Chisa Album Discography
By David Edwards and Mike Callahan
Last update: August 4, 2012

Hugh Masekela The Chisa label was owned by Hugh Masekela. The label was founded in 1965 and lasted until the mid-1970s. Masekela was born in South Africa in 1939 and became master of trumpet and other brass instruments. He came to the US in 1960 and studied trumpet at the Manhattan School of Music from 1960-64. He recorded two albums for Mercury and three for MGM before he founded his own label, Chisa, in 1965. In 1966, he recorded an album, The Emancipation of Hugh Masekela, which he released on Chisa and then signed a three-year recording contract with Uni Records as a performer. Uni reissued The Emancipation of Hugh Masekela as his first album.

While Chisa was distributed by Uni, they used their catalog numbers and label, with a small Chisa production logo on the labels. By 1968, Chisa itself was being distributed by Buddah, although Masekela's own records remained with Uni. In 1969, Masekela's contract with Uni expired, and he signed a three-year distribution agreement with Motown for Chisa including his own records as a performer as part of the deal.

In 1972, when the Motown agreement expired, Chisa switched to Blue Thumb for distribution in a joint Chisa/Blue Thumb label. This lasted until 1974, but even after that, Masekela's Chisa Records still produced records for the Blue Thumb label for at least a year beyond that point.

Even after the demise of Chisa in the mid-1970s, Masekela continued to perform, releasing new material well into the twenty-first century.

The Chisa album label (far left) during both independent distribution and Motown distribution was red and pink with black print, with "CHISA" above the center hole in white. During the Uni days, the Uni label was used (near left) with a small Chisa production logo.
During the Chisa/Blue Thumb partnership, the label had a red Chisa logo superimposed on a blue Blue Thumb logo at the top left of the label. The label had some color variation. The Chisa/Blue Thumb label appeared in a near-white or grey (far left) and later a light tan (near left).
The first Chisa singles (far left) were pink and red with a black logo and a black label name. Around the bottom of the label it read "distributed by CHISA Records, Inc., made in U.S.A." Starting in 1967, Hugh Masekela's recordings were on the Uni label with a Chisa production logo (near left)
The Chisa label quickly changed (far left) to a white logo and label name. Promotional copies like this one had the same label as commercial releases, but with a promotional overprint. By 1968, when they were distributed by Buddah for a few singles (near left), the logo and label name were gold, with a Buddah distribution notice around the bottom.
Starting in late 1969 with Motown distribution (far left), the label design remained the same, but the information around the bottom of the label read, "Exclusively Distributed by Motown Record Corp." Promotional copies pressed by Motown (near left) had a white label with black print.
Chisa also had a matching custom sleeve (far left) for the singles. During the Chisa/Blue Thumb partnership, the singles labels (near left) were similar to the album labels.

We would appreciate any additions or corrections to this discography. Just send them to us via e-mail. Both Sides Now Publications is an information web page. We are not a catalog, nor can we provide the records listed below. We have no association with Chisa or Motown Records. Should you be interested in acquiring albums listed in this discography (which are all out of print), we suggest you see our Frequently Asked Questions page and follow the instructions found there. This story and discography are copyright 2012 by Mike Callahan.



Number - Title - Artist - [Release Date] Contents

Chisa CHM 100 (mono)/CHS 4000 (stereo) Series:

CHM 101/CHS 4001 - The Emancipation of Hugh Masekela - Hugh Masekela [1966] Chisa/Why Are You Blowing My Mind?/She Doesn't Write/Felicidade//De Me So La So So/Ha Lese Le Di Khanna/What Is Wrong With Groovin'?/Child Of The Earth/SQO

Uni/Chisa 3000 (mono)/73000 (stereo) Series:

3007/73007 - The Emancipation of Hugh Masekela - Hugh Masekela [1967] Reissue of Chisa 101. Chisa/Why Are You Blowing My Mind?/She Doesn't Write/Felicidade//De Me So La So So/Ha Lese Le Di Khanna/What Is Wrong With Groovin'?/Child Of The Earth/SQO

3010/73010 - Hugh Masekela's Latest - Hugh Masekela [1967] (8-67, #151) Baby, Baby, Baby/Society's Child (Baby I've Been Thinking)/Lily The Fox/Groove Me/Thula/Mago/Arrastao/Reza (Laia Ladaia)/I Just Wasn't Made For These Times/Here, There And Everywhere/Mazeze

