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Bill Friday: A Connoisseur Of High Life Music - Nairaland / General - Nairaland

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Bill Friday: A Connoisseur Of High Life Music by ajuksobi: 8:50am On Jan 02, 2023
BILL FRIDAY: A CONNOISSEUR OF HIGH LIFE MUSIC

By:
Ajukura, Fidelis O.
ajukurafidelisobi@gmail.com
2nd January, 2023

Does the name Bill Friday ring a bell? Have you by chance heard about the name Bill Friday? If you have not, this is your opportunity of meeting the High Life legend.

For those who do not know High Life music, High Life music is a brand of music that originated in West Africa: it is a fusion of African rythms and elements of Jazz. High Life began during the colonial period but blossomed in the late 1940's and early 50's. Ghana and Nigeria were the leading countries in High Life music. Some of the notable names at the base of High Life music include; E. T. Mensah, Bobby Benson, Stan Plange, Joe Mensah, Amissah, Bill Friday, Victor Olaiya, Rex Lawson.

Bill Friday, a famous High Life maestro was born as Friday Oburu Adah Ossiah in 1927 in Omoku. Friday was the grand son of the famous Chief Adah Nwa-Ossiah of Umu-Nkaru kindred in Omoku. His father, Alfred Oburu Adah Ossiah was a business man based in Onitsha.

While in school in Onitsha, Friday showed more interest in singing and blowing the trumpet than his studies. Following his natural disposition for music, he started, at an early age to perform in hotels and clubs. During one of his performances, he startled E.T. Mensah who had also come to perform in the same venue. At the end of the day, they struck a deal - this was how Friday went to Ghana to pursue his music career. While in Ghana, he left E.T. Mensah and formed a music band known as the "Ambassador Down Beats". Years later, he relocated to Lagos with his Ambassador band. In Lagos, he showed exceptional talent and competed with his peers in the likes of; Victor Olaiya, Rex Lawson etc. Friday never failed to thrill his audience or fans with his popular songs like; Rukpokpo, Dimle-dimle. But, with "Bonsue" which had a Ghanaian root, he captured his audience and send them running to the dance floor. "Bonsue" was a huge success and made him quite popular. Although, other musicians like Victor Olaiya sang "Bonsue" but Friday was the originator of the song.

Despite the fact that Friday had no life in his native soil, Ogba land, he was proud of his identity and never failed to show it whenever he had the opportunity of doing so. He had, according to report supported not only Ogba people but other people of the present day Rivers State who got stranded in Lagos.

Friday, like most celebrities was not successful as far as raising a family of his own was concerned: he had a relationship with a Yoruba woman who bore him a son and later abandoned him. He later got married to a white woman which turned out as a colossal failure - the marriage didn't produce any result for him in terms of child bearing.

Out of frustration perhaps, for not having a stable or fulfilled home, he got entangled in drugs and eventually died in Maroko, Lagos. His remain was brought home and buried in 1967.
Re: Bill Friday: A Connoisseur Of High Life Music by Joseph0799: 11:53am On Jan 10
This man is my grandfather i have tried so hard to find some article about him, but they only seem to mention him in passing, with other musicians being the main subject of the story. I have also tried to get a picture of him any at all, but all to no avail. He died when my father was so small and he too didn’t know too much of him except the things he was told. Thank you for posting about him, and i would love to reach out.

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