) RCA
Picture Of Patches (1971) RCA
I'm Gonna Knock On Your Door (1974) RCA
Take Me Back Again (1976) RCA
Jody Remember Me (1977) RCA
Heartbeat (1978)
Are You Mine? (1979)
I'll Never Dance Again (1980) EXPLOSION
Young Lovers (1982) PLUM

Albums

Jody (1966) PYE
Jody Wayne Sings (1966) PYE
16 Candles (1966) PYE
Single Boy (1967) PYE
The Wedding (1970) RCA
To My Love (1970) RCA
By Request (1975) PLUM
Everything Is Beautiful (1976) PLUM
Send Me Some Loving (1976) PLUM
Jody Wayne Collection (1992) TRANSISTOR
Now & Then TRANSISTOR

Plus two tracks on the compilation:

Record Expresso's Dance Party (1966) RCA-VICTOR  


JOHN EDMOND

Vocalist, composer and guitarist

Bio details:
Born November, 1936, in Luanshya, Northern Rhodesia, he spent a part of his youth in Scotland before continuing his schooling as a boarder at Christian Brothers' College, Pretoria, as a twelve year old.   His parents were still living in Ndola at the time.  After completing high school he fell ill with pleurisy which ended the vision he had of a career in the military.  John then joined Roan Antelope Copper Mine before answering his military call-up in November, 1956, a calling which introduced him to the 3rd Battalion of the Royal Rhodesia Regiment

Musical Career

Having been brought up in an environment where he was regularly exposed to music, be it as a listener, piano student, bugle player, choirboy or as a drummer in the CBC college band, John formed his first group, THE BUSHCATS, in Southern Rhodesia in 1958.  On of the band's main influences of the time was that of Lonnie Donegan. The BUSHCATS played at various parties and functions and enjoyed exposure at the Windsor Lounge or Theo's Corner bar as it was known.  After playing at Ndola's Rutland Hotel the band's popularity spread and they were in demand.   During these years military call-ups constantly plagued the band's members and regularly interrupted the progress they were making.  Having said that, the band's members used the time in the army to improve their musical skills, including composition!   In due course the BUSHCATS' popularity continued to grow and the band appeared regularly on television as they progressed from a skiffle group to a folk quartet.  Pete Dene, one of the band's original lead guitarists, later formed the DIAMONDS with Mike Shannon as lead singer.  Another of their guitarists, Harry Hayden, later joined the DYNAMICS.  Both the DIAMONDS and the DYNAMICS went on to become well established, and significant, features of the southern African music scene.   

After moving to South Africa in the mid-60's, John started to perform on the Johannesburg club circuit, notably at the "Nite Beat" and "Troubadour" coffee bars in Hillbrow.  His first residency was at a steakhouse in Kempton Park called "The Zambesi".  The local music industry, however, considered him to be more of a composer than a singer or artists and his prolific pen was kept busy.  He started sharing his songs with other artists and gave "The U.D.I Song" to Nick Taylor.  The recording went straight to the top of the Rhodesian hit parade.  A number of works by John went to other well known artists on the local scene. 

 By the 60's, John had moved to South Africa and teamed up with Steve van Kerken and Alan Goodwin in the NEW TRENDS. After a handful of performances by the trio they were approached to do an album.  John and Alan duly penned most of the material for this album and their big hit, "Gypsy Man", became their trademark song.   The band performed at many prestigious venues during this time amongst which was an appearance at the Royal Command Performance at the coronation of King Sobhuza II of Swaziland where the played for, and met, the Duke and Duchess of York.  

The group split in 1969 with the departure of Stevie van Kerken who was clearly destined for bigger things.  She went on to later marry legendary South African writer and producer, Mutt Lange.  Later in her career she shared the stage with icons such as Tina Turner and Elton John.    John continued to perform, write and record as a solo artist. 

In 1973, driven by his observations of - and experiences with - the Rhodesian military,  he had an idea that the Rhodesian market would be receptive to a "Troopie Record".  His idea did not receive enthusiastic endorsement from the music industry and so John, at his own expense, produced an album called "Songs Of Rhodesia".  Nick Taylor assisted him closely with this project.   The release was an instant success and raced up the local music charts.  Although "Songs Of Rhodesia" did not contain any army or military songs, its success did confirm John's suspicion that a "Troopie Record" would be a popular seller.   Due to other pressures and commitments at that time, the "Troopie Record" idea was shelved for a time although he did produce an album entitled "Life in Rhodesia" which was a hit for the New Zealand duo, the GREENSTONES.  

