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'Jamaica' Bands // p 1

Darren's favorite bands for his Song Of The Day filtered by Jamaica
416 Bands
Alton Ellis

Alton Ellis

Alton Nehemiah Ellis OD (1 September 1938 – 10 October 2008) was a Jamaican singer-songwriter. One of the innovators of rocksteady who was given the informal title "Godfather of Rocksteady". In 2006, he was inducted into the International Reggae And World Music Awards Hall Of Fame.

Early life
Born Alton Nehemiah Ellis in Trenchtown, Kingston, Jamaica, Ellis was raised within a musical family which included his older brothers Leslie [who performed as one of his back up singers and co-wrote some of his songs], and Irving [known as 'Niney'] who was a popular singer and steel pan player on Jamaica's North Coast. He learned to play the piano at a young age. He attended Ebeneezer and Boys' Town schools, where he excelled in both music and sport. While at Boys' Town Ellis performed as a dancer (in a duo) in the first show that a school director called Mr Bailey had organized for Vere Johns who had been invited down to talent scout. He would later compete on Vere Johns' Opportunity Hour. After winning some competitions, he switched to singing, starting his career in 1959 as part of the duo Alton & Eddy with Eddy Parkins.

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 'Dance Crasher'

'Dance Crasher'
Saturday, February 22, 2020

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Augustus Pablo

Augustus Pablo

Horace Swaby (21 June 1954 – 18 May 1999), known as Augustus Pablo, was a Jamaican roots reggae and dub record producer, melodica player and keyboardist, active from the 1970s onwards.

He popularised the use of the melodica (an instrument at that time primarily used in Jamaica to teach music to schoolchildren) in reggae music. His album King Tubbys Meets Rockers Uptown (1976) is often regarded as one of the most important examples of dub.

He was born in St. Andrew, Jamaica, and learned to play the organ at the Kingston College School, where a girl lent him a melodica, an instrument that fascinated him. He also met Herman Chin Loy, who after working at his cousin Leslie Kong's Beverley's record shop, had set up his own Aquarius store in Half Way Tree. Swaby recorded early tracks including "Higgi Higgi", "East of the River Nile", "Song of the East" and "The Red Sea" between 1971 and 1973 for Chin-Loy's Aquarius Records. Chin Loy had previously used the name Augustus Pablo generically for keyboard instrumentals recorded by Lloyd Charmers and Glen Adams, and Swaby took the name for this recording.

"East of the River Nile", a unique blend of East Asian and Jamaican sounds, became a moderate hit. He soon joined Now Generation (Mikey Chung's band) and played keyboard with them while his friend Clive Chin began his own career as a record producer. Pablo and Chin recorded "Java" (1972) together, as soon as Pablo quit Now Generation and Clive was able to obtain studio time. This instrumental was a massive hit and launched Pablo's solo career. He recorded with Chin and others including Lee Perry and Chin's uncle, Leonard Chin. Pablo scored another smash hit with "My Desire" (John Holt).

Pablo formed the labels Hot Stuff, Message and Rockers (named after his brother's soundsystem, Rockers), and released a steady stream of well-received instrumentals, mostly versions of older hits from Studio One. In spite of his success with Rockers, Pablo's 1974 album, This Is Augustus Pablo was recorded with Clive and Pat Chin. This was followed by a collaboration with the legendary reggae engineer King Tubby, 1975's Ital Dub.

Pablo produced a steady stream of hits in the late 1970s, including the hit "Black Star Liner" (Fred Locks). He also worked with Dillinger, Norris Reid, I-Roy, Jacob Miller, The Immortals, Paul Blackman, Earl Sixteen, Roman Stewart, Lacksley Castell, The Heptones, Bob Marley, Ricky Grant, Delroy Wilson, Junior Delgado, Horace Andy and Freddy McKay. This period was eventually commemorated with a series of critically acclaimed LPs including King Tubbys Meets Rockers Uptown (1976) and Hugh Mundell's classic Africa Must Be Free by 1983. This was followed by East of the River Nile (1978), Original Rockers (1979) and another acclaimed hit album, Rockers Meets King Tubbys in a Firehouse.

