Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: Carlton Bradford’s Triumph Label 8-23-16

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Triumph Label B

Triumph All Stars on Triumph, 1968

Howdy Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners,

The August 23rd, 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady began with two sets of ska, including a set of COWBOY-themed ska which was a silly, last minute decision based on us acquiring the Prince Buster’s 1962 single, Cowboy Comes To Town! We love westerns so what can you do?  We ended the two sets of ska with the king of the reggae harmonica, Roy Richards, on Studio One in 1965 with Double Trouble.  Our weekly mento show had a few rare gems this week, including The Dictator With The Jamaican Calypsonians and their 1955 tune for the Kalypso label, Chinese Cricket Match.  We ended the first hour with a long set of rocksteady starting with the seldom heard band, The Jupiters who cut a Judge Dread styled courtroom tune, The Return Of Ezekial  for Joe Gibbs Amalgamated label in 1967.  That set ended with another track from 1967, this time a cover of Maurice Williams doo-wop classic, Stay, this time performed by The Summertaires for the Coxsone label.  We then went into our spotlight of the Triumph Label.

The Triumph label is one of those short lived labels that we are always amazed to dig up! Carlton Bradford was the owner and producer, with releases on Triumph concentrated in rocksteady and early reggae. Bradford was primarily known as a singer; he was a member of The Vibrators and The Soul Cats, both groups that were prolific throughout early Jamaican music.  With Leslie Bailey and Solomon Gayle, Bradford recorded as a vocalist as part of The Vibrators, who started with Justin Yap and his Top Deck label. The trio would record through rocksteady and reggae, serving often as backing vocalists for many labels, including Coxsone and Gay Feet.

With Ewan McDermott and Kevton Williams, Bradford sang as a member of The Soul Cats, who were active in reggae in the late 70s.  The Soul Cats would actually open up the Bradmack label together in America, releasing their own tracks as The Mighty Soul Cats for the label that had its home in New Jersey and was distributed out of the Bronx.For Triumph, we get to hear Bradford focused on rocksteady and early reggae as he got his start as a producer. He attracted quite a lot of talent to Triumph and excellently produced their recordings. Many of Bradford’s productions were picked up by Blue Cat and Pama’s subsidiary Nu Beat in England, but they originated on Triumph. 

Winston Wright was one of the most prolific organists in Jamaican music. As a member of Tommy McCook and the Supersonics and Lynn Taitt and the Jets, he recorded extensively with Duke Reid early in his career. He would see enormous success from his essential part in “Liquidator,” the hit from the Harry J All Stars and would go on to record for the backing bands of some of the biggest labels and producers, including Clancy Eccles, Byron Lee, King Jammy, Alvin Ranglin, and Lee Scratch Perry just to name a few. One of the labels that Winston Wright stopped by was Triumph, and he performed with the Triumph All Stars to cut a track for Bradford.

We hope that you enjoy the August 23rd, 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady:

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