I learnt this week from the excellent Likembe blog that “Jerry Hansen, founder of Ghana’s influential Ramblers International Dance Band, passed away in Accra Saturday, April 7th. He was 85. Besides leading the band and composing many of its hit songs, Hansen was a founding member and President of the Musicians Union of Ghana
The Ramblers, the last of Ghana’s great “danceband highlife” orchestras, were founded in 1961 when Hansen left King Bruce’s Black Beats. Their innovative sounds held them in good stead through the political upheavals of the 1970s and ínto the ’80s when the band finally expired thanks to changing tastes and poor economic conditions.
Jerry Hansen was one of the last giants of the classic highlife sound and will be sorely missed.”
Highlife is an unsung musical genre and I never know why. It is so infectious and is a much easier listen to western ears than say the Desert Blues of Mali. I have several compilations of Highlife music including my latest purchase – The Rough Guide To Highlife. Today’s track, commemorating Jerry Hansen, is taken from this album.