Aba Became The Music Mecca Of The East, Early In 1970.. (part1) By Emenike Vincent Onyembi
By Admin 21 days ago
My passion and love for my country home, Aba-Enyimba City keep increasing day by day. It might interest you to know that my late Dad, High Chief Sir, V.S. Onyembi, despite being a politician of repute, was also a famous Traditional historian. A confider of the prestigious Ngwa culture and traditions.
Away from that unforgettable past memory, I strongly believe that the pride of the Great Enyimba City will return very soon. My daily researches and continuous revisits of the famous great works of Chief John Osuala, Williams Ukaegbu, Oriji J.N., Igbafe P.A., others and the stories my beloved father told me has kept me reflecting on the good old days in Aba, how fast it's returning and the urgent need to restore it.
Did you know that the increased urbanization of Aba in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, the music industry grew by leaps and bounds? Find out. The popular music art form, was the Highlife of the Ghanian tradition of E.T. Mensah, and Ramblers Dance Band. It was as popular in Lagos and other cities in the West Coast, as it was in Aba, amongst the young clerks in UAC, G.B. Olivant, John Holt, Lever Brothers, Nigerian breweries, young produce buyers, young traders in Ekeoha Market, and the students in secondary schools.
To the famous historian John Osuala, it didn't take long for the Nigerian variety of the highlife to hit the airwaves and dancehalls in Aba. This was with the music of I. K. Dairo, Eddy Okonta, Bobby Benson, and other popular musicians of that era, leading the pack Related: A Call For Resumption - Making A Case For The Return Of Tribal Marks .
As the 1950s dovetailed into 1960s, the music of the other younger musicians, Celestine Ukwu, Mike Ejiagha, Rex Jim Lawson, Stephen Osita Osadebe, Joe Nez, and the music of the Aba-based Atomic 8, became the national anthem amongst young men and women of that period.
Mostly living in one-room apartments, as bachelors in those days, music and songs of love, became the opium of that generation. At that time, the thought was not of building mansions, chains of real estate, and acquisition of cars, but of getting Nigerian independence, and the attendant goodies promised by the Azikiwes of this world.
When Hey Jude, and other masterpieces of the Beatles hit the world, in the early 1960s, Aba was not left out, in enjoying those classics. The impact of the Beatles. Jim Reeves and other world stars, set the stage for the explosion of music creativity through the Hykkers during the civil war in Biafra, and after in 1970 in Nigeria. Aba became the Music Mecca of the East, early in 1970. With young men and women just back from the war, and with nothing much to do, it did not take long for Spud Nathans, and his associates, to float the Wings Pop Group.Spud Nathans, sang his heart out, and the Aba and Nigerian fans, loved him and the Wings. Almost simultaneously, Jack Solo, Maxi Chukwu, and associates, equally floated the Funkees Pop Group with 'Akula Obu Onyeara' and other hits.Aba fans, went agog with the Funkees, who played to the satisfaction of Aba fans, and then began a tour of the core East, to spread their brand of pop gospel.
...to be continued