George Darko an amazing Highlife guitarist and vocalist, can be recognised with many others as a pioneer within Burger Highlife. Darko alongside many paved the way in adapting the Classic Highlife style of the 1950s and making relevant in the early 1980s. He learned how to play many instruments as a young boy, but fell in love with the guitar and built his own guitar using a calabash bowl.
Musically he was exposed to the traditional drum-dance music style that is indigenous to Ghanaian culture, alongside learning the Classic Style of Highlife music. However, Darko really loved the sounds coming out of America and was inspired by legends such as Geroge Benson, the Beatles and Jimi Hendricks. If you lucky enough to have heard his first solo cassette called ‘The Reborn Avengers’ you would clearly hear the beautiful mix of the indigenous Ghanaian music style of western musical tones.
In 1969 Darko joined and moved around with a few bands, and had the opportunity to perform outside of Ghana. In spent around about 5-6 months in the middles working with bands such as the Fourth Dimension army band to entertain troops in the Middle East. After some time he settled Germany in late 70s, where helped form the Bus Stop Band in 1982/3.
The Bus Stop Band with a group of session musicians that included Lee Dodou (Vocals), Bob Fiscian (Keyboard/Synthesizer), B.B. Dowuona (Bassist) and Steve Szabo (Horns). The group released one of the greatest Burger Highlife hits in 1983 called ‘Akoo Te Brofo’ on their ‘Friends’ LP. Following this they released ‘Highlife Time’ in 1984, the LP is still today a great piece of work. In our opinion, anyway and is heavily influenced love for George Benson.
Collins, J., 2018. Highlife Time 3. 3rd ed. Accra: DAkpabli & Associates.
Researched and Written by Paulina Nkansah