In the order of legend, in the order of Nigerian music and entertainment that sits in sociocultural eternity, the Chief Commander, Evangelist (Dr) Ebenezer Obey, has earned a comfortable space. This music and juju aficionado, born Ebenezer Remilekun Aremu Olasupo Obey-Fabiyi on April 3, 1942, in Idogo, Nigeria, is celebrating 75 wonderful years on earth, and we join the worl to celebrate him.
Evangelist (Dr) Ebenezer Obey began his professional career in the mid-1950s after moving to Lagos. After tutelage under another ageless gem, Fatai Rolling-Dollar’s band, he formed a band called “The International Brothers” in 1964, playing highlife–jùjú fusion. The band later metamorphosed into Inter-Reformers in the early-1970s, with a long list of Juju album hits on the West African Decca musical label.
Obey began experimenting with Yoruba percussion style and expanding on the band by adding more drum kits, guitars and talking drums. Obey’s musical strengths lie in weaving intricate Yoruba axioms into dance-floor compositions.
As is characteristic of Nigerian Yoruba social-circle music, the Inter-Reformers band excelled in praise-singing for rich Nigerian socialites and business tycoons. Obey, however, is also renowned for Christian spiritual themes in his music and has since the early-1990s retired into Nigerian gospel music ministry.
He transformed the band into Inter-Reformers in the early-1970s, with a long list of Juju album hits on the West African Decca musical label.
Obey has successfully released over 100 albums and the ones yet to be released are uncountable.
While celebrating his 74th birth in 2016, Obey was quoted as saying that; “I never knew I could attain this age, but I have committed everything about me into the hands of God.
“There are certain things in life I don’t bother myself about; because I know God is in control of my life. “My coming to the earth has been fulfilled and the time I will go back is in the hands of God.’’
Viva Naija says 75 hearty Tuales to the Chiefest of the Chiefest Commanders, who keeps shooting down our boredom and gloom with pristine strings from his guitar!
From the Horse, the Man and the Son, to “Ota mi dehin leyin me, to God’s glory, Board Members, Edumare soro mi dayo, and his Happy Birthday song, Ebenezer Obey classics are seemingly here to stay forever! Relive some of these songs below:
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