Philips

The record label was a division of Philips, the Dutch-based electronics giant , and was originally set up in 1950. Twelve years later, in 1962, Philips and Deutsche Grammophon, owners of the Polydor label, set up a joint venture, Phonogram. Both Philips and Polydor issued records in Africa during the 1960s, then in 1972 Phonogram merged with Polydor to form a new company, Polygram. At this point, the Philips label all but disappeared in East Africa.

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Pino

A Doromy label - the name means “wasp”

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Pluto Sounds International

Subsidiary to the PLUTO label. Some South African acts appear on the label for Kenya distribution.

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Polydor

The East African division of Polydor was set up in 1968. Early recordings were made at the Associated Sound studios in Nairobi and some 45s carry its logo as in the picture above right. Before 1972, Polydor was a subsidiary of Deutsche Grammophon. That year it merged with Philips and after that the label became the company’s main outlet for East African music.

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Pwani

Chandarana imprint focusing on Taarab music from Mombasa and further south. Most likely recorded on his portable recording studio.

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Rainbow Sounds

A Kikuyu label, out of Karatina, a market town midway between Nairobi and Nanyuki.

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Razaka

Private label for Jimmy "Razaka" Mawi from Madagascar. Nairobi press.

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RCA

Huge label and a few artists from South Africa and Kenya landed a record deal with the company.

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Rocket

Label distributed through POK in Nairobi.

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Rose Jaber

A vehicle for productions by Juma Toto, with the Toddy Six and Toddy National as successors to Todi National ’72, who recorded for Melodica and Pathe, while David Mganda’s involvement in Nyota Jazz pegs them as another offshoot of Victoria Jazz.

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Ruka Ruka

Another Luo label

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Saba Saba

Kericho-based label run by AP Chandarana that was an important outlet in Kenya for music by Tanzanian bands.

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Safari

Label linked to Editions Jaca and featuring Congolese bands active in Kenya.

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Salano

Luhya label

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Sango

There seem to be two very different histories attached to Sango. In the first instance, it was a Phonogram label of the early 1970s dedicated to Luo bands. All of these singles carry secondary AS numbers suggesting a link to Associated Sound (ASL).

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Sarnya Sonics

Kikuyu label

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Sawa Sawa

Legendary Kikuyu label.

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Saye Ber Mo

AIT label dedicated to Kawere Boys, a Luo benga band who also recorded for Kawere Biro Special, POK and other labels.

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Shikamoo

Andrew Crawford productions label.

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Sibuor

Mid 1970s label, a sister to Kundi, that despite its name - Sibuor is Dholuo for ‘Lion” - offers Luo, Kikuyu and Swahili recording

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Sirocco

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SOA

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Sokota

A label that seems to have spread its net wide and attracted both well-known Luo and Kikuyu bands such as Peter Rachar Owino’s Golden Ugenya Boys and Francis Ruguiti’s Banana Hill Band as well as obscure bands like Kaka Jazz and Milambo Jazz.

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Soni Sounds

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Soul Brother

South African label!

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Sound of Music

Produced by Audio Productions of Nairobi, the company behind APL, Hit Parade and other labels.

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Sounds Express

James Mbugua connected label, few releases.

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STC

Tanzania label

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Stranger of the 70s

A.P. Chandarana's output label of Tanzania music, he had a portable record studio he used to record the artists. His base was in Kericho.

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Studio Sawa Sound

Most likely an affiliate label of Sawa Sawa Sound.

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Sululu

Initially a Phonogram and later a Polygram distributed label, mostly Kikuyu bands.

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Sunday

A rigorous label focusing on Kikuyu bands and choirs. Produced at legendary Chandarana studios Kericho.

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Super Black

South African label

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Super Matatu

A.I.T. subsidiary label from early 80s

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Super Musiki du Zaire

AIT label, evidently for Congolese bands operating in East Africa.

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Suzumi

Small Kenyan label that released a series of four known 7" singles sometime during the late 60s or early 70s. It was a label run by Melodica music store Nairobi. Two releases were by Geraldo Pino and the other two by Wings. The music was Afrobeat with touches of psychedelia, all releases making prominent use of the Hammond B3 organ. There is a surfacing rumor that all these 45s are bootlegs.

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Tam Tam

Label with South African artists.

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Tanzania Film Company

TFC owned one of the few recording studios in Tanzania and put out records on its own label and also on Sindimba, Kwetu and Uhuru Stars.

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Tcheza

Congo label with many releases.

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Teen Age

Kikuyu label

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The Sounds of Tanzania

Appears to be a Japanese label.

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Thika Uhuruko Choir

Kikuyu Gospel label

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Tsavo

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Turbo

Another one off label

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Twist

Linked through the figure of David Amunga to Mwangaza, one of the first African-owned labels after Kenya’s independence. Like Mwangaza, it is a 1960s label, but then picking a name after a dance craze rather gave that way.

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Uhuru Stars

Julius Nyerere’s socialist vision for Tanzania during his term as president from 1963-1984 meant that record labels were few and far between. Kwetu, Sindimba, TFC and Uhuru Stars are all products of one firm, the Tanzania Film Company, which specialised in producing documentaries for government bodies and had its own recording studio. Alex Perullo, in his book Live from Dar Es Salaam: Popular Music and Tanzania’s Music Economy (Indiana University Press, 2011), states that Uhuru Stars was the first TFC label, followed shortly afterwards by Sindimba. AIT pressed and distributed the Kenyan version of the label with the same catalogue numbers.

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UMOJA

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Umoja Mwana Shambe

Label with Lingala output in Kenya

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Upendo

AP Chandarana label for Luhya output

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Utukufu

Utukufu means ‘glory’ or ‘majesty’ in Kiswahili.

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Victory

Looks like a private one off from Kikuyu musician CDM Kiratu who produced records on several labels.

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VMS

Self-named label from Victoria Music Stores, the company that was also behind numerous other labels, including Lake Victoria.

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Waanyikaa

AIT Records label operating from early to mid 1980s and featuring tracks primarily by Les Wanyika offshoots produced by Felix G Njaakumu.

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Wageso

A label for productions by AC Kochomo, whose name is also attached to a raft of other labels including Awendo Rakido, Editions Tobina, Kidhir Sudi, Kung Fu and Oyaore Ondiek.

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Wahome Super Sounds

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Wamumbe

Joseph Wamumbe's own private label. 3 releases known.

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War Afrique

No info on this label

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Warner Brothers

Warner Brothers East Africa.

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Waw

Looks like a one off Black Savage group label, same group also released on black blood

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Wendo

Nairobi Label

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WRC

A label for licensed songs from abroad and English-language releases by East African bands. Usually hissy pressings running longer than 3 minute.

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Zambezi

Quite possibly a Zambian label

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Zebra

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Zeze

A CBS label from the early 1980s. Mostly LUO output.

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