Discography of Gentleman Mike Ejeagha





If one artist can be said to epitomize the soul of Ndi Igbo (the Igbo people of Southeastern Nigeria), it is Mike Ejeagha, born August 1932 in Imezi Owa in the former Eastern Region of Nigeria, today Eziagu LGA, Enugu State. Very much in the "deep" Igbo folk culture tradition of his native Enugu area, Ejeagha's lyrics are full of the parables & shaded meanings that are the essence of Igbo culture. His arrangements & guitar work, in addition, are sublime.

Ejeagha learned to play guitar from two fellow residents of the coal-mining camps of Enugu, Moses "Moscow" Aduba and Cyprian Ozochiawa. Around the age of 18, he formed his first musical group, Mike Ejeagha and the Merry Makers. Soon he was performing and producing for Nigeria Broadcasting Services, and later joined the Paradise Rhythm Orchestra, a group owned by an Enugu hotelier, and the Leisure Gardens Dance Band. He founded the Rhythm Dandies in 1964, which later changed its name to the Premiers Dance Band. The group was forced to disperse during the Biafran war of independence in the late '60s, but reformed after hostilities ended in 1970.

Since the early 1970s, Mike Ejeagha's musical explorations of Igbo folklore have earned him a much-beloved place in the pantheon of modern Igbo highlife music.

Much of the information in this biographical sketch of Mike Ejeagha is taken from "Life at Old Age is Quite Enjoyable," an interview by Nwagbo Nnenyelike which appeared in The Sun of Lagos, Nigeria on October 15, 2004. By Ejeagha's own account he recorded 33 albums, not all of which are listed here. Some of the titles listed here also lack recording data. Any information on these recordings is solicited and very much appreciated. It is hoped that the publication of this (admittedly incomplete) discography will help to rescue this consummate and influential musician from his undeserved obscurity.
In recent years there have been many CD reissues of Ejeagha's work, some authorized by his record company Premier Music, some apparently not. Keeping up with all of these is a hopeless task, and for the most part they have been ignored.  To read more about Mike Ejeagha, go here. -- John Beadle




1960
Gentleman Mike Ejeagha
Ofu Nwa Anaa b/w ? (7" 45; Nigerphone [Onitsha, Nigeria]; reference number not known)
-- Mike Ejeagha: "...['Ofu Nwa Anaa'] is all about an only son who followed the father to the farm and was bitten by a snake and died."

1960s
Gentleman Mike Ejeagha
Okuko Kwaa Uche Echegbuo Onye Ugwo b/w ? (7" 45; recording information unavailable)

1960s
Gentleman Mike Ejeagha & his Premier Dance Band
King Solomon's Wisdon b/w ? (7" single; Nigerphone [Onitsha, Nigeria]; reference number not known)

Early 1970s
Gentleman Mike Ejeagha & his Reformed Premier Dance Band
Ekwutosi Juase Tupu Ikwenye (7" EP; Philips [Lagos]; reference number not known)
[A] ?
[B] ?



1972
The Premier Dance Band led by: Mike Ejeagha
Ada-Ora b/w Ofo Malu Onye Ji Ya (7"45; Philips [Lagos] 6259 185)

1974
Gentleman Mike Ejeagha & his Premiers Dance Band
Ude Egbunam (LP; Philips [Lagos] 6361 074 (PL))
[A] Yoba Chineke / Nyelu Nwa Ogbenye Aka / Ezi Ndumodu Abugh Mmegbu
[B] Onye Di Ora Mma ? / Ka'Nyi Kene Onye Nwe Anyi / Ude Egbunam



1975
Gentleman Mike Ejeagha & his Premiers Dance Band
Onye Ndidi (LP; Philips [Lagos] 6361 110 (PL))(CD; Premier Music [Lagos] KMCD 039)
[A] Onye Ndidi N'eli Azu Ukpo-o / Suzzana Merringue/ Ikpechakwa-a Kam-Kpe-e
[B] Welu Nwayo Sobe Ihe Uwa-a / Agbata Obi Onye Bu Nwanne Ya / Nwa Bu Onyinye Chukwu



1976
Gentleman Mike Ejeagha & his Premier Dance Band
Akuko Na Egwu Vol. 1 (LP; Polydor [Lagos] POLP 009)(CD; Premier Music [Lagos] KMCD 025 [as Akuko N'egwu Original Vol. 4] )
[A] Ome Ka Agu (Omenani No. 1)
[B] Obiako Nnwam (Omenani No. 2) / Udo Ka Nma

-- Mike Ejeagha on "Ome Ka Agu:" "It is the story of two brothers. Their father, the king of the land loves the younger one very well. The son's name Omekagu means that he is his true son. His first son is peculiar in his own way, but the king does not like him. His intention is to bequeath the throne to Omekagu, so that he becomes king whenever he dies. But the tradition is that the first son should succeed the late king. The elders warned him against this, but he would not listen. His bid to accomplish this failed thus comforming with the proverb that it is nature that wards off flies for a cow without a tail. Omekagu was prepared by the king so that he rides on a Horse round the town and proclaim that the throne belongs to him when the king dies. As he was going round, his elder brother being a flutist blew a sound of lamentation. Omekagu fell from the horse and became unconscious. Words got to the king and he summoned the elders. They reminded him of their warning that he was being unfair with the first son. They advised him that the only solution for him is to tender an apology to his first son. He did and he blew his flute again, Omekagu rose up."

