Roc* Around the World November, 1976 31

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liked Oliver Lake’s “NTU: Point From Which Creation Begins”—a beautiful tribute to Africa. Steve Backer at Arista-Freedom has been doing a great job of bringing quality recordings to an enthusiastic American audience.

5. The Island Record Reggae invasion brings the often class conscious anger of Jamaica’s rastas and musical revolutionaries to a broad audience. The Third World Band, Burning Spear, and Peter Tosh have all, in recent months, brought a powerful apocalyptic message with them from the Carribean. One of my favorite

Reggae artists, Joe Higgs, an original Wailer who has toured with Jimmy Cliff, has produced a fine album. “Life of Contradiction.” It is only, to my knowledge, available from Micron Music, 14 Retirement Rd. Kingston, Jamaica W I. Albums cost $6.00 in Jamaica, so send more to cover handling and postage.

b. And prepare yourself for what might be the next Third World sensation in the United States. Africa might finally assert itself on the American musical scene when the U.S. audience discovers the Nigerian superstar Fela Ani-

kulapo Kuti. He is described by the New York Times as the “chief priest of a new music called Afro-Beat.” “Musically, Fela is James Brown, Bob Dylan and Mick Jagger all rolled into one,” remarked one American who has followed his rise to stardom. “Politically, he’s Stokey Carmichael, H. Rap Brown and Huey Newton. He’s the only one.” While you are waiting for an American label to bring Fela to us, his records are available through African Record Centre Distributors, 1194 Nostrand Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11225.

And speaking of the Afro-Beat,

I came across one very beautiful and politically relevant record by an African which celebrates the victories of the people of Mozambique, a place where you can do more than dance cheek to cheek. His name is Virgilio Massingue and his album “Viva Mozambique” on Portugal’s Orfeu label is a beautiful blend of African and Luso-Brazilian type rhythms and right-on liberation movement lyric. He’s another singer whom I hope that some record company will “discover” or at least permit the American audience to discover.

Music can often have a power way beyond its own intention. In Soweto, the segregated African • Township outside of What’s the

word?—Johannesburg—a musical composition by a jazz musician became a battlecry. It’s a tune by an Arista recording artist named Dollar Brand, and his song “Soweto Where It’s Happening” was frequently on the lips of demonstrators. According to Newsweek, “Soweto burned to the sound of music last week.”

Some sample lyrics:

This is where it’s happening In Soweto, man

And the white man will hear it happening

From Soweto, man

Because the young men are saying

Enough, enough

In Soweto, man

You see, music can make news.

Sadly, there are songs which seem to be having a similar impact in this country where many people seem as depressed by the state of our politics, as oppressed by the political system. Perhaps this generally quiescent mood has created the space for the number of recent Hollywood attempts at dissecting red-baiting that once ran rampant in the entertainment industry. There’s “The Front,” the Woody Allen film about blacklisting and a new documentary “Hollywood On Trial,” which reminds us of how fear can be manipulated. Perhaps more significantly there are now films dramatizing the stories of musical greats whose lives were smeared with the McCarthyist brush. The

recent feature films about Lead-belly the great black bluesman. and the upcoming film about Woody Guthrie seem steps in the right direction even if they end their cinematic glorification at the very moment both men become politicized.

Pete Seeger, who is part of the same old-left folk tradition was asked about this recently by the Village Voice. Ever optimistic, Seeger noted that the limited focus of these two films left open the possibility of another film in which Woody and Leadbelly meet each other and the radicals. Quips writer Tom Smucker: “Now that’s a movie I’d like to see: Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie and the Commu-

nists. That would be interesting. When I asked. Pete Seeger said he had no idea who he would want to play himself.”

Most people probably don’t remember how the radicals in the arts affected progressive singers and writers of every description. Perhaps in an effort to remind us, Paul Robeson, Jr. has asked actors to boycott NBC and Universal TV’s plans for a three hour special on his father’s life. “I intend to oppose,” he said, “any attempt at cynical exploitation of my father’s death by those who denied him access to the medium during his active carrer.”

And finally, some sad news: because of a lack of advertising support from the record industry and local merchants, two of the

country’s best alternative newspapers have folded. In the Nation’s

capitol. Washington Newsworks–

barely nine months old—revealed that it has “run out of money.”

In Michigan, the Detroit Sun—founded in Ann Arbor during the late sixties—announced it would also suspend publication. The Sun said it hopes to resume weekly publication next January if they can come up with the bread.

The editor of the Sun was John Sinclair, best known for having been given ten years in prison for two joints. You may remember John Lennon’s tribute to him. It never sold as much as Paul McCartney’s love songs.

That’s news.

Danny Schechter
WBCN News Dissector
5005 Prudential Tower
Boston, MA







  1. The Man Who Fell To   

  2. Irish guitarist (first name) 11)   Wakeman, reed player with

The Soft Machine

16) The heart of Return To Forever

21) Secret Agent

25) British guitarist (last name) 31) Day of week (abbreviation)

36) As Safe As Yesterday     39) German jazz saxophonist


41) Bay Area band that favored Latin rhythmns

46) Leslie West and Felix Pappalardi were members of this band (init.)

54) Band of ‘All Right Now’ fame 59) Yes, in Barcelona

61) New British band,

67) Coal mining region on French-German border

72) Ascend

78) Communications form (abbrev.)

82) The man who came alive this year (init.) 86) Smash to    

92)   Span

1) Mrs. McCartney’s original name

2)   Centauri, early album

from Tangerine Dream

3)   Thomas

4) Drummer in Boxer (init.)

7) Group that featured Carl Palmer

on drums

8) Orangutang Refugee Ward (init.) 9) Possess a strong odor

10) The Metropolis Blues Quartet, a.k.a. The    

   16)    of the century

34) Title of latest Soft Machine album

55) A liquor

   59)     (3 times), recent
song by Bryan Ferry

62) Synthesizers

63) Strain

68) Another major figure in reggae 86)    Stewart

87) Illumination expert (init.)

(Sorry about that missing square last month. . . the artist)