PHATHA PHATHA

Latest update on 14/04/2018

Artist: Sunbeams
Author: Reggie Msomi
Label: Gallo
Year: 1959

South African female vocal group feat Miriam Makeba and pennywhistler Spokes Mashiyane. A far cry of what later became the most famous Kwela song ever (as Pata Pata). Paert of the melody point even further back in time to the Dundee Wandering Singers and their Noma Kunmyama (Gallotone - 1945), lacking any copyright information which was common practice under the Apartheid regime. Alson Mkhize, the leader of the group, was probably the author, although it is not even certain band members were paid flat fees, let alone royalties. Fact is Reggie Msomi's Phatha Phatha used Noma Kumnyama as the principle melody.

Covers:

1967:

Miriam Makeba [Top 10 R&B & top 20 US, NL & B as Pata Pata, popped-up by Jerry Ragovoy; became her theme song until the very end; she died of a heart attack on stage in Italy while finishing performing her song]

1967:

Wes Montgomery [idem]

1968:

Tito Puente [idem]

1980:

Osibisa

1980:

Sylvie Vartan [hit Fr as Tape tape]

1990s:

Chavanne

1991:

Dorothy Masuka [from Zimbabwe; continues to claim Miriam Makeba stole her song; she did cut her own Phatha Phatha before the Skylarks all right, but that version (as Ei Yow) doesn't show the slightest link with the future hit; anyway, this underdog position gives Dorothy the opportunity to keep touring on the back of her so-called original, which of course she brings in the Makeba way for every promotor falling in her trap]

1994:

Championettes [in Go Latin medley]

1997:

Daude

1998:

Coumba Gawlo

1998:

Voice Male

1999:

Helmut Lotti

2001:

Yamboo [all as Pata Pata]

2011:

Milk And Sugar feat. Miriam Makeba [as Hi-a-Ma (Pata Pata)]

Pata Pata means Touchy Touchy in Xhosa and was a highly erotic dance originally. By 1967, out of the townships and into the world of pop, that aspect was veiled. The summer of love sure had limitations. In 1959 Miriam Makeba left South Africa (to attend the Venice Film Festival) and was refused re-entry. With Mandela in power that ban was finally lifted.

Contact


If you noticed blunt omissions, mis-interpretations or even out-and-out errors, please let us know by contacting us:

Arnold Rypens
Rozenlaan 65
B-2840 Reet (Rumst)

info@originals.be

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