Posted in Charts, Cover Art, Latest Updates, Music Research, Reviews and Interviews, Sleeve Notes, South African Music

McCully Workshop: After More Than 50 Years The Workshop Is Still Open

McCully WorkshopMcCully Workshop 2016

McCully Workshop is arguably one of South Africa’s finest pop rock bands. They started way back in the ’60’s, had their first hit single in 1970, dominated the South African airwaves in the ’70’s, continued through the ’80’s and ’90’s and in the 21st century are still going strong.

IN THE BEGINNING

When asked about their beginnings, vocalist, bassist and producer Tully McCullagh had this to say: “My brother, Mike, who plays drums and myself would play around and record ourselves in the lounge, I was about nine at the time. We recorded a track called ‘Swinging Time’ with some other friends when I was thirteen and sent it to a record company. The track didn’t get anywhere but it was quite interesting. We grew a bit more and when I was sixteen we started a band called McCully Workshop and a whole string of other bands and I started a garage studio.” McCully Workshop has had many line-up changes over the years, but these 2 talented brothers have always surrounded themselves with superb musicians. In 1965, the McCullagh brothers, Tully (born Terence on 31st May 1953) and Mike (born Michael on 7th April 1947) started as a folk-rock trio with Richard Hyam and called themselves the Blue Three. Hyam had previously been in a folk duo, Tiny Folk, with his sister Melanie. After a few personnel- and name-changes, like The Blue Beats and Larfing Stocke, the line-up settled down (for a while) in 1969 and they called themselves the McCully Workshop because they used to rehearse in Mrs McCullagh’s garage. Vocalist Glenda Wassman later married Richard Hyam, and then formed the pop band Pendulum who had a big hit with ‘Take My Heart’ in 1976. Glenda Hyam then went on to major success with the all-girl group, Clout, who had a worldwide smash hit with ‘Substitute’, which went to #2 in the UK in 1978.

McCULLY WORKSHOP INC.

Their debut album, ‘McCully Workshop Inc.’ was produced by great South African singer and producer Billy Forrest (born William Boardman). The album features a variety of styles and influences including The Beatles, Frank Zappa and early Pink Floyd. The Forced Exposure website has this quote: “A superb South African band’s stunning debut album. ‘Sgt. Pepper’ influenced psychedelic music blended with R&B, garage punk tunes. Great songs, lovely vocals, strong harmonies, great distorted guitar work.”
Why Can't It Rain
Why Can’t It Rain
‘Inc.’ was released in June 1970 and included the epic and powerful ‘Why Can’t It Rain’, which went to #12 on the Springbok Radio charts in July 1970 and reached #13 on the LM Radio charts. This hit single featured a fiery guitar solo by Allan Faull who went on to form the eclectic Falling Mirror with his cousin Nielen Marais. Tully McCullagh was also very involved with Falling Mirror, but that’s another story… McCully Workshop also played on country-pop singer Jody Wayne’s ‘The Wedding’ in 1970 which hit #1 for 3 weeks on the Springbok Radio charts.

GENESIS

Genesis
Genesis
The follow-up to ‘Inc’ was the album ‘Genesis’ released in June 1971. This was a concept album based on the book of Genesis from the Bible and included a number of long tracks with sub-sections, typical of other prog-rock albums of the time. ‘Sweet Fields Of Green’ was released as a single, reaching #2 on the LM Radio charts in August 1971. The follow-up single ‘Birds Flying High’ (actually the flipside of ‘Rainbow Illusion’), recorded during the ‘Genesis’ sessions, but not included on the album, peaked at #9 on the LM Radio charts. Crocodile Harris (born Robin Graham), recorded the haunting pop classic ‘Miss Eva Goodnight’ (Springbok #5, April 1974) which was written by the McCullagh brothers and featured the musicianship of all the then current McCully Workshop members. Harris’s classic pop hit ‘Give Me The Good News’ released in 1982 was co-composed by Crocodile Harris along with Geoff Coxall. Tully McCully produced this single and played on it.

RICHARD BLACK

Richard Black (born 9th December 1946) joined McCully Workshop on guitar in 1975. Black had been playing since the early 60’s in bands like Rigar 5 and the Nu-Trends. In 1969 he had been in Elephant with Savvy Grande (who went on to form Suck) and George Wolfaardt from Abstract Truth.

AGES

Ages‘ was released in 1975 which reflected musical styles from the different ages of music and various influences could be heard: Uriah Heep, The Beatles, The Kinks, The Beach Boys, etc. The vocal harmonies are superb throughout. ‘1623’ is a wonderful violin-led instrumental and the keyboard-dominated ‘Guinevere’ reached #10 on the LM Radio charts and the band even appeared on the very early days of South African TV playing this hit song.

RUPERT MELLOR

In 1977 the best-known incarnation of McCully Workshop was formed with the addition of Rupert Mellor (born Anthony Rupert Mellor, 7th August 1947). Mellor had been in a variety of bands including The Difference, First Acquaintance, Hell’s Disciples, The Hedgehoppers and The Claude Larson Singers (yes, really).

