Our April Who’s Fooling Who mixtape focuses on South Africa songs which in some way or another reflect the theme of ‘fooling’. In some songs musicians set out to make fun of others, usually through satire or parody, while on occasions they humorously simply fool around, often in the form of novelty songs which they hope will amuse the audience in some way or another. There are cases where musicians simply make fools of themselves, most often without meaning to, by releasing a song which audiences think is simply cringe-inducing.
Stimela kick off this mixtape with “Who Is Fooling You”, a song which warns people that those who laugh at others as part of their attempt to control them, calling them fools, could in the end be the ones who are laughed at. On this mixtape some musicians have used their songs to poke fun at stupidity, using laughter as a weapon, for example Roger Lucey’s response to Jacob Zuma refusing the Dalai Lama a travel visa so that he could attend Desmond Tutu’s birthday celebrations. The Gereformeerde Blues Band change the words of a Christian hymn to poke fun at and criticize apartheid-era State President, PW Botha, while the Kalahari Surfers point out the foolishness of the extreme arguments made by Christians spouting ideas about backwards masking making people do things they don’t want to do, such as taking drugs. The Aeroplanes make fun of the majority of white South African males in the 1980s, who ended up expressing their individuality in the same foolhardy ways.
The Happy Ships have fun hooting about with “Car Hooter” while in “Country And Western” Matthew van der Want and Chris Letcher make fun of rival South African bands and of themselves. As for the rest, well … whether a song is regarded as a clever or fun novelty song or as a cringe-inducing or offensive failure, is in part a subjective process. Most of these songs fit in their in some way or another. They should all bring a smile (at least intellectually) or grimace to your face, but whatever you think of these songs, we will leave it up to you decide who’s fooling and who’s being fooled.
- Who Is Fooling You? – Stimela
- Car Hooter – Happy Ships
- Country And Western – Matthew van der Want & Chris Letcher
- Nik Nik Nah – Nik Nik Nah Band
- It’s Amazing – Pocket Lips
- I Like – John Ireland
- Play It Backwards – Kalahari Surfers
- Wat ’n Vriend Het Ons In PW – Gereformeerde Blues Band
- Stay In Grahamstown – Daniel Friedman
- My Broken Heart – Bernoldus Niemand
- South African Male – The Aeroplanes
- Dalai Lama – Roger Lucey
- Susannah Van Agulhas – Koos Kombuis
- Fatman And Bobin – The Bats
- No Way – BJ and the Koek Sisters
- Strip Tea – Glenda Kemp
- Da Da Da – Amanda Strydom
- Ek Soek Die Lekker Ding – Oom Hansie
- Bloemfontein Blues – David Kramer
Darren Scott is the first guest DJ on Mixedtapes ZA, offering us his choice of South African music; in this case his Top 20 South African songs of the 1980s, including songs from 1979 which were around at the beginning of 1980.
This is the first of our occasional series of Guest DJ mixed tapes compiled by former Capital Radio DJ s.
These are ranked from No 20 through to number 1 on the mixed tape. Enjoy!
If you want to see the play listing prior to listening to the countdown you can view the order of the songs in this week’s poll below.
Show Playlist + Poll
Capital Radio began 1982 continuing to broadcast from the idyllic Port St Johns but with plans in place to move to Milpark in Johannesburg. This they did programme by programme so that gradually more slots were broadcast from Johannesburg and fewer from Port St Johns until the move had taken place in totality. While some listeners hankered after Capital broadcasting from the mystical Port St Johns, the deejays were mostly relieved to be back in the fast lane and urban civilization. Still, it was the end to the original dream, of a maverick station operating from the margins of apartheid South Africa.
The move to Johannesburg did not affect Capital’s eclectic choice of South African music, from debut singles by Angie Peach and the Insisters to the more established crossover sounds of Steve Kekana and Juluka. They also followed some trends, like promoting Bolland’s “You’re in the army now”, a song which the SADF were quick to pounce on and for years to come, play through loudspeakers on sports fields where new recruits handed themselves over. And as if an escape from that hell, John Ireland wistfully groaned about syrup apricot and cream and Hotline covered the Beatles’ “Help”. That was what we heard on Capital in 1982, this accumulating soundtrack to our lives.
There might be a few raised eyebrows at the inclusion of Bolland and Cindy Dickinson in this week’s Mixtape of South African music. We decided to broaden the criteria out of fondness for Port Elizabeth, which is where the Bolland brothers grew up before pursuing a successful music career in Holland. In the words of another Capital countdown song in 1982, by Juluka, they qualify as scatterlings of Africa. And although Cindy Dickson was British and started her career there, it was only when she moved to South Africa that she fully launched her career as recording artist in her own right, initially as a solo artist and then as part of two groups, Syndicate and People Like Us. In the process she established herself as a South African musician.
Of the most successful South Africans songs on the Capital countdown in 1982, Steve Kekana’s “The Bushman” spent one week in the number 1 spot, Bolland’s “You’re in the army now” peaked at number 5, where it spent two weeks, John Ireland’s “I like” reached number 7 where it stayed for two weeks and Juluka’s “Scatterlings of Africa” peaked at number 10.
This mixtape plays from number 13 through to the number 1 South African song of the year as per performance on the Capital Radio weekly countdowns. If you want to see the play listing prior to listening to the countdown you can view the order of the songs in this week’s poll below.
Show Playlist + Poll