Orlando Owoh, later referred to by his fans and the music industry as Chief Dr. Orlando Owoh was a highlife musician and band leader.
Owoh was born Stephen Oladipupo Olaore Owomoyela in Osogbo, Nigeria on February 14, 1932 to Owomoyela and Mrs. Christiana Morenike Owomoyela. His Father hailed from Ifon town while his mother was from Owo. He later became known to his fans as Chief Dr. Orlando Owoh. As a young man Owoh initially entered into the carpentry trade until 1958, when he was hired by Nigeria’s Kola Ogunmola Theatre Group to play drums and sing. Owoh went on to form Dr. Orlando Owoh and his Omimah Band in 1960, and over a musical career of forty years became one of the leading proponents of highlife music. With bands such as the Omimah Band and later the Young Kenneries and the African Kenneries International, Owoh remained popular in Nigeria, even as tastes moved to the newer jùjú and fuji styles.
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Orlando Owoh’s music career started when Owoh was fairly young. It began with him playing the bongos with The Fakunle Major Band in 1960. After spending three years fighting in the Nigeria’s civil war, Owoh picked up his music career and formed his own band. Soon after, Owoh and his band released their first popular song “Oriki Ilu Oke‘.” After changing his band style and settling down with a record company, Owoh and the Young Kenneries started putting up a marvelous show. Together with his band, they were considered to be one of the best bands in Nigeria at that time.
Owoh was more than just a singer, He was composer and guitarist who performed a certain style of music known as “toye.” This highlife musician has stood by his music, even with the boom of juju music. Owoh attracted (and still attracts) an older audience that enjoyed listening to his relaxing lyrics and music.
Owoh and his band have racked up 40 LPs and albums and also gained international recognition.
The list of albums and singles, though not exhaustive includes the following:
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Albums released by Dr. Orlando Owoh include: Aiye nyi lo (medley), Ajanaku Daraba, Apartheid, Asotito Aye, Awa de, Ayo mi sese bere, Cain ati Abel, Easter special, E ku iroju, Emi wa wa lowo re, Experience, Ganja I, Ganja II, Ibaje eniyan, Igba aye Noah, Ire loni, I say No, Iwa l’Oluwa nwo, Iyawo Olele, Jeka sise, Kangaroo, Kennery de ijo ya, Kose mani, Late Dele Giwa, Logba Logba, Ma wo mi roro, Message, Mo juba agba, Money 4 hand back 4 ground, Oriki Ojo, Orin titun, Thanksgiving, Which is which.
Singles released by Dr. Orlando Owoh include: Brother ye se, Day by day, Diana, Ebe mo be ori mi, Egi nado, Elese (sinner), Fiba fun Eledumare, Ma pa mi l’oruko da, Ma sika Ma doro, Modupe (medley), Moremi, Oju ni face, Okan mi yin Oba orun, Olorun Oba da wa lohun (medley), Oro loko laya, Rex Lawson, Wa ba mi jo, Yabomisa sawale, You be my lover, Zo muje.
He died on the 4th of November, 2008 and was laid to rest at his Agege residence in Lagos, Nigeria.
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