Babatunde Olatunji's record album Drums of Passion proclaimed that the time had come for America to recognize Africa's cultural contributions to the music world. Through his many albums and live performances, the Nigerian drummer popularized West African traditional music and spread his message of racial harmony. In this long-awaited autobiography, Olatunji presents his life story and the philosophy that guided him. Olatunji influenced and inspired musicians for more than forty years-from luminaries to music students and the many ordinary people who participated in his drum circles. He writes about rhythm being \u0022the soul of life,\u0022 and about the healing power of the drum. Ultimately, The Beat of My Drum shows why at the time of his death in 2003, Olatunji had become, according to The New York Times, \u0022the most visible African musician in the United States.\u0022
Babatunde Olatunji (1927-2003) internationally renowned musician, teacher, and humanitarian, was "teacher in residence" at the Esalen Institute at the time of his death.Robert Atkinson is Director, Center for the Study of Lives at the University of Southern Maine.
Foreword - Joan BaezIntroduction - Eric CharryBibliographyDiscography, Videography, WebographyPart I: Learning the Rhythm1. The Spirit of Drumming2. Yorubaland3. From Lagos to AtlantaPart II: Adapting to a New Rhythm4. Jim Crow and College Life5. Harlem on my Mind6. Drums of PassionPart III: Passing the Rhythm On7. Social Change and Civil Rights8. World Music Comes of Age9. Voices of AfricaAfterword - Robert AtkinsonIndexPhotograph gallery follows page 122