In the 1980s, Pablo's career slowed significantly. In 1980, he appeared on the soundtrack of the documentary DOA. He had begun to establish an American audience and released Rising Sun in 1986 to good reviews and sales. Pablo also produced memorable hits, including "Ragamuffin Year" (Junior Delgado), "Humble Yourself" (Asher & Tremble) and "Far Far Away" (Ricky Grant). In addition, he toured extensively throughout the world, recording a memorable live album in Tokyo in 1987. That same year, Rockers Come East re-established his career and he began to release a series of favourably reviewed though somewhat inaccessible albums in the 1990s (including Blowing With the Wind), while producing such records as Dawn Penn's "Night & Day" and Yami Bolo's "Jah Made Them All".

Augustus Pablo died as a result of a collapsed lung on 18 May 1999. He had been suffering for some time from the nerve disorder myasthenia gravis.

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 'House Rard'

'House Rard'
Sunday, January 31, 2021

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 'The Big Rip Off'

'The Big Rip Off'
Saturday, March 14, 2020

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 'Hillside Airstrip'

'Hillside Airstrip'
Sunday, March 10, 2019

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Barrington Levy

Barrington Levy

Barrington Ainsworth Levy (born 30 April 1964) is a Jamaican reggae and dancehall artist.

Levy was born in Clarendon, Jamaica. He formed a band called the Mighty Multitude, with his cousin, Everton Dacres; the pair released "My Black Girl" in 1977. Levy established his solo career the next year with "A Long Time Since We Don't Have No Love"; though the single was a failure, the fourteen-year-old was a popular performer at Jamaican dancehalls.

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 'Looking My Love'

'Looking My Love'
Saturday, March 30, 2019

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 'Moonlight Lover'

'Moonlight Lover'
Wednesday, July 25, 2018

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Burning Spear

Burning Spear

Winston Rodney OD (born 1 March 1945), better known by the stage name Burning Spear, is a Jamaican roots reggae vocalist and musician. Burning Spear is a Rastafarian and one of the most influential and long-standing roots artists to emerge from the 1970s.

Winston Rodney was born in Saint Ann's Bay, Saint Ann, Jamaica. As a young man he listened to the R&B, soul and jazz music transmitted by the US radio stations whose broadcasts reached Jamaica. Curtis Mayfield is cited by Rodney as a major US musical influence along with James Brown. Rodney was deeply influenced as a young man by the views of the political activist Marcus Garvey, especially with regard to the exploration of the themes of Pan-Africanism and self-determination. In 1969, Bob Marley, who was also from Saint Ann, advised Rodney to approach Coxsone Dodd's Studio One label after Rodney sought his advice during a casual conversation.

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 'Wailing'

'Wailing'
Thursday, May 20, 2021

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 'Live Good'

'Live Good'
Saturday, July 27, 2019

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 'Tradition'

'Tradition'
Thursday, April 11, 2019

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 'The Sun'

'The Sun'
Sunday, February 3, 2019

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 'It's A Long Way Around'

'It's A Long Way Around'
Friday, September 14, 2018

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Carlton and The Shoes

Carlton and The Shoes

Carlton and the Shoes (sometimes credited as Carlton & His Shoes) are a Jamaican vocal group who had their greatest success in the late 1960s, as rocksteady gradually became reggae and are still active in 2008, most notably in Japan and Jamaica. The group had several Studio One recorded hits in Jamaica, most notably "Love me Forever" in 1968.

The group is led by Carlton Manning, and the line-up was originally completed by his younger brothers Donald and Lynford (both members of The Abyssinians), and Alexander Henry. Manning originally named the group Carlton and his Shades, but a printer's mistake on their debut release (for Sonia Pottinger) led to the "Shoes" name sticking. Although their debut release made little impact, they moved on to work with Clement "Coxsone" Dodd at Studio One, where they enjoyed a massive rocksteady hit with "Love Me Forever".

"Love Me Forever" has been re-released and covered many times since, and the single's B-side, "Happy Land", formed the basis for The Abyssinians' "Satta Massa Ganna", one of the most covered songs in the history of reggae. When Donald and Lynford formed The Abyssinians, Carlton remained at Studio One, continuing to make records, and working as a session guitarist. He continued to record through the 1970s and early 1980s, though never repeated his early success.

