Tracks Less Travelled

INTRO

Some years ago, in 2005, I found myself browsing through records at a thrift store in Richmond, Virginia and came across the LP, An Evening with Harry Belafonte and Miriam Makeba. It was two dollars!

The album dated from 1965, and I was immediately struck by the strong political message in the liner notes, critiquing the then white minority government of South Africa and its racial policies. I began to reflect upon how these mass-produced commodities (LP records), issued all over the world, were a perfect and significant vehicle for spreading an anti-apartheid message.

I set a goal of accumulating as many examples as I could of those messages and in the process discovered some amazing music. The research subsequently developed into an extensive art project documenting the work of Miriam Makeba.

Assembled over multiple years of sifting through internet auctions and receiving thousands of emails, I collected Makeba recordings and ephemera from all over the world. In an effort to map the journey of each record (and by implication Makeba’s voice), I catalogued where each was first recorded and where each was purchased. Numbering over 500 individually acquired items, the collection now includes thirty 78 rpm shellac discs, 266 vinyl LP records, 151 singles, a number of four-track reel-to-reel tapes, eight-track cartridges, cassette tapes, compact discs, DVDs, test records, an acetate demo recording, plus an original 16 mm print of Lionel Rogosin’s 1959 film, Come Back Africa.

I began exploring various visual strategies with this material and in 2009, I presented a number of artwork installations at the Bank Gallery in Durban, South Africa. I photographed every label in the collection, arranged them chronologically in a tight grid, and pinned the images to a black wall. The installation Labels became a visual document of Makeba’s life work but also formed an abstract color field that was for me reminiscent of a kind of craft work in South Africa.

Covers, the second work produced from this archive, assembled in a free-hanging clear plastic curtain, the covers of one example of each of her recordings arranged chronologically, along with each iteration of that issue by country. The installation revealed Makeba’s changing portrait over time and the expanding global reach of her message. The clear curtain also made the rear liner notes accessible allowing the viewer to compare different pressings of identical albums and see how political content had been edited based on country of origin.

It was during this exhibition that Graeme Gilfillan of the ZM Makeba Trust and Siyandisa Music made contact with me. Graeme traveled to Durban to see the work and thus began a conversation around Miriam Makeba, her legacy and the roots of what would eventually become this compact disc.

In the years that followed, I found myself slowly expanding the limits of the collection to include any audio artifact from South Africa—jazz, punk, plays, political speeches, sports commentary, and so on. In 2010 I launched a non-profit, searchable online database as a visual archive for the broader South African collection at flatinternational.org. The following year I began blogging about this research at Electric Jive.


TRACKS LESS TRAVELLED

Over her prolific career, from 1954 until her death in 2008, Makeba issued no less than twenty-nine individual albums along with countless 78s, 45s and EPs, pressed in at least thirty-three countries. In addition, at least twenty-eight compilations of her works had been and continue to be issued on compact disc.

In 2011, I prepared a blogpost for Electric Jive around a small experiment using iTunes as a database. First I transferred every “best of” Makeba CD in my collection into the application. Secondly I loaded at least one copy of each of her albums; as well as digitizing those not available on CD. I then picked through the singles and EPs and digitized tracks not found on albums. The provisional result was 832 songs or two days of listening to comb through. My goal here was to see what songs were more popular and therefore widely issued on multiple pressings, and which were less common. I was also curious to see how many variations of individual songs there were. From that list I then selected tracks or versions of tracks (with one or two exceptions) that seemed to come up only once.

For the most part these were tracks that either had never been reissued on CD or if they were, are seldom, if at all, included on her “best of” compilations. I was surprised to see the number of significant hits and gems remaining scarce or un-reissued, most notably: Into Yam, Qhude, the original studio versions of Oxgam (Click Song No. 2), Malayisha, iBabalazie and my all time favorite, Ndikho Xaba’s Emavungwini, to name a few. Of the albums made by Makeba, there were at least six at the time of writing the article in 2011, that had never been re-issued on CD. (Some have since been reissued.) Of those that have been reissued almost none included the original cover art or liner notes.

From the project I developed a final list of twenty-five of my favorite least-common selections by Miriam Makeba and posted the compilation with detailed notes at Electric Jive in October 2011.

The collection opens with Makeba’s beautiful wordless 1958 interpretation of Duke Ellington’s Rockin’ in Rhythm, originally issued as a 78 rpm shellac disc on Gallo’s New Sound label in South Africa. The track was subsequently issued in the United Kingdom on Decca’s compilation LP, Something New from Africa, probably the first long-playing vinyl record to feature Miriam Makeba.

Into Yam is one of the songs that Makeba sings in Lionel Rogosin’s clandestine, 1959 film Come Back Africa about township life in South Africa. The film premiered at the 1959 Venice Film Festival and it was Rogosin who bribed South African officials to let Makeba come to Italy for the presentation. She would not return to South Africa for the next 30 years. Rogosin along with Harry Belafonte financed Makeba’s travels to the United States and arranged for her to appear on the Steve Allen show in November 1959. The first song she sang on live television in the United States was Into Yam. The version of Into Yam on this compilation as well as Little Boy, both featuring arrangements by Hugh Masekela, can be heard on her third LP The World of Miriam Makeba issued by RCA in 1963.

