Bovine Ska and Rocksteady 2/18/15: The Twinkle Brothers

The Twinkle Brothers

This Week’s Spotlight Artist: The Twinkle Brothers

 Last week (2/11/15), the Bovine Ska and Rocksteady did its 19th Annual Anti-Valentine’s Day radio show but please never let it be known that Lily and I are against the concept of love.  We are just against the idea that we need a holiday to show that we have love for one another.  Sadly, we found out that on February 15th, Professor Irving Singer, a colleague of Generoso’s while he was at the CMS Program at MIT had passed away.  Irving was a great teacher, philosopher and writer, and a World War Two combat veteran. He wrote the celebrated three volume collection, “The Nature Of Love,” as he spent much of his later life thinking about why we love one another.  We dedicate this show to Irving and we started the show off with two positive sets about love, with tracks like Winston Samuel’s 1964 release for the SEP label, You Are The One (I Love).  And after a mento set and a set of gorgeous rocksteady cuts, we launched into our never before done on the show spotlight of The Twinkle Brothers.

Formed by Norman and Ralston Grant in Falmouth, Jamaica, the Twinkle Brothers began their musical careers, as many of their peers, performing in local festivals and contests. The original line up consisted of: Norman Grant (drums and vocals), Ralston Grant (vocals and guitar), Derrick Brown (bass), Karl Hyatt (percussions), Eric Bernard (Piano) and Bongo Asher (percussion). Shortly after their foundation in 1962, the Twinkle Brothers won the Trelawney Mento Festival, beginning their streak of festival success for the next 6 years, which culminated in gold medals for Norman as a solo artist and the Twinkle Brothers as a group in the all island contest in 1968. In the midst of these festival performances, The Twinkle Brothers caught the attention of Leslie Kong and recorded their first single, “Somebody Please Help Me” in 1966, which is the first track to kick off this spotlight on The Twinkle Brothers.  The name The Twinkle Brothers from an interview with Norman Grant in 2006: “We were rehearsing one day when a Rasta elder by the name of So-Me-Say heard us play and told us he was going to give us a name. He came up with the name Twinkle Brothers. I guess that because it was already nightfall, he got inspired by the stars in the sky. We’ve held that name ever since.”

1970 was a busy year for the Twinkle Brothers. By 1970, the Twinkle Brothers began recording for Bunny Lee, whom they would record about 14 tracks with, and who Norman Grant recalled as his favorite producer.  Bunny also introduced the group to Lee Scratch Perry, and they recorded only one single “Reggae For Days” with him, which is a rare and difficult track to find In 1973, the Twinkle Brothers moved to Phil Pratt and recorded for his Sunshot label. By the mid-70s Norman had begun to dedicate his work in other directions. He opened a record store in Falmouth, and in 1975, he joined the Sonny Bradshaw band. Eventually, Norman moved to the UK.

Listen to the full program: HERE.

Enjoy! The archive will be available until 3/2/2015


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