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88Nine Radio Milwaukee

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Johnny Clegg On World Cafe | August 16, 2011

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Johnny Clegg's music has been a powerful force for integration in a divided country, earning him the nickname "Le Zoulou Blanc" ("The White Zulu").

Growing up in culturally diverse but segregated Johannesburg, South Africa, Clegg developed a playing style that combined Zulu and Celtic folk traditions. In the '70s and '80s, Clegg's bands Juluka and Savuka brought black and white musicians together onstage, an illegal act under Apartheid. As a result, their music was banned from radio play and concerts put them at risk of arrest. But on the strength of their unique sound and powerful political messages, their music became a word-of-mouth hit.

In the late '80s, Clegg became famous throughout South Africa and beyond with "Asimbonaga," a song that became an anthem for the fight to release jailed anti-Apartheid activist (and future president) Nelson Mandela. Today, Clegg is one of the most famous South African musicians in the world. He recently wrapped up a U.S. tour in support of his latest solo album, Human, his first state-side release in 14 years.

"What kept us going is we knew we were making a new kind of music," Clegg tells host David Dye. Hear their conversation, plus a live performance, on today's World Cafe. (link)

Playlist:

HOUR 1

Rusted Root "Send Me On My Way" When I Woke
Paul Simon "Under African Skies" Graceland
Tinariwen "Tenere Taqqim Tossam" Tassili
Johnny Clegg "Cruel Crazy Beautiful World" Recorded Live for the World Cafe
Johnny Clegg "Scatterlings of Africa" Recorded Live for the World Cafe
Johnny Clegg "Love in the Time of Gaza" Recorded Live for the World Cafe
The Head and the Heart "Lost In My Mind" The Head And The Heart
Sarah Harmer "Basement Apt." You Were Here
Ben Folds and Nick Hornby "From Above" Lonely Avenue
David Bowie "Kooks" Hunky Dory
Neko Case & Nick Cave "She's Not There" True Blood

HOUR 2

Coldplay "Shiver" Parachutes
The Civil Wars "Poison & Wine" Barton Hollow
Crowded House "Into Temptation" Temple of Low Men
Wilco "I Might" The Whole Love
REM "Orange Crush" Green
The Smithereens "Sorry" 11
The Black Keys "Howlin' For You" Brothers
Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears "Livin' In the Jungle" Scandalous
Michael Penn "No Myth" March
The Decemberists "Calamity Song" The King Is Dead
Old 97's "Perfume" The Grand Theatre Vol 2
The Rolling Stones "Live With Me" Let It Bleed
The Heavy "How You Like Me Now?" The House That Dirt Built
War "Cisco Kid" The Very Best of War