Eddie Eckstein

Eddie Eckstein

Real Name:
Edwin Richard Eckstein
Eddie was born in Bezuidenhout Valley (Johannesburg) on 29th November 1939.

Educated at Marist Brothers College, and after writing Matric, found a job at Barclays Bank.

He had been to Margate on holiday before the job began and after singing at The Palm Grove Talent Competion on a Sunday night, was promised by Al Willox ( the band leader ) that he was moving up to the Transvaal to start at a new venue called Bapsfontein. He asked him to look him up in about 4 months and he’d see if he could use him in his band.
Anyway he kept his word and offered Eddie a position as a drummer , under one proviso, he had to take up Drumming lessons with the great Gene Latimore.

Well six months later Eddie found himself working in the Bank as well as playing at Bapsfontein on Sunday afternoons and at the La Conga Roadhouse on Sunday nights.

After a few years it got to the stage he was working Monday to Saturday in the Bank, and playing every night at different venues around Joburg, as well as the Sunday Gigs.
He split with Al Willox and joined the Jimmy Rayson Band at His Majesties Cellars. Something had to give and Eddie decided to go professional for one year to get the music out of his system and settle down to a day job. He got engaged to Marie, whom he had met at the bank, and promised her to do one more contract in Bulawayo with Flippie van Vuuren’s Band, after which he would settle down.

Sometimes things don’t workout the way you plan and one morning while bathing at the local swimming bath in Borrow street Bulawayo, Barry and Eddie were listening to a new band on a portable record player….The Beatles….it blew them both away..this was going to be the way music was heading . Within a few weeks Eddie had contacted Paul, who was in Johannesburg at the time, to find he was just as excited as they were get together and form a group.

On there arrival back in Johannesburg Barry and Eddie met with Paul and started rehearsing and writing songs, much to the dismay of fellow musicians who believed that kind of music would never last,

The Bats was formed and we were soon in the recording studios. The first song released by them reached the number one spot on Springbok Radio and L.M. Radio.They worked extensively at all the main venues in S.A. and also performed in the UK where one of their compositions ‘Listen to my Heart’ reached the 7th spot on the Radio London charts. They also won a Sarie Award in the year 1970 for their composition ‘Whose that Girl’. Eddie sang one of Paul Ditchfield’s compositions ‘Oh God its Beautiful’ at the Tokyo World Song Festival in 1972 and they were placed 10th in the Final against 45 countries.

When they split up in 1980 Eddie pursued a solo career. He also was the manager of group, Pantha (1978-79). He worked extensively in cabaret and was part of the hugely successful TV show ‘Biltong & Potroast’. His other TV credits are the part of Manny Bloom in the first English sitcom ‘Oh George’ in 1981, Telly Fun Quiz in the early 90’s and numerous standup comedy spots on various variety shows on TV. He was also seen on many TV commercials.

His theatre roles included ‘Pyjama Tops’ with Rex Garner, ‘Not Now Darling’ also with Rex Garner, ‘Grin and Bear It’ with Tim Plewman, who also wrote and produced a Christmas Spectacular at the Wild Coast Sun called ‘Cyclone Eddie’

Eddie and The Bats appeared in the Brickhill Burke production of ‘I Love My Wife’ which toured South Africa for a Year and in 1981 Eddie was asked to repeat his performance as Quentin in the Australian production of the show. As in S.A., he received rave reviews for his performance. While in Australia Eddie acted in numerous TV commercials.
Upon his return to South Africa he was asked to audition for the lead role of Seymour in “A Little Shop Of Horrors”. Eddie was successful and again had rave revues for his performances.

His cabaret performances have included private functions and many corporates. He has a reputation for keeping his act clean and appealing to all members of the public. His routine would consist of singing (appropriate songs for the occasion) and standup comedy.
Eddie was invited to perform in Portugal in 1991 for the Springbok weekend.

After a sabbatical of 20 years The Bats re-formed and again have appeared at major theatres all over S.A. They recently travelled to Perth to perform for the ex-pats during the Tri Nations.

Eddie continues to share his time between The Bats and his solo career and says as long as the audiences enjoy it and as long as he enjoys it, he’ll keep on drumming and smiling with the occasional ache here and there
In Groups:


Eddie Eckstein Discography


SJET-9340-41 Various Oh God It's Beautiful Various - World Popular Song Festival In Tokyo 1971(2xLP, Comp) JVC, Nivico SJET-9340-41 Japan 1971 Sell This Version