Babatunde Olatunji The Beat Of My Drum Emotional Speech: How?

Babatunde Olatunji The Beat Of My Drum Emotional Speech: How?

The Beat Of My Drum Emotional Speech!!! how does it sound to you? I guess confused or…? Babatunde Olatunji was known for His skills in drumming. This man was very particular about rendering an impassioned speech on social welfare and justice before his live music performance. You don’t need to argue about how he was loved by many.

Although, in his time, there were other instruments, however, he chose to use drums to create his own music. Do we still have such people today? you can use the comment section for the answer.

Babatunde Olatunji was a talented, and creative drummer musician.

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He became very popular, considering his message on fair treatment and love for the people.

Do you know the first African music to become very popular in the west and to have more than five million copies of his label sold?

It was the Drum of my beat! em… the drum of my Passion album!!, haha. This African music album was great, and his message was the same as that of Martin Luther King. Perhaps, because he was always in the company of Martin Luther.

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The Things you should Know About Babatunde Olatunji

Here are the things you need to know about Babatunde Olatunji, the producer of The drum of my beat whose emotional speech before his live audience can never be forgotten:

  • Babatunde Olatunji Early life
  • Education
  • Career
  • Babatunde Olatunji The Drum of my (beat) Passion Album
  • Impact Created
  • Awards

Babatunde Olatunji Early Life

Olatunji Babatunde was born on April 7, 1927, in Ajido into the agu tribe of Lagos state. Olatunji was exposed to traditional music at a very tender age.

His name, Babatunde was given to him as a result of his father’s demise, two months before his birth. Babatunde means “daddy has gone”. His father was a fisherman and was close to becoming the chief, but he died before his time.

Due to his father’s death, Babatunde was raised to take his father’s place. However, he was not interested in the title.

Babatunde Olatunji was very interested in his studies than in any other thing. Therefore, He discovered the Rotary International Foundation’s scholarship program from a magazine he read and was selected when he applied.


The musician drummer attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, through the Rotary scholarship He won in 1950. As one of the Morehouse college notable alumni, The college club never experience his performance. Olatunji Babatunde is among the famous graduates of Morehouse college due to his popularity and services during his academic years.

Meanwhile, He collaborated with the Glee Club director Dr. Wendell P. Whalum, during a Christmas carol.

Babatunde Olatunji obtained different certifications, moreover, he studied public administration at New York University, after completing his studies at Morehouse College. Meanwhile, he formed a group for his music which was financially supportive during his studies in New York.

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In 1957, Olatunji was signed by Columbia records into the Columbia Label following his epic performance with the city music orchestra. ‘Drums of passion’ was the first record he released two years after he joined the Columbia records.

His first record was an intro to world music to many Americans, because, it was a major hit and interesting through it all.

Moreover, he became popular and won the hearts of jazz musicians such as John Coltrane, who helped him to establish the Olatunji Center for African Culture in Harlem.

Babatunde Olatunji has recorded songs with very many jazz musicians, namely:

  • Cannonball Adderley
  • Horace Silver
  • Quincy Jones
  • Pee Wee Ellis
  • Stevie Wonder
  • Randy Weston
  • Max Roach
  • Abbey Lincoln

Although he’s popularly known for his music, He didn’t have a mono career, however, he used music to enhance his career in the following areas:

  • Film and theatre
  • Activism
  • Teaching career

Film and theatre

His contributions to film and theater cannot be forgotten. He was the music composer of the Rasin in the sun, a 1961 Hollywood movie, and the Broadway theater concert.


Olatunji was an advocate of social justice, so, he chose to make an emotional speech in front of his audience before all his performances.

His support for social reform can be seen in the autograph of The Beat of My Drum, with a foreword written by Joan Baez.

In 1963, he was part of the march on Washington for jobs and freedom tour with Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, could not hold his shoes when he hosted Olatunji in a live show in the UNN general assembly, he danced barefooted.

In 1979, at the Amandla Festival, he was invited alongside Bob Marley, Dick Gregory, Patti LaBelle, etc.

Teaching career

Olatunji developed the Gun-Dun, Go-Do, Pa-Ta method of recording patterns to help his music students. In the 1950s, he held drum and dance workshops and was hosted nationally and internationally by various institutions.

He was a music educator at Omega Institute and Esalen Institute in California. At Omega Institute, accompanied by his wife, he taught summer drumming and African dance.

Babatunde Olatunji The Drum of my (beat) Passion Album

In 1960, Babatunde Olatunji released an album label, ‘the drum of my passion’ and it shot the popularity of African music in America and other western countries. Over five million copies were sold in 1960 and were still in print for many decades.

“Jin-Go-Lo-Ba” was the combination of the omele drum and iya ilu drum. It became the most sold single copy of the album.

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Impact Created

Before the emergence of Babatunde Olatunji as a musician drummer, African traditional music was not popular in western countries. But, Babatunde Olatunji became the first African musician to win the hearts of the Americans with The drum of my passion album.

His love for social freedom and his dedication to making an impassioned speech about it before his audience in any live show is one of those qualities that endeared him to many.

He was determined to be educated and he wasn’t distracted from it. So, he won a scholarship and was able to fulfill his dreams.

If Babatunde Olatunji can do it, you can also do it.


Babatunde Olatunji has so many awards to his name:

  • In 1991, the first year the Grammy award was introduced, he won the Grammy Award for Best World Music Album.
  • Also, in 2001, he was in the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame.

Babatunde Olatunji The Beat Of My Drum Emotional Speech: How?

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