IS THIS APPLE THE REAL DEAL?
I recently acquired a 1968 single on the Apple label (APB 189), the one run by The Beatles. It’s made in South Africa, by a band/artist called Abafana Be Myunge. The A-side is called Uyandiza Umabengwane, the B-side is Siyav Ungazela. On the label it’s described as Sax Jive. Can’t find it anywhere on the web. Can you help? Fred De Vries, via e-mail
Fred says: Beatles and Apple buff Mark Lewisohn offers, ”Seems that Abafana Be Myunge was contracted to the South African record label Gallotone, which was Apple’s SA distributor. Uniquely in the world, Gallotone had the right (or perhaps they just took it upon themselves) to issue local artists on the Apple label. This is one of two known examples. It’s rare and doubtless valuable.” Later, former Gallo employee Rob Allingham supplied additional information: “There were at least three SA singles issued on locally pressed Apple imprints: one by Gene Rockwell (in Afrikaans, no less), one by Jack Lerole and one by Abafana Be Myunge. All three were Gallo recordings by artists signed to the company (Rockwell directly through Gallo Record Co, the other two via the Mavuthela division which generated the bulk of Gallo’s African catalogue). This alone is surprising because most of Apple’s distribution, both in the UK and internationally, was via EMI; however, there may have been a window period right at the beginning of Apple’s existence where non-EMI companies had the chance to sign distribution deals in other countries, which let Gallo get a foot in despite the presence of a well-established EMI branch in South Africa.” Incidentally, Gallo’s Jack Lerole – also known as ‘Big Voice Jack’ – was the singer and penny whistler who led Elias And His Zig-Zag Jive Flutes, who had a big hit in 1958 with township jazz and football ground fave Tom Hark, and who later played in Mango Groove and toured with The Dave Matthews Band.
If language is a virus from space, let Dktr Dellar bring the rock-related pain relief.
DID SUPERTRAMP ROCK ON FILM?
I recall Supertramp were involved in a soundtrack album early in their career, but can’t find a trace of any such recording.
DR Richard, via e-mail
Fred says: I believe this could be Extremes, which Deram released sometime in 1972. The film, a documentary, directed by Tony Klinger and Michael Lytton, proved to be just another prurient view of the London scene, replete with nudity, Hells Angels, drug addicts and dubious
rock fans. Supertramp were involved in the soundtrack and contributed three songs – Surely, Am I Not Like Other Birds Of Prey and Words Unspoken, the rest of the tracks stemming from Mark McCann, Crucible and Arc, a band
built around Micky Gallagher and John Turnbull, who would eventually find fame as members of The Blockheads.
WHEN THE WHO PACKED IT IN…
Didn’t The Who play what they said would be their last ever gig back in the early ’80s?
JJ Rust, via e-mail
Fred says: Not quite. In August 1982, Roger Daltrey announced that The Who’s forthcoming US tour, in the company of The Clash and David Johansen, was to be their final trip around America. “We’re going out with a mega blast on this tour, with no intention of limping down memory lane,” he informed the US media. Though the tour actually finished in Toronto on December 17, the outing’s last US date, at Richfield Coliseum in Cleveland on December 14, 1982, made up the bulk of the Who’s Last live album in 1984. However, in June 1989, US activities
were resumed, and this summer Roger and Pete Townshend are back in the Americas, including some shows with Guns N’Roses! Note to self – don’t get fooled again…
DID THIS NUMBER 1 ACTUALLY EXIST?
The main source of American chart details is Billboard magazine. But I remember there was once a great rivalry between that publication and another called Cashbox. Both claimed to have the most authentic pop chart in the US, but what was the biggest disagreement between the two regarding a record’s chart status? John Knowles, via e-mail
Fred says: In 1992 there was a sensational disagreement regarding a release by singer Wayne Newton. Cabaret fave Newton had penned a song called The Letter, which was said to be based on words written by Elvis Presley during his final appearance in Las Vegas in December 1976. The resulting The Letter appeared in Cashbox’s pop and country singles chart in mid 1992, reaching Number 1 on December 12. During this period, no mention of the single appeared in Billboard, and attempts to confirm its very existence may leave readers baffled. Cashbox folded in November 1996, but in 2006 it was revived as an online entity.
I just read the short piece on page 126 of MOJO’s April 2017 issue and wished to correct one thing regarding bands with multi-singers. Fleetwood Mac actually had seven lead singers in their time. The name of Bob Welch, who sang on the Bare Trees album, was omitted. I may be wrong about this, but I believe it was his time with the Mac that actually jump-started his solo career. Bob (Big On Bourbon) Jackson, via e-mail
The Beatles in Johannesburg? (clockwise from main) 1968 Fabs with Gene Rockwell Apple label and Elias And His Zig-Zag Jive Flutes, featuring Apple recording artist Big Voice Jack Lerole; Wayne Newton takes a letter; Rog ’n’ Pete in ’82; ’Tramp tracks.