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 45 Odd Years in 500 Words - More or Less!?

45 Odd Years in 500 Words -More or Less!? 1 hour a week on over 35 State Channels?

It would be nice, whatever that may mean, if mainstream music journos could take time out, take note & not wait for the opportunist commercial record industry PR (PC?) hype to cloud our colourful if bizarre, unique hidden history? We are often told that in a ‘normal’ society a music collector / archivist / researcher could rely on the so-called ‘free flow of information’ thru’ the creative Arts& Culture (music) media to gauge the mood of a society, community, and nation; to dig its roots? In SAfrica’s case it may mean unravelling what the commercial industry has so neatly laid out at those costly tasty lunch launches, where the Retro past keeps getting thrown up… but, where oh where are those brave, fearless and daring muso journos, who – like sport & political media investigators– would dare to bare these, delightful (?) Cold Facts and fight Truth Decay!?

So much for normal! Given the unpredictable commercial ebb ‘n flow of our current meandering PC mainstream music media, it doesn’t seem as if salvaging the truth is going to happen anytime soon. That’s sounds just too much like working… and the South African pop music industries need to create jobs, not work or listen! Heaven

forbid! Anyway, musicians don’t work… we play! Consider: We’ve had some 50 impressive glossy ‘music’ magazines over 50 odd years to prove that music isn’t a serious business; easy come easy go!

For the record Zig Zag Mag – surfing with a little music – is the last indigenous SAfrican Mag standing, after some 40 years. Meanwhile, on State Radio & TV, music has 1 hour a week dedicated – more-or-less – to Southern African Music Heritage; this over 35 SABC channels, whose mandate is… wait for it – Educate, Inform, Entertain? Huh!!?? Richard Nwambo’s African Connection is the only program that features indigenous music history & heritage. We’ve lost Richard Haslop’s popular Roots to Fruits & Bruce Millar’s local interviews & heritage snippets.

It may be interesting (to be precisely PC, let’s say challenging) for some clever journo to try cram 45 odd years of ‘hidden or lost music history’ into 500 words (or less). Joke! I hope I’m wrong this time; just as I wasn’t with the 50 odd South African Music glossies of the past, but the American cloned Rolling Stone glossy is the latest in line, and just how deep the gloss & glitz glows - to set our historic records straight as it were -time will tell. Don’t hold your collective wind! I’d rather that my grandchildren wait for the volumes that’ll fill our proposed MALM shelves & shed a little more light on the other 350 missing years. I suppose 500 words more-or-less, are better than nothing? Whatever! No amount of glitz, gloss, bling ‘n money has been able to save those colourful, action-packed advertorial music rags in the past. Why? Well, given how US & UK pop Mags survive…

40, 50, 60 years – isn’t it because they tap into and grow from indigenous roots & build on historic development foundations, bedside focussing on pop-idols & current affairs? In other words they aren’t simply advertorial space-fillers. I mean, wouldn’t it be a daring reality challenge for the RS SA & the SABC to try cram 350 odd years of hidden music & related history into the next 12 issues, say?


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