Some oddities on this compilation include live audience tracks added to what appears to be studio versions of Umqokoza and Love Tastes Like Strawberries issued on a 1964 Kapp compilation, Midnight Hoot. Of course there is always the slim possibility that these may be immaculately tight live recordings! Curiously, Makeba only recorded one full album with Kapp, her second—The Many Voices of Miriam Makeba—in 1962, before returning to RCA for her third. I speculate that this shift may have had something to do with the austere contract restrictions that Gallo had imposed on RCA during the recording or her debut album in 1960.

One of the more unusual finds is a variation of Khawuleza from a 1970 Russian flexi-disc booklet featuring Russian translations of the lyrics superimposed over the actual song. The booklet itself consists of a number of additional tracks by other artists and each song is ring bound as a floppy flexi-disc in the book with extensive text in Russian. To play a song, one must simply go to the page of choice, fold the book completely open and place the entire object on the record player.

The Soviet Union was sympathetic to anti-apartheid causes and supported the ANC in exile with training and shelter. A number of historic ANC albums were recorded and issued in the USSR including those by the Amandla group. Makeba herself had a number of albums issued in the Eastern block during the 1970s, after she became “self-exiled” from the US. The 1974 album A Promise was issued on the East German label Amiga and a compilation album Miriam Makeba was issued in Czechoslovakia on the Supraphon/Reprise label in 1974.

For me the most haunting and rarest track is a demo version of The Ballad of Sad Young Men, most famously featured as the b-side to the classic Pata-Pata single, but here stripped down in a somber, down-beat early take. The final version of the track first appeared on Makeba’s 1967 Mercury album, All About Miriam. The demo acetate features seven tracks, six of which can be found on All About Miriam. Their was a suggestion in the online auction that the demo disc may have come from the estate of Luchi DeJesus, the arranger of many of the tracks on All About Miriam and Pata Pata, but that is difficult to verify. In all cases the final recordings are quite different from these demos but none are as distinct as The Ballad of Sad Young Men.

Another rarity, Jeremy Taylor’s A Piece of Ground, is sourced from Makeba’s rarest LP, Miriam Makeba In Tokyo, recorded in August 1968 and issued as a Japanese-only pressing on the Reprise label. Originally from the musical Wait a Minim, Makeba first recorded this song on her album The Magnificent Miriam Makeba in 1966 and an alternative version is featured on the classic Pata Pata album as well as In Concert! The song sung live gave Makeba the opportunity to subtly introduce the complexity of race relations in South Africa to her audiences. It is interesting to compare her almost identical spoken introductions to the song on both live albums.

The bluesy You Suffer Too is the b-side of La Guinee Guine and comes from a series of eleven rare singles issued on the Editions Syliphone Conakry label in the early 1970s, a period that spanned Makeba’s so-called “Guinea Years”— and which is also the title of a fabulous CD compilation of many of her songs from this period. This track unfortunately does not appear on the compilation. Perhaps its blues inflection did not fit into the more African feel of the CD.

Les Trois Z is a political song from Zaire (now Congo) by Gérard Madiata. The term "Les Trois Z" referred to the “Authenticité” or authenticity campaign of Mobutu Sese Seko in the Democratic Republic of Congo during the late 1960s and early 70s, to “rid the country of the lingering vestiges of colonialism and the continuing influence of Western culture and to create a more centralized and singular national identity.” The campaign included renaming the country, the Congo River and the currency—“Zaire” and referred to them as Les Trois Z — Notre Pays, Notre Fleuve, Notre Monnaie (The Three Zs — Our Country, Our River, Our Money). Makeba’s version of the song was a significant influence on a young Angelique Kidjo who found early success with an adaption of it.

The compilation ends with a live version of Nongqongqo, recorded in Brussels in 1998, from the concert Voices For Peace organized by the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation. The song speaks about South African leaders—Sobukwe, Luthuli and Mandela—and their role in the struggle against apartheid. The original version, fittingly, had come from the classic album—An Evening with Harry Belafonte and Miriam Makeba—the same album that I had found in the Richmond thrift store that gave birth to the project.


FINAL THOUGHTS

In 2010 the Makeba! art project was presented for the first time in the United States in Imaging South Africa, an extensive exhibition of my work curated by Ashley Kistler at the Anderson Gallery in Richmond, Virginia. In 2011 the installation then travelled to the Krannert Art Museum in Champaign, Illinois for an exhibition curated by Tumelo Mosaka.

