Jewel Ackah

b. February 1945, Nzima, Ghana. Ackah started his career as a professional footballer, but went on to use his powerful, soul-tinged vocals with the cover-version band the Pick Ups in 1965. This was followed…
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Artist Biography

b. February 1945, Nzima, Ghana. Ackah started his career as a professional footballer, but went on to use his powerful, soul-tinged vocals with the cover-version band the Pick Ups in 1965. This was followed by stints with C.K. Mann’s Carousel Seven, the Eldoradoes and the Medican Lantics. He was also vocalist with the Sweet Talks at various times between 1975 and 1979, and during one of his periods away from the band in the late 70s, he rejoined Mann for an American tour. In 1979 he fronted a new Sweet Talks line-up, and recorded Hallelujah! Amen! with a backing group he called S.T. Express. In 1980, he recorded the solo collection Asomdwee Henee, and then joined the Great Pilsner’s Band, a brewery-sponsored outfit that enjoyed a brief run of popularity. However, it was drugs, not lager, that took the sparkle from the Great Pilsner’s; about to tour the Ivory Coast, they were discovered in possession of marijuana, and the band folded. In 1980, Ackah joined up with guitarist Kwame Nkrumah to make Yeridi A Wu, a loving and masterful re-recording of highlife hits from the 50s. In the mid-80s, in an unsuccessful attempt to find an international audience, he recorded the soca-influenced Super Pawa, and then the funk-highlife fusion London Connection. More enduring was his 1986 album, Electric Hi-Life, which found a more mature, thoughtful Ackah performing alongside Pat Thomas and A.B. Crentsil. He continued his peripatetic existence as a solo artist and band vocalist in Accra and London until settling in Toronto, Canada, in the late 80s. For 1991’s Pull Him Down he renamed his band the Butterfly Six.