The original “Tempos” band was formed in 1946 as a “jam session” group by some European soldiers stationed in Accra. It played for army dances and at the Accra club. Over time, African musicians replaced the European ones, until finally it became an all-African band. Mensah joined the band in 1947. Shortly after this the band split up, to be reformed again with Mensah as its leader. The group gained international attention and in 1957 Mensah performed with Louis Armstrong.