I was surprised to find that we haven’t featured any full-length albums by this Ghanaian guitarist great. Best to remedy that ASAP.
Alex “One Man Thousand” Konadu, who passed away in 2011, was a Ghanaian musical icon, best known for a string of hits in the 70s, including the widely popular “Asaase Asa.” As a young boy, he was heavily influenced by the concert parties - traveling vaudeville shows with musical accompaniment - that often visited his home town. He started his musical career shortly after finishing school in the mid 60s. a decade later and he would be regarded as one of the leading highlife performers of his time.
His music embodies the quintessential essence of guitar-driven highlife from that period. His popularity became apparent to me during our travels through Ghana, where most copies of his albums were often beat from repeated use. Even up to present day, go to Kumasi - the heart of the Ashanti people - and you will no doubt hear his music blaring out of big cabinet speakers near the market or see a live concert DVD of his playing in one of the long distance buses at the trot-trot stations.
The album we feature today - “Agyata Wuo” was released in 1979 and came at the height of his career. Unfortunately, it also came at the cusp of political unrest. Like many other Ghanaian artists, his musical output was disrupted by the curfews imposed upon the entire nation. Luckily for us, however, we still have his recordings to remind us of his greatness.