WORKSHOP REVISITED

The 4th McCully Workshop album, ‘Workshop Revisited’, released in late 1977 shot them to prominence when it introduced South African fans to the hits ‘Buccaneer’ and ‘Chinese Junkman’.
Workshop Revisited
Workshop Revisited
‘Buccaneer’ entered the Springbok Radio charts on 11th November 1977 and spent 15 weeks on the charts, reaching the coveted top spot on 30th December that year and staying there for 2 weeks. ‘Buccaneer’ also hit #1 on the Radio 5 charts and Mike McCullagh won the 1978 ‘Songwriter Of The Year’ award for this composition. The follow-up single ‘Chinese Junkman’ entered the charts in March 1978 and peaked at number 9, spending a total of 8 weeks in the top 20. However on the Radio 5 charts it followed ‘Buccaneer’ to number 1. The next single which was released in 1978 was the non-album track ‘Villa Muddy Water’ which unfortunately did not chart.

CANTERBURY TALES

Canterbury Inn, Fairmead Hotel, Rondebosch
McCully Workshop used to play in the late ’70’s at the Canterbury Inn at the Fairmead Hotel in Rondebosch, Cape Town. They were famous for their comedy, ripping off many of the politicians and sportsmen of the day. On Saturday nights McCully Workshop were the resident dance band, and on Sunday nights wonderful renditions of classic progressive rock tunes could be heard. Chicago’s version of The Spencer Davis Group’s ‘I’m A Man’ (with a very long percussion section including all the band members), Barry Ryan’s ‘Eloise’, Traffic’s ‘Feelin’ Alright’ and of course their own songs like ‘Buccaneer’, ‘Fame And Fortune’, ‘Come Let Me Love You’ and ‘Dancin’ Tonite’ were all included in the set list. Of course no dancing was allowed on a Sunday in those dark days, so the audience had to just sit and listen… and listen they did (I know, ‘cos I was there).

THE EIGHTIES AND NINETIES

During the turbulent ’80’s a number of singles were released including a powerful re-recording of ‘Buccaneer’ featuring the guitar talents of Jethro Butow, but with no chart success. Richard Black co-founded Street Level Productions with James Stewart. Black released an instrumental solo CD ‘Skadu Dans’ (Shadow Dance) in 1997. In 1998 the line-up from the late ’70’s reformed and re-recorded the McCully Workshop classics and hits as well as 6 new songs and released the album ‘Buccaneer‘. ‘Why Can’t It Rain’ also received a make-over losing none of its power and gaining an even stronger production. Allan Faull again featured as guest guitarist.

IN THE NEW MILLENNIUM

Tully McCullagh kept running his extremely successful Spaced-Out Sounds Studio in Cape Town. He wrote most of the songs and played bass on the highly acclaimed 2003 release by Cape Town rockers BlueScream. Mike McCullagh had directed many popular musicals since 1988, most notably “Tribute To Bob Dylan”, “Beatlemania” (for Artscape), “Station 70”, “Sixty Something”, “Eighty Something” and “Milestones To The Millennium”. Rupert Mellor, a sort-after session musician, could be seen performing in and around Cape Town. Mellor and Black along with Flibbertigibbet’s Dave Williams on fiddle, released ‘Sheriff Bush and Deputy Blair’ as an mp3 single in January 2003. Calling themselves the Nukular Stompers they saw this novelty song topping the SAmp3.com charts for 3 weeks and they even appeared on eTV.

BIG IN KOREA

In 2003 a Korean label, Beatball Records, re-issued the first album, ‘McCully Workshop Inc.’ in a mini-gatefold cover. This CD re-issue included detailed sleeve-notes and a printed version of the online Family Tree.

THE WORKSHOP RE-OPENS

McCully Workshop re-formed in 2003 doing a large outdoor concert at Buitenverwachting which attracted over 2000 patrons. Then in 2004 they performed at Grand West for the Reach For A Dream foundation and raised more than R70000 for them. Other gigs followed in Paarl and Stellenbosch over the next 4 years.

REACHING FOR A DREAM

In 2005 McCully Workshop finally released a much-demanded ‘Best Of‘ CD. All tracks were newly remastered by Tully McCullagh at his Spaced Out Sound Studio, though in some cases the master tapes were missing, so the original vinyl had to be used. A brand new song, ‘Reaching For A Dream’ was also included on the ‘Best Of’ CD. This uplifting song was composed by all 4 members of McCully Workshop with lyrics by Alistair King and was used as part of a campaign for the Reach For A Dream Foundation.

LIVE!

McCully Workshop at Die Boer
L-to-R: Richard, Mike, Tully, Rupert
McCully Workshop at Die Boer, L-to-R: Richard, Mike, Tully, Rupert
In early 2008 McCully Workshop played gigs at Die Boer in Durbanville & the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens to capacity crowds. A live album recorded at these venues, ‘McCully Workshop Live!’ was released in March 2008 and launched at a series of concerts at The Barnyard Theatre in Willowbridge. This album also included a new studio recording, ‘The Aliens Are Landing’. “Our version of ‘Blueberry Hill’, well known from Canterbury days became an on-demand classic again and is on the ‘Live!’ CD” said Mike McCullagh.

