1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

Just another music list

Cry To Me – The Staccatos

Cry To Me – The Staccatos

Cry To Me – The Staccatos

Way before ‘Weeping’ was a hit is South Africa, we had ‘Cry To Me’ to shed tears over. The song was originally recorded in 1961 by Solomon Burke as a slightly funky soul number which ended up being featured in the film ‘Dirty Dancing’. However, when local group The Staccatos got their hands on the song, they slowed it down, got rid of the funky and stripped it down to an emotive pure soul affair.

The song showcases Steve Lonsdale’s magnificent soul voice which moves from almost haunting to a soaring crescendo. A few simple guitar notes underpin the vocals and this continues in an hypnotic way through out the song while a brassy blast accompanies the swooping bits. This is a quite breath-taking cover of the song which blew the South African record buying public away. The song spent an all-time record 38 weeks in the Springbok Top 20 in a broken run of 12 weeks, then re-entering the charts after about a 5 month hiatus before spending a further 26 weeks in the charts. It spent 3 weeks at 1 during its first run but only peaked at 3 during its second run.

In 1981 we saw the song again on our charts, but that time it was a disco version by Precious Wilson & The Sky Train and that didn’t fare nearly as well as The Staccato’s one, only managing 2 weeks and a peak of 17. ‘Cry To Me’ by the Staccatos was one of the biggest hits of the Springbok Top 20 era and it is not hard to see why as it is so powerful a version that it can bring tears to the eyes.

Where to find it:
Various Artists – The Best of SA Pop Volume 2 (1994) GMP, CDGMPD 40486 (CD)


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12 thoughts on “Cry To Me – The Staccatos

  1. Leon Rossouw on said:

    Brian le Gassick’s voice? Surely it’s Steve Lonsdale, not?

    • You’re quite right Leon, le Gassick was the original vocalist from what I can tell, but Lonsdale took over when he joined the group, so would have done the vocasl on ‘Cry to Me’. well spotted. I’ve changed the narrative above.

    • JOHAN GOUWS on said:

      Yes . It definitely was Steve Lonsdale on lead vocal . What a voice.

  2. Peter Oosthuizen on said:

    Where is steve londsdale now

  3. Hi for me and maybe for many other people this great song owes much of its huge popularity to the fact that it was featured in the South African film Katrina at a particularly poignant moment in the very emotional movie. I remember crying my eyes out during those scenes! But that is not mentioned here.

  4. What year was it a hit? Did I miss that? It was a favorite on Forces Favorites! 🙃🙃🙃

  5. leon Goosen on said:

    One of the greatest songs ever and NO band will do better job with this song than the STACCATOS! I am over 70 yrs old and remember them well and is still a fan! Yep they don’t make ’em like they used to!

  6. Cry to me, the Staccatos, was the theme song in an Afrikaans full length film ‘ Katrina’, which portrayed love across the colour bar in the sixties between a white priest and a Cape coloured woman.

  7. JOHAN GOUWS on said:

    Magnificent !!! This I dedicate to you Audrey. Rest in peace. I will always love you.

  8. Francois Dreyer on said:

    There can be no doubt that the Staccatos’ version of this song is probably the best there is. Just wondering about the statement that the band slowed down the song when they got their hands on it as the Rolling Stones slowed it down somewhat in 1965 and the version by Freddie Scott in 1967 is in my opinion probably the arrangement that the Staccatos based their version on.

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