Month: July 2015

The Day the Music Died – 31 July 1995

A long, long time ago a barefoot poet wrote a song that changed a generation. The name of the musician was James Phillips and today marks twenty years since he died as a result of injuries sustained in a car accident. James’s mother recognised very early that her son was gifted. Phillips once told her how, instead of words and…

Money for Nothing and your Chicks for Free – Major Label bands that supported The Struggle Part 1

Shifty Music was the record label that released the recordings of the “alternative” Afrikaans artists, such as Johannes Kerkorrel and the Gereformeerde Blues Band, Koos Kombuis and Bernoldus Niemand during the 1980s. Shifty was formed by Lloyd Ross and Ivan Kadey. A number of punk, new wave and mainstream bands and artists also vocally rejected the government’s policy of apartheid,…

South Africa in the 1980s – No Picnic

The show ‘Piekniek by Dingaan’ which had been developed by André le Toit, later known as Koos Kombuis, caused a furore when it was staged in 1987. Kombuis had initially presented his ideas for the show, hand written on a few pieces of paper, to the head of CAPAB (Cape Performing Arts Board) theatre, Johan Esterhuizen. Esterhuizen had not been…

Life is a Cabaret

After separating from his wife, Ralph Rabie based himself in Johannesburg. He first lived in the suburb of Westdene, in a home that he shared with Irna van Zyl who was working at the magazine de Kat. Van Zyl had joined the End the Conscription Campaign and she along with a group of like-minded individuals felt that they had to…

Radio GaGa

After coming to power in 1948 the Nationalist government started drawing up and enacting legislation to enforce apartheid. The separation of races had an effect not only on people, but also on the radio! The SABC took to extremes the obsession of “separateness” of the races. Lyrics sheets of songs that were submitted for airplay on SABC radio had to…