Saturday 6 February 2010

Lost Letta

EJ readers have been asking us to try and find the lost Letta Mbulu LP. After an extensive search we are pretty certain that copies of the LP have not been circulated in collectors circles. In all likelihood its still sitting in a tape box in New York City. The album in question is known as "Mosadi" or "I'll Never Be the Same" and according to the authoritative Doug Payne discography it contains the following tracks:

Uyaz Gabisa
Because of You
Now We May Begin
I'll Never Be The Same
We've Got To Learn To Love

It just so happens that the first four tracks on this LP were also issued on a compilation entitled Africa 68 on the UNI LABEL. We are not sure if the songs were re-recorded for the lost Letta Mbulu album. In any case here is the full Africa 68 compilation for your listening pleasure. BBE did a great job a few years back of delving into the Chisa archives and uncovering a number of gems that had only appeared on 45 or were sitting - like this Letta LP - unreleased. This release is well worth checking out and is still in print and available from BBE Records.


  1. Oh Yes! Any additional Letta tracks are very, very welcome! Many thanks!
    Hope someone will issue that session some day!

  2. i have the africa 68 vinyl...but it doesn't say who sings what. do you have more info on that? (btw, i was one of the Letta requestors...thanks for the post!...i hope someday the whole album surfaces.

    btw, she appeared on the TV show SOUL! a couple of times also, singing and hosting. I've only seen snippets.

  3. robin,
    there's some more background on this album here:

    No detailed session info though...

  4. Linked her from my Letta Mbulu discog:

  5. yes! amazing!! thank you so much for this VERY RARE record and eary work of hugh masekela! beautiful music. many thanks.

    by the way, here is a more detailed tracklisting:
    Side One:
    1. Uyaz' Gabisa (Caiphus Semenya) - 3:15
    2. Noyana (Jonas Gwangwa/Caiphus Semenya) - 2:45
    3. Pretoria (P. Hou) - 2:07
    4. Joala (E. Mohlami/C. Semenya) - 2:00
    5. Aredza (Caiphus Semenya) - 2:35

    Side Two:
    1. Kedumetse (Caiphus Semenya) - 2:53
    2. Umoya (Miriam Makeba) - 2:08
    3. Thokozile (P. Hou) - 2:52
    4. Bopedi (Hugh Masekela/E. Mohlomi) - 6:15

    The album's original issue number is UNI 73020.
    (from the doug payne link listed above)

  6. I can't find much information on "I'll Never Be The Same Again." Is this the "lost" album in question?

  7. According to Doug Payne's discography this is indeed the so-called "lost album" although clearly someone has found it! Lets watch this reach $200 at eBay.

    Letta Mbulu
    Recorded: 1968

    ae. Kedumetse (from AFRICA '68)
    bf. Moya (from AFRICA '68)
    cg. Uyaz Gabisa (from AFRICA '68)
    dh. Aredze (from AFRICA '68)

    Hollywood, California: April 2, 1971
    Wayne Henderson; Wilton Felder; Joe Sample (key); Arthur Adams (g); Letta Mbulu (vcl).
    overdubbed in Hollywood California: April 13, 1971
    Allen De Rienzo (tp); Ernie Watts (sax); Murray Adler, Carroll Stephens, Louis Kievman (vln); Nathan Gershman (cello); Wayne Henderson (arr).

    ea. Because of You (Adams) - 2:38
    fb. Now We May Begin (Joe Sample)
    gc. I'll Never Be The Same (Adams/Semenya) - 2:35
    hd. We've Got To Learn To Love
    (Caiphus Semenya/Letta Mbulu/Wayne Henderson) - 2:49

    Note: See LETTA for two additional titles on Tamla Motown (SA) TMC 5242.

    Issues: a-h on Tamla Motown (SA) TMC 5242 titled I'LL NEVER BE THE SAME (also scheduled as Chisa CS 809 titled MOSADI but not issued).
    Singles: g on Tamla Motown (SA) TMS 393 [45] (issued 1973).
    Samplers: f & g also on Motown TMH (Eu) 5903 titled LETTA MBULU - GOLD.

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