Another gem brought to my attention by the good folks at the Strut (shout out to willie_fugal).

Matthew LaVoie, executive producer of Voice of America’s African Beat radio show, has dug up some radio recordings of Fela Kuti during his highlife period in the 60s with the Koola Lobitos Band, with whom Fela began cultivating the sound that we know now as Afrobeat. Here’s a snippet of what LaVoie has to say about the find:

I thought I would feature what is arguably the most ‘famous’ tape in our archive; Leo’s never-released 1965 reel of Fela Ransome-Kuti and his Koola Lobitos that caught the Afrobeat pioneers at an interesting time in their careers. Fela had returned to Lagos two years earlier (after several years of musical study at Trinity College in London) and the Koola Lobitos were starting to get noticed in Nigeria.

Here’s a taste of one of the recordings:
[audio:|titles=Fela Ransome-Kuti & his Koola Lobitos ‘Magbe Yenwa’]

There’s much more at LaVoie’s original blog post, including more tunes, lots of good background and an interview with Fela that aired in 1967. Please check it out.

source: [ Voice of America's African Music Treasures blog ]