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In this issue:
One World
Radio Rats
Lesley Rae Dowling
USA For Africa
Banned In The RSA
SA Music Explosion
Off The Edge on 5
True confessions
Nostalgia Rules, OK?
Musos at ZZ's
Jane Doe
Busi Mhlongo
Pop Quiz


This is a discussion forum for anything about
South African rock music; past, present and future.

Read it, digest it, enjoy it, send in your comments
and tell your friends....

"Rock" is a very general term encompassing rock and roll,
pop, folk, rock, ethnic-rock, prog-rock, jazz-rock, country-rock,
soul, R&B, metal, indie, alternative, new wave, reggae, etc, etc.

Don't get hung up...if you want to say something about the music
YOU like, go ahead, say it.



Andy Harrod from One World has very kindly offered a
5% discount to Digest members buying CDs online.

Visit, shop around, and when
submitting your info, type "Digest Member" in brackets
after your name.

Thanks to Andy for this exclusive SA Rock Digest offer.



After numerous requests for info on the Radio Rats, Jonathan
Handley found the digest thanks to Andy Harrod and is now a subscriber.
He will be contributing a full report on his activities shortly, but meanwhile
you can contact him via snail-mail at:

Radium Records
Suite 207
Private Bag X10

Jonathan told me that he is working on a new album with
the working title of Radio Ketamine.

He also hopes to have Into The Night We Slide re-released on CD
in the very near future.



Liam Kelly wrote:
I have been looking for Bright Blue's "Weeping" on vinyl (7" or 12") for
ages now. The reason is, I DJ on vinyl and want to use the song in the
middle of a set. I can't find any vinyl compilation with it and I don't
know if the original album was ever printed on vinyl by BMG. Have you got
any ideas?

{Editor: Bright Blue's Weeping is currently the most popular SA pop/rock song
according to the SA Rock Files Voting Booth. ZX Dan is a close second.
Cast your vote at:

Digest members' songlists are archived on the Net at: }



Somebody wrote:
Does anyone know anything about Lesley? Is she still in the S.A. music scene or not? I found that she had a lot of musical quality. I had the privilege of meeting her once and I'm sorry that we lost contact.

Message posted on the Too Good To Be Forgotten message board



Leigh Barrett from Oregon, USA wrote:
The Women In Music show is still looking for SA music to play, and if
this message finds it's way onto the e-mag, please could someone -
anyone! - send me some! I'd love to get some of the following artists
as well:
Lesley Rae Dowling (any or all of hers)
PJ Powers
Brenda Fassie (esp the "Mr President" track)
Little Sister
Mango Groove/Claire Johnson
... and any of the other great artistes to make good music in SA.

Don't forget - you can hear the show on RealAudio if you log onto

{Editor: Leigh has already played Karma, QKumba Zoo, Off The Edge
and others...why not yours? And what about the Pressure Cookies?
Email Leigh at }


Michael Drewett wrote:
David Kramer was never banned by the Publications Control
Board and simply 'restricted' (or banned) on SABC. Being banned by
the PCB had deeper repercussions than being restricted/banned by SABC.
Also, the Beatles, Frank Zappa and Stevie Wonder - at certain times -
had far more material restricted on SABC than did David Kramer, so I
presume the issue at hand has to do with SA musicians. Clearly David
Kramer was not the most banned (by the PCB) artist although he had a
lot of material restricted on SABC - such as his entire 'Bakgat'
album. I would be interested in the source of the original claim
though, given that the SABC archives are in a mess and I do not know
of a complete up-to-date database on which every instance of
restriction has been faithfully recorded and preserved. For example,
I suspect that Miriam Makeba was more restricted than David Kramer -
entire albums such as 'An evening with Miriam Makeba and Harry
Belafonte' were restricted as well as numerous songs off individual
albums spanning a thirty year period. But unless a complete list of
all instances of SABC censorship are made available, this sort of
thing will be difficult to verify. The reasons for restricting stuff
is also important - political, grammatical, because of single
statements (eg, by Lennon and Wonder?), blasphemous, sexual, etcetera.
This ought to be of some significance.

Ultimately, however, this isn't some form of competition in which
anyone is more or less oppressed. Many SA musicians did not get to be
played on SABC radio at all during the 1980's and before: James
Phillips, Roger Lucey, Kalahari Surfers, and so on. Hopefully the
Rock Digest will be a means by which they get some retrospective


Catalyst or Detonator?
Local Music Quotas and the Current South African Music 'Explosion'

by Gary Baines
Department of History
Rhodes University

A very short extract...