It was 1976 before John was able to realise his dream of producing a "Troopie Record" with the release of an album called "Troopiesongs".  It was an instant success and a seven single culled from the album, "Wish I Was A Blue Job", surged to the top of the hit parade.  Encouraged by the response, he went on to produce a number of "Troopie Records", amongst a host of other releases including highly successful records for the children's market.  

John is also involved in producing, having filled this role for bands such as Four Jacks & A Jill, Nick Taylor, Pat Gregory, John Berks, Johnny Collini, The Silver Threads, The Lilac Rose, The Greenstones and Kevin Hinds. His songs have been recorded by this artists as well. John has appeared in venues as diverse as America, Brazil and Australia, also representing South Africa at the Tokyo Song Festival (1970) where he sang "Round and Around".  He has also received many awards for his compositions.

He continues to compose songs about Africa and travels widely throughout the worlds attending, and performing at, Rhodesian events.

Recordings

Singles

Farewell Britannia (1969) Storm
Die Eerste Kersfeesnag (1969) Storm
Fairytales (1969) Storm. This was his first hit record.
Round and Round* (1970) Storm
Boom Sha-la-la-lo* (1971) Storm. This was written for John by Bruce Woodley of The Seekers while they were in South Africa.
Pasadena* (1972) Map
Every Day, Every Night* (1972) Map
Toy Train* (1973) Map
Hello Susan (1974) Map
Jock Of The Bushveld (1975) Map
Goodbye Is The Saddest Song* (1975) Map
Nomad Of The Kalahari (1976) Map
One Day He'll Call Me Daddy (1976) Map
It's Good To See You (1977) Jo'burg
Blue Brown Eyed Lady (1977) Jo'burg
Louie (1978) RSA
Bye Bye Butterfly (1979) EMI
Forever Young (1980) Gallo
The Electric Thing (1981) Gallo

He achieved seven successive hits on the South African charts (denoted with *), the only local artist to have achieved this.

Albums

Troopie Songs - Phase 1 (1970) Map
Troopie Songs - Phase 2 (1975) Map
Troopie Songs - Phase 3 (1977) Jo'burg
Troopie Songs - Phase 4 (1980) Gallo
Boom Sha-la-la-lo (1971) Storm
Johno (197?) Storm
Goodbye Is The Saddest Song (1975) Satbel
Wild And Beautiful And Free (1976) Satbel
The Best Of John Edmond (1976) Satbel
Rhodesia The Brave (1979) Trutone
Hit Songs Of John Edmond (197?) MFP
Immortal Hits (1980) Gallo
Country Tracks (1981) Gallo
From The Heart (1982) Gallo
Troopies In Exile (1982) Gallo
Love In The Country (1984) Gallo
All Night Razzle (1984) Principal. The BUSHCATS were re-formed for this recording.
The British South Africa Police Centenary Album (1989) RAM
Rhodesians Of The World (1992) RAM
All Time Rhodesian Evergreens (1999)
Troopiesongs Complete (1999)

John has also written a book entitled "The Story Of Troopie Songs And The Rhodesian Bush War" (1982).

In 1973 John compered the Vicky Leandros tour of South Africa and supported MIDDLE OF THE ROAD on their tour of the country.

Another one of John's successes was the penning of "The U.D.I. Song" which was recorded by Nick Taylor and used by the BBC as the theme to a programme on Rhodesia and its Unilateral Declaration of Independence.

The British South Africa Police Centenary Album (1989) RAM


JOHN OAKLEY-SMITH

Singer, pianist & composer
Bio details:

Music Career

John studied classical piano at the University of Cape Town before moving to Johannesburg in 1970. Before long he began making his name on the local folk circuit with his vivid songs, some of which appeared on his album "Matinees On Saturdays". Unfortunately they did not find favour with those in control of the networks and received scant coverage or airplay. Nevertheless, he was signed by Warner Brothers Publishing in America to a songwriting contract. He writes music for theatre and television and makes occasional appearances at Johannesburg clubs.

Recordings

Albums

Matinees On Saturdays (1976) Warner Brothers

Singles

Lady Of The Odeon (1976) Warner Brothers
When The Night Wind Blows (1980) Third Ear


JUDY PAGE 

Singer


Bio details: Rhodesian born

Music Career

At an early age, Judy would have liked to have been a dancer, however, drummer Teddy Bowles suggested that she exploit her talent for signing. She started her career in cabaret where she was well received, before moving to South Africa and very quickly gaining a recording contract. Her career continued to grow and, during the 70's and 80's, she appeared in many theatre productions. Her daughter, Kim Kallie, recording at one stage as Margino, also established a career in the entertainment world.

