Sunday, 15 May 2011

Dancing Time with the Raiders


Over a relative short period of time The Raiders recorded five albums - The Raiders go Latin, Get Ready with the Raiders, Encore,
Dance 69 and Fuzz Face - for the independent Durban label RAJ Records. The music is primarily guitar-led instrumental pop livened up from time to time with the addition of a fuzz box. All clues seem to point to the Raiders being a working band, hired for private functions in the Indian, Coloured and African communities of Durban and its surrounds.

I managed to track down an article by Yogan Naidoo lamenting today's obsession with Bollywood. This recollection provides wonderful context to the music of the Raiders and other forgotten bands of that era:
"Listen to some of the great dance bands of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s - such as the Crescendos and Dukes Combo - and you'll hear a sound that is still like no other in the world. It is inimitably and spectacularly South African-Indian. Other bands - with names like Sam's Latin Kings, Stepping Stones, the Jets, Kreme, Cheyennes, Blue Ricks, the Santiago Dance Band, Los Pepitos, El Remos and Raiders - also reigned over this era. I recall a sultry Saturday night in the 1970s, when knee-high to a grasshopper, I sat beside my father at a table bearing the heavyweights of the Southern Natal Soccer Board at a Soccer Awards Ceremony at the Himalaya Hotel. With the formalities over, a band called The Blue Jewels commandeered the stage. Like a powerful, orchestrating yet symbiotic organism it amplified, fed off and again replenished the enthusiasm of its audience. They were a tight unit of young South African Indian men who, in all likelihood, would return to exploitative day jobs the Monday after, but for that Saturday night, to Durban's assembled soccer elite, they were the undisputed gods of the dance floor. That night mirrored thousands of others featuring a variety of bands, audiences and occasions at other venues such as the Island Hotel in Isipingo Beach, The Railway Hotel in Isipingo Rail, The Butterworth Hotel in the Durban CBD, the Apollo Nightclub in Sea Cow Lake, the Admiral Hotel in Overport, the Pelican and Sol Namara in Chatsworth, and at the Goodwill Lounge in Victoria Street.

"Playing at rock concerts at Curries Fountain, the Durban City Hall's Battle of the Bands and community halls were rock bands such as Nirvana (well before Kurt Cobain's Nirvana), Atomic Ash, Shackles, a folk outfit called Silver Willow Sterling and many more of that ilk. Inspired by 1960s and 1970s groups such as the Beatles, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, our bands composed a multitude of original songs with socially conscious lyrics. Because the major record companies of the time were white-owned and goaded by an apartheid mindset, they never considered the anomaly of a South African Indian rock band as a viable option. Our musicians received either no material reward or were paid a pittance for their musical undertakings. Yet, they were driven by an overwhelming passion for their vocation.

"Recently, I met a few of the remaining members of these bands. Their stories, while touched by nostalgia, are still underlined by the pathos of just how much more professionally rewarding their lives as musicians could have been. Decades later, it seems nothing has changed. We, the very community from which they originate, are ignoring their contributions to our musical canon. The Crescendos, for example, was established about 50 years ago in Cato Manor. How then are they not part of our heritage? How is it that not one single celebration commemorating our 150 years in this country ever considered inviting them or any of their peers to share the stage? Unlike Bollywood, we own this intellectual property. No other community in the world can lay claim to this legacy. This is our Buena Vista Social Club*. Along with our strugglistas, our writers and poets - these are my heroes.

"We owe them our respect, reverence, gratitude and recognition."





*I think the Buena Vista reference is pushing it when it comes to the Raiders material on the two LPs we are sharing. But check it out anyway.
Get Ready with the Raiders
MF/ RS

Encore (bonus share)
RS/ MF

47 comments:

  1. Thank you very much for The Raiders albums. Great tunes!

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  2. This is incredible music, thank you for The Raiders!!!

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  3. Great!!!!
    Many many thanks for all the sharing!!!!
    Greets from Greece.
    Kle.

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  4. The Raiders drummer is my dad. Turns 70 today & still plays regularly.

    Sebastian

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    1. Hi Sebastian. Hope your dad is well. Could you ask him if he knows Lenny alwar. He apparently did a gig with them. He was from greytown. He is my late dad. Best regards Denver

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  5. Fantastic Sebastian - thanks for letting us know - please send him best wishes from some of his fans

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  6. The best by far, Any chance of a live show , by past & present members , if they still"rocking' ???

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  7. Kle from Greece , what a pleasure knowing it's popular still for you in far-away land. Any links to SA , or Durban in particular?