In July 2015 Derek Smith at Siyandisa Music contacted me about obtaining copies of the tracks featured in the blogposts at Electric Jive. Along with Graeme Gilfillan, we began the conversation of bringing these rare tracks into the ZM Makeba Trust fold and the possibility of turning the compilations into permanent CD reissues. I would like to thank Graeme Gilfillan, Derek Smith and all at Siyandisa Music for transforming an online investigation into hard-copy reality! Certainly I must also thank Chris Albertyn, Matt Temple and Nick Lotay, my colleagues at Electric Jive, for providing the platform and commitment to documenting South African music online. Moreover, none of this project would have been possible without the incredible assistance and support of my wife, Kendall Buster. Finally of course, I am indebted to Miriam Makeba for all the fantastic music! Who knew that a serendipitous find of a two dollar record in a junk store would mark the beginning of what would become an extensive archive of over 3000 items of South Africa audio history. Mayibuye!

Notes by Siemon Allen, March 2017


For more detailed liner notes about each track visit the Electric Jive website and search for “Tracks Less Travelled”. For more information about the South African Audio Archive project visit flatinternational.org

Business Affairs: Graeme Gilfillan • Special thanks to: Siemon Allen for his dedication and timeless research on the Miriam Makeba history • Also Thanks To: Dumisani Motha (Siyandisa Music), Charles Kühn, Paul de Klerk, Emil Stark, Rob O’ Brien, June Patal & Derek Smith (Next Music). Compilation by: Siemon Allen (flatinternational.org.) • Sleeve design by: Carla Vieira (idDigital Studios) • Digitally remastered by: Deon Janse Van Vuuren (IU Studios)

