Johannesburg-born Colin MacDonald, aka Mac the Knight, has been a professional musician and performer on keyboards, guitar and vocals since 1975. In this musical Voices from the North interview we play five of Colin’s lively swing songs from his album called Time to Shine and we speak about his radio show Diamonds in the Dust.

The five songs we play during the hour are:

All Dressed Up

Savoy Shuffle

Time to Shine

A Million Faces


After finishing school, a year’s national service, a failed attempt at University and various aborted career pathways, he was halfway through a piano craftsman’s apprenticeship when the lure of professional music finally won him over.

A 4-year hiatus to gain an electronics qualification finally convinced him that a 7-5 job in a petrochemical plant was not his ideal, and he set about re-establishing his musical career in earnest. A series of personal ‘emotional learning curves’ provided the impetus for him to finally achieve a long-held ambition of starting to write his own songs.

Colin has gigged with many popular bands in his native South Africa, as well as fronting his band, Mac the Nite, who also released an album of self-penned material and had considerable TV and radio exposure in that country. He has since successfully performed on the UK and European circuit, solo and duo.      

Finally reunited with a long-lost flame from his youth, he moved his life to New Zealand, where he embarked on yet another new career, that of teaching secondary school music.

Finding less and less fulfilment in live gigging, Colin has found a gratifying creative outlet in compiling and presenting a regular one-hour radio program called Diamonds in the Dust, in which he exposes some of his collection of little-known musical treasures, many of which have probably never been broadcast before.

Listen here for the complete interview:

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John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.