1976?
Gentleman Mike Ejeagha & his Premier Dance Band
Omenani Special (LP; unknown)
[A] ?
[B] ?

1977
Gentleman Mike Ejeagha & his Premier Dance Band
Omenani Special Vol. 2 (LP; Polydor [Lagos] POLP 013)
[A] ?
[B] ?



1977
Gentleman Mike Ejeagha & his Premier Dance Band
Omenani Special Vol. 3 (LP; Polydor [Lagos] POLP 018) (CD; Premier Music [Lagos] KMCD 068)
[A] Anyi Fulu Ozu Ene / Nzoji Nku
[B] Akwu Achaa / Agolum Aga

1978
Gentleman Mike Ejeagha & his Premier Dance Band
Onye Oma Vol. 4 (LP; Polydor [Lagos] POLP 027)
[A] ?
[B] ?



1978
Mike Ejeagha & his Premier Dance Band
Udoka Special (LP; Panafrik PAN 528)
[A] Udoka Special
[B] Chim Ekwena



1980
Gentleman Mike Ejeagha & his Premier Dance Band
Ebe Aka Lulu Onye (LP; Polydor [Lagos] POLP 042)
[A] Ebe Aka Lulu Onye / Ime Nye Lum
[B] Nbene Oja / Elo

1980
Gentleman Mike Ejeagha & his Premier Dance Band
Uwa Ngebede Ka Mma (LP; Polydor [Lagos] POLP 051)(CD; Premier Music [Lagos] KMCD 026)
[A] Uwa Ngebede Ka Mma / Atualu Omalu
[B] Ife Nji M'Ogo / When Cock Crows



1982
Gentleman Mike Ejeagha & his Premier Dance Band
Onye Nwe Ona Ebe, Onye Enwero Ana Ebe (LP; Polydor [Lagos] POLP 057)(CD; Premier Music [Lagos] KMCD 037)
[A] Onye Nwe Ona Ebe, Onye Enwero Ana Ebe
[B] Onye Lua Nya Lie / Nke Onye Adi Nya Njo

1982
Gentleman Mike Ejeagha & his Premier Dance Band
Ugo Mma (LP; Polydor [Lagos] POLP 080)
[A] Ugo Mma
[B] Alo Bu Ije Enu



1982
Gentleman Mike Ejeagha & his Trio
Akuko N'egwu Original Vol. 1 (LP; Polydor [Lagos] POLP 094) (CD; Premier Music [Lagos] KMCD 019 [2004?]))
[A] Onye Ori Utaba
[B] Ka Esi Le Onye Isi Oche

-- Akuko N'egwu Original Vols. 1, 2 & 3 (not to be confused with Akuko Na Egwu Vol. 1) are more intimate, acoustic albums originally recorded for the Radio and Television Network of the old Anambra State Broadcasting in Enugu. Mike Ejeagha: "After the [Biafran] war, I recorded an album, Omekagu [Akuko Na Egwu Vol. 1 (Polydor [Lagos] POLP 009)]... It was a very big success. After this, I was invited by the then Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS), now Enugu State Broadcasting Service (ESBS) to be doing a programme titled Akuko N'egwu (story telling in music). In the programme, I must give a new folktale on a weekly basis. Usually, we were required to go to a natural scene that could portray the environment of the week's story. This added to the authenticity of the stories since the listeners always felt as if they were at the scene. The sound of nature as the story went on really made the listeners believe the story. I can tell you that this really endeared it to people."



1983
Gentleman Mike Ejeagha & his Premier Dance Band
Jaa'm Mma Na Ndu (Polydor LP; POLP 100)
[A] Jaa'm Mma Na Ndu
[B] Okwu Aburo Nni



1984
Gentleman Mike Ejeagha & his Trio
Akuko N'egwu Original Vol. 2 (Polydor LP; POLP 104)(CD; Premier Music [Lagos] KMCD 041)
[A] Mgba Enwude Akpulu
[B] Ebini New Ude



1985
Gentleman Mike Ejeagha
Ife Uwa Bu Ana Eme Odi Ka Ada Eme (Akuko N'egwu Vol. 3) (Polydor LP; POLP 110)(CD; Premier Music [Lagos] KMCD 038)
[A] Ife Uwa Bu Ana Eme Odi Ka Ada Eme
[B] Elulube Lube 



