Making historical recordings accessible to the Nigerian public world wide
Shellac records (78' plates) with popular music from Nigeria recorded in the 1950s are the object of this project at the University of Basel. The records were produced by the Union Trade Company (UCT) of Basel and released under the label Parlophone. Among the featured artists are Bobby Benson, the Rosey Mambo Orchestra, Theophilus Iwalokun & his group, Shaibu Maigogen Maza, Oguseh & his Isoko vocal band, or Hamisu Sarkin Kida and many more. Whereas musicians like Bobby Benson are well documented, others are hardly known. Their music represents a meaningful part of Nigeria's national heritage and the songs tell stories of individuals and the situation in the country at the time.In Nigeria only few, if any, of the records sold in the 1950s have been preserved. The project at the Centre for African Studies Basel is geared to making the music accessible for Nigerians and people with an interest in the history of African popular music world wide. In the framework of an excercise course taught at the Centre students are currently working on the documentation of the recordings. In the end this website will provide access to the music and the database with transcripts and translations. In order to create an awareness for the project and to raise funds for the further digitisation of the recordings a selection of 20 songs will be released on Compact Disc modeled on our previous project Ghana Popular Music 1931-1957.
Rosey Mambo Orchestra: Omo Rosey Show (1954, UTC Record No. 3008)
Bobby Benson & his Orchestra; Cherrycoco (1954, UTC Record No. 3003)
Alhaji Muniru & his Group: Ajao Adediran (1954, UTC Record No. 3020)
Theophilus Iwalokun & his Group: Eyoma Lode (1954, UTC Record No. 3022
These files are in the mp3 format and of ca. 2.5MB size each. Further tunes can be accessed on the page the collection giving an overview of all songs from Nigeria in the UTC collection we have digitised so far.
Join the community of translators and contribute to the project
The first 28 songs were translated by students from the Cross River University of Technology (CRUTECH) and Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi State under the guidance of Babson Ajibade, PhD, senior lecturer at CRUTECH and graduate of the University of Basel.
|Babson Ajibade, Calabar||Aliyu Ibrahim, Bauchi ||Francis Akwas Welson, Calabar||Oghale Obrifor, Calabar||Isaiah Oluwasogo Ogundare, Calabar||Olatunde Segun Adeniyi, Calabar |
|Abidemi Uruejoma, Basel |