Year:1958 - 1998
Country:South Africa
Format:LP Vinyl
Back to all Releases
Disk
Track
Recording
Duration
Song Details
Recording Details
Label Gallo Record Company
Performer Miriam Makeba
Performer Jimmy Pratt
Performer Lemmy Special
HistoryRockin’ in Rhythm (1958)
Something New from Africa LP
(Decca, LK 4229, UK)
Avid collectors of South African music will be familiar with this track, featuring a wordless interpretation by Makeba of the Ellington tune with Lemmy Special Mabaso on flute and Jimmy Pratt on piano. I have only ever seen this record as a UK pressing, but the ABC matrix leads me to wonder if there might be an equivalent South African pressing. No doubt, all the tracks on this LP were probably issued as 78 rpms by Gallo Records. For what it is worth, this track is probably the first “vinyl” recording to feature Makeba.
Song Details
Composer Miriam Makeba Siyandisa Music (Pty) Ltd,
Author Miriam Makeba Siyandisa Music (Pty) Ltd,
Recording Details
Label Gallo Record Company
Performer Miriam Makeba
Performer The Skylarks
Performer Spokes Mashiyane on flute.
HistoryNew Sounds of Africa Vol. 2, EP (c1963)
(Gallo, New Sound, ESL 7141, SA)
When I first saw this EP, I assumed it was a promotional complement to Gallo’s two fantastic compilation LPs New Sounds of Africa volumes 1 (NSL 1001) and 2 (NSL 1002), first issued on the New Sound label in 1960. (The former LP also being issued on the Fiesta label in the USA.) Though two of the tracks from the EP are on the second LP, the remaining two are not, including this track, Hamba Bekile, featuring Makeba with the Skylarks and Spokes Mashiyane on flute. Oddly the track is also not included on Rob Allingham and Albert Ralulimi’s two fantastic CD compilations of Skylark’s material: Miriam Makeba and the Skylarks (1956 – 1959) Vol. 1 (CDGSP 3130) and 2 (CDGSP 3131). (Be sure to get the 2008 CD reissues, each boasting five additional tracks and superior sound quality.) The cover of the EP shows an image of Makeba taken from her 1960 debut album on RCA Records in the US, but the matrix number on the EP (ABC 23850) reveals that it was probably issued around 1963. Again this track would have originally been issued as a 78 rpm in South Africa.
Song Details
Recording Details
Label Siyandisa Music (Kapp)
Performer Miriam Makeba
HistoryMidnight Hoot, LP (1964)
(Kapp, KL 1357, USA; London, HA-R 8178, UK)
Both tracks 3 & 4 appear to be live recordings from a folk concert that included Alan Lomax, amongst others, and was issued as the Midnight Hoot on Kapp records. The studio versions of the two songs also appear on Makeba’s second LP The Many Voices of Miriam Makeba released by Kapp Records in 1962. I have tried to find a recording date for this concert but cannot—I suspect somewhere around late 1963 or early 1964. It is possible that Kapp re-constructed the LP as a live recording… the deliveries here sound almost too tight to be live!
It is not clear to me why Makeba, after recording her first LP with RCA in 1960 then recorded her second LP with Kapp Records and then returned to RCA for her next five LPs. My only guess is it had something to do with that fact that Gallo demanded that RCA pay a whopping $75 000 to buy Makeba out of her ‘royalty–free’ [my sarcasm] contract with Gallo in 1960. Lawyers finally agreed on a $45 000 buy-out where Gallo also retained the rights to publish that first US recording made by RCA. Subsequently all international pressings of her first album state “Recorded for Gallo” except for the US pressings. Both her first and second LPs were issued in South Africa on Gallo’s London (ZA 6037) and Continental (ZA 6135) labels respectively. Because of the deal, Makeba never saw any royalties from her first album—all proceeds going to pay back RCA for the buy-out from Gallo.
Song Details
Recording Details
Label Siyandisa Music (Kapp)
Performer Miriam Makeba
HistoryMidnight Hoot, LP (1964)
(Kapp, KL 1357, USA; London, HA-R 8178, UK)
Both tracks 3 & 4 appear to be live recordings from a folk concert that included Alan Lomax, amongst others, and was issued as the Midnight Hoot on Kapp records. The studio versions of the two songs also appear on Makeba’s second LP The Many Voices of Miriam Makeba released by Kapp Records in 1962. I have tried to find a recording date for this concert but cannot—I suspect somewhere around late 1963 or early 1964. It is possible that Kapp re-constructed the LP as a live recording… the deliveries here sound almost too tight to be live!
It is not clear to me why Makeba, after recording her first LP with RCA in 1960 then recorded her second LP with Kapp Records and then returned to RCA for her next five LPs. My only guess is it had something to do with that fact that Gallo demanded that RCA pay a whopping $75 000 to buy Makeba out of her ‘royalty–free’ [my sarcasm] contract with Gallo in 1960. Lawyers finally agreed on a $45 000 buy-out where Gallo also retained the rights to publish that first US recording made by RCA. Subsequently all international pressings of her first album state “Recorded for Gallo” except for the US pressings. Both her first and second LPs were issued in South Africa on Gallo’s London (ZA 6037) and Continental (ZA 6135) labels respectively. Because of the deal, Makeba never saw any royalties from her first album—all proceeds going to pay back RCA for the buy-out from Gallo.
Song Details
Composer Dorothy Masuka Gallo Music Publishers
Recording Details
Label Siyandisa Music (First released on RCA)
Performer Miriam Makeba
Producer Hugh Masekela
Producer Luchi de Jesus
History(RCA Victor, 86 406 M, FRA)
Into Yam is one of the songs that Makeba sings in Lionel Rogosin’s clandestine, 1959 film Come Back Africa about township life in South Africa. The film premiered at the 1959 Venice Film Festival and it was Rogosin who bribed South African officials to let Makeba come to Italy for the presentation. She would not return to South Africa for the next 30 years. Rogosin along with Harry Belafonte financed Makeba’s travels to the US and arranged for her to appear on the Steve Allen show in November 1959. The first song she sang on live television in the United States was Into Yam.
The version of Into Yam on this compilation as well as Little Boy, both featuring arrangements by Hugh Masekela, can be heard on her third LP The World of Miriam Makeba issued by RCA in 1963. Remarkably, neither track has been featured on any of Makeba’s many “best of” compilation CDs. Makeba does sing an updated version of the song on her 2006 albumForever and there, unlike the earlier versions, the composition credits go to Dorothy Masuka.The Many Voices of Miriam Makeba LP has been reissued on CD, but as a budget, two-for-the-price-of-one CD (along with her debut album) and without the original cover art.
Song Details
Composer Arranged by Miriam Makeba Siyandisa Music (Pty) Ltd,
Recording Details
Label Siyandisa Music (First released on RCA)
Performer Miriam Makeba
Performer Severino Dias de Olivera
Performer Leopoldo Flemming (Drums)
Performer William Salter (bass violin)
Producer Hugh Masekela
HistoryLittle Boy (July 1, 1963)
Forbidden Games, French EP
(RCA Victor, 86 406 M, FRA)
Into Yam is one of the songs that Makeba sings in Lionel Rogosin’s clandestine, 1959 film Come Back Africa about township life in South Africa. The film premiered at the 1959 Venice Film Festival and it was Rogosin who bribed South African officials to let Makeba come to Italy for the presentation. She would not return to South Africa for the next 30 years. Rogosin along with Harry Belafonte financed Makeba’s travels to the US and arranged for her to appear on the Steve Allen show in November 1959. The first song she sang on live television in the United States was Into Yam.
The version of Into Yam on this compilation as well as Little Boy, both featuring arrangements by Hugh Masekela, can be heard on her third LP The World of Miriam Makeba issued by RCA in 1963. Remarkably, neither track has been featured on any of Makeba’s many “best of” compilation CDs. Makeba does sing an updated version of the song on her 2006 albumForever and there, unlike the earlier versions, the composition credits go to Dorothy Masuka.The Many Voices of Miriam Makeba LP has been reissued on CD, but as a budget, two-for-the-price-of-one CD (along with her debut album) and without the original cover art.
Song Details
Composer Hugh Masekela Chissa Music
Composer Miriam Makeba Siyandisa Music (Pty) Ltd,
Recording Details
Label Siyandisa Music (First released on RCA)
Performer Miriam Makeba
Performer Sam Brown (guitar)
Performer Marvin Falcon (guitar)
Performer William Salter (bass violin)
Performer Auchee Lee (percussion)
Performer Hugh Masekela (Conductor)
Performer Morris Goldberg (Alto Saxophone)
Performer Hugh Masekela (Trumpet)
HistoryQhude (October 30, 1963)