TO INFINITY AND BEYOND

Work In Progress, 2013
Work In Progress, 2013
In 2009 McCully Workshop started working on a new album using new mics developed by Tully, which gave the sound an American feel. The album was scheduled for release in 2010 but ‘Work In Progress‘ eventually only saw the light of day in 2013. Journeyman musician Gordon Mackay, who with his brother Duncan, had started in the late 60’s with the band Tricycle, was added to the line-up playing guitars, keyboards, violin and also singing. Gordon had appeared on the acclaimed 1974 Prog Rock album ‘Chimera’ by Duncan Mackay. In 2015 the band won best South African group in the annual Wawela Awards with ‘Money In Your Pocket’ (featuring the rapper Brown) voted the best song off the ‘Work In Progress‘ album. They travelled to Johannesburg to receive the award and discovered that many black musicians held them in high esteem!
Infinity, 2019
Infinity, 2019
Tully sold his studio in Cape Town and built one at his home in Camps Bay which was finished in October 2019. A new album ‘Infinity‘ was released in October 2019 to critical acclaim. In January 2020, Richard Black emigrated to the UK. During 2020, Tully and Gordon, as McCullagh MacKay, recorded an album of all new keyboard-driven songs in the style of 70’s Prog Rockers Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Rick Wakeman. After more than 50 years the Workshop is still open for business… Brian Currin, Cape Town, South Africa, July 2020
McCully Influence The music industry has felt our influence world wide as the Tulmic [microphone developed by Tully] is now generally accepted as the world’s best guitar mic and my son James … who started doing live sound from the age of 17 and worked extensively with Tully in the studio has now become one of the world’s top sound engineers having worked with top artists like JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE, USHER, MILEY CYRUS, JOURNEY, JOE BONAMASSA, ADELE, KATY PERRY, ROGER TAYLOR AND QUEEN EXTRAVAGANZA and many more … and is held in very high esteem overseas. He is currently with THE BACKSTREET BOYS  and 2 years ago when he joined them he innovated their live sound by re-recording all their original tracks with a live band so it sounds like they have a real band behind them as he can mix all the tracks separately … shortly after other artists using tracks copied him … now they all do it … he has also appeared on the cover of the top Sound Magazine in the US last year. And we all know how successful KEVIN SHIRLEY has become having been taught by Tully. Mike McCullagh, 22 July 2020
 
At The Movies ‘Buccaneer’ was used in the movie ‘Moffie’ this year and 2 songs  ‘Hardcase Woman’ and ‘Gunpoint’ were used as soundtracks in the ‘Space’ movie …… we also had a track from ‘Work In Progress’ called ‘100 miles per hour’ by Rupert (Mellor) used in another movie ‘Shepherds And Butchers’ in 2017. Mike McCullagh, 22 July 2020
Posted in Charts, Cover Art, Playlists, South African Music

Latest Free South African Music Downloads

SAmp3.com (part of Sugar Music) has been the official supplier of free mp3s to Channel24 since 2004.

  Afrikaans

Die Radio Kalahari Orkes

Renaissance

A track off the album, Grootste Treffers by Radio Kalahari Orkes, a group that established themselves as favourites in the SA musical landscape through a series of hits and top selling albums starring actor and TV personality Ian Roberts as lead singer and world renowned writer Rian Malan as co-composer and lyricist.

 Pop

Linda Kilian

Feel Like Home

This duet with Rian Swanepoel is off her Kom Dans ‘n Bietjie album featuring some great songs in both English and Afrikaans.

 Pop

Shortstraw

Mary Jane

More intelligent nu-pop off the album You’re Underfed, I’m Wonderful from this new band currently getting a lot of attention on the Johannesburg scene.

 Jazz/Blues

Ian von Memerty

U R Fantastic

When Port Elizabeth-based TV host (Strictly Come Dancing), reality TV series judge (SA’s Got Talent) and multi-award winning performer and theatrical creator, Ian von Memerty embarks on a new project, he does it big – like on his first commercial CD, titled U R Fantastic .

 Country/Folk

Gary Thomas

The Assassin Sat and Pondered

Gary Thomas produced and engineered his Contraption Distoria album himself with only one special guest in the form of guitar hero Guy Buttery on this particularly eerie track.

 Rock

McCully Workshop

Buccaneer

A classic SA rock track from one of the finest SA rock bands off the SA Party compilation.

 R&B/Soul/Hip Hop

Jam Jarr

Suck My Underground

A track off new album Suck My Underground, a 5-track journey into glitch, bass, rap, and debauchery from the African Dope label.

 Jazz/Blues

Keith Ramaila

Kgomo Tsena

From this new talented musician’s self-produced album, My Jazz In House, a track that mixes world dance music with jazz to create a cool new sound.

 Afrikaans

Bittereinder

Solidariteit

Afrikaans Rap and Hip Hop is bursting onto the scene with names like Jack Parow, Brasse Van Die Kaap and Die Antwoord and now Pretoria band Bittereinder, here with a track off their album, ‘n Ware Verhaal .

 Rock

Chris Tait

The Truth

Some top class rock from this highly regarded Cape Town muso and producer off his solo album, I Think I Can Relate.

 Pop

Daniel Baron

So Much More

Latest single from this very talented South African pop artist currently gaining a lot of radio play with this excellent track.

 Rock

Not My Dog

Greed And Gold

This Pretoria based outfit ruled the country’s rock stages for almost a decade with their progressive nu-metal and tight live performances. Here’s a song from their latest self-titled album .

