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 artists on this page are mainly soloists and groups. Information on Dance bands can now be found HEREand for the program of the 1961 Natal Open Dance Band Competition, which contains pictures and information of the participants Click Here
Updated 13 November 2019
was a popular singer who appeared at the Bon Chance in the mid to late 60s. He might have been called The Calypso King. The song that I associate with him is Ole Man River
The Naked Truth
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.
were from Chatsworth and consisted of Kubie Govinsamy, Sidney Caine, Victor Soul, Percy Frank, Gerald & Viggie Govinsamy They made two albums for Raj Music. The first was called “Swinging Guitars” and included No Particular Place To GoThe second album was called Vampires UndergroundIt was an album of rock, psychedelic and soul music. Here is a track from it Memphis Underground
was a vocalist and flautist 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 live performance ofHey There Lonely Girlduring the Percy Sledge Show in JohannesburgHere he duets with Sharon De Quintal on It Takes Two
Sidney’s brother Robin was also a musician and is featured on the album Black BirthHere is a video of Robin Caine singing Rock Me Baby
Gene Rockwell and The Falcons
Gene Rockwell is recognised as one othe great South African artists. He started his career in Durban and appeared in a number of shows with artists such as The Flames and The Jets. He went on to become a well known recording artists. Probably his biggest hit was Heart, but The Time Has Come would be my favourite.
Los Pepitos were regular performers at The Butterworth Hotel. Members of the band included Mark Stevens on rythym guitar, Tony Harris on saxaphone, Stanley Phillips percussionist, Gordon Alfred on keyboards, Leslie Phillips the drummer, Bobby Naidoo the band leader and bass guitarist, Jerry Govinder, lead guitarist and Harold Phillips, percussionist. They recorded a number of succesful albums for Raj Music.
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.Unfortunately no known recordings of the group exist.(Information and Photo Courtesy of Manny Gounden)
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)
both as a solo artist as well as a member of The Dream Merchants must rate as one of the most successful pop artists to emanate from South Africa. He also had a hit record under the name Quenton E Klopjaegger.Billy also became a record producer and a mentor to budding artistsLink to Billy Forrest Website
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
This group from Johannesburg is still going strong. More information on the group can be found HERE
Gained quite a reputation as a wonderful singer often appearing at The Himalayas Hotel in DurbanHere she perform Sophiatown
Dickie Loader and the Blue Jeans
was a popular group based in Durban. The group consisted of Dickie Loader – guitar, vocals, Ian Wells – piano, Ray Boonzaaier – bass and Des Ray – sax• Noel Glover – drums
Graham Beggs was also a member member of this
group for a while. He later became one of the most
successful record producers in South Africa
Sea Of Heartbreak
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
Lionel Martin Pillay
Talent is no guarantee of success in the commercial music world. If it were then Lionel Martin Pillay would have been one of the most successful musicians to come out of South Africa.Considered by many to be one of the most brilliant pianists, he never reached the heights of popularity, and is not as well known as artists such as Dollar Brand (Abdullah Ibrahim) and Hugh Masekela.You could say he was a childhood prodigy. He started playing the piano at the age of 5 and was first introduced as a pianist at a dance held by the Municipality of Durban at the age of 7.
He studied music and when he grew up opened his own music school in Victoria Street. At the age of 18 he joined The Rhythm Sextext as a pianist. In Durban he regularly played at the Goodwill Lounge as well as at Club Lotus and other venues. Lionel was a gentleman and in his quiet manner and amazing talent delighted his contemporaries as well as his fans. His contemporaries included Chris Joseph, for whom he played drums for a short while, Mariam Makaba, Claude Shange, Hugh Masukela and Winston Mkunku. (I am led to believe that Winston and Lionel combined for a fabulous rendition of the jazz classic Yakhal' Inkomo.)He had impressed Virginia Lee who then used him as a backup musician in her Eisteddfods mainly held at the Durban City Hall. Most audiences were unaware that he was the pianist at these shows.Lionel then moved to Johannesburg where he became a studio musician performing on recordings of some of the country’s top artists. He became a resident pianist at Sun City when it first opened. He also performed with a number of jazz greats including Johnny Fourie, Hugh Masekela and Basil Mannenburg Coetzee. Lionel composed directed music for the SABC and played with The Des and Dawn Linberg band and Musical Films In the 70's.He went on to explore parts of Africa and played in Zambia and Swaziland. Later he ventured abroad and became a sensation in the Isle of Man. He played at the Montreau Jazz Festival and rose to fame as he toured the world with great artists of different genre's like The Supremes, Andre Crouch and The Comedian Spike Milligan. By then the music world had recognised Lional as a jazz musician in a class of his own!His most prized possession was a note that he carried in his jacket pocket written to him by the legendary Oscar Peterson, who happened to be at one of Lionel's gigs. The message read " love those great jazz notes"He recorded three albums: Plum and Cherry, Deeper in Black and October Magic. Two singles were also released: •Cherry –Composed by Dollar Brand/Plum composed by himself•You Keep Coming Back To Me/It Seldom Snows HereLionel passed away in 2003 as a result of poor health..
Deeper In Black
Blues For Jusef
were a very popular group performing in the Cape during the sixties.The group consisted of Aubrey Williams - Guitar, Llewelyn Roman - Lead Guitar, Charles Anyster – Vocals, Lionel Beukes - Bass and Lesley Beukes - Drums.You can read more about the group in an article by Marq Vas HERE
One of the finest guitarists to eminate from Durban, Gerald’s forte is smooth jazz. He has been performing since the late seventies and has gained the admiration of jazz musicians in South Africa and around the world.He formed a number of bands including No Strings Attached and The Gerald Sloan Latino Project.He spend four years in Australia performing at a number of jazz festivals and top entertainment venues including Crown Casino.Since his return to South Africa, he has continued to contribute to the jazz world performing with some regular partners as well as many well known vocalists.More information on Gerald can be found HERE
started hs musical career in Johannesburg with a group called the Thunderballs.He later moved to the Cape where he quickly developed a reputation as a fine vocalist.He also performed with The Rockets and The Invaders.He later returned to Johannesburg where he joined the group Harari as lead vocalist, but continued to record as a solo artist as well.One of his main achievements was the recording of Kaiser Chiefs’ We Are Number One backed by his multi-racial band, the Winners.He later became a born-again Christian and devoted his singing to religeous music.
(Johnny Foster was a fine guitarist and led a band called The Beverley Quintet)