Chants d'Afrique No. 2, French LP (April 1964)
(RCA Victor, 435 018, FRA)
I am absolutely floored that Qhude has not been featured on more Makeba “best of” compilations. Moreover it is unbelievable that her fourth album, The Voice of Africa, while being reissued on vinyl a number of times, has never been available on CD. The only CD compilation to feature Qhude is a well-researched 1991 US issue titled Africa (now out of print.) This CD is also one of the few to include a number of other fabulous tracks from five of her first six albums including the amazing Dubula and Kwedini.Come to Glory also on The Voice of Africa is a West Indian gospel chant and is one of my favorites.
Song Details
Composer Hugh Masekela Chissa Music
Recording Details
Label Siyandisa Music (First released on RCA)
Performer Miriam Makeba
Performer Sam Brown (guitar)
Performer Marvin Falcon (guitar)
Performer William Salter (bass violin)
Performer Auchee Lee (percussion)
Performer Hugh Masekela (Conductor)
Performer Morris Goldberg (Alto Saxophone)
Performer Hugh Masekela (Trumpet)
HistoryCome To Glory (1963)
Chants d'Afrique No. 2, French LP (April 1964)
(RCA Victor, 435 018, FRA)
I am absolutely floored that Qhude has not been featured on more Makeba “best of” compilations. Moreover it is unbelievable that her fourth album, The Voice of Africa, while being reissued on vinyl a number of times, has never been available on CD. The only CD compilation to feature Qhude is a well-researched 1991 US issue titled Africa (now out of print.) This CD is also one of the few to include a number of other fabulous tracks from five of her first six albums including the amazing Dubula and Kwedini.Come to Glory also on The Voice of Africa is a West Indian gospel chant and is one of my favorites.
Song Details
Composer Dorothy Masuka Gallo Music Publishers
Composer Miriam Makeba Siyandisa Music (Pty) Ltd,
Recording Details
Label Siyandisa Music (First released on RCA)
Performer Morris Goldberg (Alto Saxophone)
Performer Paul Makgoba (Backing Vocal)
Performer Mamsie Gwangwa (Backing Vocal)
Performer Edith Grootboom (Backing Vocal)
Performer Ernest Mohlomi (Backing Vocal)
Performer Betty Mthobeni (Backing Vocal)
Performer Caiphus Semenya
Performer Betty Khoza
Performer Miriam Makeba
Producer Jim Foglesong
HistoryKhawuyani-Khanyange (August 18, 1964)

