This is one of the songs that made Kanda Bongoman very popular. His rendition is awesome. Originally done by S.E. Rogie from Sierra Leone, the song has continued to be fresh and many renditions done to it. The Kanda Bongoman version is particularly popular in Kenya with the part that he talks of “becoming a drunkard, taking whisky, Johnny Walker, that walks all over his head,” sticking out.
Besides My Lovely Elizabeth, S.E. Rogie sung many other memorable songs the include Green Pumpkin. He remembered as the king of the “palm wine” music. It reminds me of Amos Tutuola’s book The Palm Wine Drinkard.
According to Wikipedia, “Rogie was a highlife and palm wine guitarist and singer from Sierra Leone. He was born in 1926 and began performing early, while supporting himself as a tailor. In the 1960s, he became a professional musician, singing in four languages. His hits include “Koneh Pehlawo”, “Go Easy with Me” and “My Lovely Elizabeth”. He formed a band called The Morning Stars in 1965. S.E. Rogers travelled to the United States in 1973. In the US, he performed at elementary and high schools across California, and received awards from the US Congress and Senate, the cities of Berkeley and Oakland, California. He moved to England in 1988. He died in 1994 shortly after recording his last album, Dead Men Don’t Smoke Marijuana.”
A proud product of Sierra Leone, West Africa, Sooliman Ernest ”Rogie” Rogers (S.E. Rogie) entertained millions of people in the continents of Asia, Africa, North America and Europe with his beautiful silk-like baritone ”golden” voice and outstanding High Life (Palm Wine) guitar-playing before his passing on July, 4 1994. Rogie’s music continues to earn new followers across the globe including music lovers from the continents of Australia and South America.
With a music career that spanned 50+ years, his many accomplishments included a special performance for the “Queen of England” in 1961 during the celebration of independence of Sierra Leone from Great Britain. In many circles in different countries in Africa including his home country, Sierra Leone, Rogie is referred to as an ”African Success Example” that others should aspire to. S.E. Rogie was an unrelenting businessman, an enthusiastic entertainer, and a true ambassador for continent of Africa.
Some of S.E. Rogie’s hits include:
- My Lovely Elizabeth
- African Lady
- Green Pumpkin
- Noh Look Me Lek That
- Please Go Easy With Me.