Amha Eshete

Despite a 1948 Imperial edict banning the distribution of Ethiopian pop music, Amha Eshete launched a record label, Amha Records, and released 103 singles and a dozen albums by Ethiopian artists between 1969 and 1975. In addition to making Ethiopian music known throughout the world, Eshete helped to spark a modern period of creativity in his homeland. During an interview in the early '90s, Eshete said "I had a gut feeling that it was the right thing to do. I took the risk." The governmental resistance against Eshete's efforts ultimately proved insurmountable. By the mid-'90s, Eshete had immigrated to the United States. ~ Craig Harris

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