one of the great finds during my latest digging trip in South Africa….what a beautiful collection of Calypso, Highlife, Mambo!! No date of release mentioned on label nor cover but all recordings stem from the mid to end of the 50s according to the liner notes.

This 10″ release follows volume 1 released earlier by Dutch Philips Records. And combines with another rare release which I have already reviewed in an earlier post


Victor Oly-lya and his Cool Cats -Cool Cats Invitation

Ishie Brothers -Onyeama Rosa

Sammy Akpabot and his All Stars -Save For A Rainy Day

Julius O. Araba and his Rhythm Blues -Olawafuja Sawa

Victor Ola-lya and his Cool Cats -Omolanke

Ganiyu Kale and his Guinea Mambo Orchestra -Iyawo-ile

Ishie Brothers -Mafara, kusa da sokoto

Baby Face Paul and his Top-Poppers -Ayakata

Joe Nez and his Trio -Nsonma nnem

Victor Olalya and his Cool Cats -Mumude

If you like these sounds then do check out this wonderful compilation on Soul Jazz Records.

Various ‎– Nigeria Freedom Sounds! (Popular Music & The Birth Of Independent Nigeria 1960-63)

7 thoughts on “Catchy rhythms from Nigeria 1959

  1. Tremendous music, thank you for posting! Would love to hear the other side as well ;~)

    1. thanks for your comment! I would love to post the other side as well but WORDPRESS IS GIVING ME SUCH HELL NOWADAYS TO POST.
      Sorry about that….

      1. I appreciate the fact that you persist in your efforts in spite of the technological “advances” that would vex anyone. Really, this is one of my favorite music blogs, so thank you again!

  2. Thank you for posting. What a wonderful find. Interesting that this kind of highlife music existed in Nigeria, I would have thought this was music from Ghana. The second tune is a wonderful early example of the guitar highlife stile emerging from palm wine music. The danceband highlife examples are of the kind that causes a big grin on my face. I love it. I found the fourth one interesting since it shows a little hint towards akpala and later juju music. Here you can hear it is from Nigeria. In terms of musical history, an important find!

  3. I just listened to the second side. The first tune is really interesting. The instrumentation is akpala-like but the melodics and harmonics are highlife (or perhaps church music inspired?). Sounds like a christian version of akpala as oposed to alhadji haruna ishola’s muslim one. Fascinating. The Ishie brothers are nice!
    I have heard Mumude before being played by a Ghanian band, but I don’t remember which one, if it was E.T. Mensah, The Ramblers or perhaps a band I used to hear in Hamburg, Germany in the early 1980s called Dagomba (lead by a trumpet player called Vincent Arthur). I have to check it. Would be interesting to know who originated the song or if it is a traditional.
    From the design of the cover and back, I would guess the record is from the late 1950s or the early 1960s.
    Great find, thanks for posting!

    1. so pleased with your comment. You are absolutely right about the difference in styles from Nigeria end of the 50s…that must have been quite a rich breeding ground for music in Nigeria. Thanks for your support!

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