|Cultural origins||Liberia and Sierra Leone's Kru people in the 1920s|
|Derivative forms||Highlife, Soukous|
Palm-wine music (known as Maringa in Sierra Leone) is a West African musical genre. It evolved among the Kru people of Liberia and Sierra Leone, who used Portuguese guitars brought by sailors, combining local melodies and rhythms with Trinidadian calypso to create a "light, easy, lilting style".
Palm-wine music was named after a drink, palm wine, made from the naturally fermented sap of the oil palm, which was drunk at gatherings where early African guitarists played.
In the 1920s, a Kru taught a Ghanaian highlife guitarist Kwame Asare (or Jacob Sam). His Kumasi Trio made their first Highlife recordings for Zonophone in London in 1928. As the music spread from the coast into the hinterland, the sound of the traditional Akan harp lute Seperewa was infused and this evolved the odonson or Akan blues style. HMV Records and Parlophone Records distributed albums of the Akan blues in southern Ghana. This was in the 1930s and 1940s and featured artists like Jacob Sam, Kwesi Pepera, Appianing, Kwame, Mireku, Osei Bonsu, Kwesi Menu, Kamkan and Appiah Adjekum.
Palm-wine music was first popularized by Sierra Leone Creole musician Ebenezer Calendar & His Maringa Band, who recorded many popular songs in the 1950s and early 1960s. Soukous and highlife were influenced by Palm-wine music. Though still somewhat popular, the genre is no longer as renowned as it once was. Other renowned palm-wine musicians include Koo Nimo (a.k.a. Daniel Amponsah), S. E. Rogie, Abdul Tee-Jay and Super Combo.
Agya Koo Nimo is another renowned Ghanaian singer who is popularly referred to as the "King of Palm-wine music". The "Grandfather of Highlife", as he's often called, uses his music to tell life stories which has greatly influenced the Ghanaian and other West African music scenes. He was awarded the lifetime achievers award at the University of Education Winneba in Ghana.
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