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John Edmond

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Not wise during anti guerrilla ops

John Edmond (born 18 November 1936 in Luanshya, Northern Rhodesia) is a folk singer who became popular in the 1970s for his Rhodesian patriotic songs. Sometimes known as the "Bush Cat", he reached the height of his fame during the Rhodesian Bush War.

During his childhood, he and his parents moved between Scotland and Central Africa. He went to school in Luanshya, Northern Rhodesia; Edinburgh, Scotland; and in South Africa at Christian Brothers College in Pretoria. He displayed a natural talent for music at an early age when he was given a mouth organ as a birthday gift from his grandmother at age three. John mastered the instrument within half an hour.

As a boy scout, he played the bugle and was in the local scout bugle band. While at school in Edinburgh, he was chosen to sing in the famous St John's boys choir. He was regularly featured in lead roles at Christian Brothers College in Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. John was lead drummer in the college's pipe band. He went on to win the South African Junior drumming championships at the Royal Scottish gathering at Wembley in 1953. After college, John was employed at the Roan Antelope copper mine.

After spending some time there, in November 1956 he joined the Rhodesian Army in Bulawayo. He was in the 3rd Battalion of the Royal Rhodesia Regiment. While serving in the military, he served in the Congo, Nyasaland (now Malawi) and Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). During this time, he bought himself a guitar at a trading store.

While in the army, he met Bill Coleman. These two learned to play the guitar together. John soon joined his army pals, Eugene van der Watt and Ian Kerr, to form the Bushcats Skiffle Group, in 1958. The group was a huge success among its peers and progressed into cabaret and rock 'n' roll. After his military service was up, John went to England to study computers. He later moved to South Africa in the mid-1960s. John became famous in Rhodesia during the Bush War with his album Troopiesongs.

He was also a composer, writing such hits as "The UDI Song". After the war, and Zimbabwean Independence, he continued to record albums such as Zimsongs and Zimtrax.

Since 1987, John and his wife Theresa have owned and maintained a resort in South Africa named "Kunkuru". The resort is located in the Johannesburg area. John also has his own record label, Roan Antelope Music (RAM).

Bush Cat's Home page