Right now there is a window of opportunity for the major players to develop the South African music industry. Instead of recording companies and broadcasters prolonging their adversarial relationship of the past, these stakeholders need to develop their mutual interests in the industry. A symbiotic relationship between the parties can create a common commitment to promoting local music. Such synergy in the industry can only rebound to the benefit of all concerned, including artists. Investment by recording companies should be complemented by airtime for deserving local acts and critical but supportive media coverage.
In the final analysis, promotion is preferable to protection.

South African music must stand on its own merits in local and world markets.

{Editor: Originally published in "Social Dynamics", vol. 24, no. 1 (Winter 1998), pp. 66-87.
A journal produced by UCT's Centre for African Studies.
The entire article is available on the Net with Gary's kind permission at: }


Rod Currin wrote in reply to last week's digest:

>1.That terrible foghorn announcing the news on Radio Highveld

I don't know that one, but I do remember Radio Good Hope's 'horns'
announcing the news. (The term 'horns' was the actual term used by SABC
and Good Hope staff - me being one of them at the time ...)

>2.The Jet Jungle show with Chappie's the song from the ad
from memory...

Good memory! One very minor correction:

'Get' big bubble fun with Chappies bubblegum
Gives you flavour by the ton
Lots of colours to choose from
Everybody knows the one
Chappies bubblegum

You might be interested - even amazed - to know that this song is being
used currently with TV adverts in SA! My 8 year old son sang it to me this
morning (Friday).

>3. Carike Keuzenkamp (did she sing 'Daar's 'n trein, tjoe tjoe tjoe tjoe
tjoe tjoe, Die Trein na Matjiesfontein'?)

Nope, that was by Sonja Herholdt, who recently performed at Gloria 99 in
Oudsthoorn. This is a Gospel concert which is part of the Klein Karoo
Kunstefees (Arts Festival for the non-Afrikaans speakers), which we video'd
for Christian Network TV. Anybody know if Carike is still active? (In

>Peter Alston wrote:
>Although the banal "I like" has some interesting moments it soon becomes
>tiresome and the producers would have done well to have faded the song much
>earlier. The last 60 seconds or so are irritatingly repetitive (in my
>humble view). I am at a loss to understand why the song seems to be such a

Perhaps, it's because people can actually remember such a basic 'tune' ...
Seriously, though, there is a strange attraction to repetitive music. You
only have to look at our local African music - I mean the REAL, rural
African music, not the popularized stuff. It is also very repetitive, but
it's also popular amongst certain groups, and you can easily find your foot
tapping to it, even if you don't actually like it!

Ok, that's my bit for this week.



Chris Bush wrote:
Just a quick note in reply to Peter Alston's opinion on "I Like". Yeah the
version that appears on most compilations these days seems to be the one
taken from the album and yes the last part does seem to lose it's way with the
repeated chorus but can anybody remember the "Clean apartheid edited" single
version which cut out a chorus or two (probably a bit raunchy for our "Moral"
ears) and only lasted about 3:08. Can "Transistor" music confirm that it was
edited for this reason and do they feel that we are now all grown up and
that is why we have the full version on all compilations in all it's tame glory!

Possibly they just can't find the master tape but I'm sure even Peter could
handle this somewhat shortened version.


Leon Economides will be interviewing Judy Marshall and Peter Hanmer on Sunday night
on 5FM on the Dinosaur Days show...listen out for it at 11pm. He will be playing tracks from
the On The Run CD and also some selections from the first Off The Edge album from 1984.

Next week, Rafe Levine is featuring On The Run as the Essential CD of the Week on SAFM.
Rafe will be playing tracks on his Jive FM show every day from Monday to Friday between
3 and 5pm.

If you can't wait though, some MP3s are on the Net at:



"I was a teenage Donny Osmond fan" admits Digest editor!

Gearoid from Ireland wrote:
I had always filed Crazy Horses under 'C' for crap, but the other evening
it played on the box as background music to a film sequence. My prejudice
was caught unaware and I have to say I really was impressed. This is a
well written, played and performed song that has a usefully socially
conscious lyric. It's obviously not on a par with Deep Purple's
'Fireball' (another off the wall song), but it fairly rocks. Come to
think of it, imagine a genuine hard rock outfit doing Crazy Horses,

Leigh Barrett from Oregon, USA wrote:
Oh, and the comments about the uncool Donny Osmond made me smile. At
3pm every weekday on one of the networks, Donny and Marie Osmond have
a talk show, which is terrific watching. They've grown up into really
intelligent and fun people, and their show is a treat. Marie is
pregnant with her 7th kid, and Donny is pretty nuts. Their experience
tends to show up those who may be older, but who have spent less time
in showbiz. For your sakes, I hope the SABC or M-Net eventually gets
their show - it's a good one! (Oh, and they tend to pull Donny's leg
about his early music as well - mercilessly, I should add)

{Editor: any other confessions about the uncoolest album or CD in YOUR collection.
Come on, we won't tell anyone!}

MuZA: MUZO'S at ZZ's

Extract from a posting on the Powerzone mailing list:

ZZ's Saloon in Obs (Cape Town) are starting what could turn out to be a Musicians night on a Thursday evening. The point of the evening would be to showcase various muzos, new material, etc. not just to the general public but to fellow musicians.

