“…to sit in that audience…to feel…the magic of being kind of hypnotised by the event…you just get transported…”
In the 70s David Kramer charmed South Africa with his cute mischievous smile, his distinctive style of dress; red veldskoene and Brylcreamed hair, his songs told of folk heroes, faded rugby stars and platteland love. He gave to the Afrikaans language a new rhythm, a new way of telling stories and a new way of gently laughing at themselves, Jolene’s lekke fris ma noggie dikkie. Ha pa sê ek is ma nette pikkie – Ha ma se ek moetie soe hoog mikkie…
Like his grandfather he saw himself as a smous, the wares he peddled… songs and stories, a solitary Everyman on his bicycle, an image Volkswagen helped make famous.
His songs criticized the government. He got banned, his sales increased. His restless insatiable genius sought new stages, and ways of expressing the stories of the underdog.
He met Taliep Petersen, a partnership that grew into a musical theatre phenomenon, District Six, Fairyland, Kat and the Kings, Ghoema….
A television documentary-maker Jan Horn gave him the opportunity he had been mulling over since a boy. Growing up in the Boland he watched the farm folk, labourers and shepherds make music on hand made guitars, three strings stretched across an oil can. Thus was born Karoo Kitaar Blues, a fascinating showcase of long-forgotten roots guitar and singing styles from the platteland. Songlines UK called it “A vehicle for mass redemption.”
Always searching for stories and unusual histories to be shaped into theatrical experiences has brought about Die Ballade van Koos SAS and Orpheus in Africa.
The genius of David Kramer is difficult to categorise or classify. For more than 5 decades he has dominated and expanded the SA folk music and theatrical scene with ever new, original works and music of brilliance
His wife Renaye Kramer is his producer. They have two daughters.