Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

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Category: African pop

Trans-National Musical Exchange

Musical fight!   Compare the opening sequence of these two songs, and note how the second one (from 1972) closely mirrors the first one released the year before: “Music for Gong Gong” [1971]  – vs. – “Horns of Paradise” [1972] “Music for Gong Gong” was selected as the A-side of the

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Earliest Recording of a Melodica?

July 2020 Update:  Click here for the latest info One of Zero to 180’s earliest pieces (from 2012) concerned itself with documenting the earliest recording of a melodica (i.e., keyboard version of a harmonica), and 1966 seems to be year to beat in this regard, with the composer, Steve Reich,

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Francis the Great – Not Yet 8

Commanding slab of 1977 West African funk that was recorded in Paris and voiced by 7-year-old Francis “The Great” Mbarga: Francis the Great     “look up in the sky”     1977 I wonder if the person who paid $750 last September for the original 1977 release will be chagrined to know

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“Guitar Boy”: Africa’s Guitar King

If it weren’t for Don’t Stay Up Too Late’s thoughtful (and poetic) 100 Great Singles of the 1960s (That Haven’t Been Played to Death on Oldies Radio), I might never have learned of “Africa’s Guitar King” – Sir Victor Uwaifo – and the heavenly sounds he conjured on his 1966

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“Click Song #1”: African Pop Goes International

Is it really true what Wikipedia says about Miriam Makeba – that she’s the “first artist from Africa to popularize African music around the world”?   Given that Makeba released her first U.S. album in 1960, one can only conclude that African pop, essentially, had no American distribution links until “the

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“Zambesi”: Hank Marvin for President

What a revelation it must have been in the early 1960s when folks first encountered the clear, ringing tone of Hank Marvin’s Stratocaster on such soaring guitar instrumentals as “Mustang,” “Kon Tiki,” “Spring Is Nearly Here,” and “Thunderbirds Theme.” Who else was getting that kind of sound out of an

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