1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

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Archive for the tag “The Best Of SA Pop”

Gypsy Girl – David Scobie


Gypsy Girl – David Scobie

Gypsy Girl – David Scobie

Okay, so this is a little bit of a cheat as Scobie was actually a Rhodie (person from what was then Rhodesia for those who don’t know what I’m talking about). But ‘Gypsy Girl’ was such a big hit for him in South Africa and it was included in The Best of SA Pop compilation, so I’m not the first to take this liberty.

With his scarily Neil Diamond-esque vocals, Scobie crafted this catchy tune about a girl who loves and leaves guys with apparent ease. The song with its distinctive bass intro, has all the makings of a Neil Diamond hit because apart from the similarlities of the vocals, there is the catchy tune, guitar and orchestration and build up to the chorus.

‘Gypsy Girl’ spent 19 weeks on the Springbok Top 20 back in 1981 and this was more than any other song managed that year, beating Joe Dolce’s ‘Shaddap Your Face’ which managed second with 17 weeks. ‘Gypsy Girl’ peaked at number 5. Check out the Youtube video as it is one of the few original music video’s of ‘SA’ hits from that era that one can find on the web and you will see a very fresh-faced Scobie looking nothing like his voice sound and doing that a good few years before Rick Astley came along and did the same thing.

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


Sunglasses – Hilary

Sunglasses - Hilary

Sunglasses – Hilary

Sunglasses have been the subject of a few songs over the years. Corey Hart sang about ‘Sunglasses At Night’, Timbuk 3 throught ‘The Future’s So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades’ and goth band The Cramps have recorded a song called ‘Sunglasses After Dark’. But long before these guys were trying to look cool, Hilary (Archibald) was donning some dark glasses. But she was not needing to protect her eyes from the effects of the sun, but rather she was hiding her tears as she had spotted her guy making out with another while on the beach.

While this little pop gem from 1968 may sound a little cheesy nowadays, there is still a certain poignancy to the heartbreak that hides behind the sweet girlie voice. The song was first recorded by Sandy Posey who had a big hit in South Africa with ‘Single Girl’. That version is all orchestral and melancholic while Tracey Ullman’s 1984 cover is melodramatic ‘Cyndi Lauper’ quirky and while some may prefer those versions, there is something about Hilary’s candy-coated sadness that makes this version worth a listen.

‘Suglasses’ was the second song by a local woman to go to number 1 on the Springbok Radio charts (the first being Carike Keuzenkamp with ‘Timothy’) where it stayed for 7 weeks, an all time record for a local lass. Hilary re-recorded the ‘Sunglasses’ part of the Let’s Play SA medley in 1983, sadly in 1989 she passed away from cancer in her early 40s.

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


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