For some 50 years, Leo Sarkisian was a worldwide staple on the overseas radio broadcast of Voice of America. A talented musician, raised in the Armenian community around Boston, Leo began traveling the world with his Nagra tape recorder and microphones for Tempo International, a Hollywood record label. His intrepid work in remote corners of Afghanistan and in newly independent Ghana and Guinea won him the attention of Edward R. Murrow, then at VOA. So began Leo’s epic career as a documenter, archivist and popularizer of African music. He once said he had worked in every African country but one.
In recognition of his passing in June, 2018, we revisit Leo’s rich, fascinating conversation and music-sharing session with our own Georges Collinet. Expect lively exchanges between two radio icons, and some rare audio, including Leo's 1965 recording of Fela Kuti during his jazz years.