Discography of Joe Nez

Unfortunately, Joe Nez's contributions to Nigerian popular music were not truly appreciated until after his death in 1979. This great singer hailed from Mbaise, near Owerri, Imo State. Although record labels list his style as "Highlife", it owes as much to Jimmy Rodgers as to Rex Lawson or E.T. Mensah. This assertion may seem dubious to some, but it is based on fact. American country music singers like Rodgers, Jim Reeves and Dolly Parton have been hugely popular in Nigeria, and have made their influence felt in various subtle ways.

Although he recorded in English as well, his Igbo work is more interesting, displaying the Igbo gift of allegory as well as a wry sense of humor, particularly his classic song "Ofe Owerre"("Owerri Soup") on "Onye Ma Echi?"This recounts the tale of a fellow who is having seconds thoughts about his girlfriend - it seems she has been stealing his soup! Apparently that tune was popular outside of Nigeria as well; it shows up in the instrumental bridge of Franco's song "Bomba, Bomba, Mabe".- John Beadle.

Various Artists
Catchy Rhythms from Nigeria - Vol. 2 (10" LP; Philips West Africa P 13401)
[1] Cool Cats Invitiation (Victor Ola-lya & his "Cool Cats") / Onyeoma Rosa (Ishie Brothers) / Save For a Rainy Day (Sammy Akpabat & his "All Stars") / Olowofuja Sawa (Julius O. Araba & his "Rhythm Blues") / Omolanke (Victor Ola-laya & his "Cool Cats")
[2] Iyawo-Ile (Ganiyu Kale & his "Guinea Mambo Orchestra") / Mafara, Kusa da Sokoto (Ishie Brothers) / Ayakata ("Baby-Face" Paul Isamade & his "Top-Toppers") / Nsonma Nnem (Joe Nez & his Trio) / Mumude (Victor Ola-lya & his "Cool Cats")
-- A collection of popular Nigeria tunes of the day. On "Ayakata" Joe Nez performs as guest vocalist for "Baby-Face" Paul Isamade (a saxophonist) and his "Top-Toppers." The sleeve states, "The voice of Nigeria made this fascinating song one of the best known pop-tunes in recent years." About "Nsonma Nnem" by Joe Nez and his Trio, the sleeve writes, "'Nsonma Nnem' is meant to console a woman left by her husband. She is told not to worry but to dance, as all will be well in the end."

Early 1960s?
Various Artists
Catchy Rhythms From Nigeria - Vol. 3 (10" LP; Philips West Africa [Lagos] 13404)
[1] Ko Fo'run (Victor Olaiya & his All Stars) / Plenty Sunshine (Agu Norris & the Heatwaves) / Adaku Maranma (Joe Nez & his Orchestra) / Olowo Gba'ya Ole (Roy Chicago & his Abalabi-Rhythm Dandies") / Onye Maechi (Zeal Onyia & his Band)
[2] Obo Mi Ebe Mi (Tex Dandies Dance Band) / Maria (Roy Chicago & his Abalabi-Rhythm Dandies) / Asiko (The Harmonaires accompanied by the Modernaires Five) / The Governor General Calypso (Agu Norris & the Heatwaves) / Asian Udo (Victor Olaiya & his All Stars)

Joe Nez, "The Voice of Nigeria"
Afro Rhythm Parade 3 featuring Joe Nez his Voice his Trio and his Combo (7" EP; Philips West Africa (7" EP; Philips West Africa [Holland] 420003 PE)
[1] Ogadinma / Pitarkwa
[2] Fat As a Cow / Baby Nwam

Joe Nez & his Top Six
Onye Ma Echi? (LP; Scantone SX 1004)(CD; Scantone/Panovo SXCD004 [2003])
[A] Onye Ma Eche? / Omumu / Abiala Ha Ozo
[B] Ama Onye Eso / Onye Nwe Uwa / Ofe Owerre

Joe Nez & his Top Six
The Joe Nez Story (LP; Anodisc ALPS 1005)(CD; Scantone/Panovo SXCD005 [2003, as The Joe Nez Story-Business Trip])
[A] Business Trip / My Landlady / Nosike
[B] Baby You / Me Sweetie / Mona Come Back

Joe Nez
Odila Nma (LP; Anodisc ALPS 1030)
[A] Odila Nma / Okwere Nke Di Kara / Onye Chukwumerije
[B] Nke Echi Ka / Shuwala / Ibe Awu Chi

Joe Nez
Memories of Joe Nez (LP; Scantone STL 1078)
[A] Leave Me Alone / Worries and Tears and Sorrows / You'll Never Know My Mind
[B] When the Day is Gone / We Got it Right / Song of Happiness

--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: Priscilla Aghaluke Beadle, Vitus Johnson Laurence, Dolf Motz, Michael Kieffer, Gilbert Hsiao ...

Last updated on July 13, 2005