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  8. Truly incredible musicians- The Raiders-Remember the Rungan Brothers Lead Guitarist Danny Harris - unique sound-You still hear it in and around.Wouldnt it be great to have a reunion
    That's were Natalie comes.... ................

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  9. Ronnie Pillay WitbankFriday, December 07, 2012

    i just bought Raiders Encore cd two weeks ago while on holiday in Durbs. this adds to my raiders collection. these guys were and are still great. Sebastian cherish and treasure every moment you have with your dad. you are a lucky person to have him around

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    1. Hi my uncle was born in south Africa and cherishes the raiders music. He would like to know how he can buy the raiders 'get ready' album? I look forward to hearing from you, Justin from London

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  10. Ronnie, thanks for the message. I did not know Raiders CDs were available ... we would be happy to share any links so that other interested fans might be able to get hold of the CDs. Best wishes

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  11. Hi, Please be kind to give me detail of where to find cds on The Raiders, Sams Latin Kings etc. I am desperate. Rashied Mohammed

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  12. Hi Rashied. The reason we are making these recordings freely available for download on this page is precisely because we cannot find anywhere that people like yourself can purchase the music. If you do find somewhere, please do let us know and we will be glad to promote it.
    Regards

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  13. Great Music!!!

    These following South African Instrumental Bands have CD's available:

    Hot Shots

    Sam's Latin Kings

    The Raiders

    Dukes Combo

    The Manies

    Los Pepitos

    Kreme

    The CD's are R50 each. Contact me on e-mail for more information. Postage available to SA only.

    dbnretro@gmail.com

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  14. Interesting peek into a little-known corner of sociological history -- Indian/colored dance bands playing at parties in South Africa in the late '60s. I learn more about history from music than I do from textbooks!

    My favorite track here is "Which Way You Going Billy," a great Poppy Family song I've never seen covered by any other band. Judging by its inclusion on this record, I'd definitely date "Dancing TIme with the Raiders" to 1969, the year when "Billy" was very briefly a hit on the international charts.

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  15. Hi There is it possible for someone to give me more information on a band called National Entertainers and the Blue Jewels and where can I get hold of there CD'S.We were very young when my Dad used to play for these bands and we are desperate to hear him play ( his name was Fishy ) and he used to play the Saxophone.

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  16. Hi there.there was a gentleman called BALOO that also played the saxaphone for National entertainers. That sax is now in a Chatsworth home in unit 5 Durban,

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  17. Rashied MohammedThursday, May 23, 2013

    Hi , does anybody have info on The Tulips ? I remember my cousin having a LP featuring a track- Golden Slumbers ? Not too sure where they were from ?

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  18. Hi Rashied. The Tulips were indeed from South Africa. I have a 1977 EMI compilation on the Ring Label that has four tracks by the Tulips - nut not the one you are looking for. (The compilation album includes other bands too: "The Additions", "The Movie Movies" and "The Mthembu Queens"). I will make a plan to try and digitize it and line it up in the electric jive posting schedule in the next three or four months. Stay tuned

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  19. Rashied MohammedFriday, May 24, 2013

    Thanks Chris, any tracks by them will be awesome!!!!!

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  20. Does anybody have the contact detail of Classic SA ? Ordered cds via email but no response?

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  21. Hi Shiedie - I have not heard of Classic SA before. I cannot vouch for the dbnretro e-mail address in these comments, but I left it up there in case people did want to order CDs from them. good luck.

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  22. According to Mohamed Gany ex Raj Music he sold the rights to someone in KZN for the manufacture and distribution of his products for a limited period but I am unable to establish who and where ? I believe some of the stuff is available from certain music shops ? It is simple, music should be shared and made available to everybody and this is how we kill our artist, music, culture and passion. Apologies for the moan but I do a Golden Oldies program on a Community Radio Station and I keep my listeners memories alive and expose the current generation to this beautiful music and our talented local artist.

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  23. Thanks Rashied for posting your comment - it is certainly a key mission of us here on electric jive, non-profit voluntary efforts to make sure this music does not become lost. Do shout if there is anything in particular you are looking for. Regards

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  24. I am also looking for The Prumes third and last LP feat. Gee Baby Im sorry and Cecil Mitchell- Ten Commandments of love.

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  25. I am also looking for The Prumes third and last LP feat. Gee Baby Im sorry and Cecil Mitchell- Ten Commandments of love.

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  26. Hi, does anybody have material on The Minerals- Sweet Soweto, Black Disco 1,2,3 ( feat Pops Mohamed, Sipho Gumede etc.)City Soul- Diagnal Street Blues, The Flood, The Miracles ( from Eersterust Pretoria)The Mojos, Hoochie Coochies etc ?? This was hectic!!!!

