Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: Byron Lee’s Dragon’s Breath Label 9-6-16

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Keith Lyn on Lee’s Dragon’s Breath

 

Howdy Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners,

Firstly, thank you to everyone how was kind enough to let us know how much they appreciated our Deadly Headly Bennett Memorial show.  Generoso was fortunate enough to have met Deadly back in 1999, when Headley and trombonist, Vin Gordon were performing with Justin Hinds.  Generoso and Headley got a chance to speak that night as Generoso was introducing the show at the Ocean Mist in Rhode Island.  All three men were very kind and exceptional musicians.  Thank you and respect to Vin, who is still with us and much respect to Justin and Headley for their kindness and great contribution to Jamaican music.

The September 6th, 2016 Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady began with the to sets of rare rocksteady, starting with Stranger and Patsy with a lovely cut they did for Tip Top in 1967, Don’t Want To Be Hurt.  The second set began with The Wrigglers and their song, You Cannot Know, which they recorded for Giant in 1968 and that set ended with the King Of Rocksteady, Alton Ellis and My Time Is The Right Time.  Our weekly mento set featured another cut from our favorite mento, Count Lasher on Stanley Motta’s MRS label, Perfect Love.  We ended the first hour with a set of ska to get you ready for the sounds of the Dragon’s Breath label,    A standout during that ska set was from Joe White, a solo ska from him produced by Prince Buster for the Voice Of The People label in 1964, Nite Club!  That set ended with another Buster production, this time it’s the Maytals and their hit, Domino!  We then went right into our spotlight of the Dragon’s Breath label…

By 1956, Byron Lee and the Dragonaires had established themselves as a professional working band that toured the hotel and nightclub circuit. Before these touring years, the Dragonaires performed mento, but in order to play professionally, like so many other bands, they performed versions of American soul and R&B hits. Within three years, the group decided to take a shot at recording, and in 1959, they visited Edward Seaga at WIRL’s studios to record their first single, “Dumplins.” This single was released on the band’s label, Dragon’s Breath, appropriately named in the tradition of the group’s name and, this is the label of our spotlight tonight, which will exclusively contains Jamaican Rhythm and Blues and Ska. We kicked our label spotlight off with three tracks from the Dragonaires that were produced by Byron Lee himself, starting with “Dumplins,” the group’s recording debut.

Dragon’s Breath was pretty short lived, with releases stopping in 1964. Interestingly, there was a bit of a gap in the label; no recordings were released in 1962. We do not know of the reason, but one could be that the label changed hands because by 1963, Prince Buster was the producer for the label and  from that moment on out, we heard those Buster productions as he took the helm of the music released by Dragon’s Breath, including two from Eric Monty Morris which began the second set of the spotlight.

XO Generoso and Lily

This is the September 6, 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady and our spotlight on the Dragon’s Breath label:

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Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: Happy Jamaica Independence Day! 8-2-16

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Derrick Morgan’s Hails Independence!

Happy Jamaica Independence Day Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners,

Saturday, August 6th, 2016, was Jamaican Independence Day! In honor of this momentous occasion, we presented a special Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Radio Show on August 2nd, 2016 that featured two hours of the best Jamaican rhythm and blues recordings released in the year of Jamaica’s Independence,1962! Joyous songs of freedom from Prince Buster, Owen Gray, Laurel Aitken, Don Drummond and many many more!

From 1934-1939, Jamaica would experience the British West Indian labour unrest due to the the severe inequalities between British settlers and native Jamaicans. This protest for equality for native Jamaicans would galvanize the beliefs for Jamaican autonomy, with Alexander Bustamante emerging as the thought leader for the protest and a founder of the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union.  Alongside the Union, Norman Manley, Bustamante’s cousin, formed the People’s National Party. Originally, Bustamente approved the party and was a member, but he disagreed with parts of the party’s platform.  As a result, he founded the Jamaica Labour Party in 1943.  The JLP and PNP would dominate the politics in these years leading up to independence.

In 1944, Jamaica got Universal Adult Suffrage whereby each adult had the right to vote irrespective of gender, race or financial status, beginning to raise further thoughts around independence.  In 1955, a new constitution was ratified and put in place a two-chamber legislature and organized an Executive Council made up of ten members of the legislature and chaired by the new position of Premier, the head of government. It also set a foundation for a system of checks and balances.

