Friday, July 19, 2013

Ethiopian Musician Hailu Mergia: From the Nightclubs of Addis Ababa to a Cab in DC

The story of the musician who is huge and then disappears has become a stock trope but the stories are always fascinating.
There’s the one-hit-wonder; the musician who has a big hit, people forget them, only to return years later and perform the song at an oldies concert.
Then there’s the jazz man variation; the player who descends into drugs/alcohol/depression, and then years later, is gently coaxed out of their misery to great acclaim.
Then there’s the Hailu Mergia.
Hailu Mergia was a pop star in Ethiopia in the 60s and 70s.
He came to the US in the early 80′s, forged his way for several years, and is now driving a taxi in Washington DC.
Anchor, Marco Werman speaks with Hailu Mergia from his cab.