Ghana Month: 12 Solid Music Bands Before The 90s That Made A Mark On Ghana’s Music Industry (Pt.2)
Exactly a week ago, The Ghana Report, as part of its special edition of the Ghana Month Diary, highlighted some bands that entertained Ghanaians from the 1970s to the 90s.
The art of combining words and sounds to produce melodic songs is one of the many gifts of Ghanaians.
In the era before Ghana’s independence, highlife was the most popular music genre that existed and was well patronized. Some performed in live bands to entertain people at events.
Some famous highlife musicians who were able to form their live bands were Emmanuel Tetteh Mensah, popularly known as E.T. Mensah, E.K. Nyame, Nana Kwame Ampadu, Kwabena Okine, Kobina Onyinah, Kwabena Nimo, and Alfred Benjamin Crentsil. There were other highlife legends like Paapa Yankson, Awurama Badu, and Nana Tuffour.
Ten bands were mentioned in the first segment, and today’s edition also focuses on another set of 12 Solid Music Bands Before The 90s That Made A Mark On Ghana.
- Carousel 7 Band
Charles Kofi Amankwaa Mann, known as C.K Mann, was a famous highlife artist in the 70s and 80s.
C.K. Mann became a virtuous guitar player in Ghana when he played with Moses Kweku Oppong in the Kakaikus Guitar Band in the early 60s.
He formed the Carousel 7 Band in the 60s with other highlife musicians.
Some of his hit songs during the days of his performances were ‘Adwoa Yankey’ and ‘Edina Benya’.
He was born in 1936 and joined his ancestors in 2018.
- Akwaboah Superstars Band
The Akwaboah Superstars Band was formed by Kwabena Akwaboah Snr. in the 60s. His name is familiar, right? He is the father of Kwadwo Akwaboah and the grandfather of Gladstorm Kwabena Akwaboah Jnr, well known as Awaboah Jnr.
Kwadwo Akwaboah and Akwaboah Jnr
Akwaboah Superstars Band played in Ghana and other countries. Their energetic performance was a source of entertainment in the olden days.
- Sunsum Band
Smart Nkansah formed the Sunsum Band in the early 80s. Smart Nkansah mostly performed shows with Agyaaku, Becky B, and Doris Amuzu, affectionately called Sunsum Show Girls.
The band gained fame in Ghana and other countries.
Some songs by Smart Nkansah are ‘Emaa bekum marima’, ‘Hwan na oreba yi’,’Susuka’, ‘Odo’, ‘Gye wani’, ‘Mpena Twe’ and others.
- Snr Eddie Donkoh Band
Snr Eddie Donkor’s Band was formed in 1963. The owner named the band after himself. He used to perform with other highlife artists in the olden days. He gained popularity in Ghana and other countries like Nigeria.
One of his hit songs which stayed with many Ghanaians after his demise, is ‘Ka Na Wu’.
- Canadoes Super Stars Band
Canadoes Super Stars Band was one of the bands from Ghana which became popular in Nigeria and other African countries.
The band was formed in the 80s by Kwame Danso. He also used to perform with highlife friends at events.
He has songs like ‘Menyeden’, ‘Oga sorry’, ‘Esu A Meresu Yi’, ‘Maria’, and others.
- Western Diamonds Band
The Western Diamonds Band was formed in the 80s by Benjamin Paapa Kofi Yankson, known as Paapa Yankson.
His band was one of the most loved bands in the 80s. Paapa Yankson performed in Ghana and other countries.
Paapa Yankson was born in 1944 and died in 2017.
His had insightful songs like ‘Okukuseku’, ‘Show Your Love’, ‘Ɔtanhun’, ‘Jealousy’, ‘Abam Kofi’, ‘Tena M’enkyɛn’, ‘Woara Na Menye Wo Bɛkɔ’ and others.
- Ashiedu Keteke Band/ Cultural Group
Ashiedu Keteke, often associated with the cultural groups, was formed in the 70s by some Ga people. They did not only perform in the Greater Accra Region, as the group’s performance caught the attention of all tribes.
Most of their songs are currently being used by cultural groups that perform at funerals, enstoolment of chiefs and queens, and schools that compete in cultural displays.
- Marriott International Band
The Marriot International Band was one of the trending bands in the early 90s due to their blend of vocals.
The band was made up of seven males and one female. The group was always seen at events playing to amuse guests.
The group often travelled overseas to release new songs for their band. They used to be invited to perform at big events in Ghana and other countries.
- Kumapem Royals Band
The Kumapem Royals Band was formed by Mr Akwasi Ampofo Adjei, also known as Mr AAA or Dada Thick.
This band did not only fight for its own but strived to support other bands and highlife artists when he was alive.
His band got the opportunity to display in Ghana and other countries.
Some of his songs are ‘If you do good you do for yourself’, ‘Obiara nfan’adwene mbra’ ‘Girl bi nti’, ‘Opuro Kwaku’, ‘Ehye wo bo’ ‘Fa no sa’, ‘Ebe to Da’ and others.
Mr. Ampofo Adjei died in 2004.
- Alex Konadu Band
Alex Konadu Band was formed in the 70s by Mr Alex Konadu and some highlife musicians. Alex Konadu was well-known in Ghana and other countries.
The ‘Pay Day’ hitmaker contributed significantly to the Ghana music industry as he focused on projecting Ghana’s image through music in other countries.
He was honoured on several occasions due to his performances at events.
His songs include ‘Ewieye’, ‘Mewo Ama Wo’, ‘Asem Bi Adi Bone’, ‘Obi Abawuo’, ‘Pay Day’ and others.
- Noble Kings Band
The Noble Kings Band was formed by Dr K. Gyasi in the early 60s. During 1960 and 1970, the Noble Kings Band used to be one of the well-known guitar bands in Ghana and other countries due to invitations to perform there.
The founder was one of the few elites in the country in that era. He contributed significantly to Ghanaian music.
- Yamoah Band
Yamoah Band was formed by one highlife pioneer known as Yamoah in 1957, the year Ghana gained independence from the British regime.
This band played a crucial role in the Ghana music industry as they chanted patriotic songs, and others aimed to inspire Ghanaians.
Some of his songs were ‘Suro Nea Obesee Wo’, ‘Comfort Mensu Bio’, ‘Otan Gu Ahorow’, ‘Menua Baa Ahoofe’, ‘Etia Woa ‘Na Etia Wo’, ‘Saa Na Odo Te’ and others.