Segun Bucknor

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Segun Bucknor
Born(1946-03-29)29 March 1946
Died11 August 2017(2017-08-11) (aged 71)
Lagos, Nigeria
Cause of deathComplications from multiple strokes
Alma materKing's College, Lagos
Columbia University
OccupationMusician, journalist
Years active1964–2000s
Spouse(s)Sola Bucknor (until his death)
ChildrenFunke Bucknor-Obruthe
Tosyn Bucknor
Musical career
GenresSoul, Pop, Funk, Groove
InstrumentsPiano, guitar
LabelsVampi Soul, Premier Records LTD, Afrodisia
Associated actsRoy Chicago
Segun Bucknor and the Assembly

Segun Bucknor (29 March 1946 – 11 August 2017) was a Nigerian musician and journalist active during the 1960s and 1970s. He was a pianist and guitarist specializing in genres ranging from soul music to pop music and to funk.[1] Through their brief career, Segun Bucknor and the Assembly released a variety of music dealing with Nigerian culture or political influence which was described by the BBC as an "interesting slice of Nigerian pop music history and culture".[2]

Bucknor was the father of media personality Tosyn Bucknor[3] and businesswoman Funke Bucknor-Obruthe.[4]

Early life[edit]

Bucknor was born in Lagos on 29 March 1946.[5] He was educated at King's College and Columbia University, New York.[2][6][7] He was a member of the school's band and choir.[8] He started out playing the tin whistle as a junior band member but later graduated to learning the guitar and piano.[9] During this time, he apprenticed under Roy Chicago's band.[10]


In 1964, he was a member of a newly formed band, the Hot Four.[11] He was the band's organist and lead guitar player; other members were Mike Nelson Cole, the band leader and Sunmi Smart Cole, the drummer. The group played regularly in Lagos clubs such as Surulere night club.[11] However, Bucknor traveled to the United States to study for a couple of years.[12] During his time in the United States, he was influenced by Ray Charles.[1] After his return in 1968, the band received funding from a trio of investors and upon the exit of Mike Nelson Cole, Bucknor became the band leader.[8]

In 1969, the name of the band became Segun Bucknor and the Assembly.[2] The group recorded soul songs including "Lord Give Me Soul" and "I Will Love You No Matter How".[8] Gradually the group migrated from soul songs to a style of afrobeat; in performance a dancing trio called the Sweet Things was included.[13]

Bucknor was known for establishing politics into his music.[14] In 1970, the band released "Son of 15 January",[15] The Son of 15 January treating the assassination of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, which occurred on 15 January 1966.[14] In the 1970s, the band released more politically charged songs, "Sorrow, Sorrow, Sorrow", "Poor Man No Get Brother", before its popularity began to slip around the mid-1970s.[2] Bucknor retired from music after receiving threats due to his political views.[16]

After Segun Bucknor and the Assembly disbanded in 1975, Bucknor dedicated his time to journalism.[16] He wrote about political corruption, the same concept as during his musical career.[16]

Bucknor kept a low profile during the 1980s and 1990s due to low popularity and wanting to focus on his family.[17] He made rare musical appearances at cafes during the early 2000s.[17] In recent years, he was kept out of the public by poor health.[18] He made a few broadcasts on his daughter Tosyn Bucknor's social media account.[18]

In 2002, the BBC published a review covering Bucknor's career from 1969 through 1975.[19] It praises Bucknor's "reissue of various recordings made from 1969 to 1975 [which] represents an interesting slice of Nigerian pop music history and culture".[2][19]


Bucknor was noted for switching between singing and shouting from singing alone, floating above every instrument, or in a clear loud voice.[20] The drums, percussion, guitar, bass, keys and horns would be accessories to his vocals.[20] The progression of his sound is more circular and rhythmic, floating around you, and dancing would be involved in his music.[12] His lyrics were in English and Yoruba.[21]

Personal life[edit]

Bucknor was married to Sola Bucknor until his death in 2017.[22] Together, they had two children: Tosyn Bucknor, a media personality, and Funke Bucknor-Obruthe, a businesswoman.[22]

Bucknor died in Lagos in the early hours of 11 August 2017 after suffering from multiple strokes at the age of 71.[23] His death was announced by his daughter Funke on Facebook.[18] At the time of his death, he was suffering from hypertension and diabetes.[23] He was survived by his wife Sola and his two children.[22]


  1. ^ a b "5 facts about the late phenomenal Nigerian Soul legend". Pulse. 11 August 2017. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e Bren O'Callaghan. "Segun Bucknor Poor Man Get No Brother Review". BBC. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  3. ^ Odunayo, Adams. "I Was Born In A Taxi – Top Radio Girl, Tosyn Bucknor Reveals". – Nigeria news. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  4. ^ "Funke Bucknor-Obruthe". businessinnigeria. 5 June 2015. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  5. ^ Tosyn Bucknor (29 March 2017). "Happy Birthday Segun Bucknor!". Google. Retrieved 15 August 2017.
  6. ^ "Musician Segun Bucknor dies at 71". The Nation. Retrieved January 29, 2018.
  7. ^ "Segun Bucknor". JunoRecords. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  8. ^ a b c Collins 1985, p. 133.
  9. ^ Lukmon Fasasi (12 August 2017). "Segun Bucknor, musician and father of popular media personality Tosyn passes away at 71". Net. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  10. ^ "OAP Tosyn Bucknor loses dad". Information Nigeria. 12 August 2017. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  11. ^ a b "Remembering the Titans: John Wayne and Segun Bucknor". Combandrazor. 27 May 2007. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  12. ^ a b "Afro-pop Singer Segun Bucknor Dies". ChannelsTv. 11 August 2017. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  13. ^ "Segun Bucknor". Lastfm. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  14. ^ a b "Segun Bucknor". Roots World. 13 December 2010. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  15. ^ Hutcheon 2010.
  16. ^ a b c "Who the F*ck Is Segun Bucknor". Afrobeat. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  17. ^ a b "Veteran musician Segun Bucknor is dead". 12 August 2017. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  18. ^ a b c "Segun Bucknor Passes On". The News Guru. 12 August 2017. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  19. ^ a b Jide Taiwo (12 August 2017). "Segun Bucknor: A strong, convincing vocalist whose individual talent almost always shined through". The Net. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  20. ^ a b "The musical brilliance of one of Nigeria's most talented voices of the 70s". Pulse. 13 August 2017. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  21. ^ Nigeria Magazine, Issues 128-129. University of Califirnia (Federal Ministry of Information and Culture and Social Welfare, Youth, Sports, and Culture, Federal Government of Nigeria. 1979. p. 87.
  22. ^ a b c "Veteran musician passes on". Pulse. 11 August 2017. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  23. ^ a b "Musician Segun Bucknor dies at 71". The Nation. 12 August 2017. Retrieved 12 August 2017.

Further reading[edit]

  • Collins, John (1985). Musicmakers of West Africa. Washington, DC: Three Continents Press.
  • Hutcheon, David (21 August 2010). "Jazz/World". The Times. London.

External links[edit]