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Songs of the African Coast: Cafe Music of Liberia

Berenice Mulubah | October 5, 2015 

Songs of the African Coast: Cafe Music of Liberia
In the late 1940's, Arthur S. Alberts, and his wife Lois, traveled throughout Africa recording folk, cafe and urban music in Liberia and other areas.  Arthur had served in these areas during World War 11 and later in various diplomatic assignments.   During his expeditions he made a series of ground-breaking recordings encompassing the broad scope of African music.  These recordings culminated, in 1950, with the landmark 78-rpm set Tribal, Folk and Cafe Music of West Africa.  

More details on Arthur's work can be found in a fascinating National Geographic article he wrote on his exploits (August 1951) and other publications including an important article in the The Record Changer (November 1950).  The importance of these recordings was highlighted in the first episode of Martin Scorsese's documentary, The Blues in 2003.  The Library of Congress, in 1998, released a CD dedicated to this Music of West Africa).  Some of the songs on this CD were covered in the 1960's by the leading folk musicians Dave Van Ronk and Joan Baez.  
You definitely need a copy of this CD in your collection of Liberian music.  

Buy a copy: On Amazon 
Source: Guthrie Alberts

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