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Mishaps & Other Miseries

Johnny Clegg passed away from a battle with pancreatic cancer Gettyimages (free)

Let’s get right to the major loss on this week’s World Music Show (7/20) before I delve into the pettiness of my loss.

The World Music community and music community in general lost a great musician this past week. South Africa’s Johnny Clegg passed away at the age of 66 due to his battle with pancreatic cancer.

It’s not a fitting way for him (or anyone really) to die. His contributions to breaking down the very heavy walls of Aparthied were enormous. At a time when the majority Black population was subjected to horrible crimes by the minority white establishment, Clegg stood up for his beliefs in racial equality by having bands (Juluka and Savuka) featuring both races and by singing in both Zulu and English. He was often called the White Zulu. For this, he was harassed and banned from national radio. But he persisted.

We’ll hear the song “Asimbonanga” which was dedicated and about Nelson Mandela. It became an anthem for the Anti-Apartheid movement. After Mandela was released, he joined Clegg on stage at a concert for this song.

Piggybacking on the Anti-Apartheid theme, we’ll hear two more songs that became part of the musical lexicon. One is “Biko” from Peter Gabriel. It’s about the life of Steve Biko, who was assassinated for his activism. The other is “Free Nelson Mandela,” by Specials AKA. This track also became a rallying cry to release Mandela from prison.

For the rest of the first hour, we’ll stay mostly in South Africa. We’ll hear some great surf-like guitar sounds from the streets of Soweto by Elias Mathebula and the Shivana Sisters and from E Goli. We’ll check out a beautiful cover of U2’s “Pride in the Name of Love,” sung by the Soweto Gospel Choir. And we’ll hear the classic “Orlando” by Miram Makeba--another hero in the Anti-Apartheid movement. Becuase of her activism, Makeba had to stay out of the country during Apartheid for her safety.

For the second hour, I’ll reveal the other “loss” mentioned at the top. Last week, I had the pleasure of interviewing the Franco-American musician Petite Celine. We talked for just over half-an-hour about her blossoming career and her background in acting. She’s worked with both Steven Spielberg and Clint Eastwood.

We talked about her upbringing in New York and she developed a love for all sorts of World Music after living in France for awhile. It was a lovely interview.


Electronic losses happen. I saved our interview but along the way somehow the download got lost in translation and never made it to my flash drive. This is every interviewers nightmare. Try as I might, I was not able to recover our chat. But Petite Celine was gracious enough to give me a bit more of her time. So be sure to tune into our chat.

But more importantly, be sure to go see her live when she plays the Tin Pan on Tuesday, July 23. She’s bound to put on a great show.

Rounding out the show will be a bunch of music thrown together to make all these losses melt away.

The World Music Show airs Saturday nights from 8-10pm on WCVE Music. 93.1 & 107.3FM and can be streamed via this website. You can also come back during showtime to see live, streaming track listings. Follow me on Twitter @wcveworldmusic and on Facebook at The World Music Show on WCVE.