The African Rock 'n' Roll Years - South Africa: Songs of Freedom

This edition illustrates how South Africa's vibrant music scene developed in the apartheid era when songs were used as a way of hitting back against repression, just as they were in the fight against white rule in neighbouring Zimbabwe. Back in the late 1950s and 60s, Miriam Makeba and Hugh Masekela were the first African artists to find success in the west, thanks to their blend of American jazz styles and mbaqanga - South Africa's rousing homegrown pop. More recently, a new generation of singers and hip-hop artists have been trying to repeat their success and create their own new styles, mixing local influences with their continuing fascination with black American music. Featured artists include Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba, Abdullah Ibrahim, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Thomas Mapfumo and newcomers Thandiswa and Simphiwe Dana.


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  • Producer Jenny Cathcart
  • Executive Producer Robin Denselow