Filed under: Ethiopia
Tilahoun Gessesse was one of the most popular singers of Ethiopia‘s “Golden Age” in the 1960s – nicknamed “The Voice”. There are four posts (so far) that cover the legendary musician over at the mighty Likembe blog.
Artist Dr. Tilahun Gessesse was born to Woizero Gete Gurmu and Ato Gessesse Wolde Kidan on Sunday, September 27, 1942, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. When he was fourteen years old, he was taken by his grandfather to Woliso. While he was in Woliso, he began attending Ras Gobena Elementary School. As time went by, his interest in music became so clear that his grandfather urged him to concentrate in his school studies instead of music. On the other hand, the Ras Gobena School Principal Mr. Shedad (Sudanian) who realized Tilahun’s interest in music urged him to go to Sudan to pursue his interest in music. Even though young Tilahun did not go to Sudan to pursue his music career, he took Mr. Shedad’s advice very seriously. When artists form Hager Feker Theater, Woizro Negatwa Kelkai, Ato Eyoel Yohanes and others came to Ras Gobena Elementary School to perform, Tilahun grabbed this opportunity to discuss his interest in music with Ato Eyoel. Young Tialhun was told to go to Addis Ababa if he wanted to pursue his career in music. [...]
Once Tilahun arrived in Addis Ababa, he immediately began to show his talent. He was first hired by the Hager Feker Association, which is nowadays known as Hager Feker Theater.
After a few years at the Hager Feker Theater, Tilahun joined the Imperial Body Guard Band where he became a leading star singer. He then moved to the National Theater where he became famous and successful with his wonderful voice. Tilahun was so famous that he appeared three times in front of His Majesty, Emperor Haile Selassie I. During his visit with his Majesty, His Majesty advised Tilahun not to abuse his gifted talent. Tilahun kept his majesty’s advice and has become the king of Ethiopian music and his name has also become a household name among all Ethiopians.
Catalog number PH 7-224 on Philips Records Ethiopia. No release date listed.
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