IT’S WORLD REX LAWSON DAY!
Here is brief Biography of the King of Highlife Lara Cardinal Rex Lawson;
Rex Lawson was born in 1938 in Buguma, Nigeria to a Kalabari chieftain father and an Igbo mother from Owerri. He was given the name Erekeosima which translates to “do not name this one” due to his father’s belief that he would not live past infancy
He was the fourth child to his parents, the others having died of illnesses. At a young age, Lawson was afflicted with a severe case of small pox. While his mother brought him to various medicine men outside of Kalabari for treatment, his father feared he would die and lost interest in raising him.
Lawson later sued his father for neglect while he was at school. He won the case and him and his father did not communicate with one another until he began his musical career.
Rex Lawson began his career in Port Harcourt as a bandboy for Lord Eddyson’s Starlight Melody Orchestra. He later played with Sammy Obot, Bobby Benson, Victor Olaiya, Chris Ajilo, and other Ghanaian and Nigerian musicians and bands.
His greatest success came as the leader of the Majors Band (also called the Rivers Men in later years); their recorded hits include “So ala teme”, “Yellow Sisi”, “Gowon Special”, and “Jolly Papa”.
A highly emotional and deep musician, Lawson was known to weep and shed tears while singing his own songs on stage, notably the haunting “So ala teme”. The late Sir Maliki Showman, the Nigerian tenor saxophonist who played with Rex Lawson, Bobby Benson and Victor Uwaifo,remembers
Lawson as placing music over money. In most Highlife bands, the trumpet often played a leading role in the music that they played. Lawson broke from this trend by frequently featuring alto saxophone solos in his songs.
Lawson is famed for his infectious gregariousness, his musical vision, talent, perseverance and individuality. He was able to sing in many different languages and dialects such as Kalabari, Nembe, Ijaw(Izon), Igbo, Urhobo, Ibibio, Efik and those of Cameroon and Ghana.
His music is loved to this day in Nigeria. They remain ever green and relevant. His songs are regularly performed and danced at live band shows in Nigeria, and a number of young musicians have remixed some of his old hits, and his relevance continues to be felt.
His most popular songs were “Bere Bote” “Love Adure” and “Sawale”. The single “Sawale” was a hit all over Africa and has been remixed in various Africa countries like Ethiopia.
His single “Sawale” was remixed by Flavour N’abania to make the popular hit song, “Nwa Baby (Ashawo)”.
Lawson died on 16 January 1971 in a car accident at the Urhamigbe corner on the Asaba–Benin Road while on his way to Warri, Nigeria, for a performance.He was 33 years old. After his death, his band continued as the Professional Seagulls.
He who was unworthy of a name at birth, today is reckoned as the greatest Highlife musician to have ever graced our world. He is Nigerian, He is Ijaw, He is an icon, He is Cardinal Osima Rex Lawson..
REST ON LEGEND
THE WORLD REMEMBERS YOU TODAY…