Monday, July 25, 2011

Francis Bebey

Francis Bebey
16" x 20"
oil on canvas, 2011

Francis Bebey (1929-2001) was born in Cameroon, he was an Afro-pop superstar, recorded more than 20 albums, yet I had never heard of him before. A post featuring the album Akwaaba on the site Awesome Tapes From Africa that I follow, changed all that and Bebey now will be forever a part of my musical appreciation history cemented in the Top 100. So far two of his songs secured a spot within the hundred this year. The first song to enter is the title track from the aforementioned Akwaaba, the second the title track from his LP  La Condition Masculine, that comes with a bare breasted cute African girl on its cover. More to come about that one later but first things first: Akwaaba was released in 1985 by John Storm Roberts, a Britsh musicologist who I discussed at length earlier this year, on his Original label. The painting above, still wet, features the green backdrop of my own backyard (as if he were playing his acoustic guitar right here in front of me—in a painting anything can happen, I wish it could be true for real, but Bebey is no longer with us and even if he were... my backyard would be a most unlikely place for him to visit.)

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