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.
Filed under: Côte d'Ivoire
♬ My Love
Côte d’Ivoire gained it’s independence from France in 1960. With the highest production of cocoa and third highest coffee production in the world, and becoming the lead exporter of pineapples and palm oil, Côte d’Ivoire was the most prosperous of the French West Africa territories. But while in other countries in Africa, Europeans were driven out following independence – in Côte d’Ivoire, they poured in. The French community grew from only 30,000 prior to independence to 60,000 in 1980, most of them teachers, managers and advisors. For 20 years, the economy maintained an annual growth rate of nearly 10% – the highest of Africa’s non-oil-exporting countries.
While Ernesto Djédjé is considered the father of Ivoirian popular music, there are many other artists who have had success both at home and abroad – Amédée Pierre, Eba Aka Jerome, Guéhi Jean, Paco Sery and Zakri Noël – to name a few. One of the defining traits of Ivoirian popular music is the use of the folk rhythms of the Bété people, which has been prevalent since Côte d’Ivoire’s independence. Also, Djédjé has long been a vocal advocate of Ivoirian music, rallying against the “Congolization” of the Abidjan scene.
The only information that I have been able to find about Audio Rama Orchestre National (also seen as L’Audiorama Orchestra) is that Anon Anon Joseph was the primary songwriter and vocalist. According to what he says in the song, he was “born In the United States of America” and apparently started college when he was twelve years old… Currently, he sits on the Bureau Ivoirien Du Droit D’Auteur, along with Amédée Pierre and Zakri Noël. I’ve only seen one album by them, titled Extraordinaire Surprise Partie on the label Safie Deen, and at least one other single. The label that released this single – Djima Iyanda – was the name of the Yoruba producer who was based in Abidjan in the early 70s. If you have any other information, please contact me.
Catalog number DAD 948 on Djima Iyanda of Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. Manufactured in France. No release date listed.
Filed under: Côte d'Ivoire
Guéhi Jean et son Ensemble were from Côte d’Ivoire, formerly known as the Ivory Coast.
I have not been able to find any information about Guéhi Jean. I have seen other records by him, accompanied by either Les Super Bantus and Les Super Banthy De l’Ouest, as well as a solo record from 1983.
If you have any information, please contact me.
Catalog number BB 5008 on Badmos, manufactured in France, No other information given…