Sunday, 13 March 2011
Sadness and Joy with Dixie Kwankwa
This is the first LP in South Africa on the Troubadour label and is presented as "Sadness and Joy - Dixie Kwankwa in an Evening of African Cabaret". Dixie had a hit in London and Southern African with the song My Nyasaland Love which was issued in the UK on Melodisc 1573 (c.1961). In a strange way Dixie reminds me of Simphiwe Dana with an assured but quiet and confident delivery and none of the urgency or forcefullness of her peers. In listening to the LP today you can almost visualise this slotting in next to the Harry Belafonte, Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra records that the white middle classes were enjoying at the the time. Record players that could play 33rpm records were rare and expensive and until at least the mid-sixties the predominant format in South Africa was the 78 single play.
There is not a lot more information on Dixie apart from what can be gleaned from the sleeve notes which are written in the quaint and mostly patronising manner of the times. Dixie did win the Miss South Africa title in 1957 and in the following year as part of the show African Bandwagon got her first singing job before being signed to Troubadour Records.
There are some great songs here including a take on Ghanaian Hi Life and a rock and roll tune. The accompaniment and chorus is under the direction of Cuthbert Mathumba whilst the LP is produced and arranged by Stuart Cook. Enjoy the ride!
Dixie Kwankwa - Sadness and Joy (Troubadour, LPA1, c 1959)
1. Hush A Bye
3. Hi-Life the Ghana Way
4. Mary Jane
5. When the One You Love
6. Lost on the Mountain
7. My Heart is Waiting for the Sunrise
8. Kwa Zulu
9. Memories of My Love
10. Nice Time Baby
11. Pick Up The Axe, Sebenza
12. When You Walk Alone
My Nyasaland Love b/w I Left My Heart in Rhodesia 45 RS/ MF