In 1958, Jamaica gained more authority when the nation became independently accountable for all internal affairs and in 1958,  Jamaica became a province in the Federation of the West Indies. Immediately, the political parties in power were weary of the federation because the capital was chosen to be in Trinidad
On May 30, 1960 Bustamante, pulled himself and the members of the JLP from the West Indies Parliament. Then, on September 19, 1961,  Manley, who was the Premier at the time, demanded a referendum vote to see if Jamaica’s residents wanted to participate in the federation or not. Jamaica sought to secede from the federation in 1962, igniting another spark to begin seeking independence from Britain. In February 1962 marked a major success line for the movement for Jamaican autonomy; both Manley and Bustamante traveled to meet with the British Parliament to discuss independence and a new Constitution, and the independence date.

Immediately after the meeting, April 10th was set as the voting day to elect the first Prime Minister of Jamaica.  Alexander Bustamante won the election in April, becoming Jamaica’s first Prime Minister and then, on July 19th, 1962, the British Parliament passed the Jamaica Independence Act, granting independence on August 6th, 1962.   On that independence day, Princess Margaret traveled to Jamaica to represent the Queen in the opening session of Jamaica’s Parliament.  Across the island, celebrations began with the exchange of the British flag with Jamaica’s black, gold, and green flag. The inaugural Jamaica Independence festival occurred on independence day with the event initiated by Edward Seaga featuring many music performances, including one from Lynn Taitt’s own band from Trinidad, who had been invited by Byron Lee.  Furthermore, Eric Coverly, the man behind the floats of the Jamaica Bandwagon and the husband of Louise Bennett, designed floats and arranged for additional arts celebrations for the momentous day.

Happy Jamaica Independence Day! Please enjoy our tribute:

Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: Lloyd Charmers’ Splash Label 7-26-16

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Lloyd Charmers 1970 soul cover on Splash

Howdy Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Friends,

This weekend prior to the July  26th, 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady, Lily and I had an awesome visit from our old friend Jeff and our new friend Lodrina, we saw a ton of Pialat movies at UCLA and pulled one beast of a Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Radio Show for you! For our spotlight this week, we put together a special ONE HOUR look at Lloyd Charmers’ SPLASH label which features some of the best Jamaican covers of American soul and pop cuts that we have ever heard. BB Seaton covering The Persuaders, Alton Ellis covering The Spinners, The Now Generation covering Bobby Womack..This label is truly special! The spotlight starts midway through the show.

Leading up to the Splash label spotlight which started midway through the show we began the program with two sets of ska which had a very short but tasty Maytals track that Toots and the band cut for the ND label in 1964, Hey Hey Girl.  We played another short, but spectacular ska during these two sets with The Charmers on Prince Buster’s Voice Of The People,  It’s A Dream.   We started our mento set with The Diggers take on Peanut Vendor for Top Sounds in 1964 and ended that set with our favorite mento artist, Count Lasher on Caribou in 1956 with Calypso Cha Cha.  We ended the first hour with a long set of reggae and Sir Harry on Carib-Dis-Co in 1972 with My Time Now.   We then went deep into the special one-hour spotlight on the Splash Label…

The Fierro household adores Lloyd Charmers.

We love him as a member of The Charmers. We love him as a member of The Uniques. And we really love him for his wildly salacious recordings as Lloydie and the Lowbites, so much so that we are always on the lookout at for any Lloydie records wherever we go.

Born in Kingston as Lloyd Tyrell, Lloyd Charmers began his career as a singer in the duo known as The Charmers with Roy Willis. The two competed, like so many wonderful Jamaican musicians did, on the Vere Johns Opportunity Hour, and caught the attention of producers in the music scene. The Charmers would record with heavy hitters Prince Buster and Coxsone Dodd, and they would appear in the film This is Ska, but the two would part ways, with Lloyd recording as a soloist and then joining Slim Smith and Jimmy Riley as a member of the second reincarnation of The Uniques.

At the close of the sixties and the beginning of 70s, Charmers starting working on his other musical talents. He established a reputation as an excellent keyboardist, and he opened up the Splash label to work on his own productions, bringing in phenomenal talent and his own great love for American soul of the 1970s. We’re thrilled to present you this hour long spotlight on Splash because there are outstanding productions and some covers of soul tracks that challenge the originals. We began  with Lloyd himself and the 1969 classic, Birth Control, which was later adapted by The Specials on Two Much Too Young.

