Aba Became The Music Mecca Of The East, Early In 1970... Part 2 — By Emenike Vincent Onyembi
By Admin 20 days ago
As Aba fans went agog with the Funkees who played to their satisfaction, the Apostles Rock Group motivated by Chyke Fusion, reached the solar plexus of Enyimba city, with music hit after hit.
It was documented that, as the Apostles arrived with their Highway to Success, Aba became the cynosure of all eyes, in the Nigerian Music market.
The Genesis Pop Group of Chief Edmund Nwachukwu, comprising Tony Mansound, as Band leader, Elvis Maco, Buddy Emason, Barry Japhet Anyanwu, Jerry Boifraind, John John Duke, Isiehi (Jimbo Hamaddan), Ikechi, Koffi, Dan, Uwahehe, hit the pop scene with "Oji Ngwere Esi Ofe".
The popularity crest took away the Funkees from Aba to play in Europe, and the Group never came back to Aba. The Wings in 1973, when Spud Nathans, the Lead Vocalist died in a ghastly motor accident, broke into Super Wings, and Original Wings.
Jerry Boifraind, became an instant star, with the music Shooting Star and Leave that School Girl. The Shooting Star number also became a national anthem in Aba, the entire East, Lagos and other parts of Nigeria.
The Action Pop Group, emerged on the scene with Emma Nkpokwu on drums playing hot music. The Frimen Music Company, did not allow itself to be out-played and out-performed.
Individual Stars like Tex Soul shone on the Aba music horizon. Raphel Amarabem of the Peacock International Band, released one highlife hit after another. Paulson Kalu, the Ohafia-born highlife superstar, was a thing of joy to behold on stage.
There was no exact number of Pop bands who visited Aba. They were countless. For the Sunday Afternoon Jump, which has been taken over by the Sunday Pentecostal Crusades, many young men, traders and students in both secondary and university institutions, looked forward to it Related: Killi We Nwachukwu - The Strongman With A Soft Heart .
There was almost constant supply of electricity, so on Saturday evening or Sunday morning, these pop and soul freaks, would iron their clothes to military sharpness, their white handkerchiefs very crisp, waiting to get to Ambassador and Unicoco Hotels, the Music Emporia of Aba.
Visiting pop groups like Bob Miga's Strangers of Owerri, later the fantastic One World minus Bob Miga, the Berkely Ike Jone's-led BLO, Iyk Peters led founders 15 of Port Harcourt, the Sweet Breeze led by Dallas Anyanwu, Port Harcourt Heads Funk, Sony Okosun's led Ozzidi Band, the Original Orientals, the Ofeges and the Afrobeat International Superstar, Fela Ransome, later Anikulapo Kuti, found Aba fans and music scene very interesting and lucrative like the Lagos scene of those days.
Music companies like Anochie, Ben Clover, Promoters like the Nkwerre-born Big Boy Goddy, and Francis Ene (Iron Tailors) Sparko/Jude & Co., smiled to the bank, weekend after weekend. This jolly-good atmosphere, lasted in Aba all through the boom years of the Gowon administration, into the early years of the Murtala-Obasanjo Military Regime of 1979.
With the onset of the Shagarian Presidency and the blatant mismanagement of the economy, under that presidency, and the coming to maturity of that generation of music lovers, the music scene in Aba, took a turn for the worse. This ugly situation, has not recovered for more than two decades, even now.
And with the endless, and convoluted political transition programmes of the Babangidan and Abacharian eras, the music scene and general entertainment in Aba, went into a big slumber. All the pop and rock groups, disintegrated as Tom, Dick and Harry, went their separate ways to look for money-making schemes, to engage their precious time and energy. And the Christian Music Era took the center stage.
What happened thereafter and ways we can bring back the old memories back to the city will be the topic for the next piece.
...to be continued