... may I recommend some reading materials?
I’ve previously mentioned the Nigerian blogger known as Comb & Razor. I am happy to do so again. He writes about the kaleidoscope of African pop music with much humor and affection.
Also, he shares some tasty tracks. Like “Happy Birthday” by Harry Mosco, a hardcore funker known to few outside of Africa. As Comb & Razor blogged in April: “If you ever attended a birthday party in Nigeria in the early 80s, I’m sure you’ll remember this track!”
C&R’s isn’t the only African music blog on my blogroll. There’s also Likembe, done with love by Milwaukee’s John B.
Here’s John with Oliver de Coque, a Nigerian bandleader who passed away last month.
John B. also shares obscure and out-of-print tracks. Such as “Goodbye Hully!” by Kenya’s Brother Charlly Computer & the Gloria Kings.
John wrote in May that this single, from the early to mid 1980s, was among the last 45s to be pressed in Kenya... because “record piracy pretty much killed the format.”
An old reference book also has been useful to me in learning some basics about African music. The 1989 edition of the U.K.’s “Penguin Encyclopedia of Popular Music” provides pithy histories of various national styles, from juju (Nigeria) to mbaqanga (South Africa) to ziglibithy (Ivory Coast).
There is so much out there to explore!