“Star Time” by Dark City Sisters - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1964Album Chart of the Decade: 1960s

TJR says

Debut album from the popular Johannesburg ensemble who formed in 1958 at the behest of talent scout and producer Rupert Bopape for EMI South Africa, and were named after Alexandra Township, known at the time as ’Dark City’ due to its lack of street lighting. “Star Time” was the first of four volumes, whether that was planned at the time is unclear. The cheesy liner notes read: “The sun has set. It’s party time and what can be more appropriate than “Startime with the Dark City Sisters”. According to the LP cover image, there are four singers within the group at this stage. Their close harmony singing is a joy, although the stylings range from a Chordettes style of easy listening pop to a more pleasing (for me) home grown variant perhaps best described as a “light jive swing”. The album features a guest appearance (on “Tap Tap Ntshebe”) from the 25 year old Mahlathini and, somewhat reassuringly, the characteristic growl is present even at this early stage. The album notes are a little more insightful in regards to one of the highlight tracks, “Langa More” in which we learn: “[it’s] an evergreen which introduced a new form of dance, different from the Flying Jazz, in that the arm movement remained unchanged but the feet movement of the dancers became that of a sliding motion side by side in a movement reminiscent of the Charleston.” Sounds like fun, huh? The cheesy notes can get the final word: “This record is the perfect prescription for dispelling Party Blues and to get your guests in the mood for “Startime with the Dark City Sisters”.”

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [02:50] 4.7.png Dark City Sisters - Imphefumlo (?) Pop Ballad
A2 [02:34] 6.7.png Dark City Sisters - Change Jive Bafana (?) Africana
A3 [01:58] 6.2.png Dark City Sisters - Umtshitshimbo (?) Africana
A4 [02:24] 7.1.png Dark City Sisters - Intombi Yembazo (?) Africana
A5 [02:29] 4.3.png Dark City Sisters - Rose (?) Pop Ballad
A6 [02:20] 6.2.png Dark City Sisters - Baya Mzonda (?) Africana
A7 [02:43] 6.7.png Dark City Sisters - Tap Tap Ntshebe (?) Africana
B1 [02:34] 5.1.png Dark City Sisters - Insizwa (?) Africana
B2 [02:25] 7.7.png Dark City Sisters - Emarabhini (?) Africana
B3 [02:38] 8.2.png Dark City Sisters - Langa More (?) Africana
B4 [02:41] 8.5.png Dark City Sisters - Uma Bhalane (?) Africana
B5 [02:21] 7.0.png Dark City Sisters - Seshas (?) Africana
B6 [02:31] 6.8.png Dark City Sisters - Sekusile (?) Africana
B7 [02:27] 8.7.png Dark City Sisters - Inice Time Change Jive (?) Africana
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