Afro baby! a tribute to a funksoulsista

the week starts with rather sad news,  one of America’s greatest singers is deceased; Whitney Houston (Newark, August 9, 1963 – Beverly Hills, February 11, 2012) RIP.

Her music is certainly not among my favorites but its influence and impact on modern singers is huge and above all, her descent from a famous family of musicians like mother Cissy Houston and cousin of singer Dionne Warwick is quite remarkable. She started her career as a background singer for Elvis Presley and Aretha Franklin and received  in her career more Grammy Awards then any other female singer before her. To die at an early age of 48 is certainly too young, you will be missed.

Whitney Houston Afro 1970s

As a tribute to Whitney Houston today I therefore present one of the many hair styles that the singer often wore in public; the Afro.

see also Blue Elephant -Black Is Beautiful -cover art

In the mid-1960s, the Afro hairstyle began in a fairly tightly coiffed form – such as the hairstyle that became popular amongst members of the Black Panther Party, as the 1960s progressed towards the 1970s, the overall size or Afros- both within and outside of the African -American community- grew and grew.

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Model: Gioia Petersen
 Photographer: Kevin van der Brug © 2012
Hair & make-up: Bonnie Rae for House of Hulsman

Such large Afros were famously sported by African American entertainers and socio-political figures, political activist Angela Davis, actress Pam Grier, rock musician Jimi Hendrix, and the members of the musical groups The Jackson 5 and The Supremes are prominent examples. But also fashionable black South Africans wore the Afro as a proud token of their heritage.

Mahotella Queens in the 70’s
Thula Mabota -Watch Out

Since those days, the Afro is no longer a feature of a conscious political choice but a curly fashion for men and women. These days this particular hairdo really knows no limits in terms of color or race.

Manzini Girls -afro wig SWB 229

Manzini Girls -Afro Wig SWB 229

see also previous post Township Soul & Boogie -At The Club- Soul Safari 1 year!

Model -Debra Shaw

Photography -Frits Kok © 2000

Make-up Topolino (Paris) , Hair -Caroline (Paris)

Eddy De Clercq & Friends -Miss Ghana (Afro Baby)

afro_funk logo by brev87

source Wikipedia & various

Blue Elephant -Manu Dibango 1974

in my previous post on the Blue Elephant label I promised to highlight the Manu Dibango album (BE 877 041).  A few readers reacted eagerly to see and hear more, so here it is.

For some mysterious reasons the same album got a release on Pink Elephant (PE 877 068) as well. It is self-titled and the songs were recorded in Paris at the Sofrason Studios in 1973. Parts of this album originally appeared as the album “Makossa Man” (Fiesta 360 048, France) while “Pepe Soup” was added to the US release with the same title.  The Dutch release on Blue Elephant has  “New Bell”, “O Boso” as extra additions and a few other alternative tracks which make this album quite unique.

Manu Dibango album  Blue Elephant(BE 877 041)

side 1

1. New Bell

2. Pepe Soup

3. Sango Pous Pous

4. Mwassa Makossa

5. Ashiko Go

side 2

1. O Boso

2. Weya

3. Dangwa

4. Senga

5. Soul Makossa

All titles by Manu Dibango. Produced by J.P.Martin. Original Sofrason Recording 1973. Released in Holland 1974.