The inter-war dance bands of British West Africa are often strikingly similar in sound to Trinidadian orchestras like Lovey s String Band (credited with the first calypso recordings. in 1912). However. the first West African calypso recordings in the modern style are from Freetown. Sierra Leone in the early 1950s. by Ebenezer Calendar and Famous Scrubbs. In arrangements blending African and European instruments. the brass plays out the legacy of colonial military bands. albeit hair-down and a little ramshackle now. and the beautiful creole lyrics are as upful. quick. current. musical and intimate as any classic calypsonian s.
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