Filed under: Côte d'Ivoire
One of West Africa‘s first recording studios, as well as first record pressing plants, was established in Côte d’Ivoire‘s capital city of Abidjan in the early 1970s. Abidjan quickly became West Africa’s musical hub, with musicians coming from all over the region to record. Côte d’Ivoire had always been receptive to musical styles from outside its borders, as well as being a melting pot of peoples and cultures. Since the country did not go through a war for independence like many other West African nations, the local musicians did not have the same national awakening of pride – which in other countries led to the mix of traditional indigenous music and more urban sounds born out of revolutionary defiance. As a result Côte d’Ivoire did not really develop an internationally recognized signature style of music. But that all changed once Amédée Pierre came along.
Vital Nahounou Digbeu Amédée was born on March 30, 1937 to Pierre and Wassa Nahounou Doudou Séry Bitta in the town of Tabou in south-western Côte d’Ivoire. He was christened Pierre after we was baptized Catholic. The first recorded history of him playing is in an account by René Babi, who wrote: “Ce jeune homme qui ne se séparait jamais de sa guitare, allait agréablement surprendre les couche-tard d’un soir de l’année 1958” – which translates as “This young man who never parted with his guitar, was a pleasant surprise the night owls for an evening of the year 1958.” On August 7th of 1960, Amédée Pierre performed his first concert with his backing band l’ Ivoiro Star at Avenue 3 in Treichville, a neighborhood of Abidjan. Having sung French variety tunes for several years, Pierre decided to rebel against the former colonial power and started composing in the Bété language.
Amédée Pierre became known as “Le Dopé National” – or “The National Nightingale”. He recorded at least 19 singles for the Ivoirienne Safie Deen label, as well as three singles for the Société Ivoirienne du Disque label. He was also featured on the second volume of Antilles Records‘ Assalam Aleikoum Africa series and another compilation called Ivoire Retro. His backing band – l’ Ivoiro Star – also recorded singles for Société Ivoirienne du Disque with singers Armand Pascal Lido and Martial Droubly. One song by of each can be found on the first volume of Assalam Aleikoum Africa. More recently, three tracks were included on Syllart Records‘ African Pearls Vol. 5: Côte D’Ivoire: West African Crossroads. In 2000 he was decorated by Mr. Laurent Gbagbo, President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire.
Catalog number NAP.004 on NAP. No further information about this single, or the label that released it, is available.
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