The Kinsey Report
Sam’s Latin Kings

Sam’s Latin Kings

Another of the great Dance Bands from the 50s and 60s that continued making people take to the floor into this century. Led by Sam Abraham the band performed at many venues in Durban and made a number of successful recordings, According to Juggie Pather in his book “Clairwood: The Untold Story”, Sam’s interest in music began at the age of 9 when he found a toy flute in a lucky packet. He soon mastered this instrument and went on to others including a Amazoo and other makeshift wind instruments, finally leading him to the saxophone. Sam made his debut as a musician with the Rossburgh Sarawathie Orchestra and gained more experience playing with the Young India Orchestra. He next joined the Lingum Orchestra and began taking lessons in reading and writing music. With his skills and qualifications he was snapped up by the Columbian Orchestra as a composer and arranger. He later joined the Rhythm Quavers. Having gained experience and learning from the leading musicians over the day, he started his own group, Sam and The Latin Kings and earned a contract to play at the popular Himalaya Hotel. The group later also played at the Island Hotel in Isipingo. In 1985, Sam joined the Police Band, a full time orchestra of the South African Police Force. He retired 15 years later. Sam and the Latin Kings won a number of awards. Probably their most successful year was 1960 when the won three awards at the Dance Band Competition: Best Band, Best Instrumentalists and Best Arrangements. Sam and the group recorded 8 CDs, all of which are still played by fans of his music. (Thanks to Juggie Pather for allowing me to use extracts from his book “Clairwood: The Untold Story)
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Updated 23 June 2024
A piece of history. Thanks to the Peter family for this picture of the base played by Edgar Peter