Friday 8 January 2016

Siya Hamba! 1950s South African Country and Small Town Sounds

This post is dedicated to John Storm Roberts and the legacy of the Original Music Label. The following is an appreciation taken from an obituary that appeared in the NY Times at the time of his death in 2009:
" John Storm Roberts, an English-born writer, record producer and independent scholar whose work explored the rich, varied and often surprising ways in which the popular music of Africa and Latin America informed that of the United States, died on Nov. 29 in Kingston, N.Y. He was 73 and lived in Kingston. Long before the term was bandied about, Mr. Roberts was listening to, seeking out and reporting on what is now called world music. He wrote several seminal books on the subject for a general readership, most notably “Black Music of Two Worlds” (Praeger, 1972) and “The Latin Tinge: The Impact of Latin American Music on the United States” (Oxford University, 1979). In the early 1980s, Mr. Roberts and Ms. Needham started Original Music, a mail-order company that distributed world-music books and records. In those pre-Internet days, Americans outside big cities found these almost as hard to come by as young Mr. Roberts had in postwar England….In business for nearly two decades, Original Music also released many well-received albums of its own. Among them are “The Sound of Kinshasa,” featuring Zairian guitar music; “Africa Dances,” an anthology of music from more than a dozen countries; and “Songs the Swahili Sing,” devoted to the music of Kenya, an aural kaleidoscope of African, Arab and Indian sounds.

Siya Hamba - 1950s South African Country and Small Town Sounds (Original Music OMA111, 1989)
01 Young Xhosa Men - Siya Hamba (Let's Go)
02 Jacquot Mokete - Suta Tseleng (Get Out Of The Way)
03 Young Men & Boys With Harmonica - Kunukizembe Pheshakwenciba
04 Nqwane Mbongtyi - Zulaleke Mubemi
05 Xhosa Boys And Girls - Amazeyiboka (Some Socks Are Real Costy)
06 Mkakwa Mugomezungu - Izintombi Ziyasishiya (Some Girls Desert Us)
07 Frans Ncha - Adiyo Jaxo Kxaja Nkwe (You Can't Kill A Leopard With A Stone)
08 Citaumvano - Lamnandi Ugolohlano (It Fetched This Person)
09 Citaumvano - Pelila Makoti (We're Through, Makoti!)
10 Nelson Siboza & the Montanas Brothers - Bayilami Selimavukuvuku (My Blanket's Worn)
11 Timote Dlamini & The Try Singers - Pinda Zimshaya
12 Mushumbo Dlamini & The Star Brothers - Muntu Olapo
13 Jury Mpelho Band - Nonkala (The Crab)
14 Midnight Stars - Siya Hamba!
15 Jury Mpelho Band - Puma Endlini Yam (Get Out Of My House!)
16 Jury Mpelho Band - Yombela (Clap Hands)
17 The Blue Notes - No Doli Wami (The Doll)
18 Jury Mpelho Band - Babalasi (The Hangover)
19 Midnight Stars - Thula Ndivile (Be Quiet)
20 The Blue Notes - Benoni (Benoni)
21 Jury Mpelho Band - Isicatula (Boots)



  1. I have almost of the compilations that John put together. I bought many from him in person. He did some great work getting little known music published and he is missed! I've got this LP, but I appreciate the digital.


    very cool post, and what a timely coincidence b/c I was just mentioning John Storm Roberts, and thought you might enjoy the link.

  3. What terrific recordings made by Hugh Tracey, founder of the International Library of African Music (ILAM)! And thanks to the late John Storm Roberts who compiled and produced them.

  4. I had the same problem, denied! Love those Original music lps, too bad they are long gone at this point...

  5. Permission denied? Can you fix? I miss Original Music!

  6. Any chance of getting that link?


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