Various Artists

Giants of Danceband Highlife

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In their palmy days, E.T. Mensah's '50s Tempos were the most influential band in West Africa. Here are four of their most charming early hits. The Ramblers -- one of the hottest bands of the '60s -- and the Uhurus were both jazz-oriented. The Ramblers stuck to straightahead dance music; Uhuru experimented, with phenomenal results, in the early '70s. This was the cutting edge of highlife in its time, and its extinction was a real loss.

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