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 Post subject: Sugarman and Makeba
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:16 pm 
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Website: http://kitoba.com
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Just recently saw the award winning documentary "Searching for Sugarman" the stranger-than-fiction story of a early 70's folk musician who quickly faded into complete obscurity in America while --unknown to him --he had become a huge star ("way bigger than the Rolling Stones!") in South Africa.

I know that CCC and maybe some others here are South African and I was wondering if they had seen the movie or heard of the singer. At least as far as the movie indicated it seems like he's still considered a titan of music in South Africa to this day.

On a separate-but-related note, I also recently saw a documentary about one of my all-time favorite musicians, the late great Miriam Makeba, who first introduced African music to the world. I had mentioned her to a young (white) South African I was working with and got back only a puzzled look. Maybe she's more famous outside the country than in it --she was exiled for most of her life.

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 Post subject: Re: Sugarman and Makeba
 Post Posted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:27 am 
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Well, first of all I should point out that I'm pretty much functionally illiterate in popular music. If you pick some random South African, ask them for the name of a popular band, then the odds are I wouldn't have heard of them and I certainly wouldn't be able to name a song the band's done. It's not that I don't like music - it's just that the music I like and the music that is popular are almost entirely uncorrelated. (That, and I often don't bother to find out what band did what piece of music).

Having said that, I have actually heard of both of the musicians you refer to above.

Rodriguez (the man behind Sugarman) I've heard of because I read an article about his unlikely history in a book I won in a radio contest. I haven't seen the documentary (though I understand the article summarises it), but I know people who have; and everyone I mentioned the article to had heard of the singer, so he must be fairly popular. I have no idea what sort of songs he actually wrote.

Makeba is a name that I've heard of just about enough to associate it with the click song (I don't know what it's official title is, I don't know the words, but I'd recognise it if I heard it). I'm not sure where I heard of her; it's an association sort of sitting in the back of my head somewhere. (If it's due to her popularity, she must be really popular).

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 Post subject: Re: Sugarman and Makeba
 Post Posted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 1:49 pm 
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Rodriguez' music is early 70's folk rock with echoes of Dylan. Apparently his music was really seminal in South African in the white underground counterculture and anti-apartheid movements. His blunt, direct lyrics and social consciousness were probably a lot more shocking in South Africa than at home.

Makeba was almost certainly the first African artist to make any significant splash outside the continent. She's a titan of world music, probably one of the most important figures in the history of global music (the genre).

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