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Tuesday, 24 May 2005 ,  Written by Charles Andrews
Babatunde Olatunji - Circle of Drums
Are you, or your parents, or your grandparents, one of the 5,000,000 people in America who bought 1959’s Drums of Passion and made Babatunde Olatunji a household name? (Though not one you can say really fast 10 times, I’ll bet.) That figure is total sales up to today, but still, he moved a lot of vinyl for the ‘50s. Especially when you consider what a weird-ass record it was at the time for people to even find out about, let alone buy, listen to and dig. In 1959? Bobby Darin, Dion, Fabian, Frankie Avalon, Connie Francis, Ray Charles and the Chipmunks topped the charts. Dig this: it was nearly 30 years before anyone used the term “world music” (invented, in fact, in 1987 at a meeting in London of a group of small record label scions and one music journalist who were frustrated at trying to market this diverse and heretofore uncategorizable ...
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