Last post we explored the roots and early development of Highlife and its spread across Ghana and West Africa. The Highlife of the 1940’s and 1950’s is very different from the genre in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, being more electric instrument and synthesiser based. But what runs through the genre apart from the structure and style is the fact that it is very much a national music that unites Ghana.
For this reason a lot of the stories of the artists are similar. Alex Konadu got into music and Highlife, whilst studying at school. He never pursued his studies further than elementary education and was taken under the wing of record producer A.K. Brobbey who moulded him into one of the most successful musicians. The first band he was in was the infamous Akwaboah’s Band for three years before he moved to the Happy Brothers Band.
Konadu’s ambition was to set up his own band and in the late 1970’s he did just this and went on to record many LPs. He was nicknamed “One Man Thousand” due to the fact that wherever he played crowds gathered to watch and listen to him. Sadly, Alex Konadu passed away on 18th January 2011 aged 63. George Ernest Asare has written a fitting obituary that can be read here.
Today’s selection is the last track from his 1979 album Agyata Wuo. A beautiful low key track that lingers long, much like the legacy of Konadu.
[audio http://k002.kiwi6.com/hotlink/ac757b5h2d/alex_konadu_bebome_mame_nko.mp3%5DBebome Mame Nko
Alex Konadu – Agyata Wuo (1979) – BHM (Brobisco House of Music) (KBL 091)