Posted in Cover Art, Music Research, South African Music

The Buccaneer – McCully Workshop (via 1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf)

One of my all-time favourite songs by one of my all-time favourite South African bands.

The Buccaneer – McCully Workshop The Buccaneer – McCully Workshop (Rated Arrrr!!) Tully McCully is an relatively unsung hero of South African music. Apart from his work with McCully Workshop, his name appears on numerous South African records sleeves as producer or writer. His Spaced Out Studios are also a popular place for South African music to be recorded. In 1965 Tully and his b … Read More

via 1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

Posted in South African Music

McCully Workshop Inc.

McCully Workshop Inc
McCully Workshop Inc

Tracks:

1. Why Can’t It Rain [4.12]
2. Hardcase Woman [2.34]
3. Ice Lover [3.05]
4. Four Walls [2.40]
5. Stargazer [2.48]
6. Rush Hour At Midnight [3.42]
7. Jackin’ Around [2.04]
8. Head For The Moon [4.00]
9. The Circus [4.00]
10. Years Of My Life [3.19]
11. Fast Car [3.41]
12. Séance [3.05]

Release information:
LP: June 1970, Trutone, STO 727
CD: February 2003, Merry-Go-Round Records,
a division of Beatball Music (Korea), BMRC-0001
CD: October 2009, Fresh Music, freshcd167

Musicians:

  • Tully McCully: Vocals, bass, guitar
  • Mike McCully: Vocals, drums
  • Richard Hyam: Rhythm and acoustic guitars, vocals
  • Glenda Wassman: Organ, vocals
  • Ian Smith: Trumpet, flute, flugelhorn

Additional musicians:

  • Allan Faull: Lead guitar on ‘Why Can’t It Rain’, ‘The Circus’, ‘Hardcase Woman’ and ‘Stargazer’
  • Alan van der Merwe: Vocal harmony and organ on ‘Why Can’t It Rain’ and ‘Stargazer’
  • Melanie Hyam: Vocal harmonies on ‘Why Can’t It Rain’ and ‘Rush Hour At Midnight’Produced by Billy Forrest

Buy this album from:
Rhythm Online - South African Online Music Store
Rhythm Online Music Store

Buy this CD from:
Fresh Music
Fresh Music

Sleeve  Notes:

“Of all the albums we’ve heard from South Africa this one scores top What a beautiful masterpiece. Pepper-influenced underground music with great songs, lovely vocals, strong harmonies, great distorted guitar work.” — review on Psychedelic-Music.com website.

The McCullagh brothers, Tully (born Terence on 31st May 1953) and Mike (born Michael on 7th April 1947), have been an integral part of the South African music scene for five decades now.

In 1965 they started as a folk-rock trio with Richard Hyam and called themselves the Blue Three. Richard had been in a folk duo, Tiny Folk, with his sister Melanie. After a few personnel and name changes, like The Blue Beats and Larfing Stocke, the line-up settled down (for a while) in 1969.

“I had my own studio in the garage since I was 12” remembers Tully. It was a single garage in the garden of their home in Plumstead, in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town. The brothers’ father, radio personality Michael Drin (his stage name), painted the name “McCully Workshop, Inc.” on the garage wall. “McCully” was an easier-to-spell version of McCullagh and the “Inc.” was a tongue-in-cheek addition. “We had been playing music for 6 years” remembers Mike McCullagh. “In 1969 I was 22 and Tully was 16, along with Richard Hyam, his sister Melanie and Allan Faull the group started.”

“We all wrote our own songs”, continues Mike, “and we just took the best ones for the album. Tully wrote ‘Why Can’t It Rain’ in the middle of the night and this became a hit single putting McCully Workshop on the charts for the first time.” This song went to number 12 on the Springbok Radio charts in July 1970 and also reached number 13 on the LM Radio charts.“Why Can’t It Rain” drew the attention of the Gallo label, and they said they wanted an album. McCully Workshop signed probably the first independent licencing deal with a major label in South Africa.

Billy Forrest (born William Boardman in Kimberley in 1940) was the “top guy” at the time and was appointed as producer. He had recently had chart success with The Staccatos ‘Cry To Me’ and many others including The Dream Merchants and Quentin E Klopjager (one of his many pseudonyms).Tully remembers Forrest’s catchphrase at the time was “could happen”.

The “Inc.” album shows a variety of styles and influences including The Beatles, Frank Zappa and Pink Floyd. “’Sgt Pepper’ was very important, as were the pop charts at the time”, recalls Tully.Another big influence, according to Tully, was The Moody Blues ‘Threshold Of A Dream’ which was released in April 1969. Echoes of Graeme Edge’s poems can be heard in Mike McCully’s spoken words during the moon landing-inspired ‘Head For The Moon’. A photo of the garage was used as the album cover. The photo was taken by Sigurd Olivier from the Argus newspaper and the cat’s name was Sirikit.

When asked to name his favourite song on the ‘Inc.’ album besides ‘Why Can’t It Rain’, Tully says without hesitation, ‘The Circus’. This song is an up tempo psychedelic pop-rocker with strong vocal harmonies, distorted guitar sounds from Allan Faull and great flute playing from Ian Smith. Asked about an interesting studio story, Tully remembers feeling a few tremors and stuff falling off the walls one day during recording. “Everybody got a fright and rushed outside”, says Tully, “we thought it was a passing train.” Turned out to be the Tulbagh earthquake of 29th September 1969. The sessions were done, but another song was needed to complete the album, so a studio jam called ‘Jackin’ Around’ was added. Great organ sounds from Glenda Wassman, and a drum solo play-out from Mike McCully.

