Bles Bridges

Susan van Zyl

Kemptonpark, South Africa

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Artist's Description

pencil
Canson 103 Aurore
Mi-teintes 160g/m2
65cmx50cm

Bles Bridges (22 July 1947 – 24 March 2000). He was born Lawrence John Gabriel Bridges, but became known as Bles Bridges. His Irish granddad called him Bles, because he has very thin hair from an early age. He was a much loved South African singer.

He released his first album in 1982, Onbekende Weermagman (Unknown Soldier). His professional career began in 1984, with the release of his second album, BLES which went gold in under a month (25,000 copies) and included Maggie, one of his most loved songs. It sold twice that by the time his third album was released. At the time of his death, he sold more than two and a half million albums (records and CDs’.

Soon Bles Bridges began alternating between an Afrikaans and English language album, to great acclaim. He also began working with Eurovision South Africa. In 2000, he began recording an album with his ftiends in the music industry. The first song – a duet with Patricia Lewis (and last song as it turned out, as he died within a week of finishing the song) was “The First Kiss Goodnight” by Dennis East; it was recorded on March 21, 2000.

In the 1980s he held a concert in support of the AWB Volkhulpskema (People’s Help Scheme) which raised 10,000 Rand (he was there as an artist, not by personal belief).

He had cancer during the eighties and gave mildly to charity after his recovery, for cancer research etc.

His wife, Leonie was his soundengineer and the composer and/or songwriter of most of his songs, including most of his biggest hits, including “MAGGIE” and “I AM THE EAGLE, YOU’RE THE WIND” among others.

His biggest hit was “Ruiter van die Windjie” (Rider of the Wind) which was released in 1986.

He loved life and roses, and he gave roses to the front audience members (women) at all his concerts.

His career highlight was when he performed to a soldout “SUPERBOWL” at SUN CITY, 5 times on 1 weekend, becoming the first and only artist to do so, as feature artist on 14 and 15 May 1987. In fact he drew a bigger crowd than Frank Sinatra did when he opened the “Superbowl” in 1982.

Bles died in a motorcar accident on 24 March 2000. He left his wife, Leonie and children Sunette and Victor behind. More than 15 000 mourners turned up for his funeral.

Albums Released (Records and CDs)

Artwork Comments

  • Magriet Meintjes
  • Susan van Zyl
  • thefamily
  • webbie
  • Susan van Zyl
  • Mary Sedici
  • Susan van Zyl
  • Norma-jean Morrison
  • WhiteDove Studio kj gordon
  • GEORGE SANDERSON
  • craftloft
  • JUSTART
  • Pieta Pieterse
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