Recordings

Singles

Sweet William (EP)Gallo/Gallotone
What A Woman In Love Won't Do (1967)
Green Grow The Lilacs (with Peter Lotis) (1967)Gallo/Gallotone
Boy From Ipanema. Gallo/Gallotone
Queen Of The House. Gallo/Galltone
Some Things Just Stick In Your Mind. Gallo/Gallotone
Petit Fleur (Stay With Me). Gallo/Galltone
These Boots Were Made For Walking. Gallo/Gallotone
Tears (with Peter Lotis). Gallo/Gallotone
Sand (with Peter Lotis). Gallo/Gallotone
Elusive Butterfly (1967). Gallo/Gallotone
Look Of Love (1967). Gallo/Gallotone
Montreal (1968)(recorded with her daughter, Kim Kallie, under the name of "Kimbo"). Gallo/Gallotone
Anytime Girl (1971)
I Love You Madly (1976) Jo'burg
No-One In The World But You (1975) Aztec. Gallo/Gallotone

Albums

Page Of Requests (1966). Gallo/Gallotone
Lonely For Him (1966). Gallo/Gallotone
Something For Good (1966)(with Peter Lotis). Gallo/Gallotone
Green Grow The Lilacs (1967)(with Peter Lotis). Gallo/Gallotone
Elusive Butterfly (1967). Gallo/Gallotone
Gotta Come Up With Something (1969). Gallo/Gallotone
Time After Time (1971). Gallo/Gallotone
No-One In The World But You (1975). Aztec

Awards

1970 - Best English Album
1970 - Best Female Artist
1972 - Best Female Vocalist


JULIAN FORTUNE (JULIAN PELLATT)(Updated 01/02/2014)

Singer/Guitarist
Home town:  Salisbury
Circa:  1960's - 1990's

Fortune (real name Julian Pellatt) started playing guitar as a 12 year old in 1967/68, inspired by musicians of the area, predictably the Beatles, Peter Paul & Mary and Bob Dylan.  His first public performance was as a 13/14 year old at the Beverley Rocks Motel when he and his sister, Debs, did a rendition of "Polly Von" learnt from a Peter, Paul & Mary recording.  With strong encouragement and support from CLEM THOLET, the duo persisted and laid the foundations for many long years of association with the Rhodesian folk music scene.  Indeed, the vehicle for this was the Rhodesian Folk Music Association which thrived throughout these years until its demise in 1979.  As Julian - along with many other local artists - gained confidence and experience, they started to set out on country-wide tours, taking their brand of talent and entertainment the length and breadth of the land.  Along the way, CLEM THOLET invited Julian and some of his contemporaries to sing backing vocals on what was to be a massive local hit - "Rhodesians Never Die".  This was recorded at Shed Productions studio under the guiding hand of Steve Roskilly.  Julian had further involvement in the broadcast media when he and John Palgrave contributed to the creation of a popular radio series called "Everyman's Music", produced by Caroline Thorneycroft.  He also had the good fortune - excuse the pun! - to feature in a  couple of television appearances in Rhodesia TV.  

In the late 70's, following the end of the Beverley Rocks scene and era, Julian moved to Umtali for a time before relocating to the United Kingdom.  Whilst resident in Umtali he continued to travel to Salisbury to make appearances at a club called Sarah's, in which John Palgrave had a hand.  Back in Umtali he was a regular performer and will be remembered by the clientele of fine establishments such as the Wise Owl Motel.

https://soundcloud.com/rhodie-mellows/shoe-shine-shuffle-julian

(See also IN THE TRADITION)


JUMPING JACK MCGROARTY

Singer

Bio details:


LAURA HALL (Added 16/06/2009)

Concert pianist


LAUREL ANDERSON (Married name - ZURNAMER)(Added 17/06/2009)

Singer

Laurel Performing At The 1980 Trade Fair

It was at the tender age of six that Laurel told her mother that she wanted to enter a talent contest on Rhodesia Television's "Tele 5" programme.  Somewhat taken aback her mother asked what she envisaged doing in the competition and Laurel promptly declared that she intended singing "Henry Higgins" from My Fair Lady!  Recognising the determination in her daughter's voice, her mother telephoned the show's producer, Mike Yeates who immediately asked whether the potential entrant could sing.  Despite never heard her daughter sing, her mother had not hesitation in assuring Mike that she could.  Laurel duly sailed through the audition and won the competition, thereby ensuring that she had won Mike Yeates' support and mentorship for evermore! 

