1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

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Archive for the tag “margaret singana”

I Never Loved A Man – Margaret Singana

I Never Loved A Man – Margaret Singana

I Never Loved A Man – Margaret Singana

Yes, I know Aretha Franklin also did a song called ‘I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)’, but hers is a breathy, soulful song written by Ronnie Shannon. Margaret Singana’s is a completely different song, written by John Russell and produced by Patric van Blerk, Trevor Rabin and Julian Laxton. And with that production team, you know you’re going to have a great song.

‘I Never Loved A Man’ (Margaret’s one) was first seen, as far as I can tell, in 1977 when it was released as a single and included on her ‘Tribal Fence’ album. It has an early disco bounce to it that would have enticed most on to the dancefloor back then for a little boogie. It’s got a funky bass, a thumping beat interwoven with some 70’s rock guitar. All of this underpins Margaret’s strong vocals.

The song made it on to the Springbok Top 20 where it managed 18 weeks, spending 3 frustrating weeks at 3 while Heart’s ‘Barracuda’ and McCully Workshop’s ‘Buccaneer’ battled it out for the top 2 spots, then eventually made it to number 2 for a week on 13 January 1978, but was denied the top spot by ‘Barracuda’. This would be her most successful effort on our charts and also the best performance for the 3 producers with the exception of van Blerk who eventually saw a number 1 hit as producer with Joy’s ‘Paradise Road’. I guess one could say that We never loved a song (produced by Patric van Blerk, Trevor Rabin and Julian Laxton) the way we loved Margaret’s ‘I Never Loved A Man’.

Where to find it:
Lady Africa – Margaret Singana (1996), Gallo, CDRED603J


Mama Tembu’s Wedding – Ipi ‘N Tombia

Mama Tembu’s Wedding – Ipi ‘N Tombia

The Warrior - Ipi N' Tombia

The Warrior – Ipi N’ Tombia

Back in the early 1970’s Bertha Egnos and her daughter Gail Lakier wrote a musical called ‘The Warrior’ which drew heavily on the joyous township music of the time. Margaret Singana took on the lead female vocals and the production garnered worldwide acclaim. When the music was committed to vinyl, Billy Forrest and Lofty Shulz did the production.

Ipi ‘N Tombia translates as ‘where are the girls’. The answer is that they are centre stage as Margaret Singana belts out the joyous wedding celebration song ‘Mama Tembu’s Wedding’. Miriam Makeba had popularised the Xhosa click in her song ‘Qongqothwane (aka The Click Song), and Ipi ‘N Tombia took it a step further by making the clicks part of the rhythm section of the song.

The song peaked at number 6 on the Springbok Top 20 early in 1975 and spent a total of 17 weeks on the chart and is still popular today, being used in school plays well into the 2000’s. And the kids seem to love dancing to it as much these days as we did back in the 70’s.

Where to find it:
The Warrior – Ipi ‘N Tombia, Gallo, (2001), CDRED 676
Lady Africa – Margaret Singana, Gallo (1996), CDRED603


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