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 'Be Mine'

'Be Mine'
Tuesday, September 3, 2019

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Ernest Ranglin

Ernest Ranglin

Ernest Ranglin OD (born 19 June 1932) is a Jamaican guitarist and composer who established his career while working as a session guitarist and music director for various Jamaican record labels including Studio One and Island Records. Ranglin played guitar on many early ska recordings and helped create the rhythmic guitar style that defined the form. Ranglin has worked with Theophilus Beckford, Jimmy Cliff, Monty Alexander, Prince Buster, the Skatalites, Bob Marley and the Eric Deans Orchestra. He is noted for a chordal and rhythmic approach that blends jazz, mento and reggae with percussive guitar solos incorporating rhythm 'n' blues and jazz inflections.

Ernest Ranglin was born in Manchester, West Central Jamaica. His family moved to Kingston, where he attended the Providence Primary School, Kingston Senior School and Bodin College. Ranglin's introduction to music was through two uncles who both played guitar. Initially a self-taught guitarist; he received some tutoring on how to sight-read from a violin player named Tommy Tomlins. At the age of 15, Ranglin joined the Val Bennett Orchestra, which was followed by a period of employment with the Eric Deans Orchestra. While performing locally with these orchestras Ranglin was introduced to the jazz pianist Monty Alexander, which led to a lifelong friendship as well as numerous musical collaborations.

During the 1950s Ranglin played guitar on calypso and mento releases, some of which were recorded for the tourist market. The 1958 album The Wrigglers Sing Calypso at the Arawak is representative of the type of calypso floor show that Jamaican bands performed at hotels (some of the tracks from the original album were included on the 2010 CD release Jamaica - Mento 1951-1958). He was employed as a guitarist by the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (JBC) between the years 1958 and 1965 with public radio broadcasting (radio services had been established earlier with the first broadcast transmitted in November 1939) commencing in 1959 and television broadcasting commencing in 1963. Ranglin also played with Cluett Johnson's studio band Clue J and the Blues Blasters; recording several tracks for Coxsone Dodd at Federal Studios, including the Theophilus Beckford hit "Easy Snapping" (recorded in 1956 and released in 1959), which he arranged and played guitar on. Ranglin also played on the Beckford tracks "Jack and Jill Shuffle" and "Shuffling Jug."

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 'Village Soul'

'Village Soul'
Friday, June 19, 2020

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 'Satta Massagana'

'Satta Massagana'
Saturday, December 28, 2019

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 'Stalag 17'

'Stalag 17'
Friday, December 28, 2018

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Gregory Isaacs

Gregory Isaacs

Gregory Anthony Isaacs OD (15 July 1951 – 25 October 2010) was a Jamaican reggae musician. Milo Miles, writing in The New York Times, described Isaacs as "the most exquisite vocalist in reggae".

In his teenage years, Isaacs became a veteran of the talent contests that regularly took place in Jamaica. In 1968, he made his recording debut as Winston Sinclair, with the single "Another Heartache", recorded for producer Byron Lee. The single sold poorly and Isaacs went on to team up with Errol Dunkley to start the African Museum record label and shop, and soon had a massive hit with "My Only Lover", credited as the first lovers rock record ever made. He recorded for other producers to finance further African Museum recordings, having a string of hits in the three years that followed, ranging from ballads to roots reggae, including "All I Have Is Love", "Lonely Soldier", "Black a Kill Black", "Extra Classic" and his cover version of Dobby Dobson's "Loving Pauper". In 1974, he began working with producer Alvin Ranglin, and that year he had his first Jamaican no. 1 single with "Love Is Overdue".

Isaacs recorded for many of Jamaica's top producers during the 1970s, including Winston "Niney" Holness, Gussie Clarke ("My Time"), Lloyd Campbell ("Slavemaster"), Glen Brown ("One One Cocoa Fill Basket"), Harry Mudie, Roy Cousins, Sydney Crooks and Lee "Scratch" Perry ("Mr. Cop"). By the late-1970s, Isaacs was one of the biggest reggae performers in the world, regularly touring the US and the UK, and only challenged by Dennis Brown and Bob Marley. Between 1977 and 1978, Isaacs again teamed up with Alvin Ranglin, recording a string of hits including "Border" and "Number One" for Ranglin's GG's label.

