Ray-Ban South Africa has invited local musicians to reignite the spirit of iconic songs from the past seven decades for its 75th anniversary celebrations. Inge Beckmann, Arno Carstens, AKA, Jack Parow, Van Coke Kartel, Beatenberg, Jeremy de Tolly (The Dirty Skirts), The Gugulethu Tenors, Laudo Liebenberg (aKing) and The Plastics have recorded live their own versions of tracks from the 1930s through to the 90s.
The creation of the first Ray-Ban Aviators in 1937 marked the beginning of an iconic journey that has always been closely linked to music.
In the late 1930s, a recording of Summertime by Billie Holiday made it to number 12 on the US pop charts, making it the most successful cover of the hit song to date. Now, teleporting back to the 30s to create their own rendition of Summertime, Inge Beckmann, Mr Cat and The Jackal, and Nomadic Orchestra have collaborated to record their version of the all-time classic.
aKing's front man Laudo Liebenberg's track John Henry, from the original Broadway musical based on the novel John Henry by Roark Bradford represents the 40s.
The 1956 remake of Hound Dog by Elvis Presley is the best-known version of this track and is number 19 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Jeremy de Tolly (The Dirty Skirts) and the Gugulethu Tenors collaborated to cover this track.
The Beach Boys track God Only Knows was a no-brainer choice for the 60s and Beatenberg had no hesitation when it came to reinventing it for Ray-Ban.
The 70s was covered by Arno Carstens, singing Easy, a slow ballad with its roots in popular country and western. Easy was a 1977 hit single by The Commodores, written by The Commodores lead singer Lionel Richie. Released in March 1977, Easy reached number one on the Billboard R&B chart, and number four on the Billboard Hot 100.
Afrikaans punk rock band Van Coke Kartel put a new spin on Bow Wow Wow's I Want Candy from the 80s. Pop rock group Bow Wow Wow released 'I Want Candy' as the first and only single from their EP "The Last of the Mohicans".
A natural fit for the 90s was a version of Wyclef Jean's Gone Till November, a collaboration by Jack Parow, AKA and The Plastics. Gone till November was the third single released from Wyclef Jean's debut solo album, "The Carnival". It entered the UK Singles Chart at number three, its highest chart position, and went on to spend nine weeks in the charts. The song was also successful in the US, where it reached number seven in the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
From 14 November, 90-second teaser video clips of theseven live performances will be uploaded onto Ray-Ban.com/southafrica. Fans can then vote for their favourite live performance to win tickets to Ray-Ban's 75th anniversary event in early December.
In appreciation of the 75 years of legendary support Ray-Ban has received in South Africa, all seven full tracks will be made available for free download during the month of December on www.ray-ban.com/southafrica/contest.
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