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  27. Rashied...the As-shams(Sun) catalog is owned by Rashid Vally and I've been working with him to re-issue some of these. Sadly the titles you seek are out of print:
    Black Disco 1,2,3
    City Soul- Diagnal Street Blues

    As to who owns the others I don't know...but we may post some material from the Minerals in dues course

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  28. Hi Rashied - The Black Disco releases are on Rashid Vally's Sun (As-Shams) records - you might be able to find them at Rashid's Kohinoor record shop in JHBG. We Don't have the Minerals track you are looking for, but we will see what we can do about some other tunes of theirs. Will look out for the others you mention. You an find Diagonal Street Blues on Electric Jive - here http://electricjive.blogspot.com/2010/11/spirits-rejoice-do-disco-funky-with.html
    - Cheers

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  29. Hi, if anybody is interested. I have excess to the following cds.
    The Flames- Soulfire/Burning Soul( 2 on 1) @ R80.00
    The Invaders- Heart and soul( double cd, approx 42 tracks and covers 95% of their recorded work)@ R50.00
    The Flames- umm,umm Oh Yeah/ Thats Enough ( double cd) @R80.00
    Richard Jon Smith- Greatest Hits @ R50.00
    Jonathan Butler- I love how you love me @ R50.00
    Zayne Adam- 50th Anniversary @ R80.00
    Superlangarm( Various , Royal sounds, Bobby Hendricks etc- Double cd)@ R100.00
    Add R22.00 for postage within SA
    soultrainmusic18@gmail.com

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  30. Help! Where do I find the material to listen to on the website? A blonde moment?

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  31. Hi,Please be kind and give me detail of where to find Cds of the Prumes Feat.Little Collins album You Sexy Thing,Neville Nash,Lionel Petersen.

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  32. Gustav

    All the cds by The Prumes, Neville Nash and Lionel Petersen ( Spotlight feat. Try a little love etc) deleted.
    The record companies wants to sell volumes and refuse to re-issue without a minimum of 500x plus. I only have CD-R

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  33. I'm writing a book on the lives we led in Clairwood from the 50s to the 80s. A chapter s devoted to Music and Musicians of that period. Did Raiders originate in Clairwood. Does anyone have info on Danny Boy and the Blue Ricks. I'm on juggiepather@ gmail.com.ta

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  34. Welcome back - you missed the Tulips tracks - they are already up - http://electricjive.blogspot.com/2013/07/giant-hits-seventies-soul-mbaqanga-1977.html

    Cheers

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  35. Can you set up a web site for free downloads to, Kreme and Dukes Combo. I was brought up listening to them, I'm now 16, and I still to this day listen to them. They are very talented and blessed musicians. Thanks guys!

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  36. This is such a great post. My dad (Ravi Govender) who is late played the trumpet for the Blue Jewels. We grew up to this music and learned to love it. If anybody has any material related to the Blue jewels I would be so grateful. we were really young when my dad played so never collected anything. Alvina

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  37. Some music I am desperate trying to get: The Elricas- Talk of the town, The Tulips- featuring Golden slumbers , The Prumes- Featuring Gee Baby im sorry, Cecil Mitch- Ten Commandments of love .

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  38. is this site still active?

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  39. currently searching for a track from the mid to late 70s....chorus was .."come a little closer.........just a little closer ......?

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  40. does anyone know where i can download the tracks off the cd diman tone the mannies. i had the cd for many years happened to get scratched and now i cant listen to it anymore use to love it :( searching for it for over a year now

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  41. Hi Sebastian. My late dad Lenny alwar apparently did a gig with the band. Could you ask him if he remembers him. He was from greytown. Best regards Denver.

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  42. Hi. I'm the niece of two of the members of the Jets (Godfrey and the late Ivan Daniels). I'm searching for recordings of their music. if you have any information please contact me lindsaydaniels0401@gmail.com
    Thanks

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  43. I am still looking for the following albums:
    The Tulups ( coloured guys from Boksburg)
    Cecil Mitchell - Ten Commandments of love
    The Prumes- Third and last album feat. Gee Baby im sorry
    The Minerals- Sweet Soweto

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  44. Hi all, looking for more information or music from the Red Roosters, my father is Vijaya who I think was associated with the band. We have some Raiders CDs that were given to us here and used to have a SABC vinyl as well. Will try to make them available if they are different from the ones posted.

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  45. Можно ли востановить Файл?

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