Dennis East A True South African Living Legend
South African Music icon, Dennis East who was born in Durban a good few years ago, can boast of a successful music career spanning over four decades and truth be told he is not considering calling it quits just yet. Dennis recently purchased a Coffee Shop in Stellenbosch for his wife,Yvette but makes it clear that he intends continuing with his music career.
His passion for writing music and singing still lights up his eyes when he speaks with great excitement about his music plans for the future. Dennis now lives in the Cape and intends to continue recording and producing music as he has always done so successfully in the past.
Dennis’ musical career started way back in the 1960’s performing with various bands including: ‘The Statesmen’ they not only toured South Africa but Rhodesia as well. Coming to Johannesburg in the early 70’s he recorded his first solo single “Could You Ever Love Me Again” in 1973 with RPM Records who gave Dennis his first contract as recording artist.
Then in 1974 Dennis recorded what was to be his first Top 5 Single, ‘A Rose Has To Die’ which he followed up with a hugely successful album release. Dennis always had a great love for Country Music and even though “A Rose Has to Die” was not released as a country song, it eventually labelled him as a Country Music Artist.
In 1975 Dennis East proved to the South African public that he was not just a one hit wonder when he was back in the charts with what was to be his biggest hit of his career, ‘A Million Drums’ this was an instant hit and paved the way for a career which has never faded. Dennis charted again with ‘Stone Walls’ in 1977. That was also the year he won a Sarie Award for ‘Best Male Vocalist’.
After parting ways with RPM Records and signing with the David Gresham Record Company he formed the Super Group ‘Stingray’ and once again he and the band were on the charts with, ‘Better The Devil You Know’. This song also charted in the UK and the follow up Album was nominated as Billboards ‘Album Of The Week’ in the USA.
Dennis East continues to write, record and produce songs for just about every South African artist you can think of including major international artists, and with all that said, he has been rewarded with numerous Top 10 and Number one hits worldwide through his production and song writing efforts.
As a young man he idolized Elvis Presley, Tommy Steele, Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, Jimmy Rodgers, and as a student in a boarding school he was introduced to Jim Reeves.
Yet it is very possible that in his early years it was his Mother, a classical pianist, who may have been the greatest influence in him choosing a career in music. If indeed it was his mother I believe we then owe her a really big thank you, as without a Dennis East in this world we would have been deprived of a lot of good music.
– Frans Maritz WHISNews21