VIDEO + AUDIO: Celebrating Grand Master Franco • Afropop Worldwide

Celebrating Grand Master Franco

Franco is a towering figure in the cultural life of Africa. Guitar wizard. Prolific composer. Bandleader who groomed the who’s who of Congolese singing royalty. Called “the Balzac of Africa” for his ear and way with a story. He passed in 1989. We’ll revisit Afropop’s 1985 chat with Franco in Kinshasa, hear from some of his contemporaries and relish recording highlights from the 50s to the 80s. 

Looking Back on Franco:

An Appreciation






1 response
Before any preschool nursery rhyme, before HipHop music, before anything...THIS was the music that was played in my house...My father still has reel-to-reels of RARE Franco songs that he brought with him from Uganda, that are probably very, very hard to find. From Dr. Nico & Grand Kalle to Tabu ley Rochereau & Franco...Sam Mangwana, M'bilia Bel...even Kanda Bongo Man & Madilu System, that music (along with my father's own music that he & his band would make in the garage) will always have a special place in my heart.