Library Weekly

The ASCL's Library Weekly is our library’s weekly spotlight on African people and events. Inspired by the SciHiBlog, this service is based on information retrieved from Wikipedia and Wikidata and is completed with selected titles from the ASCL Library Catalogue. 

N.B. The weeklies are not updated and reflect the state of information at a given point in time.

Library Weekly archive

Francis Bebey

Francis Bebey (cover Africultures no. 49, 2002)On May 28, 2001, Cameroonian-born writer, composer and one of the pioneers of contemporary African music, Francis Bebey died at his home in Paris of a heart attack. Bebey was also an authority on African traditional music and played the Pygmy flute and the African thumb piano.

Francis Bebey was born in Douala on 15 July 1929. He began performing with a band as a teenager in Cameroon. In the mid-1950s he traveled to Paris to study broadcasting at the University of Paris. After attending New York University and having worked as a radio broadcaster in Ghana, Bebey settled in Paris in the early 1960s where he was hired by UNESCO to research and document traditional African music.

Bebey released his first album in 1969. His music was primarily guitar-based, but he integrated traditional African instruments and synthesizers as well. His style merged Cameroonian makossa with classical guitar, jazz, and pop.

Bebey was also a noted writer. His novel Le Fils d’Agatha Moudio (Agatha Moudio’s Son) won the Grand Prix Litteraire de L’Afrique Noire in Paris in 1968. A later novel, L'Enfant-pluie (Rain Child), received the Prix Saint Exupery in 1994.

(Source: Wikipedia, edited)

Selected publications

Francis Bebey, l'homme-orchestre / dossier coordonné par Kidi Bebey.
Africultures, no. 49, 2002
Includes bibliography and discography

Works by Francis Bebey

African music : a people's art / Francis Bebey. - Westport, Conn. : L. Hill, 1975

L'enfant-pluie : roman / Francis Bebey. - Saint-Maur : Sépia, cop. 1994

Le ministre et le griot : roman / Francis Bebey. - Saint-Maur : Sépia, 1992

La lune dans une seau tout rouge : nouvelles et diracontes / Francis Bebey. - Paris : Hatier, 1989-

Concert pour un vieux masque : poème / Francis Bebey. - Paris : L'Harmattan, cop. 1980

The Ashanti doll / Francis Bebey. - London [etc.] : Heinemann, 1978

Le roi Albert d'Effidi / Francis Bebey. - Yaoundé : Editions Cle, 1976

Le fils d'Agatha Moudio : roman / Francis Bebey. - Yaoundé : Éd. CLE, 1967

See also Francis Bebey on NTS liveMusicBrainz and Muziekweb.

Francis Bebey: Agatha 

Timeline of Francis Bebey via Wikidata