Monday, March 10, 2008

He certainly influenced me

Historian Luise White called ALICK NKHATA "arguably the most influential of Central Africa's influential guitarists."
I don't really know about too many other Central African guitarists, but Nkhata and his delightful music certainly influenced me today.
The pioneering Zambian pop star's 1959 single "CHIPERONI" influenced my mouth, making it smile, and influenced by head, causing it to bob up and down to the music.
Nkhata was a radio announcer who later became the king of Zambian pop.
"Chiperoni" is a catchy number, highlighted by brilliant guitar playing. The title apparently refers to an influx of cool, moist air that can usher in refreshing drizzle during Zambia's May to August dry season.
I have been listening to African pop from the 1950s and 60s for the past couple days (I know, I know, but I am not *TRYING* to be obscure -- I just love good music).
I was sad, though, to learn of Nkhata's demise.
The Zambian hero retired to his farm in the mid-1970s.
He was killed in 1978, caught in a crossfire between the forces of Ian Smith's Rhodesia and ZAPU guerrillas who had set up a camp near Nkhata's farm.
His music never died, though. I can attest to that.


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