Pennells, Robert Richard [Bobby]

Birth Date:
1912-12-21
Decease Date:

On August 18 1985, Piet Bester had the honor to talk to Bobby Pennells. It was generally accepted that all members of the Five Dagbrekers already died. Bobby, however, alive to his almost three and seven years! He definitely looks not a day older than sixty not.


Piet Bester (left) and Bobby Pennells (right) 
[Photo copyright reserved]

Robert Richard Pennells was born on December 21, 1912, in Sussex, England, and moved to the age of four with his parents to South Africa. His father, a blacksmith, settled first in Aliwal North but later moved to Johannesburg where little Bobby grew up and met Silver. They were best friends for years.

Bobby won his first banjo with a lottery. He learned to play himself, but immediately saysSilver de Lange helped him the most. He is truly lyrical when he started on Silver, talk.He says that this man vandagse concertina players could also play under the dust! He shares further note that Silver was a perfectionist. As a guitar or banjo was not pure set he could be very difficult, and as a player playing the wrong chords, or lost time, he was at his concertina folded and a turn to run. He would assist his men by word and deed, but they should really try to just do their best. He did not mess or held a afskepery. Only the best was good enough for him. If he had a good play, his eyes were always closed and a big smile appeared on his face. The men then knew that he was satisfied with their guidance.

He and his brother Gert was knowledgeable people and also a guitar on his own building, which they have been played. Bobby, a carpenter by profession, has lived in the wood gave the guitar to them. Silver was never married and had music lessons to earn his daily bread. Music was almost the alpha and omega of his lifestyle. Bobby played with overseas orchestras in his day, but say immediately that he has never been a musician as Silver did not meet. 

Although Bobby a great man, he to a ripe old age as a furniture designer in Johannesburg worked. He was still very skilled with the banjo and the proud owners of a Vega. This kind of banjo is the best a man can get. To a question whether he ever rid will become, he replied: "Not for all the tea in China." 

He said he was still proud of the fact that Hans, they Silverlight so called, always told him that he was becoming a "top musician" would be the banjo! You will remember that there was a dispute was over the picture on the covers of the heropgeneemde plates of Silver. Some people claim that it is not his photo that appeared on the covers. I gave the plate to Bobby and made the big question? He has long and looked at the photo, a distant look in getting his eyes and replied: "It's Silver, man, it was just him! Will I ever that smile from him could forget?" 

Bobby obviously other players of those years also well known. He says he often came up contact Faan Harris, Hans Bodenstein and Brother Steyn. Chris Blignaut he knew very well and has a high regard for him.