Bovine Ska and Rocksteady 8/25/2015: Winston Lowe’s Tramp Label

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A Tramp Label Classic From Leroy Smart


Hello Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners:

This week’s edition of Generoso’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady began with a two sets of ska classics and rarities starting with Red Sea, a rare vocal cut from the king of the ska harmonica, Charley Organaire and ending with Rolando Alphonso magnificent ska instrumental from 1966 for Winston Blake’s Merritone label, “Sai Pan”  We rarely mention it on the blogpost but our backing album was just too good not to mention here, and that was Zulema’s 1975 disco classic, Ms. Z.  After an upbeat mento set, we ended the first our with two version to version pairings, starting with Ken Boothe’s “I Don’t Want To See You Cry,” and Delroy Wilson’s “I’m Not A King.”  We then began the second hour with a spotlight of the rare Winston Lowe produced label, TRAMP.

Two years ago, Generoso finished a documentary he had been working on for the previous four years on Chinese Jamaicans and their contribution to Jamaican music. From artists to producers, there is an amazing history of Chinese Jamaican participation in turning reggae into a worldwide phenomenon. Many know the names of Byron Lee, Leslie Kong, and Vincent and Pat Chin, but rarely is the name Winston Lowe mentioned. A friend of Bunny Lee, Winston Lowe ran his Tramp label in Greenwich Farm, creating some truly illustrious productions during its brief period of activity from 1968 to 1972. Amongst the artists who would stop by at Tramp, the Melodians and Lloyd Charmers would cut some of their finest sides for the label. Of the rotating artists, The Uniques recorded some of their best material at Tramp on loan from Bunny Lee, including an outstanding version of “For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield entitled “Watch This Sound,” which started this evening’s label spotlight.

Soul Syndicate backed up many of the Tramp label tracks of the early 70s, with members including Bovine Ska friend Tony Chin, Earl “Chinna” Smith, Carlton “Santa” Davis, and George “Fully” Fullwood. The band still performs today, with many of the original members performing at Don the Beachcomber in Huntington Beach every Sunday, which is an awesome thing!

You can listen to our show from August 25th, 2015 by clicking HERE.

Subscribe to the show on Mixcloud to get reminders when we post up the show, and join us on Facebook to get updates on upcoming spotlights, record discoveries, and upcoming Jamaican music performances and shows in the Southern California area!


XOXOXO Lily & Generoso



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