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International Library of African Music  

Andrew Tracey


It was founded in 1954 by musicologist Hugh Tracey at Roodepoort, near Johannesburg, South Africa, on the basis of the archive of recordings of traditional and popular African music which he had made since 1929 in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), South Africa and elsewhere in southern Africa. His research was sponsored from 1947 by Eric Gallo with marketing rights, and about 1000 records were issued from 1929 to 1952 under the Regal (Columbia), Gallotone, Trek, Troubadour and HMV labels. Three recordings from this period became well-known: Mbube (Wimoweh), by Solomon Linda, which was popularized by Pete Seeger and the Weavers; Skokiaan, by the Bulawayo Cold Storage Band; and Masanga, a song with guitar by Jean Bosco Mwenda from the Belgian Congo (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo).

In the early 1950s a series of recordings made in central, eastern and southern Africa from 1948 to 1970 was issued by Decca. It was continued by Gallo as the Music of Africa, extending to 25 records. From ...