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Joseph Shabalala

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Joseph Shabalala
Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:11 am
  • Joseph Shabalala died on February 11 at the age of 78. He was the founder of a South African a cappella group called Ladysmith Black Mambazo. If you haven’t heard them, they are like nothing you’ve heard before. Truly impressive and amazing. He worked with Paul Simon for Simon’s Graceland album. A great album, by the way.
    If you want to hear him and his group sing in Zulu, there’s a great song called Homeless that I will link below. If you listen closely, you will even catch them singing the “click” sound that is prevalent in some African languages. Pretty interesting to hear in a song.
    Anyway. Rest In Peace, Joseph. He walked his days under African skies.
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Re: Joseph Shabalala
Wed Feb 12, 2020 3:34 pm
  • I've actually heard of that group, probably in the 80s and probably in connection with the Paul Simon album. Who here remembers that when Paul Simon went to South Africa to make an album involving black musicians that it was highly illegal and he could have been stuck in prison for a good amount of time? Reason that it was illegal to have *any* dealings with South Africa was because of apartheid. Since Paul Simon's dealings actually worked against apartheid by showcasing the black (or native, if you prefer) talent, I think that's why he (rightly) never faced the consequences he might have.

    Back to the OP, as I recall Ladysmith Black Mambazo released music in the US market after that? Sorry, sometimes the 80s are a little fuzzy... :les: :pimp:
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Re: Joseph Shabalala
Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:30 am
  • LargentFan thank you so much for this. I have never (looking down at floor in shame) listened to "Graceland" in entirety, since I (many years ago) copied the vinyl to CD for my then boss.

    Geekhawk, I remember a bit of Paul Simon's collaboration with indigenous South African musicians during the apartheid era, and also David Byrne's ventures into African music. There is a staggering untapped treasure chest of musical magic in Africa, truly. IIRC Senegalese music heavily influenced the beginnings of rap, but I know nothing about that genre at all!

    Amazing to hear the 'click' sound sung! There was a character called !Xabbu in Tad Williams' "Otherland" fantasy tetralogy; books which I found very hard to read in parts, FWIW, but demanding of the required perseverance (like most Tad Williams books) who was a Kalahari bushman.

    South Africa was banned from international sport during apartheid; notably cricket, where they are a powerhouse once more, but can be relied on to choke in cricket World Cups (but are current rugby world champions, not that I know anything about rugby)!
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