Friday 18 September 2009

Friday Treats

"What kind of music is popular with the urban African? ICE CREAM & SUCKERS, a new album of South African soul, gives you a good cross-section of current sound in Africa. The roots of this music go as far back as the traditional Bantu music played in the homelands far away from the influence of city life. These basic melody lines, with their repretitive themes, have been retained in much current music, and will appeal to listeners interested in Afro-culture and the unique, pure, Afro sounds. Other selections show how older styles, instrumentation, and even rhythms have changed and reflect the modern beat that appeals to the urban African taste."

Ice Cream & Suckers - South African Soul (Mercury, SR61213, c 1966)
Ice Cream and Suckers - Soweto Stockvel Septette
Mr Dube No 5 - Mr Dube
Sweetie Love - Jabulani Quads
Mr Bull No 4 - Mr Bull
School In - SDV Swing Band
Brown Pepper - Cassius the Great
Mr Bull No 3 - Mr Bull
Mr Dube No 7 - Mr Dube
Lindi - TV Sisters
Sunny Side Up No 2 - Cassius the Great
Yo-Yo Jive - SDV Swing Band
Ice Cream and Suckers No 2 - Soweto Stokvel Septette


  1. Thank you so much for posting this treasure. South African Township Jive is some of the most heart felt music ever recorded. Great cover too :-)



  2. SA Soul from the 60s? Don't think i ever heard any one of the bands on this comp! Great share, many thanks!

  3. Could you please repost the file, as RS says there are no more slots? Thanks.

  4. I have had this album since the 70s - still one of my very favorites! Where is David now?

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. The three countries involved in this genre share a common colonial history and close cultural and linguistic relationships. Especially since the 1960s popular musicians have shared their talents across the borders of the three nations and helped move the music of the area from traditional to benga/rumba and now Afro-urban music.

  7. ElectricJive states that "Ice Cream & Suckers" came out ca. 1966, but this article specifically claims it came out in 1963:

    I wonder which is correct?

    The music itself certainly sounds more 1966-ish to my ear. Also, track 5 called "School In" is basically a cover version of "Hang On Sloopy," which was a worldwide hit in late '65, again supporting the 1966 hypothesis.

    The one detail which suggests 1963 is the name of "Cassius the Great," which is obviously a reference to Cassius Clay, who did indeed achieve worldwide fame in '63 and '64 -- and more significantly, he changed his name to Muhammad Ali in early '64, so why would an artist name himself "Cassius the Great" if Cassius Clay no longer even existed in 1966? Then again, when CC/MA first won the world championship in early 1964 he was still called Cassius Clay, and the musician may have named himself after the boxer at that point; and when the boxer shortly thereafter renamed himself Muhammad Ali, it was too late for the musician to change his name also, so he just stuck with "Cassius the Great."

    Anyway, weighing all the evidence, I still think it is much more likely to be 1966 as you accurately guessed, based on the advanced musical stylings and the remake on "Hang on Sloopy."

    BTW, it was this very post which led me to discover ElectricJive, as I had been searching in vain for a song merely called "Mr. Bull #4" that I had long ago I stumbled across on an old homemade cassette tape. The time had come to get rid of all my tapes, but I didn't want to lose that great song. If it had not been for this post, I would have lost it forever, since I had no idea who had performed it or where it came from. But you saved it for posterity! Thanks.

  8. As a compilation of singles released over a 3-5 year period this is - per your deductions - likely to be closer to the 1966 mark indicated in the original post. Exactitudes aside this is great music.

  9. Whatever the release date, I will always hear that song (and the rest of the album) as an update of township and kwela tradition, not a cover of American hit record.That's just me. The inspiration for rock and roll comes from Africa in my world - same as blues, gospel and jazz. And this album of traditional music adapted to electric guitars and horns is seminal, to my ears. If it is indeed an adaptation, it's a great improvement in my opinion!

  10. Any chances to reupload this gem?


Electric Jive is currently receiving a deluge of spam. Apologies for the additional word verification requirement.