She attended Henry Low Junior School where, ironically enough, she was chucked out of the choir.  Upon completion of junior schooling, Laurel went on to Townsend High School where, once again, she was ejected from the choir's ranks because she was "too loud" and insisted on doing her own harmonies!  It was at this point that she realised that, if she were to perform, it would have to be a solo artist.  Despite her lack of cohesion with the school choir, her talents were obviously recognised as sang regularly at Friday school assemblies, delivering her interpretation of songs from Godspell and JC Superstar. On these occasions she was accompanied by an acoustic guitarist.

By the age of twelve, Laurel has been offered several recording contracts, however, her age was an issue in both South Africa and the United Kingdom.  Matters were also complicated by the fact that she hailed from Rhodesia, viewed as a pariah state at that time.

Undaunted, she continued to pursue her singing interests locally and performed at a number of high profile gigs including one in Umtali with Don Stanton.  Laurel was alsmost traumatised when it was decided that she should come on to the stage on a horse - she recalls that they both nearly died of fright!  That's the horse and her, by the way!

Before she had turned sixteen she was performing cabaret at Salisbury's La Boheme night club.  Again, her age presented complications in terms of legislation such as the liquor laws, as well as the content of some of the other artists' acts.  These included strippers and risqué comedians. As a result she had to be chaperoned to every performance.  Back at school she was preparing for her "O" levels.  Her nocturnal activities drew the school's displeasure, matters eventually coming to a head with an altercation between her parents and school management. Happily, it was all amicably resolved and she was allowed to continue with her outside school entertainment activities in parallel with her studies.

One of the of the most exciting events in Laurel's life occurred as the result of letter and demo tape which was sent to Jack Oliver of the Beatles' Apple label by Mike Yeates and her father.  Not particularly hopeful of a response from such a large organisation, they were amazed when a reply was received agreeing that Laurel was talented but that she sounded too similar to Mary Hopkins for Apple to show any interest in her.  This was followed by a personal telephone from Paul McCartney to her father, McCartney suggesting that they visit London where he would personally audition her!  The family immediately sent about applying for a passport for her, a time-consuming exercise which delayed their eventual arrival in London. When they did get there the Beatles were away on tour with the result that they never met Paul McCartney and the promised audition failed to materialise.  The family accepted the outcome of their venture philosophically and returned to Rhodesia.

A Long And Winding Road...

Laurel continued to appear throughout the country in various shows and performances.  She was backed by many of the leading bands of the day, including SHALIMA at La Boheme and the COLLECTION on other occasions.  Paul Amato and Geoff Sedgwick also regularly provided backing guitar.  Her preferences were for material by artists such as Joan Baez, Mary Hopkins and Carole King although, in her cabaret performances she sang songs as diverse as "House Of The Rising Sun" to the "Click Song".

Some of her most treasured memories are of performing at the annual Trade Fair in Bulawayo.  The Mike Stewart Show in 1980 stands out particularly for it was during this time that she arrived one night suffering from a sore throat ahead of her performance.  A close associate suggested that she soothe it with a mix of brandy and port.  Laurel followed this advice but didn't realise that she was only supposed to gargle with the liquid and duly swallowed each mouthful.  Unaccustomed to alcohol, it had a wider effect on her disposition than merely addressing the woes of her throat!  She candidly admits she has no recollection of her performance that day but has been assured that it was an outstanding one!  Her advice to other artists suffering from sore throats?  Well, the mix works very well but PLEASE DON'T INGEST IT!

Laurel is no longer singing as a legacy of numerous throat infections have damaged her vocal chords.  Her closest involvement in performing these days is watching Idols and wishing she were 16 again!


MARGIE STEVENS (Added 16/11/2011)

Margie Stevens was a well known solo artist on the Salisbury night club circuit during the late 60's and early 70's.  She became more widely known after her performance in the REPS production of Godspell, recording the song "Day By Day" from the musical.  This record reached the Top 10 of the local hit parade.  Margie tragically died a few years later in what is believed to have been a house fire.


MEGAN TIMOTHY

Singer/dancer

Bio details:

Megan initially started out as a folk singer and, although extremely modest about her abilities in this regard, found her way to Hollywood where she appeared in Las Vegas in cabaret.  She was also a Bunny Girl at Hugh Hefner's Playboy mansion in Hollywood during the heyday of the Playboy magazine.  Her acting talents came to the fore when she appeared with Elvis in the film "Charro". 


MIKE GIBBS

Piano & trombonist
Bio details: Born in Salisbury.

Mike took piano lessons from a young age. He commenced a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Natal which he did not complete, forsaking this activity to take up the trombone. He funded his own way to the Berklee College of Music in 1959 and enrolled, at the same time, at the Classical Boston Conservatory, from which he obtained a Bachelor of Music degree.

