What did an early Ralph Rabie setlist look like?


In 1980 Ralph Rabie did one of his first live performances at a Skemervonkel event at the University of Potchefstroom.

The setlist for that evening makes interesting reading because it reveals that, at that time, Rabie was still performing mainly cover versions of songs with English lyrics. The set included one original Rabie composition, which was also in English.

Going by the setlist it appears that Neil Diamond was a favourite of Rabie’s because 3 of his songs were covered that night.

Apart from mentioning that members of the Alabama Student Choir were present in the audience, Rabie interacted very little with the audience that night. When he did speak, he was very reserved and his voice was barely a whisper. There was none of the banter that would characterise the later concerts when he performed as his alter ego, Johannes Kerkorrel.

It’s amazing that only a few years later, the shy student from Skemervonkel, would become the figurehead of the Voëlvry tour.

Skemervonkel Setlist

1. Piano man (Billy Joel cover)
2. Blowin’ in the wind (Bob Dylan cover)
3. Play Me (Neil Diamond cover)
4. Me and Bobby McGee (Janis Joplin/Kris Kristofferson cover)
5. I got the music in me (Kiki Dee cover)
6. Rhinestone Cowboy (Glen Campbell cover)
7. Friends are like music Paul Williams cover)
8. I am …I said (Neil Diamond cover)
9. Sometimes when we touch (Dan Hill cover)
10. Pearl’s a singer (Elkie Brooks cover)
11. Bird on a Wire (Leonard Cohen cover)
12. Morningside (Neil Diamond cover)
13. Write a song – Ralph Rabie original
14. Times they are a changing (Bob Dylan cover)
15. Caravan Song (Mike Batt cover)
16. Holly Holy (Neil Diamond cover)
17. The Rose (Bette Midler cover)