1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

Just another music list

Sweet Maria – Gert Potgieter

Sweet Maria – Gert Potgieter width=

Sweet Maria – Gert Potgieter

Gert was born Gerhardus Petrus Potgieter in Johannesburg on 14 November 1929 and rose to fame as a tenor, singing operatic pieces. Sadly, his career was cut short in 1977 when at the age of 47, he was killed in a car crash. In a similar vein to Gé Korsten, he managed to make that cross over from opera to popular music. However, while Gé would be the one who most people will remember, Gert was less well know.

He did, however, manage something that Gé would never manage and that was to have a Springbok Top 20 hit as he got to number 13 with a rendition of ‘Sweeet Maria’, a song written by Bert Kaempfert and recorded by him as ‘Milicia’. The song would spend 8 weeks on the charts and it is a pleasant track with a gently rocking beat over which Potgieter’s mellow tenor seems to bob gently as he sings to ‘Sweet Maria’, begging her not to cry as they say goodbye.

This is not a song that sets the world alight, but rather one that snuggles neatly into the history books, not trying to grab the limelight, but a reminder of times when life seemed more peaceful and soothing. It is also a reminder to us that there is more to South African tenors than just Gé Korsten and Manuel Escorcio,

Where to find it:
Various Artists – The Best of SA Pop Volume 1 (1994) GMP, CDGMPD 40485 (CD)


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