Monday, April 9, 2012

Rest in Peace Jerry Hansen

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. Remember him while listening to Ramblers International (Decca WAPS 334), an album from 1976:

Ramblers International - Akwanuma Hiani

Ramblers International - Dear Si Abotar

Ramblers International - Megye Wo

Ramblers International - Inemesti

Ramblers International - Maye Maye

Ramblers International - Mbre Ofiong

Ramblers International - Awusa Dzi Mi

Ramblers International - Esa Ni Otse Ohie

Ramblers International - Dodzi

Ramblers International - Ao Danye

Ramblers International - Highlife Medley

Download Ramblers International as a zipped file here.


Chris Albertyn said...

Wow John - I am sorry to read of the passing of this founding father and highlife colossus. May he indeed rest in peace. It was only last month that electric jive shared his 1971 "Doin' Our own Thing" album - that can be found here:

Kwabena Boakye said...

May his soul rest in peace...

Anonymous said...

Really sad news indeed. Jerry was living here in the DC area for a while before he went back to Ghana a few years ago(he attended church near my house)I'm quite sad because we've had an idea for a documentary on Highlife and we were hoping to film Jerry before he died as he was one of the last links to the heydays of dance band highlife. Hopefully,his death ll give more of an impetus to catch some of these great musicians before they're all gone. Jerry and The Ramblers were an amazing and influential band and boy, could they swing. He'll be missed by a lot of us lovers of African music out there

dailyleftover said...

sorry to hear, another giant add to the Heavenly Big Band
Meni Nda Obiara So is my all time fav ~ deep as dark eyes rivers

Unknown said...

OMG. What a lovely melody man made music. Africa we get tarlents