Howdy Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners,
A lovely week of weather and good eating lead into the festive May 10th, 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady so we decided to do a deep and extended spotlight on Pete Weston’s wonderful, reggaerific ADVANCE LABEL which features top tune from Junior Byles, Alton Ellis, Shorty The President, Ken Boothe and many more. The spotlight, as always, begins in the middle of the show!
The show began with two sets of ska, beginning with Eric Monty Morris’s forthright tune for Duke Reid from 1964, Drop Your Sword! Prince Buster and Hazel followed with World Peace, a top cut on Buster’s own Voice Of The People label from 1963. Sammy and the Drumbago Band was next with You’ve Been Drunk which was originally released on Count John The Lion in 1963 and we ended that first set with the Spanishtown Ska Beats and King Solomon from 1964. The mento set started with a track never before played on The Bovine Ska, a mento from the Chin’s label entitled, Not Guilty, which is amazing considering we have been doing a mento set for almost fifteen years! A long rocksteady set was next and that began with a cool one from the vocal group, The Lyrics on Coxsone’s Studio One, called A Get It from 1966. That set ended with a Tommy McCook instrumental released on Sure Shot in 1967, Soul For Sale. We then got into the special one hour spotlight on the ADVANCE LABEL.
We do not know a ton about the Advance label, but we do know that it was a subsidiary of Micron Music, which was owned by Michael Johnston, Ronnie Burke, and Pete Weston. Michael Johnston and Ronnie Burke were roommates at Jamaica College who loved jazz, and the two founded Micron Music together. They soon brought Pete Weston on board, with Pete adding his production gift to Johnston and Burke’s distribution and promotion sensibilities. Pete Weston entered the world of production when he approached Herman Chin Loy. At the time, Pete wanted to leave his work in the insurance industry to become a producer, and Herman Chin Loy took him in, allowing him to work on Chin Loy’s projects. Quickly, Weston established himself as a strong producer, and he headed over to Micron Music. It is unclear when the Advance imprint opened up, but it must have been shortly after the creation of Micron and Pete Weston’s arrival because Weston’s productions dominate the releases. However, the label had some flexibility with production, and as a result, a variety of artists and producers released a handful of tracks for the imprint.
Scouty Whyte was one of these producers, recording one of Advance’s earliest releases in 1971, Ken Boothe’s Make Me Feel Alright, which is the track that kicked off the spotlight. As a producer, Pete Weston attracted quite a bit of talent to Advance, and one of the major artists was Lee Scratch Perry. Their collaboration was solidified in 1975, and Scratch would distribute records through Micron, and he would also collaborate with Pete as a producer and as an engineer on the Advance label.
For news on the upcoming spotlights and fun discoveries tied to early Jamaican music, join the group for the Bovine Ska and Rocksteady on Facebook.
Lily and Generoso
Here is the May 10th, 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Radio Show. Please share!