Thursday, April 26, 2007

Sam Sklair

A curious LP I found today in the Age Concern charity shop for 75p. It's a mixture of traditional "kwela" South African township jive and big band brass in the style of Bert Kaempfert. Indeed, one of the tunes here is an old Kaempfert hit "Swingin' Safari" . It's on the RCA Victor label - released in 1968. Other big hits of the 50's and 60's have been given the trad/big band treatment including "Zambesi" which Eddie Calvert made popular in the U.K. and "Wimoweh" which has been in and out of the charts in various guises for the last forty years or more.

Very little found on the internet about Sklair so will quote the short blurb on the back of the LP sleeve which says-

"Composer-instrumentalist-arranger-conductor. Born in England, he has lived in South Africa for many years. He has long been interested in the music and rhythms of Africa, and has written musical scores for many film, radio and television documentaries. He is today looked upon as one of the country's foremost authorities on the subject of African music. This, allied to his many other talents, makes him the one person equipped to have undertaken a record such as this. In addition to arranging and conducting this happy blend of Africa and the West, sam himself plays all the African instruments on this record."

Sam Sklair - Swingin' Safari

Sam Sklair - Zambesi

Sam Sklair - Meadowlands

Sam Sklair - Gumboot Dance

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1 comment:

Sam Vimes said...

Just happened across this posting. As a child in the late 60's early 70's I lived in South Africa. The Gumboot Dance was a firm favourite with my parents and was often playing in the house. There was a second album "Gum Boot Dance 2" of a similar type of music.

I still have both records and do occasionally play them.