1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

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Archive for the tag “Virginia Lee”

Darling It’s Wonderful – Virginia Lee

Darling It’s Wonderful – Virginia Lee

Darling It’s Wonderful – Virginia Lee

Way back in 1927 a girl called Virginia de Jager was born in Port Elizabeth. 39 years later in 1966, she recorded a song called ‘Darling It’s Wonderful’ which took her to her highest ever placing in the Springbok Top 20 as the song made it to number 3 and spent 9 weeks in the charts.

A country-tinged ballad, Lee had the perfect voice for such a song with enough of a twang to capture the country sound, but not too much of a twang to be irritating. Her voice is underpinned by a gently rocking guitar and beat. It has all the ingredients of those late 50’s early 60’s rock n’ roll ballads and when you realise that ‘Darling It’s Wonderful’ was originally recorded in 1957 by The Lovers, a duo consisting of Allen Bunn, the song’s writer, and his wife Anna Sanford. That version would make it to number 48 on the Billboard charts in the US. But most South Africans who know the song would probably look to Virginia’s version when wanting to stroll hand in hand with their gal/guy down memory lane.

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

Video:

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Goodbye My Love – Murray Campbell

Goodbye My Love – Murray Campbell

Murray Campbell - Goodbye My Love

Murray Campbell – Goodbye My Love

Murray Campbell was a Scotsman who made his home in South Africa. In 1965 he recorded a version of Nino Rosso’s ‘Il Silenzio’ with a short spoken vocal in English and changed the song’s name to ‘Goodbye My Love’ The song topped the Springbok Charts for 6 weeks and also the (then) Rhodesian charts for 8 weeks. He also recorded 2 versions with Virginia Lee singing a vocal, one in English and one in Afrikaans.

The main instrument featured in the song is Campbell’s trumpet which has resonances of ‘The Last Post’. It is a moving piece that would fit in well on an old western soundtrack as the hero moves off from the grave of the woman he has just lost and heads into the sunset. However, the spoken piece tells the story the other way with the male voice saying to his love to kiss him before he goes.

Campbell plays his instrument with a crystal clarity and poignancy that has this haunting piece ringing in your mind long after the notes have faded and you are left in a contemplative mood.

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

Video:

Murray Campbell Instrumental:


With Virginia Lee (English Vocals):


With Virginia Lee (Afrikaans Lyrics):


Il Silenzio – NinoRosso

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