Track of the Week



Elias and His Zig-Zag Jive Flutes was a kwela band, formed in the mid-1950s by brothers Elias and Jack Lerole, along with David Ramosa and Zeph Nkabinde. In 1956, they recorded "Tom Hark". Columbia Records issued the song as a seven-inch single, and it was particularly well-received in the United Kingdom. Worldwide, the single sold an estimated three million copies. The band did not profit from these sales, however, and in South Africa the song was only modestly successful. The group began playing dance halls around Johannesburg under a new name, Alexandra Black Mambazo. They developed vocal as well as instrumental routines, and Lerole began singing in a deep, rasping voice. This larynx-damaging vocal style became known as "groaning". In 1996, some of the members of Alexandra Black Mambazo formed a new band called Shukuma Mambazo.