1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

Just another music list

Bonely Bonela – Gries Heimer

David Gresham

David Gresham

For those in the know (and those of us who looked it up on Google) a guiro is a scraping instrument which produces a sound by scraping a stick over a notched piece of wood to create a fast clicking sound. And why, you may well ask, do we need to know this. Well because it is used in the chorus of ‘Bonely Bonela’ and I’m sure when you listened to it back in 1972, you sat there going, ‘what on earth is making that strange sound on this record? Is it scratched?’

And you probably would have been even more convinced of a pressing defect had you heard the original Italian version by Filipino singer Antonio Morales Barretto who went under the name of Junior as that version is guiroless (not a word you hear everyday, admit it). The instrument had its origins in South America and it’s not surprising that Gries decided to add it to his version of the song as it has a a flavour of songs from that part of the world. It’s a gently flowing pop tune with a quick rumba beat.

But who was this mysterious man called Gries Heimer. Well take away the “i” in his first name, join the 2 names, change the “ei” in the second name to an “a” and drop the “er” at the end… okay I’ll tell you, it’s easier that way. David Gresham. Yes this was Gruesome Gresh who scored a number 19 hit on the Springbok Radio charts (yes, the ones he used to present – no wonder he changed his name on the single) and spent a week there on 6 October 1972. So keep you feet on the ground, reach for the stars and enjoy this pleasant pop tune. As Frankie Valli put it, ‘Gries is the word.’

Where to find it:
Singles bins if you’re lucky

Video:

Single Post Navigation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: