Back in Business!

Posted May 12th, 2008 at 3:56 pm (UTC-4)

Well, almost.

I have just returned from a month out of the office. I am currently finishing up the research for several forthcoming posts. In the days to come you should be able to enjoy some rare 45s from Somalia, some great tapes from Radio Mali, and hopefully, a second installment of Mauritanian music-I was in Nouakchott two weeks ago and brought back some interesting recordings.

In the meantime, here is a great single to tide you over. These tracks, which I just recently heard for the first time, were recorded before our VOA Heartbeats recordings.

In early 1963 the group went into the studios of the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation, in Freetown, and recorded enough material for a few singles. These tracks were released in 1963 on Geraldo’s label ‘Pino Records’. None of these early singles have ever been reissued.

The biggest hit of the bunch was ‘Maria Lef For Waka’, which was composed by one of the group’s founding members, and then guitar player, Mr. Johnson ‘Dr. Dynamite’ Balogun-Williams. The ‘B-Side’ is ‘Heartbeats Merengue’, which features some great playing by percussionist Francis Fuster.

4 responses to “Back in Business!”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Welcome back! You have been missed!

  2. Anonymous says:

    lovely stuff!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thanks very much gentlemen for the encouragement! I will hopefully have some Somali singles up for your listening pleasure tomorrow.
    thanks matthew

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the memories; where can I purchase the the songs played
    on the samples?
    Malcolm Seisay



Heather Maxwell produces and hosts the award-winning radio program “Music Time in Africa” and is the African Music Editor for the Voice of America. Heather is an ethnomusicologist with Doctorate and Master’s degrees from Indiana University specializing in African Music. She is also an accomplished jazz and Afrojazz/Afrosoul vocalist and has been working, researching, and performing in Africa and the U.S. since 1987.

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