1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

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Archive for the tag “Terry Dempsey”

Kentucky Blues – Lauren Copley

Kentucky Blues - Lauren Copley

Kentucky Blues – Lauren Copley

No this is not a song about getting depressed and down about some fried chicken (KFC used to be called Kentucky Fried Chicken for those of you who may be too young to remember this). Rather it is a love song by a young girl, Lauren Copely, who was only around 15 or 16 when she recorded this. The song was written by Terry Dempsey who was one of the most successful local song writers at the time.

‘Kentucky Blues’ is a Country and Western tinged pop song where Lauren pleads with the Kentucky Blues to leave her alone as she is reminded about a previous lover. It has a catchy tune, especially the chorus and Copley’s surprisingly mature vocals inject the track with a real feeling of the sadness that the narrator is feeling. The song would prove the most successful of her 3 Springbok top 20 hits as it got to number 1 and spent 4 weeks there.

Despite her early initial success and the music press of the time fawning over her, she had quit the music scene by the time she was 20 and went on to become a journalist. However, in 2015 she released a new album called ‘Chrysalis’ which included what I believe was a re-working of ‘Kentucky Blues’, but I haven’t heard it.

‘Kentucky Blues’ was a huge success for what promised to be an exciting artist, however, Lauren had her reasons for quitting the business. We can only look back at this piece of perfect pop and enjoy the quality of her voice and try not to get the blues about what could have been.

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


Love Connection – Plastik Mak

Love Connection – Plastik Mak (Save this for a rainy day)

Love Connection – Plastik Mak

Love Connection – Plastik Mak

Plastik Mak were formed as a fictitious disco group for the movie ‘Follow That Rainbow’. As this proved quite successful, they made the move from fiction to reality and, along with their creator and main songwriter, Terry Dempsey, went on to record an album. The group consisted of Zayne Adams (was in Pacific Express and became a music producer), Joanna Fields (had a hit with ‘Don’t Fly Too High’) and Alison O’Donnell (was in the Irish band Mellow Candle, she was also in Flibbertigibbet).

Keeping true to their disco roots, ‘Love Connection’ was released after the movie and features a pounding disco beat accompanied by a great honky tonk-ish piano. But it is the strength of Adam’s vocals which interplay beautifully with Fields and O’Donnell’s backing vocals that come through so strongly, that ‘backing’ is a bit of an understatement.

The song bounces along at pace with is packed full of feel good factor. The public took to the sound and propelled the song to number 14 on the Springbok Top 20 charts.

Where to find it:
Singles bins at your local vinyl store.

20 Golden Greats Volume Two  (1980), EMI Brigadiers, EMCJ(W)1157


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