Monday 2 December 2013

Rock Jive - Volume 1 (1952-1968)

December brings our now annual tradition of featuring end-of-year compilations appropriate for the holiday season. I'll open with a first volume of South African jive tracks loosely themed around rock n' roll. All tracks are digitized from 78 rpms sourced from the Flat International archive.

While jazz and swing were the dominant styles influencing South African music of the 1950s and 60s, the impact of rock music was inescapable. Rock was marginally adopted by some black South African musicians in the late 1950s, and yet the principle focus still remained with jazz, jive and kwela. Reasons for this are well outlined in Charles Hamm's essay "Rock 'n Roll in a Very Strange Society" in his book Putting Popular Music in its Place. For more on this subject also see our earlier post on the Bogard Brothers.

Not all the tracks in this compilation are strictly rock — many include elements of swing, ska, kwela, goema and majuba (or African Jazz). Simply, I built the comp from tracks that either included the word "rock" in the title or band name or where a name or title was similarly suggestive such as Slim Guitar and his Band or the Hot lips Band. Some gems include the Bank Robber's Rock by Kippie Moeketsi and his Hot Rocks and Zulu Rock by the African Symphonics featuring Ntemi and Shadrack Piliso.

I think you will find the compilation suitable for dancing.

(Flat International / Electric Jive, FXEJ 13)

01) Cowboy Superman - Madlaka Dlaka (1952, Bantu Batho, BB 113)
02) African Symphonics - Zulu Rock (1957, Troubadour, AFC 491)
03) Benoni Rocket - I'm Gonna Rock (1961, New Sound,  GB 3278)
04) SDV Swing Band - Riverside Blues (c1966, Winner, OK 267)
05) Slim Guitar and his Band - Mapapi Busuku (1960, Zonk, TV 155)
06) Soweto Stokvel Septette - Eddie's Ska (1966, Stokvel, ST 002)
07) Black Notes - Funky Papa (c1965, Tempo, KT 567)
08) Billie the Kid and his Zombies - Magidasibekane (1959, Zonk, TV 134)
09) Joe's Jazz Band - Fly-By-Night (c1955, Philips, P30803H)
10) Hot Lips Band - Julia (c1953, Bantu Batho, BB 162)
11) Fanani Sibanda - Abanga Bani (c1953, Troubadour, AFC 151)
12) Kippie Moeketsi and his Hot Rocks - Bank Robber's Rock (1957, Troubadour, AFC 472)
13) Telegram Specials - Imfene (c1962, Goli Rand, RA 154)
14) Sophiatown Gaities - Mosadi Ola (c1956, Philips, SB 55)
15) Simon Hlatshwayo Crazy Crackers - Ama Crazy Crackers (c1956, Philips, SB 52)
16) Black Notes - Madison Time (c1965, Tempo, KT 567)
17) Slim Guitar and his Band - Ndlela Mbi (1960, Zonk, TV 155)
18) Benoni Rocket - Khumbula Leyomini (1961, New Sound, GB 3278)
19) Billie the Kid - Xmas Night Jump (c1960, Winner, OK 105)
20) Samuel Levuno - Vereeniging Jive (1968, Stokvel, ST 050)
21) Swingather's Band - Emazini (c1956, Bantu Batho, BB 1026)
22) Telegram Specials - Insizwa (c1962, Goli Rand, RA 154)


  1. Thank you Siemon - and welcome back!

  2. It IS Christmas! Thank you!--Bill

  3. I like your annual tradition even BETTER than Christmas. Thank you.
    Mick from Oz

  4. Wow--thanks a lot!!

  5. Thanks stacks, Siemon, for this timeless gem. My humble apologies for responding to THIS upload by accidentally clicking under Chris Albertyn's Ubhek' uZulu by Amagugu. Kindly read my initial comment written as if to Chris. Sorry, Chris for knocking on a wrong door this time around. You EJ guys simply mesmerize us with your exotic evergreens. Peace!

  6. Hi Manzo,
    Thanks so much!
    I know "Insizwa" is not strictly a "rock" tune but instinctively I could not resist including it in this comp... and now I know why!
    Many thanks again.

  7. Another glorious collection of tunes! Thank you so much for these.

    I was particularly pleased to find a SA Christmas track in the mix too.

    I wonder if any posters or users here can recommend any more SA jive Christmas songs?


  8. Many Thanks, Cushpot.
    There were many Christmas and New Year tunes put out on 78rpm in the late 1950s and early 1960s. I am sure some have been featured on previous end-of-year comps here at EJ, but I will keep a look out for more.
    Happy New Year!

  9. Thanks guys for this superb blog. I've been looking around THE BLOGWORLD to find early south african RnB/RnR influenced-music and here it is!

  10. Not possible to download this fantastic record untitled "Rock Jive- vol.1". It seems the Rapidshare link doesn't work. Can you upload it with another link ?...
    Happy new year !

  11. The link of "African Twist and Rock and Roll" is dead. Would you upload this very rare record a new time ? if possible on another server than RapidShare (Zippyshare or other). Thanks !

  12. Hi!
    If at all possible, would you please re-post the links for your wonderful Rock Jive and Disco Soul Jive compilations? I lost them in a hard drive crash.
    Thank you for reading.


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