Legend has it that Jean Gesner Henry (1925-1998) went from a career in professional football (soccer) to one as a singer/guitarist. I wrote "legend has it", because it seems unlikely that there was a professional football league at the end of the 1940's or in the early 1950's in Haiti.
Jean made a name for himself as a 'no-nonsense'defender, which earned him the nickname of Coupé Cloué ("cut and nail down").
Six years after his first musical steps he started Trio Crystal, which later evolved to Trio Select and, in the early 1970s, into L'Ensemble Select.
He became quite popular too in West Africa, where he was sometimes compared to Franco. A comparison based on his sometimes rude (spoken) lyrics and on his typical guitar style.
Personally I am not too keen about comparing artists. And in this case I don't think it does justice to Coupé Cloué to label his guitar style as "soukous". It has an originality of its own, as you hear in this superb record from 1970, - a languid and even outright sexual originality.....
UPDATE (Dec. 29, 2009): The file has been uploaded to another server and should be available again.
Great Abaraka – Great Abaraka EMI
3 days ago