What a talent! If she had been given more opportunities, Vivienne would have become an international sensation.She sang with a number of Bands including The Duke’s Combo, and mesmerised heraudiences with her wonderful delivery. She also performed with some international visitors including Percy Sledge.She later became an integral part of The Golden City Dixies. She was a mother figure to many of the younger artists and nurtured many of them. Vivienne featured as the support act for Tom Jones, Eartha Kitt, and The Hues Corporation when they toured South AfricaVivienne made a few recordings including a wonderful version of “Hey”.(I believe that a video exists of Vivienne Kensley performing. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to obtain it.)
Updated 15 September 2021
Tribute by Jonathan StevensVivienne Kensley was our "Showbiz Mum" in Durban. She kept an open house for all artists in showbiz from all over the country. One would be fortunate to meet performers from all groups there whether it be the cast of the African Musical Maropa, the Dixies or performers from the Himalaya Hotel. We were all drawn there by Vivienne's warm welcome. I remember when I returned from the UK and she called me and said, "Come over and sit with us." with that wonderful Cape lilt. She was a tremendous talent, would tell you straight when you were out of line and was a wonderful hostess, entertaining us with her charm, food and drinks. I remember seeing her on the Percy Sledge show at the Shah Jehan Cinema where she sang," It Must Be Him” and “This is my life". She is sadly missed.
(Thanks to Samantha Davies and Jonathan Stevens for providing some pictures of Vivienne, to Tertius Louw for images of one of her records and Marq Vas for Begin The Beguine)