1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

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Archive for the tag “Four Jacks & A Jill”

Ten Tons Of Loving – Johnny Collini

Ten Tons Of Loving - Johnny Collini

Ten Tons Of Loving – Johnny Collini

Ten tons is pretty heavy, but this song was not. Released in 1969, Johnny Collini makes light work of this John Edmond composition. With the composer also taking on the production ‘Ten Tons Of Loving’ is one of those pop songs that Cliff Richard or Herman’s Hermits perhaps would have taken into the charts in the middle to late 1960’s. It’s a lighthearted song about the huge amount of love the singer has.

Collini, who was born in Heidleberg and sang in The Zombies (no not the UK band featuring Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent, but the South African one that morphed into Four Jacks & A Jill), brings a strong vocal to the song and with his voice being brought right to the fore, the instrumentation seems almost muted against his big voice.

‘Ten Tons Of Loving’ did not make the Springbok charts (only his hit ‘That’s Why God Made The World’ managed that), but was a popular tune in its day. Collini went on recorded a number of singles, but as far as we know he never released an album. With its title being what it was, one could regard the song as being about a Whole Lotta Love. Hopefully that last comment doesn’t go down like a lead balloon.

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

Master Jack – David Marks

Hidden Years - David Marks

Hidden Years – David Marks

Sometimes it’s better to have someone else sing the songs you write and when you listen to David Marks working his way through this classic tune that he penned you can’t help yearing for the flowery pop of the Four Jacks and the beautiful voice of Jill (Glenys Lynne). However, there is something strange, strange and alluring about this version which can be found on David Marks’ album ‘The Hidden Year’.

He slows the song down, dismisses that lovely plucked guitar work and replaces it with a lush orchestration and electric guitar. It must also be said that Marks does not have the best singing voice (but better than some that have committed their voice to vinyl – Anneline Kriel springing immediately to mind) and he puts emphasis on words in what I would regard as strange, strange places.

Despite all this, Marks’ version is interesting as it gives one an insight into perhaps how the song originally sounded in his mind and its not often you get to hear this where the artist who had a hit with a song is not the one who wrote it. And here we get the idea that this song was about the beauty of the world around us, not only from the lyrics, but from the way Marks sings and arranges this version. There is a sense of a person in a beautiful landscape, with a wide sky full of stars above them, slowly swirling round to take it all in. There is a depth to this version that Four Jacks and A Jill’s one never had. Both are great tracks to listen to, Four Jacks for those frivolous moments when you don’t feel like deeper feelings, but just want to be happy, and Marks’ version for when you want to sit back and contemplate life, the universe and everything.

Where to find it:
David Marks – The Hidden Years – Songs from 1964 to 1994, 3rd Ear Music, 3eM CD 003

Timothy – Carike Keuzenkamp

Timothy – Carike Keuzenkamp

Timothy - Carike Keuzenkamp

Timothy – Carike Keuzenkamp

Carike was one of the darlings of the Afrikaans music scene. She was born in Den Haag in The Netherlands, but moved to South Africa where she made a name for herself as a singer. Her full name is Elizabeth Maria Magdalena van Zyl, so if you thought spelling out the long surname Keuzenkamp was a pain, just be glad she chose a different stage name to her full real one.

In 1967 she starred in the film ‘Die Professor En Die Prikkelpop’ in which she sang a version of Four Jacks & A Jill’s hit ‘Timothy’. The film extract on Youtube that shows her singing the song would have been regarded as quite raunchy back then as it shows Carike and some scantily clad girls sitting around in a room while Carike performs an acoustic version of the song. And they moan about the outfits the girls wear in pop videos these days!

The film version of the song is a simple guitar and voice recording whereas the version that appears on The Best Of SA Pop series is fleshed out with piano and a little bass, but it is still a simple arrangement which relies heavily on Carike’s pure vocals. This compared to the Four Jacks And A Jill version which has drums and some brassy bits and presents a much fuller sound.

There probably were and probably will be lots of arguments about which version is better. The public back in 1967 thought both were groovy (because groovy was a word in use back then) and sent both Carike and Four Jacks & A Jill to the top of the charts with their respective versions. Whichever one you decide on, it is worth listening to this one for its more innocent and sparser approach.

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

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