Sierra Leone Journal
Dispatches from Pre-War Freetown and Beyond


Rogie Rallies

LONDON—The fortune of Sierra Leone’s S.E. Rogie has taken a turn for the better. A mainstay in northern California schools and nightclubs for the past fifteen years, Rogie has moved on to London where his folksy “palm wine” guitar style has been greeted with acclaim.

Rogie's recent 60s’ Sounds album, a collection of his original West African recordings (The Beat, vol. 6, no. 5/6, 1986, p. 59), has been re-packaged by London’s Cooking Vinyl records complete with new cover art, a new title Palm Wine Guitar Music, and two additional tracks from the collection of Wisconsin musicologist Naomi Ware. An ambitious six-month promotional tour of the U.K., Belgium, and France, begun in March, has been turning out enthusiastic crowds.

“Twist With The Morningstars,” Rogie's quirky paean to the Chubby Checker era, has found its way onto a new Special Delivery disc called Great Moments of Vinyl History, a compilation inspired by popular BBC disc jockey Andy Kershaw that features a Dwight Yoakam track.

His records and concerts, radio and television appearances on the BBC, and a flurry of articles and profiles from the likes of Folk Roots, The London Times, The Guardian, and West Africa have boosted Rogie to a prominence he was never able to achieve in the United States.

This article first appeared in The Beat, vol. 7, no. 3, 1988. Copyright © 1988 by Gary Stewart


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