Alan van Der Merwe was a music teacher friend of Mike’s and was responsible for the vocal harmony arrangements. Tully cites South African band ‘The Sandpipers’ as an inspiration. This folk quartet, which consisted of two girls and two guys, and not be confused with the US folk trio, released an album titled ‘A Bird in Hand’ in 1967.

After “Inc’

McCully Workshop, with the McCullagh brothers always at the core, released a number of albums over the years including “Genesis” and “Ages” and of course are best known for their big 1977 hit ‘Buccaneer’ . 40 years after those first recording sessions in late 1969, Tully is still involved in recording and runs his successful Spaced-Out Sounds Studio in Cape Town. Mike regularly packs out concert halls with his various nostalgic revue shows including ‘Sixty Something’, ‘Station 70’, ‘Music Of The Millennium’, ‘Country Classics’ and many, many others. McCully Workshop still perform live on occasion and their first hit ‘Why Can’t It Rain’ is almost always included in the set list.

Glenda Wassman later married Richard, and they formed the pop band Pendulum and had a big hit with ‘Take My Heart’ in 1976. Glenda then went on to major success worldwide with the all-girl group, Clout, who had a huge hit with ‘Substitute’ which went to number 2 in the UK in 1978. Allan Faull formed Falling Mirror in the late 70’s with his cousin Neilen Mirror (nee Marais).

The legends of South African pop and rock live on…

Brian Currin

Cape Town, September 2009

www.McCullyWorkshop.co.za

Ian Smith Glenda Wassman Mike McCully Richard Hyam Tully McCully

Family Tree
(click for bigger image)

McCully Workshop Family Tree - click for more info

Click here for the complete Family Tree
at the South African Rock Encyclopedia website.

Posted in South African Music

McCully Workshop Inc

McCully Workshop Inc.
McCully Workshop Inc.

“Of all the albums we’ve heard from South Africa this one is topscore. What a beautiful masterpiece. Pepper-influenced underground music with great songs, lovely vocals, strong harmonies, great distorted guitarwork.” — review on Psychedelic-Music.com website.

The McCullagh brothers, Tully (born Terence on 31st May 1953) and Mike (born Michael on 7th April 1947), have been an integral part of the South African music scene for five decades now.

In 1965 they started as a folk-rock trio with Richard Hyam and called themselves the Blue Three. Richard had been in a folk duo, Tiny Folk, with his sister Melanie. After a few personnel- and name-changes, like The Blue Beats and Larfing Stocke, the line-up settled down (for a while) in 1969.

“I had my own studio in the garage since I was 12” remembers Tully. It was a single garage in the garden of their home in Plumstead, in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town. The brothers’ father, radio personality Michael Drin (his stage name), painted the name “McCully Workshop, Inc.” on the garage wall. “McCully” was an easier-to-spell version of McCullagh and the “Inc.” was a tongue-in-cheek addition.

A photo of the garage was used as the album cover. The photo was taken by Sigurd Olivier from the Argus newspaper. The cat’s name was Sirikit.

“We had been playing music for 6 years” remembers Mike McCullagh. “In 1969 I was 22 and Tully was 16, along with Richard Hyam, his sister Melanie and Allan Faull the group started.”

“We all wrote our own songs”, continues Mike, “and we just took the best ones for the album. Tully wrote ‘Why Can’t It Rain’ in the middle of the night and this became a hit single putting McCully Workshop on the charts for the first time.” This song went to number 12 on the Springbok Radio charts in July 1970 and also reached number 13 on the LM Radio charts.

“Why Can’t It Rain” drew the attention of the Gallo label, and they said they wanted an album. McCully Workshop signed probably the first independent licencing deal with a major label in South Africa.

Billy Forrest (born William Boardman in Kimberley in 1940) was the “top guy” at the time and was appointed as producer. He had recently had chart success with The Staccatos ‘Cry To Me’ and many others including The Dream Merchants and Quentin E Klopjaeger (one of his many pseudonyms).

Tully remembers Forrest’s catchphrase at the time was “could happen”.

The “Inc.” album shows a variety of styles and influences including The Beatles, Frank Zappa and Pink Floyd. “’Sgt Pepper’ was very important, as were the pop charts at the time”, recalls Tully.

Another big influence, according to Tully, was The Moody Blues ‘Threshold Of A Dream’ which was released in April 1969. Echoes of Graeme Edge’s poems can be heard in Mike McCully’s spoken words during the moonlanding-inspired ‘Head For The Moon’.

Alan van Der Merwe was a music teacher friend of Mike’s and was responsible for the vocal harmony arrangements. Tully cites South African band ‘The Sandpipers’ as an inspiration. This folk quartet, which consisted of two girls and two guys, and not be confused with the US folk trio, released an album titled ‘A Bird in Hand’ in 1967.

