Thursday, January 25, 2018

Hugh Masekela: Trumpeter, anti-Apartheid activist and, as far as Billboard is concerned, one-hit wonder

None of Masekela's 3 other singles to reach the Hot 100 charted higher than #71.

Hugh Masekela, Trumpeter and Anti-Apartheid Activist, Dies at 78.  (The New York Times, 1/23/2018)
His biggest hit was “Grazing in the Grass,” a peppy instrumental from 1968 with a twirling trumpet hook and a jangly cowbell rhythm. In the 1980s, as the struggle against apartheid hit a fever pitch, he worked often with fellow expatriate musicians, and with others from different African nations. On songs like “Stimela (Coal Train),” “Mace and Grenades” and the anthem “Mandela (Bring Him Back Home),” he played spiraling, plump-toned trumpet lines and sang of fortitude and resisting oppression in a gravelly tenor, landing somewhere between a storyteller’s incantation and a folk singer’s croon.

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