Classic 1960s Ethiopian recordings from Radio Ethiopia; Bezunesh, Tlahoun, Bahta Gebrehiwot, Menelik Wessanechew

Here is another reel of radio recordings from the horn of Africa.  This reel was compiled by Ato Girma Zande, the music librarian of Radio Ethiopia back in the late 1960s (my guess is 1966-67).  As I wrote here, and as you have surely read in the Ethiopiques liner notes (essential reading on Ethiopian music), the 1960s were a decade of musical ferment in Ethiopia.  A decade of musical innovation and flux, foreshadowing the prolific early 1970s, the 'Golden Era' of Ethiopian popular music that has become a musical benchmark--akin to 1930s Harlem or 1980s Kingston--known to music lovers throughout the world.



This reel features five tracks by Bezunesh Bekele, including a 'traditional' version of 'Ere Mela Mela' as well as a live recording (for more Bezunesh check out this post), three short and wonderful tracks by Bahta Gebrehiwot, three by Tilahoun Gessesse, the greatest Ethiopian singer of the Golden Age, and four lovely cuts by Menelik Wessenachew (for more on his life and music check out these two essential posts).  These singers are accompanied by the great orchestras of the decade, the Ras Band, the Imperial Bodyguard Orchestra and the Haile Selassie Orchestra.  The reel starts with four tracks of 'traditional' music, featuring, in particular, two lovely songs from Tigre and Shoa province.



I recorded these tracks straight from the master reel to CD.  This is an old reel and some of the tracks are a little wobbly.  I have left the tracks in the order that Ato Zande dubbed them and I have not fiddled with the sound, no noise reduction, filtering, or eq.

Ethiopian Popular and Folk Music (Tracks prepared by Ato Girma Zande, Music Librarian, Radio Ethiopia)

I don't think any of these tracks are on the many reissues of classic Ethiopian music that have been released in the last twenty years.  Don't hesitate to point out releases that I may have missed or to share what you know about these recordings.
 
The first picture is taken from a Menelik Wessanachew record sleeve and the second from a Bahta Gibrehewot sleeve.   Enjoy.



Comments

  1. Wow. Seriously fantastic. Thank you so much for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Beautiful, groovy and rare sounds here, merci beaucoup.

    ReplyDelete

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