They also want to play only South African music on these nights and therefore request the assistance from any other indie record companies. Street Level Records has donated some if it's catalogue, anyone else out there prepared to do the same?

Contact Barry on 083 481 6444


Susan Vos from Australia wrote:

I had the most wonderful experience last week. I heard of a group
called BOO that was performing in the pubs around Sydney. Last
Thursday night I finally caught up with them and what a "belewenis".
Miss Chris Chameleon, had the audiences mesmerized with the wonderful
sounds she/he makes with his/her vocals.
Princess Leonie played the drums and Ampie Omo about every other
musical instrument that is available. The most "lekkerste ding van
alles" I had the opportunity to speak Afrikaans again. And to see some
home grown talent.

I even got my CD autographed. I am well and truly chuffed by these
guys and would like to wish them all the best for the future. I'm
told that they will be touring Sydney again very soon. Can't wait.


Duusman consist of a five piece band of which only three are
permanent. We underwent the lineup change a month before Easter
weekend. At the moment the Not My Dog rhythm section is helping us
out. Duusman doesn't play very many gigs, only 4 so far this year and only in
June again. There are lots of reasons for that but the main one is just that we've been doing it that way and we will keep on doing it until we want to do it differently.
What ever, Duusman is not so good in English, do you understand Afrikaans?

{Editor: if you do understand Afrikaans, here is some more info...if not...
oh well...}

Duusman op hete kole:

Soos julle weet het Duusman Dinsdag 20 April vir die eerste keer in a
lang tyd in Pretoria gespeel by Tings & Times. Die aand het afgeskop
met Butler en as mens na die crowd geluister het het jy geweet hulle
is cool. Thanx Dudes!
Duusman se set het ook heerlik af gegaan en is net tydelik onderbreek
om vir 'n pragtige meisie 'n ingevoerde blom, designer jacket en 'n
soen of twee te gee vir haar 21st. Die van julle wat die gig gemis
het moet maar net geduldig wag tot Duusman weer Pretoria slaan, maar
nou gaan daar eers 'n liedjie of twee opgeneem word. Finale datums is
nog nie op besluit nie maar daar word gemik om vroeg in Mei in Wolmer
Records te wees. (dis mos nou Lani wat vir Not My Dog speel en vir
Duusman uithelp van Wolmer se wolmer records)
Maar nou ja, Duusman was stout ook gewees Dinsdag 20 April. Dit wil
voorkom asof hulle 'n Radio Tuks persoonlikheid effe kwaai gemaak het
met 'n vriendelike gekibbel oor toegang. So ons doen 'n beroep op
almal om as hulle weer Duusman plakate sien die informasie tog maar
mondeling ook oor te dra aangesien Duusman nie weer op Radio Tuks se
gig-guide genoem sal word nie en elke bietjie help.
Maar nou-ja, Duusman is nie bang nie, hulle weet daar is baie
plaaslike musiek ondersteuners daar buite en vir hulle sê Duusman
Ok, wat wil julle nog weet? Vusi speel binnekort in P-town, dis cool.
tot later dan mense.

There are some pics and other info on
go to list sites and check out Vetseun and Anna's page.


Dave Campbell wrote:

My name is Dave Campbell. I play bass for a Durban band "Jane Doe". We are
on Powerzone and update our info their more than we do our own band members.
Truth is the band generally logs on to Powerzone to see where they are
playing. We haven't been around very long but we have done a tour to Jhb
where we played the TDK session and were featured on LIVE@5. We also entered
the Morgan's Cat battle of the bands and go back in June for the Semi's. We
were also fortunate enough to get our debut single, "Funky Fatigue",
playlisted on a number of radio stations which helped a bit. The stuff is
kind of altenative funk. The band kind of moves around our singers vocals
with a little bit of aggression added for good measure.

At the moment we are not signed to anyone and are not interested in signing
with anyone. We haven't found any labels that offer anything that we can't do
ourselves. We will sell our soul for an overseas deal and we won't get that
so we won't sign. At the moment we are working on an indie compilation album
with three other Durban bands and thereafter we will bring our own album


Arlo Hennings wrote:

Shawn Phillips is due to return to South Africa
in March 2000.
Anyone interested?