1985
Gentleman Mike Ejeagha & his Premier Dance Band
Anyi Ga Adi (Polydor LP; POLP 130)
[A] Anyi Ga Adi
[B] Amarom Onye Ilo / Nna Kwa Chapulu Anyi Ajo Ife



1986
Gentleman Mike Ejeagha & his Premier Dance Band
Oga Adi Mma N'ezie (Polydor LP; POLP 145)
[A] Oga Adi Mma N'ezie / Ife Inwena Debe Ya Oruma
[B] Mjua Gi Izaa

?
Gentleman Mike Ejeagha & his Premier Dance Band
Onye Mkpesa (Polydor LP; POLP 171)
[A] Onye Mkpesa Gana Ekpesa / Eme Ya Eme
[B] Ode Ete Ala Ife Mmadu / Agholu Ya Okwu

?
Gentleman Mike Ejeagha & his Premier Dance Band
Nze Bia K'anyi Rie Nni (LP; recording information not available)
[A] ?
[B] ?

?
Gentleman Mike Ejeagha & his Premier Dance Band
Uwa Mgbede Ka Mma (LP; recording information not available)
[A] ?
[B] ?

?
Gentleman Mike Ejeagha & his Premier Dance Band
Ofor Malu Onye Ji Ya (LP; recording information not available)
[A] ?
[B] ?

?
Gentleman Mike Ejeagha & his Premier Dance Band
Gwogwom Ngwo (LP; recording information not available)
[A] ?
[B] ?

?
Gentleman Mike Ejeagha & his Premier Dance Band
Ife Mfulu N'ime Ofia (LP; recording information not available)
[A] ?
[B] ?

2001
Gentleman Mike Ejeagha & his Premier Dance Band
Greatest Hits Vol. 1 (CD; Premier Music [Lagos] PMCD 009)
Onye Ndidi N'eli Azu Ukpo / Sussana Merringue / Ikpechakwa A-akam Kpee / Welu Nwayo Sobe Ihe Uwa-a / Agbata Obi Onye Bu Nwanne Ya / Nwa Bu Onyinye Chukwu / Onye Ori Utaba
-- This "Greatest Hits" compilation is essentially the LP Onye Ndidi from 1975 (Philips 6361 110) with the addition of "Onye Ori Utaba" from 1982's Akuko N'egwu Original Vol. 1 (POLP 094).

2001
Gentleman Mike Ejeagha & his Premier Dance Band
Greatest Hits Vol. 2 (CD; Premier Music [Lagos] PMCD 010)
Ome Ka Agu / Obiako Nnwam / Udo Ka Nma / Ife Uwa Bu Ana Eme Odi Ka Ada
-- This "Greatest Hits" compilation is essentially the LP Akuko Na Egwu Vol.1 from 1976 (POLP 009) with the addition of "Ife Uwa Bu Ana Eme Odi Ka Ada Eme" from 1985's Akuko N'gwu Vol. 2 (POLP 110).

2002?
Various Artists
High Life Kings Vol. 1 (CD; Premier Music [Lagos] KMCD 01)
Osoni Owendu (Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe) / Onye Uri Ubata (Mike Ejeagha) / Igede (Celestine Ukwu) / Usondu (Celestine Ukwu) / Bere Bote (Rex Lawson) / Omo Pupa (Dr. Victor Olaiya) / Joromi (Sir Victor Uwaifo) / Kwue Nkenyi (Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe) / Anate (Rex Lawson) / Okwudili (Paulson Kalu) / Ugwu Onyirika Watu (Paulson Kalu) / Sanmari Adugbo (Wuru Fadaka)

2002?
Various Artists
High Life Kings Vol. 2 (CD; Premier Music [Lagos] KMCD 02)
Makojo (Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe) / Esonta (Chief Inyang Henshaw) / Ebonjo Eedidem Iban (Chief Inyang Henshaw) / Pariboto Riboto (Dr. Victor Olaiya) / Jolaosho (St. Augustine & The Rovers Dance Band) / Ogirri (St. Augustine & The Rovers Dance Band) / Atabal Woman ( Professional Seagulls Dance Band) / Afro Baby ( Professional Seagulls Dance Band) / Akuete (Victor Uwaifo) / Joromi (Sir Victor Uwaifo) / Okina (Akaba Man) / Abari Biya (Rex Lawson) / Ikpechakwa A-Akem Kpee (Gentle Man Ejeagha) / Yoba Chukwu (Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe) / Osuala Oru Enene (Cardinal Rex Lawson) / Guitar Boy (Sir Victor Uwaifo)
-- Track titles and artists are listed here as they are on these two CD's, although in some cases they are misspelled.

-- This discography was compiled by John Beadle at P.O. Box 100174, Milwaukee, WI 53210 USA. For weblog, visit (http://likembe.blogspot.com/), and E-mail to John Beadle

Special thanks to: Mark Harrington, Gilbert Hsiao, Jan Duinkerken, Kazuya Ogiwara, Dr. Crackle ...





Last updated on December 3, 2014


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