3015/73015 - Hugh Masekela Is Alive and Well at the Whisky - Hugh Masekela [1967] (1-68, #90) MRA (Christopher Columbus)/Little Miss Sweetness/A Whiter Shade Of Pale/Up-Up And Away/Son Of Ice Bag/Senor Coraza/Coincidence/Ha Lese Le Di Khanna

73022 - Dancin' Through the Streets - Johannesburg Street Band [1968] Thimlela/What's The Matter Zulu?/Gwigwi/Special Branch/Pata Pata//No Passport/Letter To Prospect Township/Isangoma/Foyi-Foyi/Ntyilo-Ntyilo

73028 - The Promise of a Future - Hugh Masekela [1968] (6-68, #17) Ain't No Mountain High Enough/Madonna/No Face, No Name And No Number/Almost Seedless/Stop//Grazing In The Grass/Vuca (Wake Up)/Bajabula Bonke (The Healing Song)/There Are Seeds To Sow

73041 - Masekela - Hugh Masekela [1969] (3-69, #195) A Mace And Grenades/Boeremusiek/Gold/Sobukwe/Blues For Huey/Gafsa//Fuzz/Head Peepin'/Otis/Riot/If There's Anybody Out There/Extra Added Attraction

73051 - The Best of Masekela - Hugh Masekela [1969] Grazing In The Grass/Ha Lese Le Di Khanna/Coincidence/Felicidade/Chisa//Son Of Ice Bag/If There's Anybody Out There/Riot/Up-Up And Away/Bajabula Bonke

Chisa CS 800 Series (Distributed by Motown):

CS-801 - It's Never Too Late - Monk Montgomery [1/70] Big Boy/Sunday Stroll/Can We Talk To You?/Your Love/A Place In The Sun//It's Never Too Late/The Lady/Bluesette/My Cherie Amour/How High The Moon

CS-802 - [Unissued]

CS-803 - Reconstruction - Hugh Masekela [7/70] You Keep Me Hangin' On/I Will/I Can't Dance/Father Time (Maybe Then You'll Know)/Make Me A Potion//Sala Le Mane/Leave Us Alone/Woza/Both Sides Now/Traces

CS-804 - Old Socks New Shoes, New Socks Old Shoes - Jazz Crusaders [7/70] (10-70, #90) Thank You/Funny Shuffle/Why Do You Laugh at Me?/Jackson!/Rainy Night In Georgia//Golden Slumbers/Jazz!/Time Has No Ending/Hard Times/Way Back Home

CS-805 - Letta - Letta [9/70] Listed in the 1970 Motown catalog as CS-601, but probably was never issued with that number. Mahlalela (Lazy Bones)/Use Mncane (Little One)/I Won't Weep No More/You Touched Me/Melodi (Sounds of Home)//I Need Your Love/Maacongo/What Shall I Do?/Jigijela (Don't Throw Stones)/Qongoza (Knock)

CS-806 - Bass Odyssey - Monk Montgomery [5/71] Journey To The Bottom/Personage/Sister Lena//Fuselage, Part 1/Fuselage, Part 2/Foxy Gypsy

CS-807 - Pass the Plate - Crusaders [5/71] (6-71, #168) Pass The Plate: Tap N' Shuffle-Sing For Your Keep-Beggin'-Haggin' Stomp!-Pennies Nickels And Dimes/Young Rabbits-'71-'72//Listen And You'll See/Greasy Spoon/Treat Me Like Ya Treat Yaself/Goin' Down South/Love Can't Grow Where The Rain Won't Fall

CS-808 - Hugh Masekela and the Union of South Africa - Hugh Masekela & Union of South Africa [5/71] Goin' Back To New Orleans/Ade/To Get Ourselves Together/Johannesburg Hi-Lite Jive/Mamani//Shebeen/Dyambo/Caution!/Hush (Somebody's Calling My Name)

CS-809 - Mosadi - Letta [Unissued] This album appears in the August 1972 Schwann catalog but was not released.

Chisa/Blue Thumb BTS 6000 Series (Distributed by Blue Thumb):
Not all albums in the 6000 series were Chisa albums.

