Johnny Soon and The Magnets The band originally consisted of Lulu Pillay (lead guitar), Sunny Pillay (vocals/rhythm guitar), Joe Moodley (bass guitar) and Chicken Morgan (drums). In 1961, Sunny Pillay left the band and was replaced by Johnny Soon.(Information and Photo Courtesy of Manny Gounden)
Updated 18 June 2019
Bobby Hendricks Bobby Hendricks was born in Caledon on the 7th February 1936 and died in 1999. Well known for his strict tempo dance music, he was popularly known as the ''King of Langarm.'' Bobby was posthumously awarded by the Western Cape Department of Environmental and Cultural Affairs for his exceptional contribution to the entertainment industry and for the five Gold Albums he produced. The municipality of Caledon named a street after the great man who brought so much joy to so many people.(Syd Williams)
Eddie was called the “Engelbert Humperdinck” of South Africa. He was a popular vocalist at many venues in Durban and surrounding areas. He became a member of the Golden City Dixies and toured throughout South Africa and Rhodesia Here is Eddie performing Time And The RiverandIl Mondo
The Ray Kress Quintet was another of
the great dance bands of the 60s. Unfortunately no
recordings of the group exist, as far as I know.
Roy Petersen was a versatile artist able to play piano, guitar and
drums. He was a member of the Golden City Dixies. He fell in love with
Durban and soon became a member of The Blue Ricks.
The Silhouettes This group from Johannesburg is still going strong. See More
The Savoys Another one of the popular Dance Bands that performed mainly in the Durban area.At various times the following were members of the group: Roy and Shirley Simon, Russell Simon, Kevin Selling, Tennyson James, Lance James and Baby Duval. Lefty Johnson
Thandi Klaasens Gained quite a reputation as a wonderful singer often appearing at The Himalayas Hotel in DurbanHere she perform Sophiatown
Other ArtistsThis section records information of some other artists who may not have made any commercial recordings, or else I don’t have much information on them.The program of the 1961 Natal Open Dance Band Competition contains pictures and information on many of the prominent bands of that era.To view Click Here
The Vampires The Vampires were from Chatsworth and consisted of Kubie Govinsamy, Sidney Cane, Victor Soul, Percy Frank, Gerald & Viggie Govinsamy They made two albums. The first contained instrumentals and was called “Swinging Guitars”.The second album was called Vampires Underground
Sidney Cane was a vocalist with The Vampires, but later branched out on his own.He had a distinctive voice and style. He won great acclaim when he appeared as a support act on the Percy Sledge Tour of South Africa in 1971.Listen to Sidney singing Unchained Melodyand a duet with Sharon De Quintal It Takes Two
Bill and Mavis RoachBill Roach was a fine guitarist who replaced Brian Pillay as the guitarist with The Blue Ricks.Mavis Roach was a wonderful singer who could be compared to Ella Fitzgerald. Nobody sang “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” like she did.One of my greatest regrets is not recording them. We had spoken about recording “I Left My Heart in San Franscisco” but didn’t get down to doing it.(Thanks to Daniel Louis Jettoo for tracing this picture)
Paul McCarthy and Edna Newman were a popular duet that performed at many venues in DurbanThe Hi-Lites was a group that was often featured on the SABC on the Sunday Morning Indian Program
Gene Rockwell and The Falcons were a popular group that appeared in a number of shows with artists such as The Flames and The Jets.