Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: Prince Buster’s Olive Blossom Label 12-15-15

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Johnny Cool By Buster On Olive Blossom

Hello Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners!

We started off this week’s show with a a version to version of The Ethiopians’ classic, Pirate and Gregory Issacs Do You Ever to highlight our first two sets of early reggae.  After a stirring mento set, we ended the first hour with a set of blazing ska before going into the Olive Blossom Label spotlight at the start of the second hour.

In the years of ska, King Edwards, Duke Reid, and Coxone Dodd, and Prince Buster dominated the sound systems and the charts. As rocksteady arrived, Prince Buster fell a bit out of the limelight as Coxone, Duke, and Leslie Kong attracted the stars to their labels. During this rocksteady period, Prince Buster opened up his Olive Blossom imprint, which had beautiful tracks and excellent productions, even if the biggest singers were not recording for Buster. 

Fundamental to the great sounds of the Olive Blossom label was the contribution of Lynn Taitt and last week’s spotlight artist, Gladstone Anderson. This pair, as they did with Merritone, Gayfeet, and any other label they traveled to during the rocksteady era, arranged the musicians for this new rhythm that they were seminal in creating. Adding to the talents of Taitt and Anderson was Prince Buster’s fearless commitment to placing unique sounds within his recordings, which he did in the ska era and is in the foreground of our favorite track that you’ll hear at the closing of this label spotlight.  We started with a killer cut from Dawn Penn with the mid-tempo ska/rocksteady, “Are You There.”

At this point, you may be wondering, what are all of Buster’s labels? There are plenty, with each dedicated to a specific period in Jamaican music or a specific period of Buster’s life. The imprints included: Prince Buster, Shack, Soulsville Center, Islam, Olive Blossom, Buster Wild Bells, and Voice of the People. And, if you were wondering if Prince Buster continued to be tough through the rocksteady, Lee Scratch Perry, who recorded “Call On Me” for Olive Blossom, has said that one of the benefits of recording for Buster during the Olive Blossom years was that Buster was fair to his artists and that he stood up and protected his artists if other people wanted to give them a hard time.

You can listen to our full Olive Blossom Label retrospective from December 15th, 2015 HERE.

Subscribe to our show on Mixcloud; it’s FREE, and you’ll get an email every Tuesday when we post a new show. Happy December!!! Please help us and spread the word and repost if you liked the show! Repost anywhere you see fit.

Join the group for the Bovine Ska and Rocksteady on Facebook.

Love, Lily and Generoso       

Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: Gladstone “Gladdy” Anderson Memorial 12-8-15

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Amazing work from Gladdy Produced By Mudie

 

Hello Bovine Ska and Rocksteady listeners,

With heavy hearts we are sad to report that pianist and vocalist Gladstone “Gladdy” Anderson has passed away.

As a studio musician and an arranger, Gladdy worked for many labels and many house bands, making this memorial show probably one of the most difficult to put together, but one that we are proud to present to honor the fantastic work of Gladdy Anderson. Born in Jones Town in 1934, Gladstone “Gladdy” Anderson had musical influences quite early in his life. Though his father was a railway engineer, his uncle was Aubrey Adams, pianist for groups such as Clue J and the Blues Blasters and band leader for the Courtleigh Manor Hotel house band. Adams taught Gladdy how to play piano as a boy. As Gladdy continued to practice as a teenager, Adams took a trip to Panama, and when he returned, he introduced Gladdy to Duke Reid, where Gladdy first focused on playing rhythm parts on piano, occasionally getting a chance to play with his uncle, who performed the primary piano, organ, and keyboard parts. At Duke Reid’s Gladdy would also rise in the ranks, becoming one of the first people hopeful artists would audition for. Given Gladdy’s early history with Duke Reid, wekickoff off this memorial spotlight on Gladdy Anderson with three tracks from the Duke Reid All Stars; tracks where Gladdy would play with his uncle Aubrey Adams.

The sheer number of tracks that Gladdy played on is staggering as was the many different musicians in bands that he recorded with throughout his legendary career.

