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C. K. Mann & The Carousel Seven

Updated: Mar 2, 2022


C. K. Mann (Lastfm.com)

Charles Kofi Amankwaa Mann (C.K.Mann) was born in 1936 in Cape Coast but spent his early childhood in Sekondi-Takoradi. The guitarist and singer learnt his craft at what was then Zenith Hotel. His musical career began when he started playing with Kakaiku’s guitar band in the mid-50s until the mid-60s. He then met his long time friend Kofi Paapa Yankson and with him formed the infamous Carousel Seven band, who became the resident band at the Princess Cinema in Takoradi-Sekondi owned by Annis Mubarak.


The band were notable for blending highlife with traditional Osode Fanti music, which was the traditional music of the fishermen of Ghana. He experimented with Osode to make it appeal to a much wider audience, by changing the instrumentation slightly by adding two guitars, an organ and the bass. Whilst keeping the original ingredients such as the call and response style singing and hand-claps. In the early 70s, the band made their first hit song ‘Araba Lucy’ followed by the magical ‘Me Dowo’ and our favourite ‘Mawere Kyekyer’.


In 1971, the Carousel Seven released the album ‘Party Time with Ceekay’ on the Esseibons label that also featured the young singer Pat Thomas. One of the songs that were huge it was ‘Nimpa Rebree’, followed by ‘Funky Highlife’ notable fusing high life with western funk/soul vibes. One of the most magical tracks on the album is ‘Asafo Beesuon’ 13 minutes worth of multi-layered magic. Shortly after this, C.K. decided to also venture in the gospel scene with his album ‘Enigye Wo Sor Ho’ with the Melodic Trip Singers in 1976.


With continued successfully since the 70s, C.K. hit us with another all-time favourite in 1995 ‘Adwoa Yankey’. In his later years, C.K. Mann retired in his hometown Takoradi and sadly left us in March 2018.




Sources:


  • Collins, J., 2018. Highlife Time 3. 3rd ed. Accra: DAkpabli & Associates.

  • Collins, J., 2017. Highlife Giants. Cassava Republic Press.

  • Fondation-langlois.org. n.d. Ghana's Highlife Music Collection: Biographies and Interviews. [online] Available at: <https://www.fondation-langlois.org/html/e/selection.php?Selection=HIGB

  • Owusu, K. and Mazzoleni, F., 2012. Ghana Highlife music. [Pantin]: Le Castor Astral.

  • Oti, S., 2009. Highlife music in West Africa. Lagos, Nigeria: Malthouse Press.

Researched and Written by Paulina Nkansah

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