Famous Lebanese Entertainment Personalities

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The Arts :
Movies, Radio. Television , Singers and Musicians

 

Patricia Lewis: Top South African singer and Television personality . Her Father is Lebanese

Colin Shamley: South Africa most underrated singer. He is a top Folk singer, during the Apartheid years , many of his songs had strong anti government messages. His album Born Guilty is still rated as one of the top Albums ever produced. He has written songs for many South African singers He wrote the theme song for Emil Nofals film Katrina. He has sung in America.He still sings today.

Emil Nofal: South Africa’s top movie producer, screen writer, director. No other movie director has had such an impact on the South African movie industry. Emil wrote and directed” Kimberly Jim ”. This was US singing star Jim Reeves only movie appearance. Emil gained international fame with his movie” The Winners”. He also directed” My Way” , “Katrina” “ Wild Season” . he acted in “all the way to Paris” .

George Michael: (Pretoria) Game Hunter, who also produced many Wild Life TV programs for the European Market.

Leanne Manas;  Popular award winning South African Television personality. Leanne is the co- anchor of SABC’s channel 2 “morning Live”

Bernard Samra: Former sound engineer Radio 702. He now owns “Live Linkups” a studio in Orange County California. Were he producers live feeds to most of the News channels in the USA. He was also the drummer for Taxi.

Joe Nofal: former President of EMI Record Company in South Africa. As president of the Mayfair bowling club.  He would hold a presidents day celebration , inviting many South African artists to perform, such as  Nico Carstens  and British trumpeter Eddie Calvert.

Al Bowlly: Born in  Lorenzo Marques ( now Maputo) to a Greek Father and a Lebanese mother. Grew  up in South Africa. In the 30’s he became the #1 Big Band singer in the UK. He appeared in movies and on radio both in the UK and US. In mid 30’s he went with Ray Noble to New York. Glenn Miller was part of the Ray Noble band, and would cry when Al would sing his theme song. Bowlly became quite famous in America and had a large fan following.  He recorded over 1000 sides of songs both in the UK and US. He was one of the first pop idols. His earliest recordings he did for HMV in London  , were Afrikaans songs. He died in a bomb raid in London during the second  world war.

Mish Bowlly: Al’s youngest brother was a pianist. He went to London were he  joined his brother. He was part of Al’s UK band. Mish returned to South Africa were he became a music teacher.

Artimus Hill: Was a popular singer married to Band Leader Dan Hill, she was Al Bowlly’s niece.

Al Debbo: Al’s Father and Mother were both Lebanese , his mother was a Saffy. He was a comedian , acted in many movies , had his own television programs and was top singer. He sang in English and Afrikaans. He was mostly know as an Afrikaans performer.

Billy Kerdachi: South African born violinist , was a band leader in London. He was related to Al Bowlly and lived in England the same time as Al, he later changed his name to Gerhardi.

Emil Dean Zoghby: Singer, writer and producer. Emil was a pop idol in South Africa. He penned “Key to your Heart” his first single went to # 3 on the South African charts. “How the mighty Hath Fallen” went to #6. He left South Africa to go to London. He had some minor hits on the UK charts and appeared on British TV. His break came when he wrote, performed and sang in the West End hit Musical “Catch My Soul” .He worked at Chappel music and  produced many top British acts .He returned to South Africa were he had much success as a writer and producer of South African acts.

Antonio Risha: South African opera singer, lives  in Italy were he became quite famous.

Johnny Collini: (real name Kallil) Sang with the Zombies , before they became 4 Jacks and a Jill. He became a singing idol have many hits including “Sea of Tears” written by Emil Dean Zoghby  and “Ten Tons of loving”. In 1980 he wrote the theme music for the SABC TV program “The Narrow edge” – about stuntmen.

Trevor Nasser: This highly acclaimed guitarist is  one of the top South African musicians . He has recorded many great albums.

Christine Mansour: Recording artist, her songs have Lebanese influence.

Geoff St John ( Jacobs):Has a number of hits his biggest “ Candy”. He is a popular night club singer.

Simon Kerdachi: Night club singer.

Joe Jagga: Drummer with Johnny Collini

Eddie Leicher :  Keyboards Mad Munks. Their top selling record “Wonderful World”

Joe Mustapha : Drums Mad Munks . Singles “Hold On” and “you’ve got me Humming”

Rohan Thomas : Bass Madd Munks.

Peter Michael :Trumpet Magnificent Seven with Emil Dean Zoghby.

Doug Abbott : Drums Magnificent Seven.

David Khoury : Vocals Guitar “The Vedettes” .top single “The way I used to”

Albert Khoury: (brother of David) Vocals Bass The Vedettes”. They won the 1965 Springbok Radio Battle of the bands.

Brian Khoury: drums “Visitors”

Tyron Khoury : drums “Falling Leaves

Des Khoury : Keyboards “ Theta”

Favin Kairuz;   drums Fresh Evidence

Neil Solomon: Actor , producer, writer. For  theatre and Films. He was the vocalist, guitar player and keyboards for the super group “The Uptown Rhythm Dogs.  

Craig Beyrooti: Was involved with Emil Dean Zoghby and Kevin Manas in the 8th Avenue Sound Studios, producing many top South African acts. Today Craig is the CEO of Atlantic Professional Sound in the USA. Developing large Sound systems for churches, stages and concerts.

Arthur Tannous: Pharmacist, has written many contempory Christian songs for the Rhema band Johannesburg. His most famous song is "I just want to Praise you" (See youtube).
 
Y
ango John: South Africa's top impresario , brought many top artists to South Africa including Tom Jones.

Kevin Leicher: Well known producer and guitarist, is nominated for a South African Music award  April 2012 ; Best Producer. 

George Peters : Started his acting with the Lamps, acted in Movies.

Michel Checketri : Guitarist for South Contry Band.

Michael Chidrawi : Guitarist for Taxi.

Authors

Cecile Yasbeck : Olive trees round my table (See Main page for link to this book review)

Anthony Farah   : Crack in the Cedar. Married to Valerie Lahoud. Worked for standard and Barcklays bank  South Africa now lives in US where his next book "Sweet Poetry" a book on Christian poetry will be published shortly

Maureen Jabour: Author of the books : Magical Gardens, Celebrating A Small English Garden, A Medley of Gardens. Maureen was the garden editor Of Colorado House and gardens. She is the wife of Dr Christy Jabour and mother of Dr's Bradley  and Dorienne Jabour.

Ken Hanna: see sporting section . editor of the Cedar leaf (1970) . Ken Hanna is the editor of a book "People of the Cedars". The history of the Lebanese in South Africa. The book took over 4 decades to write. It covers most of the main Lebanese families in South Africa: Their struggles as new immigrants ,their tenacity in overcoming and their triumphs .It covers entertainers, sports personalities and business successes .The book covers the  history of the Maronite Catholics in South Africa.

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