  1. Duke Reid All Stars
    1. Drumbago, Aubrey Adams, Cluett Johnson (bass), Ernest Ranglin (guitar), Rico trombone, Rolando Alphonso (saxophone), Theo Beckford (piano)
  2. Buster All Stars
    1. Drumbago, Cecil Bustamente Campbell, Dennis “Ska” Campbell, Ernest Ranglin, Gladstone Anderson, Jah Jerry Haynes, Karl Bryan, Lloyd Knibbs, Oswald Brooks, Raymond Harper, Rico Rodriguez, Val Bennett
  3. Skatalites
    1. The Skatalites – Gladdy would be on the piano parts for the Skatalites, replacing Jackie Mittoo because Duke Reid preferred Gladdy
  4. Tommy McCook and the Supersonics
    1. initial lineup: Johnny Moore and Lloyd Knibb, the group also included trombonist Danny Simpson. Herman Marquis on sax, pianist Gladstone Anderson, Winston Wright on organ, Clifton ‘Jackie’ Jackson on bass and either George Tucker or Ranny ‘Bop’ Williams on guitar
  5. Lynn Taitt and the Jets
              Gladdy with Hux Brown (guitar), Bryan Atkinson, Joe Isaacs, Deadly Headly, and Carlton Samuels


Gladdy was uniquely prolific, and given his reputation and constant work beginning in the 50s, he was present at some key points in the evolution of Jamaican music. When in the studio with Lynn Taitt, who Gladdy helped as a translator and band leader because many musicians had difficulty understanding Lynn because of his Trinidadian accent, Gladdy was in the band that would record the first rocksteady track, Hopeton Lewis’ “Take It Easy.” In fact, it is believed that Gladdy may have been the person to name the rocksteady genre, given that he described the recording of “Take It Easy” as “rock steady.”

With the tune, “Hold Them” -Roy Shirley had this melody and brought it over to Gladdy and Joe Gibbs. During the rehearsal, he brought Slim Smith and Ken Boothe to perform backing vocals, but after rehearsing the song, Gladdy suggested that Roy perform the song as a soloist because he better understood the rocksteady rhythm at the time.

A gifted vocalist, the second hour of  our tribute began with tunes from The Seraphines, which was the name Stranger Cole and Gladdy came up with when they sang fro Sonia Pottinger and her Gayfeet label.   The duo would also record hits under their own names like “Just Like A River” and “Seeing Is Knowing” but due to Mixcloud’s policy that limits the amount of tracks that one program can play from one artist, we limited his vocal spotlight to the Seraphines cuts.  We welcome you to find these tracks yourself as they are quite impressive.

During this period that saw Gladdy arise as a vocalist, he of course continued to play on a huge amount of tunes during the rocksteady and reggae eras.

  1. The Crystalites
    1. Barry Biggs, Bongo Herman, Bongo Les, Gladstone Anderson, Jackie Jackson (3), Karl Bryan, Larry McDonald, Lynford Brown, Paul Douglas, Wallace Wilson (2), Winston Wright
  2. Clancy Eccles’ Dynamites, the backing band for Eccles’ productions
    1. Gladdy Anderson (piano) Hux Brown (lead guitar), Jackie Jackson (bass), Winston Grennon (drums), Neville Hinds (organ) and Wallace Wilson (rhythm guitar), while others who recorded with the group included Hugh Malcolm (drums) and Winston Wright (organ)
  3. Harry J All Stars
    1. Winston Wright (organ, keyboard), Val Bennett (saxophone), Aston “Family Man” Barrett (bass), Boris Gardiner (bass), Jackie Jackson (bass), Carlton Barrett (drums)
  4. Mudie’s All Stars
    1. known as Gladdy’s All Stars occasionally for tracks led by Gladdy  
  5. Joe Gibbs and the Professionals
          1. Sly Dunbar, Bobby Ellis, George Fulwood, Vin Gordon, Tommy McCook, Lloyd Parks, Robbie Shakespeare, Earl Chinna Smith, and Ruddy ThomasR.I.P. Gladdy.  Thank you for all that you did to drive this music we love forward.

You can listen to our full Gladdy Anderson retrospective from December 8, 2015 HERE. Subscribe to our show on Mixcloud; it’s FREE, and you’ll get an email every Tuesday when we post a new show.

Happy December!!! Please help us and spread the word and repost if you liked the show! Repost anywhere you see fit.

Join the group for the Bovine Ska and Rocksteady on Facebook.

Love,

Lily and Generoso