Whilst at Boston Mike befriended Gary Burton, the world's leading vibes player of the day. He also studied at Berklee under big band leader, Herb Pomeroy (a trumpeter), as well as Gunther Schuller, John Lewis, Aaron Copeland and George Russell at the Lennox School of Jazz.

Burton encouraged Gibs to compose with Burton subsequently using many of his works. Stan Getz and George Shearing also made use of his compositions.

In 1965, Mike moved to London where he continued to play trombone as a member of the Graham Coller Sextet, the Tubby Hayes Big Band, Johnny Dankworth and Cleo Laine and in the pit orchestra for a 'My Fair Lady' production. Through this exposure Mike gained access to the world of television on the BBC which, in turn, resulted he him being given a recording contract with Deram. He made a number of his own albums whilst continuing to play with Dankworth.

In 1974 he returned to the USA and became a lecturer at Berklee where he taught arranging, jazz composition and contemporary music analyses. During this period he commuted between the USA and UK and contributed to many music projects.

Apart from recording with the London Symphony Orchestra, he has orchestrated albums for John McLaughlin and Stanley Clarke. Amongst those that he has played with, are the names of:

Carla Bley
Mike Mantler
Mike Maran (the British folk singer)
Joni Mitchell
Uriah Heep
Roy Buchanan
Michael Walden
Lenny White (and played piano on his solo album 'BIG CITY' - 1977 - Nemperor)
Mike Westbrook (on his albums - Marching Songs Volume 1 and Volume 2, both in 1969 on Deram)

On his own albums he has worked with the nucleus of British jazz-rock musicians:

Kenny Wheeler (ex-Savoy Brown)
Jack Bruce
Chris Spedding
Barbara Thompson (saxophone)
Brian Odgers (bass)
Roy Babbington
John Marshall
Jeff Clyne
Clive Thacker
Dave McRaie
Mike Payne (piano)
Ray Warleigh (saxophone)
Ray Russell (guitar)

His compositions may be heard on Gary Burton's albums "The New Quarter" and "7 Songs for Quartet and Chamber Orchestra" (both on EMI) and he dueted with Burton on the album, "In The Public Interest". They have also appeared in many concerts together.

Mike Gibbs has written numerous film scores, jingles and worked with Bill Oddie on the music for the British television series, 'The Goodies'. This resulted in five top twenty hits in Britain.

Solo Albums

Michael Gibbs (1969) Deram
Tanglewood '63 (1970) Deram
Just A Head (1972) Polydor
In The Public Interest (1973) Polydor
The Only Chrome Waterfall Orchestra (1975) (Also featured guitarist Philip Catherine). Bronze
Big Music (1988)

Has produced albums for Wynton Marsalis, Jevin Eubanks and Bill Evans.

AWARDS 1973 - Voted 'Musician Of The Year' in a joint award with John McLaughlin
1974 - 'Musician Of The Year'
1974 - Voted 'Big Bandleader Of The Year' in Melody Maker's jazz poll.


NORMAN READER (Added 09/05/06)

Guitarist/vocalist

Norman joined the British South Africa Police in 1965, bringing with him a twelve string guitar.  As the depot barracks were inspected every Saturday, he would do his best to conceal the item as discreetly as possible in his cupboard in an attempt to escape the gaze of the Depot Commander, the legendary Ron Trangmar!  Needless to say, Trangmar usually spotted it, acknowledging its presence through a number of disparaging remarks about people who played guitars.

When posted to Bulawayo, Norman made the occasional appearance on television as a newsreader using the name, Norman O'Reardon.  He still cannot explain why he chose this nom de plume.  His newsreading career came to an end one evening when, after having had a few drinks, he softly strummed his guitar throughout the news broadcast providing a musical background that was neither planned nor appreciated!!

Norman was active on the local folk circuit and teamed up with another police friend, Mike Deemer, to form a duo which kept active in the various clubs and gatherings.   Over the years Norman performed with various colleagues and friends with the most notorious probably being Paddy White's Plastic Shithouse Band!  He remains active to this day having developed a passion for his 5 string banjo and indulging in bluegrass music. 


PAUL & EDEL KRIGE  (Updated 7/09/08)

Vocalists

Paul and Edel first met when they were both involved in a production of the "Mikado" in 1961.  This meeting resulted in them, not only marrying in Bulawayo in 1963, but also combining as a vocal duet for more than 46 years.  Although much of their work involved the Roman Catholic church, staring the very popular Folk Mass at St Mary's Cathedral in 1970, their talents and versatility extended beyond choral duties.  They made numerous appearances on Rhodesia Television (the annual Club International and Mayor's Christmas Shows, for instance) and worked tirelessly throughout their years together.  Edel even wrote a full-length musical called "The Heritage" which had its World premiere in Filabusi!!  They also wrote compositions for shows such as "Love In June" (which Edel produced) and "Springtime" at the Bulawayo Theatre.  On another occasion, they composed the opening chorus for a show which was put on at the Bulawayo Theatre by Tony Palmer.  The Selukwe School song was also composed by Edel.  Paul and Edel's son, Joe, went on to follow in the footsteps.

