1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

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Archive for the tag “The Attraction”

Scooby Dooby Dum Dum Day – The Attraction

Scooby Dooby Dum Dum Day – The Attraction

Scooby Dooby Dum Dum Day – The Attraction

Hands up who remembers scooby wire? For those either too old or not old enough, scooby wire was thin coloured wire that one knotted and platted and wound around other wires to create bracelets and such like. Well that was a craze around the time that The Attraction’s ‘Scooby Dooby Dum Dum Day’ was a hit (1971). I can’t say for sure if Robert Schroder who wrote the song, had this in mind when he was composing, or if he had been watching the Scooby Doo cartoons or if he just thought that ‘Scooby Dooby Dum Dum Day’ would make a good title for a bubblegum hit.

The song had the honour of being one of those to appear on the very first Springbok Hit Parade albums (which were compiliations of contemporary hits covered by session musicians). The series of those albums went on to become somewhat iconic, with most of the youngsters of the time (myself included) not realising that these were covers of the big hits of the day.

‘Scooby Dobby Dum Dum Day’ is a pleasant slice of bubblegum pop with a similar beat to The Archies’ ‘Sugar Sugar’ (possibly the mosy successful bubblegum hit of all time). It features the gentle, bordering on falsetto vocals of Neil Herbert who had a Springbok Top 20 number 1 hit with ‘She’s A Woman’ in 1974. It also featured Robert Schroder on keyboard. Schroder would see 6 hits where he had writing credits make the Springbok Radio charts although, sadly, ‘Scooby Dooby Dum Dum Day’ would not be one of them.

Despite its lack of chart success, it obviously had enough popular appeal for it to appear on the Springbok Hit Parade collection and I am sure it is one that for a number of people it will be a song that brings back memories (probably accompanied by a smile) and have us all thinking, ‘why don’t they ever play that one on the radio anymore?’

Where to find it:
Singles bins if you’re lucky

Video:

Working On A Good Thing – The Outlet

Working On A Good Thing – The Outlet

Working On A Good Thing – The Outlet

The Outlet were a band featuring Clive Clader (who went on to produce loads of stuff), Neil Herbert (who had a number 1 hit with ‘She’s A Woman), Robert Schroder (who wrote and produced loads of other hits), Greg Brown and Howie Jones (who were both in The Attraction) and Peter Vee (who had solo hits and hits as part of Buffalo). With this line-up, it was no surprise that they had a couple of Springbok Top 20 hits.

The second of these hits was ‘Working On A Good Thing’ and was the more successful of the 2 hits, going to number 2 and spending 14 weeks on the charts. Calder and Vee wrote the song which has the same cheeky rhythm as The Beatles’ ‘Ob La Di Ob La Da’. It is self abandoned pop that has no shame in being so. The gentle lilt of the music dances playfully with the almost understated vocals and that all sits nicely in a catchy groove.

As with songs of that era (1970), it is a short piece, clocking in at just over 2 minutes 15 seconds so is almost over just as you’re getting into it. One wonders if, when The Outlet recorded it, they knew that they were working on a good thing. The whoops and yelps in the background of the song seem to indicate that a bit of a party was going on in the studio, so I suspect they knew.

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

Video:

She’s A Woman – Neil Herbert

She’s A Woman - Neil Herbert

She’s A Woman – Neil Herbert

It would be worrying if this song was entitled ‘He’s A Woman’, as that would have meant that Boy George would have recorded it and we would not be able to lay claim to this love song, which gently swings back and forth, a bit like lying in a hammock, enjoying a beautiful sunset and sipping on a cocktail.

The song was written by Eddie Storbeck and would spent 22 weeks in the Springbok top 20, spending 31 January 1975 at number 1. Neil Herbert had been in the band The Attraction (remember ‘Scooby Dooby Dum Dum Day’) and he brings a sort of Elvis-y croon to the verses, then soaring into a smooth Engelbert Humperdinck-ness on the choruses. Sadly, Neil is no longer with us, but there seem to be 2 versions of how he died. The Chilvers/Jaisukowicz book, ‘History Of Contemporary Music Of South Africa’ says he died in a plane crash in 1979 while someone on the Youtube video of the song says he was a family friend and took his own life because he could not cope with his arthritis.

‘She’s My Woman’ should not be confused with Alan Garrity’s ‘She’s My Woman’ which appeared on the scene in the August of 1975. It is possible that Garrity (who penned his own hit) enjoyed Herbert’s song so much that he wanted to lay claim to this woman that Herbert sang of with so much passion. Whether this is the case or not, you should take Herbert’s woman to heart and enjoy the song.

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

Video:

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