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Localising African popular music transnationally: 'Highlife-Travellers' in Britain in the 1950s and 1960s

Localising African popular music transnationally: 'Highlife-Travellers' in Britain in the 1950s and 1960s

Abstract

The paper argues that a critical toehold for understanding the formation, modernization, and popularity of Highlife in the 1950s is its transnational dimension. To corroborate this claim, the paper puts emphasis on Highlife musicians in the UK, especially London, during this time, their musical activities and productions there, and the effects of their journeys on popular music. The growing evidence that cultural practices and processes in different locales, across national and continental boundaries, were interrelated in the making of Highlife, asks for a multi-sited study of Highlife especially with regard to the musical creativity and productivity of 1950s and 1960s. It requires further research into how the journeys of musicians, the 'transport' of culture, and the resulting interplay of musical styles affected the popular African music Highlife.
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