BTS 6001 - Crusaders I - Crusaders [1972] (3-72, #96) (2-LP set) That's How I Feel/So Far Away//Put It Where You Want It/Mystique Blues/Full Moon//Sweet Revival/Mud Hole/It's Just Gotta Be That Way/Georgia Cottonfield//A Shade Of Blues/Three Children/Mosadi (Woman)

BTS 6003 - Home Is Where the Music Is - Hugh Masekela [1972] (2-LP set) Part Of A Whole/Minawa//The Big Apple/Umhomé/Maseru//Inner Crisis/Blues For Huey/Nomali//Maesha/Ingoo Pow-Wow

BTS 6007 - Unsung Heroes - Crusaders [1973] (11-73, #173) Unsung Heroes/Lay It On The Line/Crossfire/Hard Times/Let's Boogie/Freedom Sound//In The Middle Of The River/Heavy Up- Don't Get Light With Me/Night Theme/Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep

BTS 6010 - Scratch: Recorded Live at the Roxy - Crusaders [1974] (4-74, #73) Scratch/Eleanor Rigby//Hard Times/So Far Away/Way Back Home

BTS 6015 - I Am Not Afraid - Hugh Masekela [1974] (9-74, #149) Night In Tunisia/Been Such A Long Time Gone/In The Market Place/Jungle Jim/African Secret Society/Nina/Stimela (Coaltrain)

Note: At this point, Chisa/Blue Thumb label is no longer used, and label changes to ABC-Blue Thumb label. Back of record jackets indicate "A Chisa Records Production."

BTSD 6022 - Chain Reaction - Crusaders [1975] (8-75, #26) Creole/Chain Reaction/I Felt The Love/Mellow Out/Rainbow Visions//Hallucinate/Give It Up/Hot's It/Sugar Cane/Soul Caravan

BTSD 6024 - Those Southern Knights - Crusaders [1976] (5-76, #38) Spiral/Keep That Same Old Feeling/My Mama Told Me So/'Til The Sun Shines//And Then There Was The Blues/Serenity/Feeling Funky

BTSY 6027-2 - Best of the Crusaders - Crusaders [1976] (12-76, #122) (2-LP set) Put It Where You Want It/Stomp And Buck Dance/Greasy Spoon/Scratch//So Far Away/Hard Times/So Far Away (Live)//Don't Let It Get You Down/Keep That Same Old Feeling/That's How I Feel/Soul Caravan//Chain Reaction/A Ballad For Joe (Louis)/Do You Remember When?/Way Back Home

BT-6029 - Free as the Wind - Crusaders [1977] (6-77, #41) Free As The Wind/I Felt The Love/The Way We Was/Nite Crawler//Feel It/Sweet n' Sour/River Rat/It Happens Everyday

BA-6030 - Images - Crusaders [1978] (7-78, #34) Fairy Tales/Marcella's Dream/Bayou Bottoms/Merry-Go-Round//Cosmic Reign/Covert Action/Snowflake

Chisa/Blue Thumb BTS 7000 Series (Distributed by Blue Thumb):

BTS 7000 - The 2nd Crusade - Crusaders [1973] (3-73, #45) (2-LP set) Chisa/Blue Thumb label. Don't Let It Get You Down/Take It Or Leave It/Gotta Get It On/Where There's A Will There's A Way/Look Beyond The Hill//Journey From Within/Ain't Gon' Change A Thing/A Message From The Inner City//A Search For Soul/No Place To Hide//D1 Tomorrow Where Are You?/Tough Talk/Do You Remember When?

Blue Thumb/ABC BTS 9000 Series (Distributed by Blue Thumb):

BTSY 9000-2 - Southern Comfort - Crusaders [1974] (10-74, #31) (2-LP set) ABC-Blue Thumb label. A Chisa Records Production for ABC-Blue Thumb. Stomp And Buck Dance/Greasy Spoon/Get On The Soul Ship (It's Sailing)/Super Stuff//Double Bubble/The Well's Gone Dry/Southern Comfort/Time Bomb//When There's Love Around/Lilies Of The Nile//Whispering Pines/A Ballad For Joe (Louis)


BBE Records (UK)
LP 069 - Hugh Masekela Presents The Chisa Years 1965-1976 (Rare and Unreleased) - Various Artists [3/27/2006] (2-LP set) The CD version of this album (right) has the same songs, but the title has the dates as 1965- 1975. Afro Beat Blues - Ojah with Hugh Masekela/Mahlalela - Letta Mbulu/Amo Sakesa - Baranta featuring Miatta Fahinbulleh//U Se Mcani - Letta Mbulu/Tepo - Baranta with Miatta Fahinbulleh/Za Labalaba - Zulus/Aredze - Zulus//Witch Doctor - Baranta with Miatta Fahinbulleh/Joala - Zulus/Ahvuomo - Baranta with Miatta Fahinbulleh//Melodi (Sounds Of Home) - Letta Mbulu/A Cheeka Laka Laka - Baranta featuring Miatta Fahinbulleh/Awe Mfana - Johanesburg Street Band/Macongo - Letta Mbulu

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