Hello Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners!
A lovely week led into the May 3rd, 2016 edition of The Bovine Ska and Rocksteady which featured a spotlight on the small, yet excellent rocksteady and soul label, STAG.
The show started with two sets of ska, beginning with a lost classic from Derrick Morgan and Patsy Todd entitled Money, which was released on Voice Of The People in 1964. The set also featured It’s Impossible a pretty 1966 mid-temp ska on Studio One from the late great Delroy Wilson. For our mento set, we started with a track, courtesy of our friend, and longtime listener, Scott, who years ago gave us a perfect copy of Scandal In Montego Bay, the 1964 Sue Label LP from Percy Dixon and His Merry Boys. From that wonderful record, we played the tune, Balimbo. We then went into a rocksteady set and the wonderful voice of keyboardist Glen Adams on S-H-I (I’m Shocking) on the Lee Label. After that set of rocksteady, we rolled into our STAG label spotlight.
We’re not 100% sure of the primary owner of the Stag label, but we definitely know who was responsible the rocksteady sounds of Stag. Lynn Taitt arranged and produced most of the singles released on the label, and as a result, you’ll hear some fine rocksteadys along with pretty soul cuts in this spotlight. Born in Trinidad, Lynn Taitt began performing and creating music on steel pan at the age of eight. Around the age of fourteen, Taitt hid a guitar for his friend who had taken it from a drunken sailor. His friend did not pick up the guitar for sometime later, and as a result, by the time he returned to get it, Taitt was already learning how to play the instrument, so Taitt simply purchased it from his friend. After he learned how to play guitar, Taitt joined a group called the Dutch Brothers for a couple of years and then formed his own group. This group received an offer to perform at the Jamaica Independence celebration, and on this trip, Taitt decided Jamaica would be his new home, and he joined the stage band known as the Sheiks, kicking off the beginning of his presence in the Jamaican music industry. Despite not being labeled as the primary producer on countless rocksteady tracks, Lynn Taitt was in fact the arranger on a large percentage of that rhythm’s output from 1966-1968. On Stag, we do see him listed as a producer on the predominance of tracks, and we started off with two soul tracks from the vocalist Glen Miller backed up by the Lynn Taitt orchestra.
As far as the era we cover here on The Bovine Ska (1955-1975), Lloyd Robinson is an artist whom we love and have played frequently . During the Jamaican Rhythm and Blues, Robinson performed with Basil Gabbidon in the Mellowlarks. During rocksteady, he recorded as a member of the group The Tartans and as a member of a duo with Glen Brown, and during reggae, he recorded with Devon Russell and in dancehall, he saw fame as a soloist again.
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.
Here is the May 3rd, 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady and our spotlight on the Stag Label:
Lily and Generoso