King Bruce

b. 3 June 1922, Jamestown, Ghana, d. 12 September 1997. Bruce first became interested in music while studying accountancy in London in the late 40s. He taught himself to play the trumpet and tenor saxophone,…
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Artist Biography

b. 3 June 1922, Jamestown, Ghana, d. 12 September 1997. Bruce first became interested in music while studying accountancy in London in the late 40s. He taught himself to play the trumpet and tenor saxophone, and upon returning to Ghana in 1951, he worked as a civil servant by day and played with various highlife bands at night. In 1952 he formed his own 20-piece band, the Black Beats. Playing a mixture of African, Latin American and jazz styles, they became Ghana’s most popular band, enjoying numerous hits throughout the 50s. Following a split within the band in 1961, the Black Beats met with less success and Bruce gave up playing music in 1967. However, he subsequently managed a number of local bands and, following his retirement from the civil service in 1977, worked as a representative of the Musicians Union. He was given a national award for his ‘contribution to Ghanaian culture’ in 1988 and lived long enough to see the release of Golden Highlife Classics, a compilation of his hits of the 50s and 60s.