Popular at functions such as weddings they made two albums both on the Teal records label:

  • When You Walk In Love 

  • Noël - Our Favourite Christmas Carols 

In 1980, Paul and Edel relocated to South Africa where, after about three years of inactivity, they resurrected their joint careers and went on to enjoy further success.  Apart from their live performances they appeared on two local television shows, "Brokkies" and "Hosanna".  They also recorded two further albums:

  • We Believe In Tomorrow

  • Hand In Hand

They also did the Folk Mass at the "Lemon Squeezer" (St Mary's in Joahnnesburg) for 26 years, a total of 36 years with the guitar mass.

In September, 2005, the moved from Johannesburg to Cape Town where they continued to perform at various functions.  Their last performance together was in June, 2007, as Paul had been diagnosed with cancer which would lead to his passing on 23 October, 2007.


PETER CRESWELL

 Composer

Bio details:  Born in London, educated at Charterhouse and commissioned into the Life Guards in 1960.  After seven years in the military he resigned and started his music studies and is a Licentiate of both the Trinity College of Music and the Royal Schools of Music. Peter arrived in Rhodesia in 1969 and took up a teaching post as Director of Music at Falcon College, Essexvale.  During these years he wrote and refined his best known Rhodesian work, ROBBIE'S GONE.   He resigned from this post in 1975 in order to produce this musical with a view to becoming a full-time composer and producer.

 


QUINSEY (Updated 10/12/12)

Singer
Bio details: Rhodesian born

Musical Career  

Day job!

Born Alan Elderkin, he first took the stage name of Alan Quinn and sang with the Etonians. Changing the name of Alan Quinn to that of Quinsey, he and came to prominence in South Africa in the late 60's. His vocal range of three-and-a-half octaves impressed Graeme Beggs (amongst others!) who signed him up for a recording contract. He subsequently toured South Africa with the Statesmen and Beau Brummel in 1967. Arising from this, he appeared in Brummel's film "Three Bullets For A Long Gun" which was banned in South Africa! Quinsey also proved himself adept at songwriting with the film compositions, "Wonderful Day" and "South Of Capricorn" to his credit.

Alan Elderkin sadly passed away on the morning of Monday, 6 September, 2010, the day after his last performance at The Richards Hotel in Richards Bay, KZN, South Africa.

Alan's last gig on Sunday 5 September, 2010, at The Richards Hotel, Richards Bay, KZN, South Africa.  He died the following day.

Recordings

Singles

All The Time (1967). Continental
When Will We Meet Again? (1968). Continental
In The Twilight (1968). Continental
Wonderful Day (1968). Continental
Go North (1972). WRC
Theme For A New Love (1973). Aztec

Albums

Just Quinsey (1968). Continental
The Long Red Shadows (soundtrack)
Three Bullets For A Long Gun (1971) (soundtrack)


Ray Robshaw
 

Krupicka - Coulter - Robshaw Rehearsal
 
Krupicka - Coulter - Robshaw
 
Ray Robshaw & Ian Guigan
 
Ray Robshaw - Xmas Cheer
 
Robshaw - Coulter - Krupicka
 
Tozer - Robshaw
 
Programme Contract - RBC
 
Press Cuttings
 
Press Cuttings
 
Press Cuttings
 

 


ROB CUSHMAN (Added 16/07/06)

Rob's entry into the world of music performance was launched when his aunt presented him a guitar purchased from ERMI "for about a fiver".  He was 12 at the time - and the die was well and truly cast!  He carted the guitar with him wherever he went, sitting for hours on end learning chords and practicing.  The bond between the two was broken (literally!) when the instrument fell over one day shattering the headstock and reducing it to a three-stringed implement.  Such was the extent of Rob's grief that his father quickly produced a replacement Bellini guitar, purchased from Barry Dodds also "for a fiver"!  Ron had it stripped down and varnished to make it look like a "real guitar" and continued his enthusiastic exploration of music.

It was whilst at CBC as a scholar that Rob came into contact with a Spanish priest, Father Xavier, who had come to the school to learn English.  Father Xavier played a semi acoustic guitar which he amplified through the head of his portable gramophone.  Rob was mesmerised!  Under the priest's guiding hand Rob learnt had to "caress the strings" with his right hand instead of using a plectrum.  Despite breaking his left arm during this period he still managed to play enough to practice with his right hand!

