Artists & Composers
ALAIN D WOOLF
Bio details: Rhodesian born.
Born Manchester, England, on 14 October, 1947. Instruments: Piano
LOOKING SUAVE IN 2012!
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
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
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
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
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)
Put Your Hand In The Hand (1971)
I Need Someone (1972)
Goodbye Mama (1973)
Alan Garrity & Pat Matthews (1973)
Words & Music (1974)
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.
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
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
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.
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:
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
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:
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.
Bio details: Rhodesian born
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.
Evil Ways (1979). Warner Brothers
Bio details: Born in Bulawayo, Rhodesia
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.
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
1974 - 1984
Joseph in “JOSEPH & HIS AMAZING TECHNICOLOR
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:
“Kingstreet’s War” (Assistant Director)
1987 – ‘92
Project Coordinator and Talent Judge on SHELL ROAD TO
FAME TALENT SEARCH
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.
- Served on the jury for Television Artes ‘96, judging
best Contribution to YOUTH &
‘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
Singer, guitarist & songwriter
Bio details: Born Salisbury, Rhodesia.
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.
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
Songs Of Love War. Teal
Two Sides To Every Story. Teal
What a Time
What a Time it Was
With These Hands
Clem sadly passed
away after a long illness in Cape Town on Wednesday, 06 October,
Read Clem's self-penned obituary
under the Obituaries page.
(Updated 01 January 2006)
Bio details: Born in Dundee, Scotland, in 1964.
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
Q2 What schools did you attend - and
for what periods?
Dundee until 1972
Harare 73 - 77
Cranborne Boys High
Harare 78 – 79
Prince Edward High
Harare 80 – 83
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
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
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
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 –
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?
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
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
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
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
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
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
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!
Gypsy Girl (1981). Stanyan
Taking The Easy Way Home (1981). Stanyan
Cleaning Up (1981). Stanyan
The Diamond Files - Volumes 1 & 2
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
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
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
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".
BAKERSVILLE 5 UNDER 'BANDS'
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.
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
R.T.V. viewers first heard and saw Glenn when he made a guest
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
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
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
CECIL RHODES MAN
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
- MY MOTHER'S
- OVER THE HILLS on the Nitty Gritty label,
- THE CECIL
RHODES MAN TRIBUTE on the Shed Label through Teal Records,
HENDRIK BARRY BEKKER
BARRY In The Studio
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.
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
Bio details: Born in Rhodesia
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 –
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
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
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 –
Hennie Bekker – piano and organ
Johnny Boshof – bass and percussion (another
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 –
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
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
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.
Official website site
Home town: Que Que
Well known Que Que hotelier and entrepreneur, Jimmy
Saunders', musical contribution to the morale of the nation at the time.
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.
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
Are You Mine? (1979)
I'll Never Dance Again (1980) EXPLOSION
Young Lovers (1982) PLUM
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)
Vocalist, composer and guitarist
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
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
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.
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
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
Singer, pianist & composer
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
Matinees On Saturdays (1976) Warner Brothers
Lady Of The Odeon (1976) Warner Brothers
When The Night Wind Blows (1980) Third Ear
Bio details: Rhodesian born
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
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
Anytime Girl (1971)
I Love You Madly (1976) Jo'burg
No-One In The World But You (1975) Aztec. Gallo/Gallotone
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
1970 - Best English Album
1970 - Best Female Artist
1972 - Best Female Vocalist
JULIAN FORTUNE (JULIAN PELLATT)(Updated
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
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
(See also IN THE TRADITION)
JUMPING JACK MCGROARTY
LAURA HALL (Added
LAUREL ANDERSON (Married
name - ZURNAMER)(Added 17/06/2009)
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
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 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 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".
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
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:
Mike Maran (the British folk singer)
Lenny White (and played piano on his solo album 'BIG CITY' - 1977 -
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)
Barbara Thompson (saxophone)
Brian Odgers (bass)
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
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.
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
Big Music (1988)
Has produced albums for Wynton Marsalis, Jevin Eubanks and
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)
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.
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
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:
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,
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.
Bio details: Rhodesian born
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
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
Just Quinsey (1968). Continental
The Long Red Shadows (soundtrack)
Three Bullets For A Long Gun (1971) (soundtrack)
ROB CUSHMAN (Added
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
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".
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.
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)
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
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.
Smokey Blues Away (1969) Columbia. (Recorded in SA as
Stevie van Kerken).
SUE (SIOBAHN) ROSNEY
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 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:
(The Hidden Years)
(The Unofficial Tony Bird Website)
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.
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)
Futi Chilapalapa (Entered Top 20 on 23/11/68 & reached
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.