Timmy Thomas “Why Can’t We Live Together” Four Concerts in South Africa – CashBox (1975)

MIAMI – Timmy Thomas, known as the Rhythm Of the Brotherhood of Man and a creator of The Miami Sound with his international 2 million seller “Why Can’t We Live Together” on Glades Records, a division of TK Productions, has just returned from an unprecedented tour of South Africa where that record of 2 years ago is still No. 1. Thomas, the first Black American to play to the Black people of South Africa, was mobbed at the Jan Smuts airport by hundreds of fans, both Black and White. a reception that surpassed anything previously known in the country. Brought to S. Africa for the Funtime Festival held at the Moroka Jabavu Stadium, Soweto. from Dec. 13 thru Dec. 16 by the Funtime Promotions organizers Martin Harris and Tshabalala working with TK Productions representative Larry Brahms in conjunction with Bert Osians and Associated Booking, the 4 day festival broke all records for the country. Thomas’ 2 concerts a day were received by capacity crowds totalling well over 50,000 fans … thrilling audiences with his singing and organ playing and captivating the hearts of the countrymen with his concern for peace, love and race relations around the world. The initial excitement of Thomas’ obtaining a visa, his pending arrival and festival appearances totally saturated the local press for weeks as Thomas was heralded as the Rhythm of the Brotherhood Of Man, The Most Dynamic Artist to Set Foot on S. African Soil, The Soulman, Superstar, Trendsetter, etc. According to the local press, “His music brings out the very private feelings for people. His songs make the music fans realize the relevance of life.” Audiences greeted Thomas with standing ovations before he even sang a note as he announced “I came to play for my brothers and sisters and tell them that love makes the world go round. If possible I would like to shake hands with everyone and feel the electricity that is abundant here.” His performances included “Why Can’t We Live Together,” “I Got To See You Tonight” and other tunes from his current album “You’re The Song … I’ve Always Wanted To Sing” including “Ebony Affair,” the Thomas penned song for the TV music show scheduled to begin in January 1975, and an instrumental version of fellow TK artist George McCrae’s hit “Rock Your Baby.” Thomas was Thomas was backed bythe local group Drive with other local talent sharing the bill. Between shows Thomas was kept busy by press conferences, fans, TV appearances. radio interviews, visits with local songwriters and musicians, a free concert for the children of Soweto, kicking off the ball for the Top Eight Final between the Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, award presentation for the “Why Can’t We Live Together” gold record and recording an album entitled “Timmy Thomas” for the Trutone Record Company under the Polydor label in S. Africa. The entire festival was filmed. According to Larry Brahms, head of TK’s Direction and Management Division, “Due to the overwhelming success of Timmy’s S. African Tour, we’re planning an extensive tour of Africa following his European Tour to begin soon after the New Year. Thomas feels that his South African Tour was a ‘dream come true … an opportunity to personally share my music and feelings with peoples of the world … especially in South Africa where racial conditions are strict. The fact that my record is still #1 in both the Black and White markets gives me immeasurable pride. My experiences in that country were times I’ll never forget. I’d like to think that I spread joy and furthered the feelings of brotherhood in South Africa.”

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