He opened the Cash and Carry shop at 118 Orange Street, later moving to no. 125, next door to Prince Buster's Record Shack, which was also the base for the Cash and Carry record label that he ran with Trevor "Leggo" Douglas.

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 'Loving Pauper'

'Loving Pauper'
Wednesday, January 6, 2021

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 'Special Guest'

'Special Guest'
Thursday, January 17, 2019

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John Holt

John Holt

John Kenneth Holt CD (11 July 1947 – 19 October 2014), better known as John Holt, was a reggae singer and songwriter from Jamaica who first found fame as a me

Biography
Holt was born in the Greenwich Farm area of Kingston, Jamaica, in 1947. His mother Amy was a nurse. By the age of 12, he was a regular entrant in talent contests run at Jamaican theatres by Vere Johns, winning 28 contests, some broadcast live on Radio Jamaica. He recorded his first single in 1963 with "Forever I'll Stay"/"I Cried a Tear" for record producer Leslie Kong, and also recorded a duet with Alton Ellis, "Rum Bumper", for producer Vincent "Randy" Chin.

In 1965 Holt joined Bob Andy, Garth "Tyrone" Evans, and Junior Menz in their group the Binders; Menz departed to be replaced by Howard Barrett and they changed their name to the Paragons. They initially recorded for Clement "Coxsone" Dodd's Studio One before cutting a succession of singles for Duke Reid at his Treasure Isle Studio in the rocksteady era of 1966–1968; They enjoyed a string of hits, including "Ali Baba", "Tonight", "I See Your Face", and the Holt-penned "The Tide Is High" (later made famous by Blondie and also covered by Atomic Kitten). "Wear You to the Ball" was another of his hits with the Paragons, and it made the charts again when U-Roy (whom he had introduced to Duke Reid) recorded a Deejay version over it. With Andy having left early on, the departures of Barrett (in 1969) and Evans (in 1970), who had both won scholarships in the US, brought the group to an end. During his time with the Paragons, he also recorded solo material for Bunny Lee ("Tonight"), and Harry J. He subsequently concentrated on his solo career, recording for Prince Buster ("Oh Girl", "Rain From the Skies"), Reid ("Stealing Stealing", "Ali Baba"), Dodd (including "Fancy Make-up", "A Love I Can Feel", "Let's Build Our Dreams" and "OK Fred"), Alvin Ranglin ("Strange Things"), and Phil Pratt ("My Heart Is Gone").

By the early 1970s, he was one of the biggest stars of reggae, and his work with producer Lee was key to his success; "Stick By Me" was the biggest selling Jamaican record of 1972, one of a number of records recorded with Lee. His 1973 Harry Mudie-produced album, Time Is The Master, was successful, with orchestral arrangements recorded in London by Tony Ashfield. The success of the string-laden reggae led to Trojan Records issuing a series of similarly arranged albums produced by Ashfield starting with the 1,000 Volts of Holt in 1973, a compilation of Holt's reggae cover versions of popular hits (and later followed by similarly named releases up to the Lee-produced 3,000 Volts of Holt). 1,000 Volts spawned the UK Top 10 hit "Help Me Make It Through the Night" (written by Kris Kristofferson), which peaked at number 6, and included covers of Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are" and "Touch Me in the Morning" by Diana Ross.

He had success back in Jamaica in 1976 with "Up Park Camp" (on a reworking of the Heptones' "Get in the Groove" rhythm), and his success continued into the 1980s with tracks such as "Police in Helicopter" and "Fat She Fat", recorded with producer Henry "Junjo" Lawes, and a standout appearance at the 1982 Reggae Sunsplash festival. "Police in Helicopter" was a condemnation of the Jamaican government's crackdown on marijuana plantations. The cover to the album single pictured Holt growing locks and a beard, an indication of the increasing importance of Rastafari in his life. He continued to tour regularly, performed several times at Sunsplash in the 1990s, and performed in the United Kingdom with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, with a live album taken from these shows released in 2001.

In 2004 he was awarded the Order of Distinction (Commander Class) by the Jamaican government for his contribution to Jamaican music.

