!K7 label Strut Records continue their run of reissues from the Miriam Makeba back-catalogue with the 1970 album Keep Me in Mind.
In 1967, Makeba had scored an enormous global hit with her first recording for Reprise, Pata Pata. A year later, she had married the head of the Student Non-Violent Co-ordinating Committee (SNCC), Stokely Carmichael. From being a popular mainstream celebrity in the USA, Makeba was suddenly recast as “Africa’s first lady of freedom fighters”. The media turned against her, live bookings fell away and the couple left for Guinea which would be Makeba’s home for the next 15 years.
Essentially her farewell record to the America, Keep Me In Mind featured a mix of soul arrangements of rock hits including Van Morrison’s ‘I Shall Sing’, Buffalo Springfield’s ‘For What It’s Worth’ and Creedence Clearwater Revival’s ‘Down On The Corner’ alongside Miriam’s own songs. ‘Kulala’ reflected Guinea’s Manding vocal style and the electric ‘Lumumba’ referenced Congolese independence leader Patrice Lumumba and her grandson who had been named after him, placing Miriam both as Lumumba’s mother and as ‘Mama Africa’, a global symbol for the struggle of all Africa towards independence and freedom.
‘Keep Me In Mind’ is released on 4th June. Vinyl features full original artwork and a 12″-sized 4pp booklet featuring rare session photos and extensive new liner notes by Francis Gooding (The Wire). Remastered from the original tapes by The Carvery. It’s available in the Strut store and on Bandcamp.