Miriam Makeba, French EP
(RCA Victor, 86 447 M, FRA)
Makeba’s fifth album Miriam Sings! has seldom, if at all, been reissued on vinyl and never on CD, though it boasts some great tracks including her alternative version of Kilimanjaro. Khawuyani-Khanyange, arranged by Masekela, is a combination of two songs by Makeba and Dorothy Masuka respectively and features Betty Mtombeni, Mamsie Gwangwa, Edith Grootboom, Ernst Mohlomi, Caiphus Semenya and Paul Makgoba on vocals.
Khuluma as the liner notes reveal is “another Mbaqanga from the townships, written by Betty Khoza, a singer from Durban living in Johannesburg” and also features Morris Goldberg on alto sax. (Check out more Betty Khoza and Morris Goldberg here.) In desperation to find clean copies of these two tracks, I broke down and opened a sealed copy I had found on eBay. All was not as it appeared and it turned out to be used… lesson here… be skeptical!
Song Details
Composer Miriam Makeba Siyandisa Music (Pty) Ltd,
Recording Details
Label Siyandisa Music (First released on RCA)
Performer Hugh Masekela (Conductor)
Performer Ramapolo (Trumpet)
Performer Milford Graves (Percussion)
Performer James "Chief" Bey (Percussion)
Performer Daniel "Big Black" Ray (Percussion)
Performer Kenny Burrel (Guitar)
Performer William Salter (bass violin)
Performer Miriam Makeba
Producer Jim Foglesong
HistoryKhuluma (August 18, 1964)
Miriam Makeba, French EP
(RCA Victor, 86 447 M, FRA)
Makeba’s fifth album Miriam Sings! has seldom, if at all, been reissued on vinyl and never on CD, though it boasts some great tracks including her alternative version of Kilimanjaro. Khawuyani-Khanyange, arranged by Masekela, is a combination of two songs by Makeba and Dorothy Masuka respectively and features Betty Mtombeni, Mamsie Gwangwa, Edith Grootboom, Ernst Mohlomi, Caiphus Semenya and Paul Makgoba on vocals.
Khuluma as the liner notes reveal is “another Mbaqanga from the townships, written by Betty Khoza, a singer from Durban living in Johannesburg” and also features Morris Goldberg on alto sax. (Check out more Betty Khoza and Morris Goldberg here.) In desperation to find clean copies of these two tracks, I broke down and opened a sealed copy I had found on eBay. All was not as it appeared and it turned out to be used… lesson here… be skeptical!
Song Details
Composer Letta Mbulu Semenya Music
Recording Details
Label Siyandisa Music (First released on RCA)
Performer Miriam Makeba
Producer Jim Foglesong
HistoryOxgam (original studio version) (1966)
Canta en Espanol, Spanish 45
(RCA Victor, 3-10308, SPA)
Another shocking omission from many Makeba compilations is the original studio version of Oxgam (sometimes referred to as Click Song No.2); the preferred variation being the haunting, almost a cappella Baxabene Oxamu on the 1988 Sangomaalbum (one of her all time best LPs.) This Letta Mbulu track was first issued on Makeba’s 1966 LP, The Magic of Makeba and live versions are featured on In Concert! and the recently issued Live At Bern’s Salonger. The original album has also been reissued as part of a box set of seven of her LPs.Oxgam is a type of tongue twister meant to teach children how to pronounce clicks. Check out the funky organ stabs towards the end of the song!
Song Details
Composer Dorothy Masuka Gallo Music Publishers
Author Dorothy Masuka Gallo Music Publishers
Arranger Jonas Gwangwa Ndebele Music
HistoryKhawuleza (Russian booklet version)
(originally recorded April 1965; Russian version, 1970)
Kpyro3op (Krugozor Magazine with six flexi-discs)
(Issue 6, 1970, USSR)
Khawuleza (or Hurry, Mama, Hurry!) comes from the album An Evening with Harry Belafonte and Miriam Makeba, issued on RCA Victor in 1965 and is widely available on CD. The album itself is significant in that Makeba won a Grammy for it and it is one of her most politically overt. This is an important album for me personally in that it is the very one that generated the entire Makeba research project when I found a copy in a thrift store in the United States and was struck by the very political nature of the liner notes. The album includes Vuyisile Mini’s classic protest song Ndodemnyama or Beware Verwoerd. Khawuleza speaks of police raids in the townships and written and originally recorded by Dorothy Masuka in the 1950s. Like many of Makeba’s post-1963 UN address records, the album was banned in South Africa. Three tracks from that album can be found on a very unique Russian audio booklet and this is where the version of Khawuleza comes from. Although all three songs are identical to the LP versions, they are unique in a remarkable way: It appears that the editors of the magazine have overlayed voice commentary or perhaps a translation in Russian over Makeba’s introduction to the song! The booklet itself consists of a number of other tracks by other artists and each song is ring bound as a floppy flexi-disc in the book with extensive text in Russian. To play a song, one must simply go to the page of choice, fold the book completely open and place the entire object on the record player.
The Soviet Union was sympathetic to anti-apartheid causes and supported the ANC in exile with training and shelter. A number of historic ANC albums were recorded and issued in the USSR including the Amandla group with Jonas Gwangwa. Gwangwa also played a prominent role in conducting and arrangements on this album. Makeba herself had a number of albums issued in the Eastern block during the 1970s, after she became “self-exiled” from the US. The 1974 album A Promise was issued on the East German label Amiga and a compilation album Miriam Makeba was issued in Czechoslovakia on the Supraphon/Reprise label in 1974.
