Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: The Rocksteady And Soul Of The Stag Label 5-3-16

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The Selectors On Stag in 1968

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:

XOXO,
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