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Johnny Clegg

JohnnycleImagine, if you can, meeting a fellow musician, finding common ground and wanting to perform together...but because you were of different races, the government wouldn't allow it.

That was apartheid South Africa in the late '70s when Johnny Clegg met Sipho Mchunu and began performing together (and getting arrested for being a white man and a black man together after hours).

What ultimately evolved was the band Savuka that was pretty huge in Europe...but not so much in the States. Indeed, Michael Jackson actually canceled a concert in Lyon when he found out that Johnny and Savuka were to perform on the same night, believing he'd play to a meager crowd.

I was on the road last week when news of Johnny's passing may (or may not) have been reported in the American media. Likely they were too busy covering a President that suggested that people of color should go "home."

On this Music Friday, we pay tribute to Johnny Clegg with one of my favorites, "These Days."



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Bill Geist

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