Sunday 7 September 2014

Mpharanyana and the Cannibals: Disco Bump (1977)

There are many 1970s youngsters that will say Jacob “Mpharanyana” Radebe was the best soul singer that South Africa has produced. The man from Katlehong was hugely popular in the mid to late 1970s, until his life was cut short in 1979.

He recorded “a handful” of albums for the Mavuthela stable, calling upon ‘cream-of-the-crop’ musicians in “The Cannibals” and “The Peddlars” – many of whom formed the core of the Pelican Club House band in Soweto at the time.

I do like the cover of Clarence Carter’s “Slipping Away” – compare for yourself with the original here. In addition to its soul foundation, this strong eclectic line-up of tracks references mbqanga, disco, bump and rock. The track “Satane” nods to the music Thomas Mapfumo was producing at the time.

The line-up on this album is:
Ray Phiri: Lead guitar and backing vocals
Jacob Radebe: Lead vocals and percussion
Ephraim Hlope: Organ
Isaac Mtshali: Drums and backing vocals
Richard Shongwe: Base guitar and backing vocals.

Mpharanyana features on two previous posts on Electric Jive here and here.

 Mediafire link here


  1. Your blog is truly amazing!
    I am waiting for the moment that you will upload the "Black Disco" series by Pops Mohamed (and I don't think I am the only one)!
    Keep up the excellent work!

  2. Hi Anonymous, those Pops Mohamed recordings may indeed be officially issued at some time in the near future so unfortunately Electricjive isn't able to share them.

    scroll to the bottom for the section "LABYRINTHS AND WAR GAME"

    ...anyway, this is how i became aware of the traditional use of cannabis in South Africa. Shortly thereafter, I became aware of the classic work done by Dr. B.M. DuToit. As an aside, Harold Courlander also has published -- over 50 years ago -- a reprint of an interesting folktale if not from the exact area then at least from the region, and its called "the hemp smoker and the hemp grower."!135332~!0

    In other words, sorry, I thought my previous question about the relationship between cannabis and music was perfectly legitimate, valid, interesting, and likely to contribute to further development of humanity.

    I'd still be curious if you have or can recommend any South African music which is related to this topic. Yes, I realize that the legal-political situation complicates frank and open discussion. In any case, thank you.

  4. Great stuff, i would like to see artists like The black cat trio, The Hurricanes music downloaded as well, they were a hit in the 70`s


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