Fans mourn passing of Prumes’ ‘hit-maker’ Ricketts

COLIN Ricketts – better known as “Little Colin” – and famous for his role as vocalist in popular 1970’s band The Prumes – has passed away.

Ricketts was born in Buffalo Flats, East London, on February 2, 1959. He shot to fame at the tender age of 13 when he joined The Prumes, a band which was initially based in East London, before moving to Cape Town in the late 70’s. They returned to the city in 1983.

Ricketts was with the band when they had a number of hits, during While with the band, he had a number of hits such as such as Shoorah Shoorah, Can’t Help Falling in Love, and Darling Forever. They received six gold albums for their chart- topping hits. which helped put East London on the map.

Then band manager Albert Campbell said they had started out in 1969, with a few members still in school or working at the time. where still in school or working at the time. As a result of them being a full-time outfit, some quit their jobs. and were in the band for the love of music.

“Colin was recruited by Ronnie Fray who knew this youngster who could hit high notes. That’s when he joined our band and, boy, could he sing,” Campbell said. Fellow band member Tubby McDonald described Ricketts as a quiet manperson who lived for his singing.

“He would practise with us and then we’d go play at concerts at night. He was very sweet and the girls went mad over him,” McDonald said.

Campbell and McDonald both agreed that even though there were child stars at the time such as Jonathan Butler and Ricardo, there was something different about Ricketts.

Little Colin left The Prumes in late 1977 to pursue his solo career. He went on to tour with Richard John Smith, Lionel Petersen, the late Ronnie Joyce, and Jonathan Butler.

McDonald said the remaining members of the band are Brain Nickall, Ronnie Fray, Albert Campbell and himself.

According to Antoinette Shaw, Ricketts was part of The Vibes, a band established by her husband, Gordon Shaw, as the lead singer in 2016. where he performed with them until he became ill.

Ricketts was diagnosed with stage three pancreatic cancer in May. He passed away peacefully in July at the age of 59.


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