Jerry Yaw Donkor Hansen, composer, arranger, producer, performer, saxophonist pioneer of highlife music and a personality of international repute became the president of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) when the condition of musicians was critical, and was able to sustain the situation because of his sense of maturity and wisdom.
Jerry, nicknamed Chico, was a good listener and he listened to all the problems of the musicians and that was why he was able to maintain his Ramblers International Band for a life time.
Jerry had a way of solving problems that came his way.
Jerry Hansen was one of the founders of highlife music in Ghana.
The founder and leader of Ramblers International Band released so many hit songsÂ such as â€˜Work and Happinessâ€™, â€˜Ama Bonsuâ€™, â€˜Awuraba Artificialâ€™, â€˜Owuoâ€™, and â€˜Knock on Woodâ€™, a song originally composed by Eddie Floyd in the sixties.
Jerry Hansenâ€™s Ramblers International Band was the resident band of hotels like Ambassador Hotel Star Hotel and Metropole Hotel.
The band excelled so much that when Queen Elizabeth visited Ghana, they were the chosen band to entertain her and even got the chance to shake hands with Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah.
Jerry Hansen and his Ramblers International Band were also used during political campaigns in some African countries like Gambia, Senegal, and Sierra Leone.
Jerry and his Ramblers International Band also performed in countries such as the United States, Britain and Germany.
When Jerry Hanson met President Jomo Keyatta in the late 1960s at Trade Fair in Ghana, he and the Ramblers International Band performed at the fair for about two weeks.
Ramblers International signed with many recording companies in Ghana, Nigeria and Britain, especially DECCA Records, and released not less than 200 albums and made highlife music popular in African countries and the world.
A cool calm, soft spoken, gentle person endowed with so much wisdom, he shall always be remembered for his great contribution to music in Ghana and the world.
Indeed all musicians and music lovers have lost such a great composer, arranger, performer, saxophonist, father, brother and colleague.
Jerry, the vacuum you have created will be difficult to be filled, but we believe that you are in the hands of the gracious and merciful almighty God. His blessings are upon you and indeed we take consolation in the fact that you are resting in the bosom of God almighty.
Jerry, rest in perfect peace.
By Alhaji Sidiku Buari, Former President of the Musicians Union of Ghana and Vice President of the International Federation of Musicians (FIM)