Thursday, September 13, 2007

78s fRom HeLL: Willard Cele - Penny Whistle Blues (circa 1951)

Willard Cele was a pioneer of South African Kwela music, and is often credited as having been the first to bring the inherently upbeat sound of the Pennywhistle to the medium.

(On the record label he's credited as playing the Flageolet, which is sort of the refined older cousin to the Tin Whistle or Pennywhistle. I'll guess the credit was wishful thinking on the part of London records.)

In 1951 Cele and his tin flute appeared in the landmark South African film, 'The Magic Garden' (a.k.a. 'The Pennywhistle Blues').

It greatly helped to popularize the instrument and inspired many to play, including
Spokes Mashiyane, who would become a superstar of Kwela in the mid-1950's and into the sixties.

Listen to:
Willard Cele -
Penny Whistle Blues

(London Records 78, circa 1951)

(click for audio)

Listen to:
Willard Cele -
Penny Whistle Boogie

(London Records 78, circa 1951)

(click for audio)

2 comments:

The Kwela Project said...

Thanks for sharing these great (and rare!) recordings of Willard Cele. His style is quite different to those of Spokes Mashiyane or Big Jack Lerole - reminded me of US American clarinet jazz. If you're interested in kwela (particularly learning about playing this style of pennywhistle) then you could do worse than taking a look at my blog ;-)

Anonymous said...

stunning. thanks so much.

Freshly-stirred links