RIP Miriam Makeba

RIP Miriam Makeba


Live version of “Pata Pata

South African singer Miriam Makeba died yesterday while touring in Italy. She was 76 and best-known for being a vocal anti-apartheid activist, her 1967 song “Pata Pata[1][2] and her marriages to fellow country trumpeter Hugh Masekela and American “Black pride“/”Black Power” activist Stokely Carmichael.

Pata Pata” is a musical composition recorded by South African singer Miriam Makeba and released in 1967 on Reprise Records.

“Pata Pata” was co-written by Miriam Makeba and Jerry Ragovoy. After Makeba was signed to Warner/Reprise Records and published her first singles, the record company needed several songs to finish a Makeba album. Legend has it that she had told Reprise she wanted to do ballads, so they put her together with Jerry Ragovoy, the R&B writer/producer who was on staff at Warner Brothers at the time. Not being familiar with her, the night before their first recording session, he went to see her in a club in Greenwich Village, where she did a show comprised completely of African folk music. He was captivated to the point that, the next day, he just had Makeba and her sister sing a number of the songs into a tape recorder. One of them became “Pata Pata.”


Studio version of “Pata Pata

The song was covered by Osibisa and Percy Faith.

In her political activism, Makeba reminds me of Fela Kuti and most of all, Josephine Baker.

2 thoughts on “RIP Miriam Makeba

  1. Pingback: Hugh Masekela @70 « Jahsonic

Comments are closed.