In 1960 the Professional Uhuru Band (formerly the Broadway Band, the name change came after a legal dispute) was the first music group to benefit from President Kwame Nkrumah’s directive that all Ghanaian musicians undergo six months training in African music. This immersion inspired the Uhurus to add African rhythms and percussion instruments to their output. Stan Plange became leader of the Uhurus (Swahili meaning “freedom”) when Sammy Obot returned to make his fortune in his native Nigeria. Uhuru were one of the few highlife bands that featured a female vocalist, Charlotte Dada – be sure to search for her compelling cover of the Beatles’ ‘Don’t Let Me Down’.
Uhuru became favourites with Ghana’s first president Nkrumah and played for him at state functions and accompanied him on international visits. In 1966/7 they supported Chubby “Let’s Twist Again” Checker on his West African tour.