Holt's style, notably slower and more romantic than most of his contemporaries, is a recognisable forerunner of the lovers rock subgenre.

His song "Man Next Door" has been covered by numerous other reggae artists, including Dennis Brown, UB40 and Horace Andy. The latter sang in a more electronic vein for the Massive Attack album Mezzanine.

Having been taken ill at the One Love Festival on 16 August, Holt died on 19 October 2014 in the Wellington Hospital in London. He had been diagnosed with colon cancer in June 2014. He is survived by his wife Valerie, 12 children, and 25 grandchildren. His funeral took place on 17 November at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Kingston, and featured performances by U-Roy, The Silvertones, Tinga Stewart, Boris Gardiner, George Nooks, Luciano, Carlene Davis, Ken Boothe, and members of Holt's family, backed by Lloyd Parks and the We the People Band. He was buried at Dovecot Memorial Park.mber of The Paragons, before establishing himself as a solo artist.

Biography
Holt was born in the Greenwich Farm area of Kingston, Jamaica, in 1947. His mother Amy was a nurse. By the age of 12, he was a regular entrant in talent contests run at Jamaican theatres by Vere Johns, winning 28 contests, some broadcast live on Radio Jamaica. He recorded his first single in 1963 with "Forever I'll Stay"/"I Cried a Tear" for record producer Leslie Kong, and also recorded a duet with Alton Ellis, "Rum Bumper", for producer Vincent "Randy" Chin.

In 1965 Holt joined Bob Andy, Garth "Tyrone" Evans, and Junior Menz in their group the Binders; Menz departed to be replaced by Howard Barrett and they changed their name to the Paragons. They initially recorded for Clement "Coxsone" Dodd's Studio One before cutting a succession of singles for Duke Reid at his Treasure Isle Studio in the rocksteady era of 1966–1968; They enjoyed a string of hits, including "Ali Baba", "Tonight", "I See Your Face", and the Holt-penned "The Tide Is High" (later made famous by Blondie and also covered by Atomic Kitten). "Wear You to the Ball" was another of his hits with the Paragons, and it made the charts again when U-Roy (whom he had introduced to Duke Reid) recorded a Deejay version over it. With Andy having left early on, the departures of Barrett (in 1969) and Evans (in 1970), who had both won scholarships in the US, brought the group to an end. During his time with the Paragons, he also recorded solo material for Bunny Lee ("Tonight"), and Harry J. He subsequently concentrated on his solo career, recording for Prince Buster ("Oh Girl", "Rain From the Skies"), Reid ("Stealing Stealing", "Ali Baba"), Dodd (including "Fancy Make-up", "A Love I Can Feel", "Let's Build Our Dreams" and "OK Fred"), Alvin Ranglin ("Strange Things"), and Phil Pratt ("My Heart Is Gone").

By the early 1970s, he was one of the biggest stars of reggae, and his work with producer Lee was key to his success; "Stick By Me" was the biggest selling Jamaican record of 1972, one of a number of records recorded with Lee. His 1973 Harry Mudie-produced album, Time Is The Master, was successful, with orchestral arrangements recorded in London by Tony Ashfield. The success of the string-laden reggae led to Trojan Records issuing a series of similarly arranged albums produced by Ashfield starting with the 1,000 Volts of Holt in 1973, a compilation of Holt's reggae cover versions of popular hits (and later followed by similarly named releases up to the Lee-produced 3,000 Volts of Holt). 1,000 Volts spawned the UK Top 10 hit "Help Me Make It Through the Night" (written by Kris Kristofferson), which peaked at number 6, and included covers of Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are" and "Touch Me in the Morning" by Diana Ross.

He had success back in Jamaica in 1976 with "Up Park Camp" (on a reworking of the Heptones' "Get in the Groove" rhythm), and his success continued into the 1980s with tracks such as "Police in Helicopter" and "Fat She Fat", recorded with producer Henry "Junjo" Lawes, and a standout appearance at the 1982 Reggae Sunsplash festival. "Police in Helicopter" was a condemnation of the Jamaican government's crackdown on marijuana plantations. The cover to the album single pictured Holt growing locks and a beard, an indication of the increasing importance of Rastafari in his life. He continued to tour regularly, performed several times at Sunsplash in the 1990s, and performed in the United Kingdom with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, with a live album taken from these shows released in 2001.

