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Book: Thunder in their Hearts

Chapter: King Kong in London: the late 1950s and early 1960s

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.24993


This chapter looks at London in the 1950s: jazz, immigration from the crumbling Empire, and the London scene. The King Kong musical come to London, and brings with it the first significant wave of passing and permanent jazz exiles, with members of the Manhattan Bros, Gwigwi Mrebi, Gwangwa & Masekela, Peggy Phango, Kippie M, Todd Matshikiza, and others all in London for the show. The period marks the beginning of the Anti-Apartheid Movement in the UK (the ‘Boycott Movement’, from 1959). Iconic events such as the ‘wind of Change’, Sharpville, Umkhonto, and the expulsion of South Africa from the Commonwealth. Sanctions, and Resolution 1761. (Arrival of Abdullah Ibrahim and Sathima in Europe with M Nshoko and Johnny Gertze.) are all surveyed alongside a focus on the Manhattan Brothers.

Chapter Contributors

  • Francis Gooding ( - book-auth-759) 'Writer'