Sad to hear the passing of Tilahun Gessesse, the one and only, the legendary, the irreplaceable Ethiopian singer of the last half century. I have to admit, he was not my favorite singer, but he was probably the greatest Ethiopian vocalist, ever! And, what can you say about this emotional and masterful performance? The fact that he has total control of his vocals while he is in tears is beyond me. Wow!
I had one brief encounter with him in 1984 (September, I believe). I was visiting a relative of mine at Amanuel Hospital in Addis and, lo and behold, Tilahun was being treated in the same ward of the hospital, accross the room from my relative, for a condition that was rumored (since I have no way to confirm it) to be inflicted on him by the Derg regime. His wife, Roman, was sitting right beside him on the bed and my relative, a soldier who had suffered emotional trauma after serving his country in the Red Star campaign of the Eritrean war, was joking with Tilahun. I also saw another great Ethiopian singer in the flesh that day, Alemayehu Eshete, as he was leaving the hospital after visiting Tilahun. Can you imagine what a thrill it was to see two musical legends in just an hour for this seventeen years old lad?
You can find an alternative biography of the late Tilahun Gessesse (PKA Daandanaa Ayyaano Guddata) from Ayyaantuu Oromiyya Portal.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Tilahun Gessesse, RIP
Posted by enset at 12:19 AM