When I was a teenager in Bulawayo, I heard Gene Rockwell on the Rhodesian radio singing “Heart.” I have chosen a few favourite love songs and tried to put them in alphabetical order. I hope you like the selection.
This favourite love song was written by Jim Reeves.
3. Bank of love
8. Detroit City
This was a favourite love song of mine from my teenage years.
9. Four walls
11. Heart “live”
12. I can help
14. My kind of woman
This favourite love songs brings back memories of my girlfriend dancing with another guy while I was busy singing and playing the guitar. I got so burned up with jealousy!
19. Shame on me
I listened to him singing this one at Gold Reef City.
23. Thank you Lord
Gene Rockwell was born Gert Smit in Krugersdorp, South Africa, on the 27th December 1944 and sadly passed away on the 3rd July 1998. He won his first talent competition at the age of 15, in Durban’s Little Top. Still in his teens, he formed The Blue Angels, later to become The Falcons, in 1963, with whom he played guitar and sang his famous gritty-blues-style songs. The year 1965 saw the birth of one of the biggest ever South African pop hits. Heart made it straight to the top of the LM Radio Top 20. Backed by The Dan Hill Orchestra, the single has sold over two-and-a-half million copies. He has continued to score hits in SA ever since, though no subsequent single of his has equalled the success of Heart. In 1973 Gene Rockwell was invited to sing at the Sir Walter Raleigh Club in Vancouver, his month-long stint proving so successful, he stayed on for another two. Meanwhile, his style had changed to country music, with songs like Rosie, Busted or Torture. Gene Rockwell’s contribution to the SA Music Industry was honoured in 1976 when he was awarded The Shure Golden Microphone Award. He is now a legend in South African pop and country music.