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  • Larry Butchins

From Writer to Author - My Journey: Podcast Show Notes

Welcome to the Introduction and opening episode of my Podcast - From Writer to Author - My Journey. This podcast presents the background to my based-on-truth novel "Train in the Distance", about life in apartheid South Africa and Intifada Israel.


I describe the political climate in South Africa at the time, the tensions, hopes, dreams and fears of campaigning journalist, Adam Marks, and those with whom he interacted, and how he fought against the dreaded regime through the columns of his weekend newspaper, the Sunday Tribune.

In Chapter 1, titled "Execution in the Morning", Adam is assigned to cover the execution by hanging of a young Afrikaner farm boy for murder. This is particularly significant for Adam as he is vehemently opposed to the death penalty which was practiced in South Africa and used as one of the tools to underpin the apartheid regime.

In subsequent episodes, I will take you through each chapter, reading excerpts and explaining the background to the people and events, revealing what was truth and what was fiction and go into some detail about the story behind the story...

I felt that South African Township Jazz would be a fitting metaphor to underscore the period about which I write. This genre, in its vibrancy and seemingly optimistic sound, belies the incredibly difficult conditions of oppression, poverty, depression and segregation imposed by the apartheid regime.

I will add an example of Township Jazz and music of the period to each episode. While this musical style often mimick he music and trends emerging from the US, there wa,s something in the form, rhythm and arrangements that was absolutely unique to the South African township scene. Read more about Jazz in South Africa in this very informative article from Music in Africa magazine. Listen to some of the top artists from these links:

Township Jazz ‘n Jive: https://www.allmusic.com/album/township-jazz-n-jive-mw0000036272 Spirits Rejoice: 10 seriously heavy deep jazz gems from apartheid-era South Africa https://thevinylfactory.com/features/spirits-rejoice-10-seriously-heavy-deep-jazz-gems-from-apartheid-era-south-africa

African Day - Kippie Moeketsi https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3mMEr5UnRI

Also, check out this revealing video The role of South African dance music during apartheid on YouTube

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