13 November 2014
Welcome to MUSIC LEGENDS OF CAPE TOWN. This website/blog is dedicated, in the main, to those artists — singers, musicians, drag queens, etc — who command respect and admiration for their years of effort they put into entertaining us.
In the mid-Sixties and into part of the Seventies, live music thrived in South Africa and particularly in Cape Town … great bands, great singers, great shows. It was a vibrant scene that brought untold joy to many people, whether they loved pop music, underground/psychedelic (as it was known then), gospel or jazz.
It spawned the likes of Dollar Brand and Bea Benjamin, Zelda Benjamin, the Zane Adamses, Leslie Kleinsmiths, Richard Jon Smiths, the Butler family, the Schilders, the Moses brothers . . . groups like Respect, Oswietie, Pacific Express, the Rockets and out-of-towners like The Flames, The Invaders. Then disco and the deejays arrived, and with its advent, live bands and big shows started fading.
I was fortunate enough to be part of those exciting times both as a party animal (aah yes, some people may have another word for it) and as a journalist reporting on Cape Town entertainment.
It is now almost 50 years since many of those entertainers came onto the scene. Some of them (Leslie Kleinsmith, Abdullah Ibrahim, the Rockets) are still making waves. Others have quietly eased back into a more sedate, suburban lifestyle that doesn’t involve too much of clubs and the stage. Still others have vanished completely.
In recent years, some quite dynamic young musicians have come to the fore, particularly in the jazz field … artists like Ramon Alexander, Hilton Frans, the Delft Band. Switched on young musos who will add so much to the local scene — if they are given the right opportunities.
It is comforting to know that this new crop will build a healthy base for music to thrive and taking it into exciting new directions as they provide great entertainment in the community.
However, I’ve always cherished that old saying: in order to know where you’re going, it’s important to know where you come from.
And where we come from, there is a wealth of material from which to draw. In recent months I have been thrilled by the initiative of Trevor Davis in presenting his Sundays of Legends concerts. It is as much about our past as it is our future.
This blog is my attempt to make sure that our past is documented in some way to benefit future generations. And make sure that we honour the “legends” who have passed on and those who are still with us.
And please, this is a work in progress, and a one-person show. Don’t mind the typos and little slip-ups. Feel free to criticise constructively, add value where you can [there is a comment area just for that]. I’ll try to add things regularly, cut me some slack if nothing happens for a week or so, or feed me with something that I can use.
But most of all, enjoy the ride. Make sure you tick the boxes at the bottom of the page which will alert you by email that new material is on the blog.