Dave Malherbe wrote:

My brother Braam was drummer for Hawk.
Can you please let me know where I can borrow/buy/steal/listen to Hawk's Live and Well album. I have been searching for it for years!!!!
I should mention that I stay in Springs and this has been home to quite a few groups/musicians of the past. Off the cuff I can think of the Radio Rats, Collin Pratley, Kevin Kruger, Keith Hutchinson (Savuka), etc


On the cover of her 1995 debut album, 'Babhemu', Busi Mhlongo is dressed in traditional Zulu garb. But for this, her latest offering, Busi has gone for a contemporary, slick look and her Grace Jones-type appearance adds credence to the title and intentions of this extraordinary album. Long regarded as one of the stellar female vocalists on the African continent, alongside Miriam Makeba and Letta Mbulu, Mhlongo has pulled out all the stops to produce an album that bristles with attitude, intelligence and one of the most awesome voices heard around these parts for years. Simply put, 'Urbanzulu' will do for Zulu Maskanda music what Juluka achieved through their albums. The sound is traditional but has been surrounded by some fresh and fizzy tunes and arrangements that do full justice to Busi's range, breadth and vision.

Released on the MELT 2000 label and distributed through Nebula BOS, 'Urbanzulu' will not only become the album against which all future similar albums will be judged but will also take Busi Mhlongo's reputation and music into the new Millennium. These 11 songs were written, arranged and produced by Mhlongo, Themba Ngcobo and Mkhalelwa "Spector" Ngwazi, and run a full gamut of emotions and thoughts, all clearly expressed by Mhlongo's sensitive and confident delivery. Mhlongo's voice cries, whoops, yearns, ululates and wraps itself around all these songs, creating a continuity and interest that keeps this album on a completely non-boring level. There are many complimentary similarities to the Juluka sound, with accordions and effervescent acoustic guitars adding a twinkly feel to the vocals. But this is Busi Mhlongo's album and she has grabbed her opportunity to impress with grace, enthusiasm and some very strong material. 'Urbanzulu' is South Africa's first entry in the 1999 'crack the international market' stakes and could go all the way. Busi Mhlongo is a one-person impi and you'd better be prepared to be conquered. (9/10)

Stephen Segerman


Last week's question:

The Flames took this Jerry Butler and The Impressions song and made it a South African classic. It was #1 on the Springbok Radio charts in October 1968 and spent 11 weeks in the Top Twenty. What's the name of the song?

Answer: For Your Precious Love

This classic will always be associated locally with Durban band The Flames. However many people are unware that is was originally sung by Jerry Butler and The Impressions in 1958. The Impressions also featured Curtis Mayfield. Jerry Butler co-wrote it with the Brooks brothers, Joe and Arthur.

Winner: Gabriel Lopez who wins a copy of Soul Meeting, an
incredible compilation of great South African pop, soul and R&B numbers.

Compiled and kindly supplied by Derek Smith from Gallo.


This week's question:
What is Manfred Mann's real name?

Need help? Go to:

The first correct answer wins the double CD, "The No 1 60s Collection".
This CD is kindly supplied by Chris Venter from Universal Music (formally
known as PolyGram).

This nostalgic 2CD set compiled by Chris Venter is a wonderful slice of 60's pop, psychedelia,
rock and easy listening. From Acker Bilk's Stranger On The Shore to Arthur Brown's Fire, this CD really is the Number 1 collection of 60's memories. Also includes Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin's oft-banned "Je'Taime".

No South African tracks, but it does include 2 songs from one of SA's greatest musical exports, Manfred Mann.


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a book by Garth Chilvers and Tom Jasiukowicz,
published by TOGA Publishing in 1994.

This book contains 172 pages of South African artist biographies, discographies and photos. It is essential for anyone with even a passing interest in South African music.

This book covers a diversity of artists, from Charles Jacobie to Suck and is a companion book to the 'Best Of SA Pop' series of CDs.

"...a book that anybody with a passing interest in the South African Music Industry will find of invaluable assistance."
-- Chris Prior

The price for this book, including postage by surface mail and packaging, is R140/$24 for International deliveries and R115.00 within South Africa.

You can order a copy of this book securely online from:

This book is listed in the 'Local Pop Compilations' category and can be found by entering the title or author into the search engine.

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Well, Vagabond Music Research (VMR) is your one-stop South African-based music research and resource centre. Local and international music information supplied.
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Speak to Neil or Alan on 021-595 3220 or email Neil at:


Vinyl and second-hand CDs. Always something new.
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The SA Rock Digest is compiled by Brian Currin from the
"Too Good To Be Forgotten" internet message board, e-mails from
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