Monday, March 14, 2016
a rich a cappella male choral approach usually sung in Zulu,appeared in the early 20th century as "Ingoni Ebusuku," meaning "night music."The similarity between early mbube and pre-quartet African-American gospel (jubilee) is astonishing,as are the vocalists' range,soaring harmonies,smashing leads, and swirling accompaniment.
Popular with Zulu and Swazi laborers,forged throughout the last century a strong working class identity. In 1938 one of the Ingoni Ebusuku groups,Solomon Linda's Original Evening Birds,recorded a song called "Mbube" (the lion,based on the tale of the return of Shaka), which became a model for the international hit "Wimoweh"(the Lion Sleeps Tonight),and since then this music has become known as Mbube.
"Although generally recognized as one of the most advanced forms of Zulu musical expressions,
mbube incorporates a rich texture of Western,Afro-American,traditional and modern stylistic sources. Reflecting upon the experience and struggles of migrant workers, mbube performers modeled these diverse idioms into a unique expression of Zulu working class identity.
The pre-history of mbube starts in the second half of the 19th century when American minstrel shows had become by far the most popular form of stage entertainment in the urban centers. For black audiences however,no visiting minstrel troupe created a deeper impression than Orpheus McAdoo's Minstrel Vaudeville and Concert Company. Between 1890 and 1898,McAdoo,one of the first noted Afro-Americans to visit S.A., made two phenomenally successful tours of the country that lasted for more than five years.
By the turn of the century in the wake of McAdoo's tours,minstrels had reached even remote rural areas, where mission school graduates formed troupes modeled on either McAdoo's company or on the numerous white blackface troupes and adopted names as AmaNigel Coons,Pirate Coons or Yellow Coons".....
from the record notes
A1- The Bantu Glee Singers - Jim Takata Kanjani
A2-Crocodiles - Hewu! Kwaqaqamba Amthambo
A3-Fear no Harm Choir-Ina Ma Wala
A4-African Zulu Male Voice Choir- Kuyekeleni Kukule
A5-Solomon Linda's Original Evening Birds - Mbube
A6- Solomon Linda and Evening Birds-Ngazula Emagumeni
A7- Solomon Linda and Evening Birds - Anoku Gonda
A8- Shooting Stars - Yek' Emarabini
B1-Morning Light Choir-Izindaba Ezinkulu Zxika"Kawa"
B2-Dundee Wandering Singers- Hamba Stutubaker
B3-Natal Champions-Ngi-e Kaya
B4- Crocodiles- Asigoduke
B5-Durban Crocodiles- Akasangibhaleli
B7-King Star Brothers- Mus' Ukuqubada
B8-Ladysmith Black Mambazo -Umama Lo
shellacs to vinyl
In the 1920s, as an industrial economy began to develop in Natal (KwaZulu/Natal),a cappella vocal styles became closely identified with the emerging Zulu working class,
newly forged as rural migrants found employment in mines and factories. Forced in most cases to leave their families behind and live in all-male hostels, they developed a weekend social life based on vocal and dance group competitions, staged within and between hostels, and judged by elaborate rules and standards. By the late 1930s, a cappella competitions were a characteristic of Zulu hostels throughout industrial Natal and had also spread to Zulus working in Johannesburg.
Black workers were taken by rail to work far away from their homes and their families. Poorly housed, paid worse, and working a six-day week, they would entertain themselves by singing songs into the wee hours of Sunday morning. They called themselves Cothoza Mfana,”tip toe guys,” referring to the dance steps choreographed so as to not disturb the camp security guards. When the miners returned to their homelands, the tradition returned with them.There began a fierce, but social, competition held regularly that became a highlight of everyone’s social calendar.
A2-Durban High Stars-AWUNGANGI DLULI JESU
A3-Easy Wakers-Oh yes is coming
A4-Greytown Evening Birds-NISIBONA SILAPHA SIPHUMA SIPHUMA KUDE
B2-Harding Morning Stars-ITHEMBA LAMI
B3-Mtalume Young Ages-HAMBA HAMBA
B4-Mkhizwane Home Stars-SANIBONANI
B5-Jabula Home Defenders-OBABA BAFUN IMALI
HAMBA HAMBA NJALO
BALEKA WENA MFO WETHU
HAMBA HAMBA NJALO
ALIKHO LAPHA LISE MTHALENI
BALEKA WENA MFO WETHU
and go your own way
Your home is not here in the city.
Your home is
as far away as the stars
Run my brother.
a live recording at the Dalton Road Hostel-Durban S.A. - 1984