When asked to name his favourite song on the ‘Inc.’ album besides ‘Why Can’t It Rain’, Tully says without hesitation, ‘The Circus’. This song is an uptempo psychedelic pop-rocker with strong vocal harmonies, distorted guitar sounds from Allan Faull and great flute playing from Ian Smith.

The sessions were done, but another song was needed to complete the album, so a studio jam called ‘Jackin’ Around’ was added. Great organ sounds from Glenda Wassman, and a drum solo play-out from Mike McCully.

Glenda Wassman later married Richard, and they formed the pop band Pendulum and had a big hit with ‘Take My Heart’ in 1976. Glenda then went on to major success worldwide with the all-girl group, Clout, who had a huge hit with ‘Substitute’ which went to number 2 in the UK in 1978.

Allan Faull formed Falling Mirror in the late 70’s with his cousin Nielen Mirror (nee Marais).

Asked about an interesting studio story, Tully remembers feeling a few tremors and stuff falling off the walls one day during recording. “Everybody got a fright and rushed outside”, says Tully, “we thought it was a passing train.” Turned out to be the Tulbagh earthquake of 29th September 1969.

McCully Workshop, with the McCullagh brothers always at the core, have released a number of albums over the years and of course are best known for their big hit ‘Buccaneer’ from 1977.

40 years after those first recording sessions in late 1969, Tully is still involved in recording and runs his successful Spaced-Out Sounds Studio in Cape Town. Mike regularly packs out concert halls with his various nostalgic revue shows including ‘Sixty Something’, ‘Station 70’, ‘Music Of The Millennium’, ‘Country Classics’ and many, many others.

McCully Workshop still perform live on occasion and their first hit ‘Why Can’t It Rain’ is almost always included in the setlist.

The legends of South African pop and rock live on…
Brian Currin

Cape Town, September 2009

www.McCullyWorkshop.co.za


Release information:

 

LP: June 1970, Trutone, STO 727

CD: February 2003, Merry-Go-Round Records,
a division of Beatball Music (Korea), BMRC-0001

CD: October 2009, Fresh Music, freshcd167

Tracks:

  1. Why Can’t It Rain [4.12]

  2. Hardcase Woman [2.34]

  3. Ice Lover [3.05]

  4. Four Walls [2.40]

  5. Stargazer [2.48]

  6. Rush Hour At Midnight [3.42]

  7. Jackin’ Around [2.04]

  8. Head For The Moon [4.00]

  9. The Circus [4.00]

  10. Years Of My Life [3.19]

  11. Fast Car [3.41]

  12. Séance [3.05]

Musicians:

  • Tully McCully: Vocals, bass, guitar
  • Mike McCully: Vocals, drums
  • Richard Hyam: Rhythm and acoustic guitars, vocals
  • Glenda Wassman: Organ, vocals
  • Ian Smith: Trumpet, flute, flugelhorn

Additional musicians:

  • Allan Faull: Lead guitar on ‘Why Can’t It Rain’, ‘The Circus’, ‘Hardcase Woman’ and ‘Stargazer’
  • Alan van der Merwe: Vocal harmony and organ on ‘Why Can’t It Rain’ and ‘Stargazer’
  • Melanie Hyam: Vocal harmonies on ‘Why Can’t It Rain’ and ‘Rush Hour At Midnight’Produced by Billy Forrest
Posted in Latest Updates

Astral Daze 2 – More Psychedelic Gems From The South African Underground

Astral Daze 2
Astral Daze 2

Welcome to Volume 2 of Astral Daze where we once again dip into the vaults of classic South African rock and pop, seeking out long lost psychedelic gems for your edification and earthly delight . Volume 2 finds the listener tripping the light fantastic with some familiar names like Freedoms Children, Abstract Truth, The Flames and McCully Workshop sitting comfortably alongside some lesser known artists like the weird and wacky Falling Mirror and Durban’s finest, Finch and Henson. We have also included a couple of post 70’s outfits like The Illegal Gathering, whose cassette-only album “The Voice of Nooit” is highly sought after and Robbi Robb’s Tribe after Tribe who continue to make challenging rock music.

Freedom’s Children – The Kid he came from Hazareth

Taken from their classic psych / prog masterpiece “Astra”, the song was originally titled ‘The Kid he came from Nazareth’ but it fell foul of the then oppressive, Calvinistic authorities hence the name change. Awash with Julian Laxton’s multi-tracked guitars and drenched in period piece echo and reverb it remains one of South Africa’s classic rock tunes.

Composed by Ramsay Mackay, published by Ardmore & Beechwood.

Brian Davidson – vocals

Ramsay Mackay – bass, words

Julian Laxton – guitars, effects

Colin Pratley – drums, percussion

McCully Workshop – Why can’t it rain

Recorded in 1970 and culled from the band’s debut album “Inc” this epic psych pop single peaked on the national charts at #12 .The song featured future Falling Mirror guitarist Allan Faull and was the first of many hits for McCully Workshop.

