Let me be the first person to let you all know that I am impressed and humbled.
I am impressed at the conversation that has emerged on this blog, amazed at the insight and knowledge that people coming here are sharing with others and more than anything else, I am impressed to the point of amazement about the passion that has been expressed about this music by so many of you who come hear.
I am truly truly humbled by the deep and breadth of knowledge that you have on the music, on the artists, on the context from which this music emerged and was produced. I am humbled about the way in which people have shared what part that this music has played in their lives.
Thank you one and all. For letting me provide a place where you can have these conversations and for visiting and sharing.
I have, sitting in my inbox right now, more music than I could possibly listen to in the next week or post about for a week of Fridays. I need to get it out there to you to enjoy.
Rather than pretend that I will find the time to organize the music and write a semblance of coherent commentary on all this music, I will do another guest write in column and get them all out to you and let you decide what works for you and what does not.
So, here goes.
A while back, Joe Farley mentioned having some older recordings that he made off a Radio Uganda shortwave transmission back in the fall of 1980 and hoped that he could get some help identifying some of the tracks on the recordings.
I have been a lifelong shortwave listener, and have a large quantity of music recorded off of African radio stations. Most of this is of pretty bad quality due to the nature of SW radio and distance (Midwestern USA). I do have have a few tracks which, even though they are mono, have pretty good quality.
In particular, I have a great 5 track set of East African music recorded off the External Service of Radio Uganda in, I believe, October 1980. This set began with 2 Les Wanyika hits (Sina Makossa & Pamela), followed by 3 tracks which I have not been able to identify.
I would be especially interested in ID’ing the 4th track, as it is a sweet and simple song with guitar licks that define the term “ear worm”. If you would be interested, I can get a copy to you. Maybe you and your readers can help me ID this. A major clue: during the rhythm drop in Part B, a vocalist is heard saying “Wooly Bully Mama Aye!”.
Can anyone help?
Here are the recordings.
A couple of tracks from Orchestra Lipua Lipua. Some of these have been up in the last couple of weeks but I have received a couple of different versions from Esororo and others and want to make sure that you have them all.
We also have some Sam Mangwana and Tabu Ley that also came in from Esororo’s page – including 2 different versions of Ibrahim
And then, in no particular order, music from Orchestra Veve and Orchestra Les Kamale and Orchestra Super Mazembe.
I have 2 Super Mazembe tracks: Salima is from the album Maloba D’Amor. The other is Longwa which is from the “Giants of East Africa” release that is a compilation of their hits from 1977 through 1986 titled after Mutonkole Longwa Didos who founded essentially founded a team that was the root of the in 1969. Sadly, with his passing, the group has seemed to flounder.
Since Orchestra Viva Makale is essentially a product of Super Mazembe and Baba Gaston, this is I guess as an appropriate a place as any to have their track of the day.
As an aside, the interwebs are amazing, I found a home page for Siama Matuzungidi who was a guitarist for Orchestra Viva Makale, Orchestra Shika Shika, Orchestra Moja One and even Ibeba System on these fabulous series of tubes.
Running out of time and steam: time to start sprinting.
This track has been removed at the request of the request of the copyright owner, Sammy Kasule and his representatives , KenTunes LLC.
And Mzee Makassy’s Orchestra Makassy.
OK, a couple of quick links & tracks then I am gone.
Eswi yo Wapi from Mbilia Bel has certainly been up here before (Nadina remains my favorite track though) and is actually one of the most popular tunes on this site in terms of sheer download volumes – I think that this is a different version from the one that I had before and some of you just might appreciate it.
Finally, Jeff Msangi who runs bongocelebrity, send this my way, a Marijani Rajab & Orchestra Dar International track that is smooth like honey. If nothing else, pay him a visit so that you can listen to DDC Milimani Park in the title track from the release Sikinde as well as read the great write up that he has on Mbaraka Mwinshehe.
This track is from Marijani Rajab Vol. 5.
For some weird reason, listening to this track made me go rooting for more Taarab and I found this gem by Elizabeth Sijola. I know nothing about her apart from the fact that she has a single included in a CD that is in print – Swahili Soul – that you can buy here
A couple of points before I go:
+ Mr. Bain, more than 5 months ago, I missed a comment that you left where you mentioned that you had a clean copy of the Franco’s track “Nakoma mbanda na mama ya mobali ngai”.
Any chance you could share?