Monday, October 02, 2017

Ladysmith Black Mambazo Sings for Kids Worldwide

Lay's Potato Chips had a famous ad campaign 20 years ago with the tag line "Betcha can't eat just one!" The concept was simple – the product was so delicious, so intoxicating, so life-affirming, that nobody could limit themselves to just one. Which led to a bevy of blackout sketches and comedian jokes about chips causing stomach distress, so why WOULD anyone want more than one chip?

Which leads me to the legendary Ladysmith Black Mambazo. For those who thought the group sprung into existence for Paul Simon's GRACELAND CD, the group came into being in the 1960s. The newest iteration honors the elders of South Africa and celebrates the joys of youth with their new children's album, SONGS OF PEACE & LOVE.

Nelson Mandela designated Ladysmith Black Mambazo as South Africa's cultural ambassadors to the world. They have re-recorded some of their classic material as well as some new tracks, all with introductions that set the tone for the songs, such as "Different Colors Mean Nothing To Me," "Long Walk to Freedom," and especially "Homeless," possibly one of the best collaborations when performed with Paul Simon.

Getting back to my original concept – I'm good with "Homeless." Or "Because I Love You." And for little kids, "Old MacDonald (Zulu Version)." But a whole CD of Ladysmith Black Mambazo was a bit taxing for me. I'd recommend randomizing SONGS OF PEACE & LOVE so the tracks (with intros) get mixed with other artists and genres. Unless you're a mad hardcore fan of world music and Ladysmith Black Mambazo in particular. After all, they're world famous world ambassadors.

SONGS OF PEACE & LOVE is available from Ladysmith Black Mambazo's website, Amazon, and iTunes.

Here is the audio (in video form) for "Homeless":

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