I've been researching an upcoming show on "world music oldies" today, and want to share this one with you. When you think of the centuries of music that have resounded across Africa, it's a bit absurd to think of songs recorded in the 1930s and 1940s as "oldies." Yet it wasn't until after the introduction of the gramophone into Africa that Africans began to record their own music. The CD Echoes of Africa: Early Recordings (Wergo, 2002) captures 24 of these rare recordings, and is the source of today's mp3. This song was recorded 7 April 1930 in Dar-es-Salaam, performed by men from the lower ranks of the 6th Regiment of the King's African Rifles (aka Askari Wa K.A.R. Ya Sita).
The sound is raw and compressed - not likely to be on anyone's list of great African dance tracks. But it's a crucial bit of history, and fascinating in its own way.
Monday's mp3: Askari Wa K.A.R. Ya Sita - "Kofia Nyekundu"