Back on familiar territory with some more Ghanaian Highlife from blog staple, Kofi Sammy and Okukuseku.
According to the sleeve notes the band was formed by Sammy along with Walter Proof, an actor and former member of E. K. Nyami’s No. 1 Band. They hit a hurdle when they realised they had no instruments to play! Thankfully, Proof’s past as an actor came in handy and they were able to borrow instruments from the Ghana Film Corporation and start recording.
Today’s post is from their second LP; it appears they recorded over 60 singles and several albums making them one of the most prolific bands in Ghana at the time. Today’s selection is a medley of their songs on side 1 of the LP. Highlife bands appeared to do this regularly perhaps to showcase their ability and range as musicians.
Record Details: Kofi Sammy and his Okukuseku Band – Bosoe Special (197?) – Ambassador (LPAM 004)
Last post I chose a deep track by Vis a Vis, which I hope was enjoyable. Today I want to show the diversity of Highlife as a style. Despite both tracks coming from Ghana and being classed as Highlife they are very different in sound but still contain all the essential ingredients, that when mixed together, make a very tasty dish; the arpeggiated guitars and driving percussion that force you to jump up and dance.
Okukuseku International Band of Ghana & Chief Sammy Kofi provide the infectious sounds today. This was the first African record I bought and is Ghanaian music at its most vibrant, like the Ghanaians, it encompasses a love of life that cannot help but move you and your feet.
Sammy Kofi is a popular legend within Ghana and set up several other bands, E.K Nyame No.1 Band and Dr. K. Gyasi’s Noble Kings, before Okukuseku. His vocals and belly laughter on this track really move things along nicely, the message is to Take Time for your life, forget about tomorrow and everything will be fine.
A very good outlook on life, especially for Monday, we all would do well to follow!
Okukuseku International Band of Ghana (Led by Chief Sammy Kofi) – Take Time (1982) – Roger All Stars (RASLPS 030)