Composed and produced by Tully McCully, published by McCully Music

Tully McCully – vocals, bass

Mike McCully – drums, vocals

Allan Faull – lead guitar

Richard Hyam – acoustic and rhythm guitar

Glenda Wassman – organ, vocals

Ian Smith – trumpet, flugelhorn, flute

Alan van der Merwe and Melanie Hyam – vocal harmonies

The Tidal Wave – Spider Spider

The Tidal Wave were one of South Africa’s foremost exponents of psych influenced pop music in the late 60’s and early 70’s with hits like “Spider Spider”. They also experimented with both brass and prog rock influences and although they existed for a relatively short time the band are regarded by many as the bridge between pop and the then developing ‘underground’ rock scene.Composed by Terry Dempsey, published by Angela Music

Mike Pilot – guitars, vocals

Kenny Haycock – bass

Roy Naturman – keyboards

Mike Koch – drums

Omega Limited – Tchaikovsky One

Fronted by the mercurial but brilliantly talented guitarist, Louis Greef, Omega Limited was formed in Cape Town in 1966. Heavily influenced by psychedelia and the Hendrix – sound, they won the “Battle of the Bands” in 1967 and 1968. ‘Tchaikovsky 1’ reached #3 on the charts in May 1970.Many who saw Greef play live rated him up there with the global greats of the time.

Composed by Tchaikovsky, arranged by Omega Limited. Publishing Copyright Control

Louis Greef – guitars

Alan Weinberg – bass

Derek Gordon – keyboards, guitar, vocals

Mike Brand – drums

The Flames –Solitude

Highly regarded worldwide by connoisseurs of classic pop – soul, The Flames released are best known for their lengthy rock remake of the Holland – Dozier – Holland epic “You keep me hanging on”. However “Solitude’ finds the band tripping the light fantastic with this sitar drenched acid ditty.

Composed by The Flames, publishing Copyright Control

Steve Fataar: guitar, vocals

Brother Fataar: bass, vocals

Baby Duval: guitar, vocals

Blondie Chaplin: guitar, vocals

Ricky Fataar: drums

Abstract Truth – Pollution

Hailing from the coastal town of Durban, Abstract Truth recorded 2 fine albums in 1970 –“Totem” and the epic “Silver Trees”. Fusing elements of African jazz, pop, folk and psych the band had a unique sound as evidenced by the flute and sax driven “Pollution”. Composed by Kenny Henson, published by Ardmore & Beechwood.

Ken E Henson: Guitar, vocals

Peter Measroch: Piano, organ, flute, harpsichord, vocals

George Wolfaardt: Bass, flute, drums, vocals

Sean Bergin: Flute, saxophone

The Invaders –Shockwave

The Invaders were one of the most successful dance bands in the mid Sixties before venturing into more rock based territory on their legendary “There’s a light ,there’s a way” album . Based upon a typical unique African ‘marabi’ melody this fuzz guitar workout rates as one of South Africa’s early psych workouts. Composed by Moses/Gobey/Burke/Pillay. Publishing Copyright Control

Joey Moses: lead guitar, vocals

Errol Gobey: rhythm guitar, vocals

Johnny Burke: bass

Dave Burke: drums

Spewy Pillay: organ

Falling Mirror – I wish I was a purple door

Arguably one of the most creative and eclectic rock bands to emerge from the southern tip of Africa, Falling Mirror’s whimsical and jaunty “I wish I was a purple door” features some sterling fretwork from Alan Faull. Add in somewhat nonsensical hippy lyrics and multi tracked Elizabethan influenced vocals and you have one strange psychedelic song! Composed by Neilen Mirror and Allan Faull, published by McCully Music.

Neilen Mirror – vocals

Alan Faull – guitars

Tully McCully – bass, vocals, production

Patrick Humphreys –drums

The Bats – The Rock Machine

Unquestionably an institution in South African pop music over the last 40 years, The Bats had the ability to assimilate emerging musical trends into their overall sound and still retain their unique sound. A mid 60’s pop psych vein runs through “The Rock Machine” with it’s Beatlesque harmonies and orchestral flair – ‘one lump or two, bound to turn you on’..Indeed!

Composed by Ditchfield / Eckstein / Jarman / Clifford, published by Gallo Music.

Eddie Eckstein: vocals, drums

Paul Ditchfield: vocals, keyboards, guitars, bass

Barry Jarman: guitar, trumpet, bass

Pete Clifford: vocals, guitar

Dickie Loader with Freedoms Children – The Eagles has landed

One of the strangest collaborations in South African music –take one ‘teen pop idol’ and the country’s heaviest rock band, put them together to celebrate the Moon landings and hey presto – a guitar/Hammond psych rock workout that somehow works. Composed by Loader/ Laxton ,published by Ardmore & Beechwood.

Dickie Loader – vocals

Julian Laxton – guitars

Barry Irwin – bass

Colin Pratley – drums

The Third Eye – Apricot brandy

Propelled by the wailing organ of Dawn Selby with some hefty assistance from a cooking brass section ,Durban’s The Third Eye tackled American cult rock outfit Rhinoceros’s ”Apricot brandy” with verve and wild abandon .Taken from their 1969 album “Awakening”. Composed by Weiss/ Fonfara, publishing Copyright Control.

Dawn Selby – organ, piano

Ron Selby – lead guitar

Maurice Saul – vocals, guitar

Mike Sauer – 6 string bass

Robbie Pavid – drums

The Gonks – Woman yeah

South African R&B/pop band, The Gonks were one of Durban’s leading groups in the mid – 1960s. Taking their name from a 12 – inch high stuffed doll that was popular at the time they, signed to the Fontana label in late 1966.

