Thursday, November 13, 2008

Mama Africa Passes On

A last sighting of someone from my childhood.....Miriam Makeba died.

Widely known as “Mama Africa,” Ms. Makeba was a prominent exiled opponent of apartheid since the South African authorities revoked her passport in 1960 and refused to allow her to return after she traveled abroad.

Ms. Makeba’s musical career spanned five decades, from 1950s recordings with South African vocal groups — the Manhattan Brothers and then her own female group, the Skylarks — through her last studio recording, “Reflections” (2004), and her continuing concert performances.

In the United States she became a star, touring with Harry Belafonte in the 1960s and winning a Grammy award with him in 1965 for “An Evening With Belafonte/Makeba.”

My parents had that album - I think my Dad still has it - and I played it until it was just about non-functional. Not just for her, of course; Belafonte was great live. Perhaps it's just a childhood-colored memory, but I don't believe there was a weak cut on that album.

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