Recording Details
Label Siyandisa Music (Pty) Ltd,
Performer Miriam Makeba
Performer Jonas Gwangwa
Performer Amandla Group
HistoryKhawuleza (Russian booklet version)
(originally recorded April 1965; Russian version, 1970)
Kpyro3op (Krugozor Magazine with six flexi-discs)
(Issue 6, 1970, USSR)
Khawuleza (or Hurry, Mama, Hurry!) comes from the album An Evening with Harry Belafonte and Miriam Makeba, issued on RCA Victor in 1965 and is widely available on CD. The album itself is significant in that Makeba won a Grammy for it and it is one of her most politically overt. This is an important album for me personally in that it is the very one that generated the entire Makeba research project when I found a copy in a thrift store in the United States and was struck by the very political nature of the liner notes. The album includes Vuyisile Mini’s classic protest song Ndodemnyama or Beware Verwoerd. Khawuleza speaks of police raids in the townships and written and originally recorded by Dorothy Masuka in the 1950s. Like many of Makeba’s post-1963 UN address records, the album was banned in South Africa. Three tracks from that album can be found on a very unique Russian audio booklet and this is where the version of Khawuleza comes from. Although all three songs are identical to the LP versions, they are unique in a remarkable way: It appears that the editors of the magazine have overlayed voice commentary or perhaps a translation in Russian over Makeba’s introduction to the song! The booklet itself consists of a number of other tracks by other artists and each song is ring bound as a floppy flexi-disc in the book with extensive text in Russian. To play a song, one must simply go to the page of choice, fold the book completely open and place the entire object on the record player.
The Soviet Union was sympathetic to anti-apartheid causes and supported the ANC in exile with training and shelter. A number of historic ANC albums were recorded and issued in the USSR including the Amandla group with Jonas Gwangwa. Gwangwa also played a prominent role in conducting and arrangements on this album. Makeba herself had a number of albums issued in the Eastern block during the 1970s, after she became “self-exiled” from the US. The 1974 album A Promise was issued on the East German label Amiga and a compilation album Miriam Makeba was issued in Czechoslovakia on the Supraphon/Reprise label in 1974.
Song Details
Composer Miriam Makeba Siyandisa Music (Pty) Ltd,
Author Miriam Makeba Siyandisa Music (Pty) Ltd,
Recording Details
Label Siyandisa Music (Pty) Ltd,
Performer Miriam Makeba
Producer Miriam Makeba
HistoryCharlie (Oh Mama) (c1966)
La Merveilleuse Miriam Makeba, French LP
(Mercury, 124 016 MDL, FRA)
An interesting earlier version of Milélé with English lyrics on Makeba’s first Mercury release, The Magnificent Miriam Makeba. The later version was included on the album Myriam Makeba & Bongi, issued on Syliphon Conakry in 1975.
Song Details
Composer Miriam Makeba Siyandisa Music (Pty) Ltd,
Composer Gilbert Bécaud Siyandisa Music (Pty) Ltd,
Author Miriam Makeba Siyandisa Music (Pty) Ltd,
Arranger Miriam Makeba Siyandisa Music (Pty) Ltd,
Recording Details
Label Siyandisa Music (Pty) Ltd,
Performer Miriam Makeba
HistoryChomba Cha Ajaba (1968)
Le Bateau Miracle, French EP
(Campagne Mondiale Contre La Faim, FAO 01, Part 62.723, FRA)
Chomba Cha Ajaba is a Makeba adaption of French singer Gilbert Bécaud’s Le Bateau Miracle or The Miracle Boat. The EP, sponsored by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) was issued in 1968 for their worldwide campaign against hunger. The EP was pressed in at least three countries: in France as Le Bateau Miracle, and in Ecuador and Mexico as El Barco Del Amor.
Song Details
Composer Joe Mogotsi Gallo Music Publishers
Composer Ronnie Sehume Gallo Music Publishers
Composer Rufus Khosa Gallo Music Publishers
Composer Nathan Mdledle Gallo Music Publishers
Recording Details
Label Reprise
Performer Miriam Makeba
Producer Severino Dias de Olivera
Producer Luchi de Jesus
Producer Jerry Ragavoy
HistoryMalayisha (original studio version, 1967)
Golden Miriam Makeba, Japanese LP (c1968)
(Reprise, SWG 7113, JAP)
This Manhattan Brothers track has a huge hit for Makeba in 1967. Remarkably it was not issued on thePata Pata album (from about the same time) and existed as a single only. The only two LPs that feature the original studio version are the Japanese compilation Golden Miriam Makeba and the Italian version of Pata Pata. Also the song can be found as an added bonus track on the US CD reissue of Pata Pata.
Song Details
Composer Jeremy Taylor Gallo Music Publishers
Recording Details
Label Siyandisa Music (Pty) Ltd,
Performer Miriam Makeba
Performer Leopoldo Flemming (Drums)
Performer Sivuca (Guitar)
Performer Jimmie Phillips (Base)
HistoryA Piece of Ground (live, August 28, 1968)
Miriam Makeba in Tokyo, Japanese LP (1968)
(Reprise, SJET 8082, JAP)
This track by Jeremy Taylor comes from one of Makeba’s rarest records, a Japan-only live recording made in Tokyo. (View it at Electric Jive.)