“Woman, yeah” was the B side of their second single “Nobody but me”. The band enjoyed moderate chart success but finally split in mid 1968 with various members joining the likes of Freedom’s Children, Haggis and the First Electric Jamming Band. Composed by The Gonks, publishing Copyright Control.

Craig Ross – vocals

Howard Schachat – guitar

Mervin Gershanov – lead guitar

Barry Cline – bass

Rob Clancy – drums

Hedgehoppers – Near her

Formed in the UK as The Trendsetters, whose sole hit “It’s good news week” reached No.5 there, the band came to South Africa in 1969 and had several chart singles including “Hey” and “Mary Mary”. This rare track features Mick Matthews on guitars and vocals

Composed by Mick Matthews, Publishing Copyright Control

John & Philipa Cooper – Man in a bowler hat

John & Philipa Cooper’s sole album “The Cooperville Times” was released in 1969. A melange of psych tinged folk rock featuring Freedom’s Children’ s Julian Laxton, it is arguably one of the rarest South African late 60’s vinyl albums, prized by collectors worldwide .After recording this album John & Philipa disappeared into the ether, all efforts to locate them have proved fruitless. Composed by John & Philipa Cooper , published by Ardmore & Beechwood.

John & Philipa Cooper – vocals

Julian Laxton – lead guitar

Art de Villiers – acoustic guitar

Bob Hill – bass

Werner Krupski – keyboards

Francesco – fiddle

Rory Blackwell – tambourine

Ivor Back – drums

Tribe after Tribe – Swans

Fronted by the charismatic Robbi Robb, Tribe after Tribe made one album in South Africa before relocating to the US where they have enjoyed success there and particularly in Germany. “Swans” is an unreleased track from the band’s archive awash with loping bass lines and hypnotic sitars, pioneering a post 90’s new wave of psychedelic rock. Composed by Robbi Robb, publishing Copyright Control.

Robbi Robb – guitars, sitar, vocals

Joey Vera – bass

Butch – drums

The Illegal Gathering – Button your lip

Formed by James Phillips and Carl Raubenheimer from the ashes of Corporal Punishment (one of South Africa’s foremost post – punk bands),The Illegal Gathering’s sole album “The Voice of Nooit” was recorded in 1986.”Button your lip” is a quirky but humorous psych guitar fest. Composed by Raubenheimer/Phillips, publishing Copyright Control.

Carl Raubenheimer – vocals, bass, guitar

James Phillips – vocals, guitars

David Ledbetter – bass

Wayne Raath – drums

Band ‘O Gypsys – She’s a mermaid

Still led and fronted by guitarist/vocalist Peter Pulvenis, Band O’ Gypsys, who were formed in 1962, originally as the Sasons (South African sons), are one of the oldest groups in the world, never mind in South Africa! They released their debut album, “She’s a Mermaid”, in 1995. Their Hendrix – influenced brand of hard blues – rock has made them very popular at biker rallies. Composed by Band ‘O Gypsys , publishing Copyright Control.

Peter Pulvenis – guitars, vocals

Robbie Sanna – bass

Gary Fulton – guitar, vocals

Benny Pulvenis – drums

Finch & Henson – Lonely Spaceman

Hailing from the coastal city of Durban (as immortalised in Humble Pie’s “30 days in the hole”) Finch and Henson’s brand of rock veered from acoustic folk to lengthy psychedelic jam – outs. Taken from 1978’s “High Octane” this track combines the best of both worlds. Composed by Finch/ Henson, published by 3rd Ear Music.

Brian Finch: Vocals, acoustic guitars

Ken E Henson: Electric & acoustic guitars, mandolin

Glyn Storm: keyboards

Les Goode: bass

Tony Moore: drums

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Just released McCully Workshop’s legendary 2nd album ‘Genesis’ … coming soon – “Astral Daze Volume 2 “ featuring more psychedelic gems from the South African underground including The Gonks, Band ‘O Gypsies, Hedgehoppers, Omega Limited, Dickie Loader, The Third Eye and many more (September) … Canamii’s symphonic prog album “Concept”… (October) … the much sought after John and Philipa Cooper psych folk album “The Cooperville Times” (October).

McCully Workshop – Genesis

Tracks:

  1. Genesis (T McCully) [7.45]
    1. Evolution
    2. Overture To Cancel Hate
    3. Survival And Genesis
  2. (We All) Look For The Sun (T McCully) [3.15]
  3. Stone Man (T McCully) [9.44]
    1. Stone Man
    2. Degeneration
    3. Satan’s Dance
  4. Red Light City (B Gordon/T McCully) [7.40]
    1. Sodom
    2. Gomorrah
  5. Sweet Fields Of Green (T McCully) [3.45]
  6. Togetherness (T McCully) [4.35]
  7. Order Out Of Chaos (McCully Workshop) [3.20]

Musicians:

  • Mike McCully: Drums, vocals
  • Tully McCully: Vocals, bass
  • Bruce Gordon: Guitars, percussion, vocals
  • Ian Smith: Trumpet, flute, flugelhorn, trombone, percussion

Buy from Fresh Music

Download from RhythmMusicStore.com

Website: www.mccullyworkshop.co.za

mccully workshop genesis
McCully Workshop - Genesis