Zeal Onyia was certainly one of the legendary master trumpeters whose skill was acknowledged by none other than Louis Armstrong and ET Mensah of Ghana who both jammed with him in 1966 in Lagos and Accra. Eddie Okonta the fabulously talented wit and Racconteur who was an excellent trumpeter and who could also tell salacious and ribald jokes by making a play on his own name in Yoruba. Essentially the one that comes to mind is his flawless rendition in Yoruba about two friends Eddy and Okonta who went to steal but  Eddy was caught.The owner of the property then said unless he sees Okonta he would not leave Eddy alone.. His Royal Highness  Professor Laz Ekwueme also comes to Mind.He is the brother of  Second Republic vice President Alex Ekwueme and was a Professor of Musicology at Unilag.He now occcupies the throne of his Fore Fathers at Oko In Anambra state.He is in a class of his own and is ranked up there With the Likes of Professor Ayo Bankole and the Late Sammy Akpabot of University of  Ibadan.
 
I also enjoyed the Second All African game song which was released in 1973 and enjoyed listening to it.The song was Makkossa at it’s best and great.Even today is till sing the Chorus from ”Congo to Nigeria”.Other phrases were thanking  General Gowon,Mobolaji Johnson and Abraham Ordia.The record still exists in perfect condition in our family archives in Ibadan.I also remember the Festac 77 song.The official song was great.” Festac 77, 77” is here. I also enjoyed the song for the International year of the Child in 1979. ”Let a new earth rise let another world be born.International year of the Child” I dare not forget Osibisa the Nigeria and Ghanaian band  or the 9 year old boy from Cameroon Who used to sing ”Look up Look up i see the sky”. His name eludes me now.
 
 
Around the time  of the meteoric rise of Juju simultaneously in The Yoruba muslim Community some geniuses were at work.In the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s there was the convergence of various music forms such as Agidigbo,Were and Sakara to what is now universally acclaimed as Fuji.Back then the music was popular during Ramadan festivals.Yours truly had a share of the delicious Ramadan Ram.Those were days when we were all NigeriansIt is of note that MKO Abiola played  Agidigbo music in Abeokuta as a youth. I also enjoy Apala music and the lights of Apala were Ayinla Omowura who unfortunately died to soon.He was killed in a bar room brawl by a Lagos socialite Ejigbadero who paid for his Crime by Hanging for the maestros murder.I remamber Ligali Mukaiba for his song” Ijoba Lagos”.Haruna Ishola was however my favourite we had quite a nuber of his albums particularly ”Egbe Amuludun Ikenne” Others include ” Eyin tin peri wa Saida” which talks about evil doers.His ode to his dear friend Alhaji Owonifari ” Iku Owonifari” His use of voice and drums to show his sorrow was very skilful and almost 40 years after you hear his sorrow and feel it.His Yoruba proverbs are extraordinary and till date i still hear new meanings in his deep songs. Haruna Ishola is however more important in another way was his establishment of his own private Music Company called Afrodisc and this was the one that made sure Kris Okotie’s massive hit ”I need someone ” was made in 1980 on his label.The produced was none other than the legendary Odion Iruoje. This was the beginning of the Hits in the 80’s by Kris Okotie, Jide Obi, Terra kotta of ”Lamentation from Sodom fame”. Yes indeed as Shakespeare said in Julius Ceasar  Haruna Ishola bestrode the world of Music like a collosus.
 
I also enjoy Sakara leading exponents were Abibu Oluwa, Yusuf Olatunji and Saka Layigbade. Were music by Alhaji Dauda Epo Akara whose break out song was in my opinion his Love song in what i would call Yoruba English’One Day One day one i met a pretty girl who wanted to know my name” For Waka Alhaja Batuli Alaka, Alhaja Kuburat Alaragbo and the Waka queen herself Salawa Abeni who started as a child prodigy come to mind. Other people were Alhaji Ajadi Ilorin who played in a style like Haruna Ishola.
 
The Fuji stars of Today such As Kollington  Ayinla whose stand out record was Ijo Yoyo and Sikiru Ayinde Barrister with Fuji Garbage also Wasiu Ayinde Marshall” Eku Atijo”
 
Now i will mention my favourite records from various artistes which i consider the bare essentials of any music collection on those artistes.
 

Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey

  1. Board Members
    2.Man Horse and son the proverbial song about not being able to satisfy everybody
    3.” Eni ri nkan he”  About not actively looking for something getting it by luck and now not wanting to leave it alone
    4. Ki lo le fa lala koko fefe
    5. Awolowo an ode to Awo on his death in 1987  the phrase i really enjoyed was ”Eja nla lo Lomi” Awo’s death is like that of a big fish leaving the ocean
    6. Medley of praise songs about various Yoruba traditional rulers ranging from Ife to Ibadan to Ogbomosho
    7.Praise songs particularly Alhaji Danjuma l’Agege of Danjuma Cinema’s Those who watched movies in the 60’s and 70’s would remember the Indian movies of the time and actors such as Guitar and Sitar,Dhamendra,Rajesh Kapor and Amitabh Bachan.Well Alhaji Danjuma showed them all in his popular Cinema house in Agege
    8The Coronation of His Royal Highness the Alake of Egbaland Oba Oyebade Lipede in 1972
    9.Eda  to mo se Okunkun
    10. Mukulu Mukeke
    11. His first hit in 1963 Olomi Jowo
    12. Babu Lukudi in which he lambasted in a masterful poetic way his detractors who were spreading a nasty rumor that he was involved in making money via a medicine that made the abdomen big

 

King Sunny Ade

  1. E ki lo fomo Ode

  2. Synchro system

  3. Oloolu recorded in 1969

  4. Festac 77

  5. Elejigbo His royal Highness Oba Omowonuola Oyeyode Oyesosi who mounted the crown of his fathers in 1974 and is incidentally turning 70 this month

  6. Ogun Lakaaye an ode to the Yoruba God of Iron

  7. Jaa fun mi

  8. Dr Sehinde a physician with impeccable skills who got sanctioned by the Nigerian Medical Council for the publicity of the record which contravened the statutes of the Nigerian Medical council

  9. Ogidan

  10. Eyin Omo Yoruba  KSA’s masterful interpretation of JA Araba’s song of the same title. It is simply wonderful

  11. Kiti Kiti Kiti Kiti, Kira Kita Kira Kita

  12. Kini mbaro which essentially means What shall i say?

 

Orlando Owoh

  1. Kangaroo which is about Marital issues ”If you marry to poor man you become liability to the poor man"

  2. Iyawo Olele

  3. Alagbon about his detention in Alagbon close for various activities which we shall not go in to here.It is very humurous and at times sarcastic.My favourite part was when he mentioned the various people he met and was scared of including Aunty Ayo,Omeben and Kaltungo.Chris Omeben the now retired Deputy Inspector General of Police was certainly one of Nigerians finest a highly disciplined and No nonsense Police officer.He is now a Christian minister in Nigeria.Kaltungo was also a well respected senior Police officer.In those days Alagbon close in Ikoyi was the CID other wise known as Criminal investigation department those were in the days before EFCC,NDLEA etc

  4. Ganja a song in praise of Marijuana .It brings back memories of Bob Marley’s Kaya ”I’ ve got to have Kaya now Kaya Kaya cos the rain is falling” and his Easy Skanking also Peter Tosh ”Legalize it’

Fela

For Fela the essentials of any collection worth it’s name include the following among others.These songs are so familiar that i would just list them
 
  1. Shakara Oloje
    2.Lady
    3.ITT  International Thief Thief
    4.Kalakuta show his 1974 masterpiece
    5.Original sufferhead
    6.Power Show
    7. Upside Down the only song that i know by Fela that somebody else did the vocals and this was Isadore an African American lady who spent sometime jamming with Fela at the shrine.Other people that spent extensive times with Baba include Hugh Masakela whose version of Lady i really like.Roy Ayers and Ginger Baker to name a few.
    8. Demokrazy– Demonstration of Craze
    9. Coffin for head of state
    10. 1969 Los Angeles records this is Fela in the Pre Afrika 70 days and his songs are short and quite nice
    11.Palaver
    12.Zombie
    13.Johhny Just drop
    14. Na Poi
    15. Unknown Soldier
    16 Unnecessary Begging
    17 Beast of No Nation
    18 Suffering and Smiling

 
I would like to thank every body for their E-mails and contributions. Coming soon is a series on Nigerian Heroes and people that every Nigerian should know something about.

 


Orems, A founding Member of NVS is a St Louis-based MD


 

 

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