The album is available on the Miriam Makeba website
http://www.miriammakeba.co.za
Song Details
Composer Frances Landesman Gallo Music Publishers
Composer Thomas J. Wolf Jr. Gallo Music Publishers
Recording Details
Label Siyandisa (First release in Mercury)
Performer Miriam Makeba
Performer Harold Dodson (Bass guitar)
Performer Leopoldo Flemming (Drums)
Performer Willie Brook (Engineer)
Performer Sivuca (Guitar)
Producer Luchi de Jesus
HistoryThe Ballad of Sad Young Men (demo, 1967)

(Steel demo disc, Nola Penthouse Sound Studio, USA)
These two tracks are probably the rarest in the current selection. This come from a steel demo disc featuring seven tracks, six of which would eventually appear on Makeba’s 1967 Mercury album All About Miriam. Of those tracks three would be further re-mixed on the famous Pata Pata album issued by Reprise in 1967. The tracks here are quite stripped down and my guess is they were used as reference for the future LPs. Their is a suggestion in the eBay auction that the disc may have come from the estate of Luchi DeJesus, the arranger of many of the tracks on All About Miriam and Pata Pata, but that is hard to verify. In all cases the final recordings are quite different from these demos but none are as distinct as The Ballad of Sad Young Men where the earlier version is quite somber compared with its upbeat final mix. This track is also most famous for being the b-side to the Pata Pata single.
Song Details
Recording Details
Label Siyandisa (First release in Mercury)
Performer Miriam Makeba
Producer Luchi de Jesus
HistoryThe Untitled demo track seems very familiar to me, but I can’t seem to identify it. Let us know if you recognize the tune
Song Details
Composer Letta Mbulu Semenya Music
Recording Details
Label Reprise
Performer Miriam Makeba
HistoryIbablazie is another Letta Mbulu song that quite frankly addresses that morning after phenomenon known as a “hangover.” Remarkably this funky original studio version never made the cut on any of Makeba’s official albums—generally the live version is featured. Also note the English lyrics in this version. Emavungwini, a tune by Douglas Xaba, is featured on what I think is Makeba’s best album simply titled Makeba!
Song Details
Composer Douglas Xaba Gallo Music Publishers
Recording Details
Label Reprise
HistoryEmavungwini, a tune by Douglas Xaba, is featured on what I think is Makeba’s best album simply titled Makeba! Both these tracks were great hits and were usually issued together as a single 45 rpm, one notable exception is the Italian version of the Pata Pata LP which includes both as additional tracks. While Emavingwini has been available through the CD reissue of the albumMakeba!, neither of these tracks have been featured on any of her “best of” compilations.
Song Details
Composer Percy Mayfield Copyright Control
Author Percy Mayfield Copyright Control
Recording Details
Label Siyandisa Music (Pty) Ltd,
Performer Miriam Makeba
HistoryYou Suffer Too (1971)
La Guinee Guine, 45
(Editions Syliphone Conakry, SYL 536, FRA)
The bluesy You Suffer Too is the b-side of La Guinee Guine and comes from a series of 11 rare singles issued on the Syliphon Conakry label in the early 1970s, a period that spanned Makeba’s so-called “Guinea Years”— and which is also the title of a fabulous CD compilation of many of her songs from this period. The track unfortunately does not appear on the compilation. Perhaps its blues inflection did not meet the more African feel of the CD… but this track is one of my favorites.
Song Details
Composer Miriam Makeba Siyandisa Music (Pty) Ltd,
Composer Kemo Kouyate Kemo Kouyate
Recording Details
Label Siyandisa Music (Pty) Ltd,
HistoryMansane Cissé (1973)
Africa, 45
(Editions Syliphone Conakry, SYL 551, FRA)
Mansane Cissé is the b-side to Africa, also on the Syliphone Conakry label. This traditional Senegalese tune is performed by what appears to be Makeba’s backing group, but ironically the instrumental does not include her voice. I however could not resist including it.
Song Details
Composer Ralph McDonald Antisia Music
Composer O Adetoye David Gresham Music Publishers
Composer Gérard Madiata Copyright Control
Author Ralph McDonald Antisia Music
Author O Adetoye David Gresham Music Publishers
Author Gérard Madiata Copyright Control
Arranger Miriam Makeba Siyandisa Music (Pty) Ltd,
Recording Details
Label Siyandisa Music (Pty) Ltd,
HistoryDisques Esperance, ESP 155027, FRA, 1978)
Les Trois Z is a political song from Zaire (now Congo) by Gérard Madiata. The term "Les Trois Z" referred to the “Authenticité” or authenticity campaign of Mobutu Sese Seko in the Democratic Republic of Congo during the late 1960s and early 70s, to “rid the country of the lingering vestiges of colonialism and the continuing influence of Western culture and to create a more centralized and singular national identity.” The campaign included renaming the country, the Congo River and the currency—“Zaire” and referred to them as Les Trois Z — Notre Pays, Notre Fleuve, Notre Monnaie (The Three Zs — Our Country, Our river, Our Money). Makeba’s version of the song was a significant influence on a young Angelique Kidjo who found early success with an adaption of it.
Song Details
Composer R McDonald David Gresham Music Publishers
Composer O Adetoye David Gresham Music Publishers
Composer William Salter David Gresham Music Publishers
Recording Details
Label Siyandisa Music (Pty) Ltd,
Performer Miriam Makeba
HistoryOriginal release: Disques Esperance, ESP 155027, FRA, 1978)
I’mm You’mm We’mm is the apparent b-side to Les Trois Z on this 1975 Disques Esperance single and, to my knowledge neither appeared on any of Makeba’s vinyl albums. Oddly, a pressing error reveals the b-side on this single to be Talking and Dialoging another less common track. I’mm You’mm We’mm does appear to be a studio recording and can be found on the German CD re-issue titled Live in Conakry but the track does not occur on the original 1970 LP Appel a L’Afrique.
Song Details
Composer Miriam Makeba Siyandisa Music (Pty) Ltd,
Author Miriam Makeba Siyandisa Music (Pty) Ltd,
Recording Details
Label Siyandisa Music (Pty) Ltd,
Performer Miriam Makeba
HistoryKwanong Zongo (Nongqongqo) (live, November 19, 1997)
Les Voix De La Paix, EP CD (1998)
(International Yehudi Menhuin Foundation, Q 885, FRA)

This is a live version of Nongqongqo, recorded in Brussels, comes from a concert Voices For Peaceorganized by the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation. The original version is featured on the classic album, An Evening with Harry Belafonte and Miriam Makeba, issued in 1965 and mentioned above. The song speaks about South African leaders—Sobukwe, Luthuli and Mandela—and their role in the struggle against apartheid.

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