In 2004 he was awarded the Order of Distinction (Commander Class) by the Jamaican government for his contribution to Jamaican music.

Holt's style, notably slower and more romantic than most of his contemporaries, is a recognisable forerunner of the lovers rock subgenre.

His song "Man Next Door" has been covered by numerous other reggae artists, including Dennis Brown, UB40 and Horace Andy. The latter sang in a more electronic vein for the Massive Attack album Mezzanine.

Having been taken ill at the One Love Festival on 16 August, Holt died on 19 October 2014 in the Wellington Hospital in London. He had been diagnosed with colon cancer in June 2014. He is survived by his wife Valerie, 12 children, and 25 grandchildren. His funeral took place on 17 November at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Kingston, and featured performances by U-Roy, The Silvertones, Tinga Stewart, Boris Gardiner, George Nooks, Luciano, Carlene Davis, Ken Boothe, and members of Holt's family, backed by Lloyd Parks and the We the People Band. He was buried at Dovecot Memorial Park.

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 'You'll Never Find'

'You'll Never Find'
Tuesday, January 21, 2020

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Ken Boothe

Ken Boothe

Ken Boothe OD (born 22 March 1948) is a Jamaican vocalist known for his distinctive vibrato and timbre. Boothe achieved an international reputation as one of Jamaica's finest vocalists through a series of crossover hits that appealed to both reggae fans and mainstream audiences.

Biography

Ken Boothe was born in Denham Town, Kingston. He attended Denham Primary Elementary School and during this period developed an interest in music after receiving encouragement from his eldest sister, Hyacinth Clover, who was an established vocalist. Boothe cites singer Owen Gray as a major influence, particularly after hearing Gray perform the Leiber and Stoller rhythm and blues version of the 1920s blues standard, "Kansas City Blues", written by E L Bowman and notably performed by Jim Jackson in 1927. Stranger Cole, who was an established artist and neighbor to Boothe, had already worked with Boothe on the Sir Percy sound system as well as recording two songs for independent producer Sir Mike though Boothe's major breakthrough came in 1963 after Cole arranged an audition at Duke Reid's studio. The audition with Cole and Boothe performing the song "Uno Dos Tres" was a success and Boothe and Cole formed the duo 'Stranger & Ken' with the first track released by them being "Hush Baby" on the B-side of Cole's Island Records single "Last Love". This was followed by the singles "Thick in Love" both released in 1963 on R&B Records. They released several more popular singles between 1963 and 1965, including "World's Fair", "Hush", and "Artibella". Boothe also recorded as a duo with Roy Shirley (as Roy & Ken), which resulted in the release of the single "Paradise" in 1966.

Boothe's first solo tracks were recorded in 1966 after Clement "Coxsone" Dodd had signed him to his Studio One Label. He also recorded material for Phil Pratt and Sonia Pottinger the same year. He had almost immediate success with songs including "The Train Is Coming" (on which he was backed by the Wailers), the first, ska version, of later reggae song You're No Good with Soulettes (the group Bob Marley's future wife Rita Anderson was in) on B-side, and "Lonely Teardrops". The following year, Boothe and Alton Ellis had a successful UK tour with the Studio One session group, the Soul Vendors. Boothe was promoted as "Mr. Rock Steady" by Dodd during this period. The rocksteady classic "Moving Away" was released in 1967 or 1968 on the Coxsone label. "Moving Away" is a song still popular today, and covered or sampled by many artists, among them Dennis Brown, Jackie Mittoo ("Macka Fat"), Jack Radics I-Roy, U-Roy ("African Message"), Janet Key, Jaime Hinckson, Romain des Bois, Bruno Mars, Al Campbell ("Dress Black" Garnett Silk ("It's Growing"), Half Pint ("Substitute Lover"), Wayne Wonder ("Time To Say Good Bye"), Leroy Smart ("Talk About Friends"), Sanchez ("Don't Worry"), Admiral Tibet ("Nuthin Nah Run" among many others. Many of Boothe's songs have been reused in one way or another. On the B-side of the single "Moving Away" was the instrumental "Streets Of Gold" by the Skatalites. Boothe continued to record for Dodd until 1970, when he switched to producer Leslie Kong's Beverley's Records and reggae, where his success continued with hits such as "Freedom Street" and "Why Baby Why".

