Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Far More Than a Footnote

September 8th, 2010 · No Comments

Focusing on various paying gigs today, so just a quick music clip to tide y’all over. The above is Segun Bucknor’s brief appearance in the excellent Ginger Baker in Africa; he’s the man in the lime-green vest behind the dancers. With Comb & Razor provides some much-needed background on the largely forgotten Afrobeat pioneer here:

As a student at the venerable King’s College, Bucknor sang in the choir, and at the age of 15 he got the chance to play and recorded with highlife bandleader Roy Chicago’s Rhythm Dandies dance band. By 1964, highlife was becoming old hat for post-independence Nigerian youth; a Beatles-aping quartet called The Cyclops had inspired a wave of high school rock & roll bands. With three school friends (including future esteemed photojournalist Sunmi Smart-Cole) and played mostly covers of popular pop and rock songs. The following year, he left the band to study liberal arts and ethnomusicology at New York’s Columbia University, and it was during his three-year sojourn in the US that his imagination was captured by a sound that had heretofore not made much of a splash in Nigeria–soul music, particularly the music of Ray Charles.

What I love most about Bucknor is the fact that he eventually chucked the music biz for a career in…journalism. Talk about the road less traveled…


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