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Forty years of singing hope for black South Africans
February 16, 2006 7:25 PM   Subscribe

In apartheid South Africa, "We were the first blacks to go everywhere, that was the power of our music." Despite dozens of album credits, two Grammys and the long list of major artists they've performed with, their proudest accomplishment may be singing at President Mandella's inauguration and being told "Your music gave me hope when I was in prison." Ladysmith Black Mambazo has been making a difference with their traditional Zulu Isicathamiya music for over 40 years. Listen.[popup w/audio]
posted by raedyn (11 comments total)

 
Ahh I take it you were listening to the CBC the same time I was the other day when they did a profile on LBM.
posted by Hildegarde at 8:01 PM on February 16, 2006


Making a difference to the sales of Heinz baked beans.
posted by jack_mo at 8:49 PM on February 16, 2006


Saw them performing with a a traditional gospel choir at a church in Bessemer, AL many years ago. Beautiful stuff.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 8:53 PM on February 16, 2006


Funny, I thought they were Xhosa (another big tribal group in South Africa). My housekeeper loves it when I play them. I have to buy some more, because I'm tired of what I have. I didn't think Xhosa would go for some Zulu tradition.
posted by Goofyy at 7:41 AM on February 17, 2006


They are great in concert. Saw them last year here in Ottawa at a medium-sized church. They guy who founded the group doesn't look or show his age!
posted by storybored at 8:27 AM on February 17, 2006


Ahh I take it you were listening to the CBC the same time I was the other day when they did a profile on LBM. - Hildegarde

I heard a bit of something on CBC, yes. Enough to make me interested in finding out more.

Funny, I thought they were Xhosa (another big tribal group in South Africa). - Goofyy

I'll be the first to admit that I'm ignorant of the difference between different tirbal groups in Africa, but I was going by the bio on their webpage that explains the Zulu word in their name, refers to their album called Shaka Zulu, and that refers to their musical style called Isicathamiya, which multiple sources identify as a traditional Zulu style. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but all my sources suggested it's Zulu music they're singing. (Both are official languages of South Africa, and both are spoken by millions).
posted by raedyn at 8:57 AM on February 17, 2006


I saw them in London many years ago - early 90's - in the company of a crowd of (mostly white) South African Expats. It sounds like that might be strange, but it wasn't. A wonderful concert.
posted by Sk4n at 9:17 AM on February 17, 2006


I've a few of their CDs. Great stuff.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:35 AM on February 17, 2006


raedyn: Yah, I looked there too. So I expressed honest surprise, rather than saying you were wrong. I had thought 'Mambazo' was the style. This was furthered by seeing another group 'Khayelitsha United Mambazo', singing on the warf in Captetown (bought their 2 CDs from them).
posted by Goofyy at 11:56 AM on February 17, 2006


They're fantastic. I first fell in love with their sound when I heard "Homeless" from Paul Simon's "Graceland" album.
posted by mike3k at 12:17 PM on February 17, 2006


Weird how someone can have them next to Pantera on a mix tape...but there ya go.
Good sound is good sound.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:04 PM on February 17, 2006


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