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Sunday 11 April 2010

Hipcat Parade

A bit of 1970s Cape Town soul for you to see out the week. The fantastically named "Cape Herald Hipcat Parade" album has recently been reissued on EMI in South Africa and is well worth tracking down if you have the opportunity. But on the assumption that most of you won't have that opportunity, here are a couple of the high points.

The album was originally released in 1975 and all the featured acts are members of the Cape Coloured community, which is the largest ethnic group in the Western Cape and accounts for about 10% of the total population of South Africa.

The only artist on the album that acquired an international reputation was Jonathan Butler, who had his first local hit with "Please Stay" at the age of 12 or 13 and has gone on to have a pretty successful career as a George Benson style smooth jazz singer/guitarist. But locally the big name act were and are The Rockets, and their "Can't Stand These Lonely Nights" is the stand-out track on the album.

"Can't Stand These Lonely Nights" - The Rockets

"Sweet Number One" - Ivan Ross

The album also includes a cover of 10cc's "Donna" by the Athlone Express. Here is the original.

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