A discography of the Swazi Chiefs in chronological order based on matrix numbers sourced from Alan Kelly's research on the history of the Gramophone Company.
Click on the links to listen to the tracks in the SAMAP archive:
Swazi Chiefs (Swazi Male Singing), 1907
7280e Augustringe (Warrior's Song of Praise) (GC 4-12894; 4021, X-44504)
7282e Duet (GC 2-14145; 4023, X-44508)
Swazi Chiefs (Swazi Male Singing), December 1907
7385e Kwa Kade Inhliziyo Yami (What a Friend we have in Jesus) (sacred)
(GC 4-12895; 4021, 4-12895)
7387e Wadatylawa Ngenxa Yami (The Sands of Time are Sinking)
(GC 4-12896; 4022, X-44506)
7389e (I want my Heart to Turn from Sin) (GC 2-14146; 4023, X-44509)
7390e Sobheka Pina Tixo (Thou Rock of Ages) (GC 2-14147; 4022, X-44507)
At least six tracks were cut in London by a visiting delegation of Swazi chiefs in December 1907. Two of the recordings may have been made slightly earlier.
These tracks could be the earliest commercial recordings of black music from Southern Africa. The sides were first issued by the Gramophone Company as single-sided discs on their Gramophone Concert label with the catalogue numbers G.C. 4-12894 and G.C. 4-12895 respectively. They were then reissued as a doubled-sided disc on Zonophone's Twin label in 1912. The reissue pictured above dates from the late 1920s.
This particular record was part of a personal collection of 78 rpms that were owned by ethnomusicologist Percival Kirby. To be sure, Kirby made hand-written notes on many of the labels, as can be seen on the second side above. At some point the discs were acquired by, Johannesburg collector, Warren Siebrits who subsequently passed them onto the Flat International archive.
Many thanks to Warren Siebrits for leading me to this record! Also I am indebted to Alan Kelly for his tireless research on the discography of the Gramophone Company.