Few bands have endured for three decades as long as South Africa’s Soul Brothers, helping shape its music with their signature rendition of mbaqanga (township jive) that made them stars at home.
Their unique personalities – David is drawn to the shebeen scene while Moses prefers being at home – come together seamlessly in crafting content that resonates with their audiences.
Hang on Sloopy
“Hang on Sloopy” has endured for generations of music enthusiasts. Its catchy melody and universal message have drawn listeners in from every walk of life; truly demonstrating its potency as a force of good in our world today. Even through various controversies that may arise about its artist, this timeless classic remains beloved to its audience.
Original song composed by Wes Farrell and Bert Berns was first recorded by the Vibrations as “My Girl Sloopy” in 1964, but reached new heights of popularity when recorded by The McCoys as “Retitled Version.” Both in America and Britain it went on to become #1 hits that year – becoming one of the most iconic tracks.
The song has become a favorite among bands and musicians for its timeless melody and universally recognized tune. Additionally, its popularity can be found in numerous television shows and movies; particularly memorable renditions include those performed by The McCoys, Strangeloves and Rolling Stones.
Rick Derringer, guitarist for The McCoys, reported in a recent interview that Berns had told him how he wrote the lyrics for “My Girl Sloopy.” Berns told him it had been written while visiting Cuba where the term “sloopy” was commonly used to refer to girls.
Hang On Sloopy was edited down from its original three-verse form for release as single and album tracks, later going on to sell millions worldwide and becoming an emblematic example of music’s transformative power and its ability to unite people through shared emotion. It stands as testament to music’s unifying effect.
This track from Soul Brothers album 24 (‘Isibebengu’ in Zulu), “Robber” stands out among their many memorable works. Featuring both co-founder David Masondo’s beautiful tremelo vocals and Moses Ngwenya’s Hammond B-3 sound stutterings and swoopings – both providing their signature sounds of harmony, textures, and beats to create a wonderful combination.
This song celebrates the joy and community found in traditional Zulu music and dance. Its lyrics transport listeners to an upbeat gathering filled with dancing and music – emphasizing the significance of cultural traditions in unifying people across generations and social classes. “Uphinde wathath’omunye” indicates that this gathering is inclusive for people of all ages and social standings. Additionally, the song showcases Zulu culture’s influence on Soul Brothers music.
Isigebengu features the vocal talents of Masondo and Ngwenya, who are considered the faces of Soul Brothers band. Additionally, Japan Sidoyi leads an additional backing vocal choir that adds extra texture and depth to sound of Isigebengu. This upbeat tune will surely get your feet tapping! For any Soul Brothers fan out there this record should definitely be on their collection list!
The Soul Brothers stood out among township jive bands with two distinctive traits that distinguished them: co-founder David Masondo’s mellifluous tremelo voice, and Moses Ngwenya’s stuttering, swooping Hammond B-3 sound were two highlights. Additionally, their impeccable musicianship could be heard all throughout this album from Booker T and the MGs groove “Hang on Sloopy” through Caribbean-flavored tracks like “Buya Mama Wami,” to harmonica-inspired funk “Indawo Yakulala.”
This album also showcases how versatile and eclectic their band was, evidenced by its diverse styles. They weren’t radicals singing about burning Johannesburg down, but were unafraid of trying anything either.
By the time their album came out, they had already been creating music for 28 years – that’s an enormous amount of time to hone your craft, which explains why their album sounds as flawless as it does.
The Soul Brothers were an incredible band, leaving a tremendous mark on music across genres and generations. No matter your taste in music – whether jazz, rock, blues, or R&B – the Soul Brothers likely had an influence on your favorite artist(s). As one of the most underrated groups ever to exist, more people need to rediscover them; and starting here with this album would be an excellent place. Not only will fans of African music appreciate it immensely but new listeners should experience them first-hand; you won’t regret listening in.
Hluphekile is a motivational song which encourages its listener to keep pushing forward despite any obstacles. The lyrics serve as a call-to-action, and repetition helps reinforce this message. Furthermore, Hluphekile highlights the importance of taking responsibility for actions taken as well as being thankful for blessings received in life.
Soul Brothers of South Africa first made headlines for their innovative mbaqanga style of music that combined Western pop with traditional Zulu rhythms and singing. Their signature sound helped promote Negritude – an ideology advocating a return to Africa’s roots through culture – while their unique harmony singing style and creative use of Hammond organ secured international renown for them.
People with the name Hluphekile often serve as a source of motivation, as their optimistic view on life can spread like wildfire. These individuals exhibit strong social awareness, respecting family traditions and being generous with both time and money.
Hluphekiles tend to be committed partners who place more value on devotion and trust than passion and lust. They’re seen as sources of stability for their significant others and often hold themselves to high standards when it comes to family values.