The spirit of legendary high life musician, Bobby Benson, came alive at the monthly Elders’ Forum held last Sunday at the upscale O’jez Restaurant and Bar, Surulere, Lagos as his son, Tony took the center stage playing his father’s evergreen songs
The event aimed at reviving highlife music was put together by O’jez Entertainment and Femi Esho’s Evergreen Musical Company, designed to recognize musicians and other persons that have contributed to Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage.
Last Sunday, music fans across ages witnessed the presentation of a post-humous award to Bobby Benson, who was one of the godfathers of Highlife music in Nigeria.
Bobby Benson provided effective apprenticeship for the first generation of highlife musicians including Victor Olaiya, Roy Chicago, Billy Friday, Zeal Onyia, Eddy Okonta, Baby Face Paul and Rex Lawson among others. He developed the scene and set the pace for its revolution Roy Chicago, Billy Friday, Zeal Onyia, Eddy Okonta, Baby Face Paul and Rex Lawson among others under his wings in the early stages of their careers.
He was reputed to be the first highlife musician in Nigeria to own a club and hotel which became the hub of entertainment for the elites in the 50’s, Bobby Benson was also a comedian, magician and a showman. His son, Tony Benson has ensured that the family legacy doesn’t fade away by remaining consistent in keeping the flame of highlife music alive.
At the 6th edition of the Elder’s forum, Tony entertained the audience with the best tunes of highlife music of the 60’s and received a post-humous award for Bobby in recognition of his role in musical entertainment in Nigeria.
Bobby Benson, who hailed from Ikorodu, Lagos State was born in 1921. He died at the age of 62 years. His songs include ‘Taxi Driver’, ‘Gentleman Bobby’, ‘Ewa’ among many others have been remixed by many contemporary Nigerian musicians.