Friday 16 March 2012

Ghana Highlife rarity from Janet Osei

Information on Janet Osei is hard to find, except to learn that this album is pretty rare. The fantastic highlife blogspot Osibisaba has the following to say about the few women who were highlife singers:
"I am rather fascinated by old-time highlife music featuring female singers, perhaps because these recordings are so difficult to come across. Female highlife singers in Ghana were largely marginalized through the first half of the 20th century due to social taboos and public perceptions of sexual promiscuity and impropriety. To quote concert party pioneer Bob Johnson, "A girl on stage would be branded a girl without morals." So, male actors took on the role of the female impersonator in the concert parties, while male "treble singers" strained to reach high, female-like vocal ranges. The few female singers who did make successful careers for themselves in the 1950s, '60s and '70s included Julie Okine, Charlotte Dada, Adwoa Badu, and Janet Osei, and these women surely faced some tremendous adversities".
The songs featured on this album were all written by Osei. The backing band members were all stars in their own right, and here they provide some truly stretched out mid-tempo 70s electric and sometimes wah-wah guitar highlife that occasionally ventures into shades of afro-beat.

Rapidshare here
Mediafire here


  1. Sea boy was also recorded by T.O. Jazz.

    Thanks much Chris.


  2. Incredible, thank you for this post! I wish I knew more about the roles that each of these master highlife musicians played during the recording of this lp. Likely Eric Agyeman is playing lead guitar here, with Eddie Donkor on Bass (which he played as a guest on other musicians' albums around the same time), and Ernest Honey on organ/synths. I believe Paa Thomas refers to vocalist Thomas Frempong (who sang lead vocals on some of Eric Agyeman's recordings) featured here as a soloist on several of the tracks (e.g. Meko Odo Fie, Sea Boy). I'm not sure where Papa Yankson fits in here, famous for his lead vocals on the albums of C.K. Mann. His distinctive voice seems to be absent from these recordings...

    One again, many many thanks.

  3. thanks for this one... and thanks to Osibisaba for the insight....I was however anxious to know if this was the album Osibisaba had been itching for in his previous comment on the ramblers post?....

  4. Thanks everyone for making comments. Osibisaba, thanks for adding info - in my limited knowledge I always thought Paa and Pat Thomas were one and the same

  5. You might like to check the
    GBC Gramophone Library at:

  6. That is one fantastic digitising project going on there Markus and team - fantastic! I know one or two countries where something like this is crying out for it to happen ... in fact I spent quite a lot of time trying to make it happen in one country and the senior officials there just were not interested ... good luck to you


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