Does the name John A. Mann ring a bell? Maybe not, but that was the original name of one of Ghana’s famous guitarists.
He played with Moses Kweku Oppong in the Kakaikus Guitar Band in the early 60s. He became the ‘total king of highlife’ in 1971, when he released the record ‘Nimpa Rebre’ with vocals by Pat Thomas. Like Saul in the Bible whose name God changed to Paul, John Anthony Mann told Joy FM’s Jefferson Sackey that he heard the voice of God and had his name changed to C.K. Mann.
Inside his three bedroom house, a number of local and international awards were displayed. For him the days of Jet setting and performing for presidents and prime ministers maybe over but his link to Takoradi, the city that brought him up will never depart.
Known for blending African authentic music with European influences, C.K. Mann said he was inspired by Latin American music and created a style of his own.
C.K. Mann became known as a virtuous guitar player in Ghana when he played with Moses Kweku Oppong in the Kakaikus Guitar Band in the early 60’s. He later became leader of the band Ocean’s Strings until 1966.
He formed the group Caroussel 7 on invitation of the owner of the Club ‘Princess’, Anis Moubaratk, and played as resident artist with Caroussel Ago-go Takoradi.
He scored a hit with the single ‘Edina Benya’ in 1969. He became the ‘total king of highlife ‘ in Ghana in 1971, when he released the record ‘Nimpa Rebre’, with vocals of Pat Thomas and Kofi Yankwon.
C.K. Mann is one of a kind in the early days of Ghanaian Funky Highlife. Even at age 73, he has a strong sense of humor. That mysterious encounter he experienced in his early twenties – which led to his name change has been the secrete to his success.
Today he has established the C.K. Mann Child Foundation where he helps needy children in school.