After Kong died, Boothe recorded for many of Jamaica's top producers during the early 1970s, including Keith Hudson, Herman Chin Loy, Vincent "Randy" Chin, and Phil Pratt. He then formed the group Conscious Minds with B. B. Seaton.

Under a new direction from record producer Lloyd Charmers, Boothe released "Everything I Own" on Trojan Records, which reached Number One in the UK Singles Chart in 1974. The song, written by David Gates, was given a sympathetic light reggae feel and it received airplay and an appreciative audience in the West Indies and was regularly played on the radio stations of the UK due to its "crossover" appeal. David Gates' own group, Bread, had had a minor UK hit with the song in the spring of 1972, but it had only reached No. 32. Boothe's reggae version of the song "Everything I Own" reached Number One in the UK Singles Chart on 26 October 1974, and stayed at the top of the charts for three weeks. It featured Lloyd Parks on bass guitar, Paul Douglas a.k.a. Paul Williams on drums, Willie Lindo on guitar, and Lloyd Charmers on organ, piano and percussion. The recording was produced by Lloyd Charmers.

Boothe had one more hit in the UK Singles Chart during the 1970s, "Crying Over You", which made No. 11, with Trojan Records' collapse and a split with Charmers losing much of the momentum built up by his two hits. Boothe recorded a reggae version of the standard "When I Fall In Love" which was released in 1974 on the Studio One label.

In 1978, along with Dillinger, Leroy Smart, and Delroy Wilson, Boothe was referenced by lyricist Joe Strummer in the Clash's song, "(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais". Boothe reunited with Charmers in the late 1970s when a revived Trojan Records released the albums Blood Brothers (first issued on LTD in 1976) and Who Gets Your Love, but the reunion proved to be short-lived. He continued to record during the 1980s and had a few hits during 1986 and 1987.

In more recent times, Boothe has recorded for Bunny Lee, Phil Pratt, King Jammy, Pete Weston, Jack Ruby, Hugh "Red Man" James, Castro Brown and Tappa Zukie. In 1995 a version of "The Train Is Coming", re-worked with Shaggy, was used in the soundtrack for the film Money Train.

A two-disc set of Boothe's recordings for Trojan, Crying Over You, was released in 2001.

Boothe was awarded the Order of Distinction for his contribution to Jamaican music by the Jamaican government in 2003.

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 'You're No Good'

'You're No Good'
Wednesday, May 13, 2020

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Marcia Aitken

Marcia Aitken

Aitken's break into the music industry came while she was still a student at Excelsior High School - in her own words: "I was singing at a school concert, and Lloyd Parks and the We the People Band was backing us. They said they liked the sound of my voice, and I became a member of the band after that. Then I began to do recordings for Joe Gibbs". She concentrated on lovers rock and recorded a popular version of the Alton Ellis song "I'm Still in Love With You" (as "I'm Still in Love with You Boy", recorded while still at Excelsior), which was a number one hit in Jamaica and successful UK and US reggae charts, and also formed the basis of Trinity's "Three Piece Suit" and Althea & Donna's "Uptown Top Ranking". She had another Jamaican number one single in 1978 with "My Man", a combination record with Trinity. She also recorded songs by Ansel Cridland of The Meditations, including "Narrow Minded Man", a response to The Meditations' chauvinistic "Woman is Like a Shadow". Aitken recorded a single album, Reggae Impact, produced by Gibbs and Willie Lindo.

After completing high school in 1981, Aitken retired from music and moved to Brooklyn, where she opened the Norstrand Eatery with her husband in 1985. In the 2000s she studied for a degree in Business Management. She subsequently moved into nursing for over twenty years.

