Don’t believe it when they tell you that there was no gospel music in Ghana before the Tagoe Sisters.
What is undeniable, however, is that gospel music has never been the same since Lydia and Elizabeth burst onto the scene out of obscurity to become shadows of established giants in 1987. In the best half of these 40 years, the Tagoe Sisters gave gospel music a new definition.
It was not just the novelty of their two-part (soprano-alto) enthralling melodies; there were also the hot and jumpy rhythms that took gospel music to a dance floor on which both Christians and secular music lovers found something in common, namely bogeying to God’s own music!
Both from behind and out front, Lydia and Elizabeth did to Ghanaians what few others had accomplished before. Their phenomenal debut album ‘Nyame Ye Kese’ was a collection of power-laden and unforgettable lyrics, a fatal combination that not only sent everybody rushing to music shops but spawned Christian music shops in the cities. Suddenly, every Ghanaian was singing gospel, songs that only the deaf could resist.
The crowd did not need to pay to see them; every Osofo Amoako crusade featured the Tagoe Sisters. A new sensation was sweeping across the land.
Then Osofo Amoako passed. The road accident that took his life was Ghana’s Gossip Number One. The Sisters were in that vehicle. Such was the impact of the crash and the mangled remains of the vehicle, that tongues wagged. Why did the twins not die in the accident? Their popularity went through the roof.
Every other year from 1987 saw the release of a new Tagoe Sisters album. Two months after they vanished to London, Ghanaians knew a new sensation was in the offing.
Hit after hit followed in quick succession. Their ten albums, including ‘Menya Yesu’ ‘Yesu beye ama wo’, ‘Anka matete’, and ‘Osombo Kyen Ade Nyinaa’, were must-haves. Topping their own chart was ‘Yedi nkunim’, which became a national anthem, sung whenever the Black Stars had a crucial match, or past midnight as Ghanaians stayed awake for an Azumah Nelson fight.
Critics soon appreciated the secret that lay behind the phenomenon. Most of the songs were composed by the incomparable tunesmith, Reverend Yawson.
Awards? The Sisters have lost count of them.
The Tagoe Sisters @ 40 Thanksgiving Concert is live at the Accra International Conference Centre on Sunday, October 15. The line-up for the night has set Christians wondering what the likes of Kwabena Kwabena, Kuame Eugene and Akwaboah are doing on Ghanaian gospel’s big night. It’s the Sisters’ special secret.
On Sunday, October 15, music fans will come away from the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC), echoing the 40th anniversary message: “We are still young. Life has just begun if life begins at 40”. Thus sayeth the Tagoe Sisters.