Rim Kwaku Obeng
We’re very proud to present legendary ‘lost’ albums previously available only as rare-as-hen’s teeth private presses, from one Samuel K. Mfojo, the man known as Rim Kwaku Obeng.
A member of one of Ghana’s most popular bands, the Uhuru Dance Band, during a period when ‘every song was a hit’, the recording studios of LA were even more alluring to an aspirant musician, and Rim followed his bandmate, Duke Oketa, there for a session in 1973. Despite having hired a massive string section, Oketa failed to provide charts for the session, and it was postponed for a week, with Rim being asked to write them instead. He turned it around, pocketed $700, and won the admiration of Quincy Jones who was hanging out at A&M’s studios and asked Kwaku to join him … only to back off when Oketa intervened, threatening a lawsuit if Rim walked.
That scuppered opportunity was as nothing compared to the disaster that next befell him: having flown to London with Duke’s band, to record with ‘a band called Traffic’ and a young singer-songwriter called Joan Armatrading, Rim found himself marooned in the city without money, documentation or friends. Oketa had checked out of their hotel the first night, and had Rim’s passport and luggage with him. Despite the sympathy of the hotel staff, he found himself on the streets, and thus in 1973 began a six-month period as a homeless, destitute, undocumented stranger.
That Rim by chance managed to meet Armatrading, who helped him get his life back on track, by chance passing Ronnie Scott’s where she was playing, was an even more unlikely twist in the fate of this promising young musician. He never found out why Oketa had abandoned him, but he fulfilled his promise, recording Rim Arrives in San Francisco in 1977.