Attracted by rock 'n roll, Rob formed his first band with his brother, Jonah on rhythm, himself on lead, Giles Porter on bass and Willie Birch on drums.  They called themselves the Finks and played regularly at the Women's Institute in Lobengula Street.  House parties regularly featured their musical talents and their finest hour arrived when they came second in a Texan Rock Band Contest to the "FRUITS OF LOOM".  Andy McGibbon, who today owns McGibbon's Guitar World in Johannesburg, was the Loom's bass player at the time. 

Rob's interest in folk music was nurtured through his regular attendance at local folk music clubs and venues where he was exposed to the finger picking style of guitar playing.  He also saw a number of artists and performers he admired for their playing and singing talents.  It was duly this period that he learnt to play "Cocaine All Around My Brain" which he continues to perform to this day, including a version on his album release, "Bunch 'o Keys".

He then joined the "3 G's" who subsequently changed their name to the "MOTETS".  The other members were Sandra Langberg, Camilla Richardson and George Lambert-Porter.  Appearances on television and radio followed.  Programmes such as the Sonia Hatton Show, as well as John Aldridge's "Hoedown" regularly featured Rob in his own right, as well as the Motets.  He also accompanied a number of other performers whose own careers were unfolding at the time. Garth Styles and Johnny Booysie were two of the noteworthy names amongst this group of aspirants.

Mike Westcott then approached him to form a band and, as a result, TRIAD, came into being.  Triad was a very short-lived venture which wasn't around long enough to make a real impact.  This was due to the fact that Colin Payne and Adrian King had left one of the biggest Bulawayo bands of the day, the COLLECTION.  Rob and Mike replaced Payne and King in the Collection's line-up for a time. 

In 1969 he departed for South Africa where he joined a 12 piece folk group in Durban.  After performing in a few shows Rob was head-hunted to join a band called RUBY BOOT.  At the time Ruby Boot were playing at the well known Durban venue, Smuggler's Inn, with the promise of a contract at Spurs in Cape Town.  The band duly relocated to Cape Town where, after three months of gigging from 10:00 pm - 03:00 am every night the group disbanded. Rob then returned to Rhodesia and joined the Army to complete his National Service.  As could be expected he did a fair bit of entertaining the troops with his talents during the months that followed.

Upon leaving the Army he teamed up with Ivana Krupicka and Ray Robshaw in a vocal trio which they called IVANA, RAY and ROB.

In 1974 Rob returned to South Africa where he was active on the music scene and met many of South Africa's icons including Jannie Hofmeyr, John Oakley-Smith, Brian Finch, Mike Dickman, the Kitchen Brothers and Paul Clingman.  With Dave Marks being very instrumental on the Johannesburg music scene Rob played gigs at places such as Zoo Lake, Wits University and Mangles.  In 1975 he relocated again, this time to the United Kingdom.

Tackling the London music scene Rob naively - in his own words - thought that he'd "made it" when he played a gig at the famous Troubadour at Earl's Court.   He soon realised that there was more to it than that and he was hugely disappointed when the audience did not react to his playing in the same way that audiences in Rhodesia and South Africa had.   Disillusioned and dispirited he played a few more restaurant gigs before putting his guitar aside for five or six years.

Surfacing from his period of musical isolation Rob regained the urge to perform but found that his come-back had been staged in the middle of a recession in the United Kingdom!  Nevertheless, keen to supplement his meagre wages he set forth and landed a residency in a restaurant doing covers.  He found that this period benefited his finger style technique as he had to play bass, rhythm and lead in order to fill out his sound.  After about eight years his music had become more a job than a pastime and he then joined a church band where he remained for about four or five years.

Today, Rob has built up a solid circle of friends with musical dispositions and he had developed a modest but loyal following in south east England, often performing due and trio gigs with various members of this social network.  His performances have included a few festivals in the area.  He has released a CD of 16 tracks, 9 of which are originals from his pen.  As mentioned earlier, the CD is called "Bunch 'o Keys".  His weakness, he says, is that he doesn't churn out lyrics very easily although tunes are plentiful!  These days he spends a fair bit of time writing instrumentals and rearranging songs.  One of the many people who is eternally indebted to is Barry Joubert who introduced him to James Taylor, Taylor being a major influence on him.

Inbetween all of the above, Rob manages to find time to listen to the works of his favourite guitarists, especially Laurence Juber, Doyle Dykes, Tommy Emmanuel and Leo Kottke.