Aitken returned to recording with the 2014 album Conception to Redemption, which featured gospel versions of some of her earlier songs

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Roots Radics + Bravo

Roots Radics + Bravo

The Roots Radics Band was formed in 1978 by bass player Errol "Flabba" Holt, guitarist Eric "Bingy Bunny" Lamont and drummer Lincoln "Style" Scott. They were joined by many musicians, including guitarist Noel "Sowell" Bailey, Dwight Pinkney and Steve Golding, keyboard player Wycliffe "Steelie" Johnson, Pianist Gladstone "Gladdy" Anderson and saxophonist Headley Bennett. As a combined force the Roots Radics became a well-respected studio and stage band, which dominated the sound in the first half of the 1980s. They supported artists like Bunny Wailer, Gregory Isaacs, Michael Prophet, Eek-A-Mouse, and Israel Vibration and have released several albums to their name as well. As an aside, the English word 'Radical' is derived from the Latin word 'Radix', which is the Latin word for 'Root'.

Somewhere late in 1979 the band recorded the riddims for Barrington Levy's first songs for producer Henry "Junjo" Lawes, credited at the time as the Channel One Stars. With hindsight these riddims are now considered the birth of Jamaican dancehall music.

As a sought after studio lineup, Roots Radics backed several well known reggae stars in the studio and on tour. For example, they appear on several Eek-A-Mouse albums: Bubble Up Yu Hip (1980), Wa-Do-Dem (1981), Skidip (1982), The Mouse and the Man (1983) and Assassinator (1983). They backed reggae superstar Gregory Isaacs on his classic album Night Nurse (1982), and are often credited on releases by Prince Far I, both on his solo recording work, and as part of producer Adrian Sherwood's studio supergroup Singers and Players.

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 'Love Dub'

'Love Dub'
Sunday, November 10, 2019

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 'Rocking Miss D'

'Rocking Miss D'
Wednesday, January 30, 2019

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The Melodians

The Melodians

The Melodians are a rocksteady band formed in the Greenwich Town area of Kingston, Jamaica, in 1963, by Tony Brevett (born 1949, nephew of The Skatalites bassist, Lloyd Brevett), Brent Dowe and Trevor McNaughton. Renford Cogle assisted with writing and arranging material.

Career

Trevor McNaughton had the idea of putting a group together and contacted the then 14-year-old Tony Brevett, who had already had success in local talent shows. Brevett recruited his friend Brent Dowe and the group was formed, with Brevett taking on lead vocal duties. Bramwell Brown and Renford Cogle also had short stints in the group in its early days, and Cogle became one of the group's main songwriters.

The group recorded some material with Prince Buster before Ken Boothe introduced them to Coxsone Dodd's Studio One label where in 1966 they recorded "Lay It On" (one of the first records to reflect the shift from ska to rocksteady), "Meet Me", "I Should Have Made It Up" and "Let's Join Hands (Together)". Lead vocal duties were now shared between Brevett and Dowe. From 1967 to 1968 they had a number of hits on Duke Reid's Treasure Isle label, including "You Have Caught Me", "Expo 67", "I'll Get Along Without You", and "You Don't Need Me". After recording "Swing and Dine" for record producer Sonia Pottinger, they had further hits with "Little Nut Tree" before recording their biggest hit, "Rivers of Babylon" for Leslie Kong. This song became an anthem of the Rastafarian movement, and was featured on the soundtrack of the movie The Harder They Come. In the early 1970s Brevett also recorded as a solo artist, having his greatest success with "Don't Get Weary". After Kong's death in 1971, they recorded for Lee Perry and Byron Lee's Dynamic Studios. In 1973, Brent Dowe left the group for a solo career. The group reformed briefly a few years later, and again in the early 1980s.

The Melodians regrouped again in the 1990s as part of the roots revival. In 1992 they recorded "Song of Love", which was issued on the Tappa Zukie label. Throughout the later 1990s they continued touring internationally, including appearing at the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival in California in 2002. In 2005 The Melodians embarked on a West Coast tour.

The death of Tony Brevett in 2013 left McNaughton as the only surviving original member. McNaughton toured as a solo artist in 2014 and subsequently recruited Taurus Alphonso (formerly of the Mellow Tones) and Winston Dias (formerly of The Movers) to form a new Melodians line-up. As of February 2015, the group were recording a new album in Florida with producer Willie Lindo. The Return of the Melodians was released in May 2017 and went on to reach no. 19 on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart.

In February 2017, the Melodians received an 'Iconic Award' from the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA).

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