Friday, 21 May 2010

The original "Ghana Soundz": Ogyatanaa Show Band (1975)

If the name of the 70s Ghana funky highlife sensation “Ogyatanaa" somehow sounds familiar, you probably have the excellent Soundway collection “Ghana Soundz” – volume one or two; or the “Ghana Special” compilation. Ogyatanaa appear on all these excellent compilations.

Today’s ElectricJive diversion offers the legendary 1975 “African Fire” (also known as Yerefrefre), the band’s first album, containing their early 70s hits, along with a sumptuous twenty-minute tribute to Ghana’s highlife kings.

Recorded at the Ghana Film Studios, the original vinyl of “Yerefrefre” has today’s collectors paying high prices for yet another African gem that was never re-released.

Excerpt from the album back-cover written by Kwesi Yankah: “It is difficult to talk about the best in the highlife sounds of the seventies, and not to mention the music of the Ogyatanaa Show Band. In 1971 it is established. Barely a year later in its very infancy it takes second position in the National Dance Bands competition (small bands) – taking the whole of Ghana by storm with its unique and yet to be surpassed arrangement of the highlife classic “Yaa Amponsah” gratefully served on this album. In 1973 it turns the highlife world topsy-turvy with the hit tunes “Mmobrowa” “Ebe Yie Nie” and others. In 1974 it goes into seclusion; it does not rest, mind you, it begins home-working on a big something – a big something which eventually materialises in 1975, in the precious album you hold now!”

Nana Ofori – Leader / Guitar
Ocloo Jackson – Asst. Leader – Percussion/Drums
Ofori Frimpong – Keyboards
Kobina Gardiner – Bass Guitar
Nakai Nettey – Percussion
Pa Owiredu – Vocals / Percussion
Kwaku Dua – Vocals / Percussion

RS Here
MF Here


  1. Very nice diversion...keep on digging...matsuli

  2. This looks very very interesting. Outstanding cover as well. I can just imagine back in the day walking into a record store and seeing that cover on the wall and thinking "Oh yah!!"

    Cheers from Miami and Thank you... Cole

  3. Excellent ! Your message is "Best post of the week" on ><
    Thanks! Pierre 'ZjAk'

  4. How wonderful! You planning on making some kind of 70s Ghana series?

  5. Keep on showing gems like this!

  6. Many thanks. 70s Ghana and Nigeria = hot.

  7. Hi there
    I have had the Ogyatanaa Show Band - Yerefrefre LP for a number of years now and have only just noticed from your site that my cover is quite different than yours? At the top/middle of the cover and in bold black print are the words AFRICAN FIRE and there are an extra 2 pictures of the musicians as well. Everything else is exactly the same as your and other copies I have found online. Can you help to explain this to me please. You can find me at Many thanks Che

  8. Thanks good people for the comments. Che, the only answer I can guess at is that your version is either a re-issue at a later date, or in another country. Do you have a scan of the label handy? That might give us a clue. Best regards. Chris


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