 


STEVIE LANGE (van Kerken)

Singer
Bio details:

Stevie began her career in Rhodesia with THE NEW TRENDS, the folk-rock band formed in the 60's by JOHN EDMOND.  Her career progressed into the 70's when she sang with Hocus and did backing vocals on Margaret Singana's debut album. During this time, she married Mutt Lange and moved to London. In London she became an established session singer and backed some auspicious bands and musicians including, Elton John, Status Quo, Bad Company, Doobie Brothers (on "Minute By Minute"), Rick Wakeman (on "1984"), Tina Turner, Sweet, Leo Sayer, Barbra Streisand, Jona Lewie, Graham Bonnet, Crawler, Kevin Lamb, Noel McCalla (of 'Sniff & Tears'), Manfred Mann (on "Watch"), Trevor Rabin (on "Wolf") and Blancmange (on "Happy Families").

In 1977 she met Manfred Mann's guitarist, Chris Thompson, and joined his group Filthy McNasty. In 1978 the group recorded an album, "Live At The Bridge House". Producer Steve Perry was impressed with their work and signed Chris and Stevie to record an album with him as Night. Night recorded two albums before parting company.

Stevie Lange continued with her session singing at Thompson's recording studio. She recorded the single, "Remember My Name" (1981) on RCA. In 1982 she did backing vocals for James Last at Sun City and also sang on Mara Louw's debut album.

Recordings

Smokey Blues Away (1969) Columbia. (Recorded in SA as Stevie van Kerken).


SUE (SIOBAHN) ROSNEY (Added 17/06/2009)

SUSAN (SIOBAIN) DIVEHALL (nee ROSNEY)

Sue emigrated from Ireland to South Africa with her family in 1962 and, in 1965, relocated to Umtali in Rhodesia.  In 1968 she moved to Salisbury.  Sue had always loved singing and gained her first bit of exposure when she entered a singing competition on Rhodesia Television. It is thought that the show was called "Stairway To The Stars" and was hosted by Martin Locke.  Following this she was introduced to members of the well known Salisbury band, THE LIVIN' END.  As a result she joined the band for about a year (1969) and performed regularly with them throughout the country.  Her favourite artists were Cilla Black, Marianne Faithfull, Petula Clark and Francois Hardy.  In 1970, Sue returned to South Africa where she took singing lessons and continued to improve her guitar skills.  During this time she sang in various productions in Cape Town as a member of the chorus.  She also gave children guitar lessons.  In 1974 she emigrated to New Zealand where she married Graham Divehall.  She continued to sing in choirs for a time, however, the arrival of her two children has interrupted her musical activities since!

See also the LIVIN' END.


TONY BIRD

Tony was born in 1945 in Malawi and attended boarding school in Southern Rhodesia, as it was at the time.  In pursuit of the completion of his education, Tony moved to England where he dropped out of forestry school before making his way to London.  He then started to sing his songs in the pubs of London before joining the crew of a geophysical vessel working off the shores of Africa.  After four years of this, whilst writing - in the main - Country & Western songs, he left the ship in Madagascar and returned to South Africa for the first time in ten years.  Returning to South Africa, the socio-political state of the country struck him sharply as evidenced in his song entitled "Athlone Incident", inspired by a night-time experience he had in Cape Town.  In due course Tony migrated to the United States where he lives in New York.  His poetry and songwriting skills have earned him respect and his "Bird Of Paradise" album was applauded as "one of the 10 best pop albums of the decade" by the Chicago Music critic, Lynn Van Matre.  He best known songs include "Zambesi Zimbabwe" which was covered by Clem Tholet and is included in his most recent release, Archives.  

With acknowledgements to:

www.3rdearmusic.com (The Hidden Years)

www.mangotime.net (The Unofficial Tony Bird Website)


TRISH MATTHEWS

Singer

Bio details:

Known also in her younger days as Pat, Trish - sometimes accompanied by her sister, Helen - performed regularly at venues in Bulawayo in the 70's.  After moving to South Africa she made occasional appearances on SATV's country music productions.  Her record releases including collaborations with Alan Garrity.


WREX TARR

Singer/comedian

Recordings

Singles

The Terrorist's Lament (Entered charts on 12/10/68 & reached No 4)
The Poacher's Lament (Entered charts on 19/4/69 & reached No 6)

Albums

Futi Chilapalapa (Entered Top 20 on 23/11/68 & reached No 12)
You Are Now In Chilapalapa Country (Entered charts on 13/12/69, No 10)

Wrex sadly passed away in 2006 after suffering a heart attack following a game of bowls in the Eastern Cape.


 

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