Charmers house backing band of choice was the Now Generation Band. The seed that started the group was planted when Mikey Chung and Val Douglas were students at the College of Arts and Sciences Technology. The two both went to the same high school together, but they did not begin practicing and recording together until later. They began using the equipment of the disbanded group, Ti & the Titans, and they formed the band the Mighty Mystics. Then the Mighty Mystics broke up and joined an existing band known as Now Generation, creating the house band that people would come to know well throughout reggae. The members of the group were brothers Mikey and Geoffrey Chung on guitar, Val Douglas on bass, Mikey Boo and Martin Sinclair (who was only a member for early recordings) on drums, Robbie Lyn and Wire Lindo on keyboards.

We hope you enjoy the July 26th, 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady:

Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: Sir Mike The Musical Dragon Label 6-21-16

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The Great Stranger Cole on Sir Mike’s

Hello Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners!

First off,  we just want to thank everyone who gave us love for last week’s 20th Anniversary episode of the Bovine Ska.  It was a tough show to glue together so we are so happy that you all loved it so much.  Here’s to another twenty years!

The June 21st edition of The Bovine Ska and Rocksteady began with a seldom heard rocksteady cut from Lee Scratch Perry called, Run For Cover, which was released on Star in 1967.  We played that in tribute to the endlessly entertaining, live painting event that Scratch put on at Dem Passwords in Chinatown here in Los Angeles on Thursday, June 16, 2016.   We followed with seven more smooth rocksteady cuts including Dion Cameron and The Three Tops gem, Miserable Day, which they cut for WIRL in 1967.

Our weekly mento set began with Miss Goosie from Count Owen’s Rock Steady Calypso LP which came out on Federal in 1968 and ended with Lord Power’s wildly festive, Let’s Do It on Hi Lite in 1956.  We ended the first hour with a rousing set of ska, with our final track being Hortense Ellis disguised as Little Darling and No One, which she recorded for Prince Buster on Voice Of The People in 1965.  We then began our spotlight on Sir Mike The Musical Dragon Label…

From the early soundsystem era, we always hear about Lloyd Daley’s Matador, Duke Reid’s Trojan, Coxsone’s Downbeat, Prince Buster’s Voice of the People, and Vincent and George Edwards (collectively known as King Edwards) The Giant sound systems. Mike Shadeed’s Sir Mike the Musical Dragon Sound System stood in the company of these big names, but we often do not hear of Shadeed’s work.

Sir Mike the Musical Dragon was considered one of the big six sound systems in Jamaica, so much so that Shadeed was invited by the Jamaican government to partake in Independence celebrations and dances in the mid-60s. As a testament to the reputation and popularity of the Sir Mike sound system, King Tubby, in interviews, has even discussed the power of Sir Mike’s, saying that Sir Mike was even stronger than Coxsone Dodd’s Downbeat and Duke Reid’s The Trojan by the time the mid-60s arrived. Sir Mike the Musical Dragon also introduced the music world to Prince Far I, who was a DJ for the sound system before he became a recording artist.

As a record label, Sir Mike the Musical Dragon gave us some excellent ska from some of the best artists at the time. We kicked off this spotlight on the Sir Mike label with a duo of great talent, Stranger & Ken, Stranger Cole and Ken Boothe, who recorded, Hush Baby, for Mike Shadeed in 1963.

Before playing melodica in the 1970s, Joe White recorded primarily as a vocalist in the 1960s. For the Sir Mike the Musical Dragon label, White recorded two beautiful skas. Wanna Go Home, features a simple and gorgeous trumpet line from Baba Brooks playing in tandem with White’s solid voice, and “When You Are Wrong” also features Baba Brooks, but White’s voice shines in the track. We started off the second set of the spotlight with both of these wonderful Joe White recordings.  

XOXO
Lily and Generoso

Here is the June 21st, 2016 Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady:

Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: The 20th Anniversary Of The Bovine Ska! 6-14-16

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Lily and Generoso with Keith and Tex from 2015

 

Happy Anniversary Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners!

Twenty years ago this week, Generoso arrived to the basement of the Walker Memorial building at MIT and stepped into the studios of WMBR, 88.1FM Cambridge where he filled in for his friend Chris’ radio show, Spiddle, Urine, Phlegm, and Blood by playing two hours of a mix of original Jamaican and Two Tone Ska.  The program director at the time enjoyed his show and offered Generoso a slot on Tuesdays at midnight and the show remained at that time for the next nineteen years.  In 2010, Generoso met Lily and they began doing the show together ever since.  The show remained on the schedule at WMBR until 2015 when Generoso and Lily moved to Los Angeles where the show continues on Mixcloud.

Over the last twenty years The Bovine Ska and Rocksteady has played early Jamaican music from 1955-1975 ( we sometimes go much earlier than that but rarely later) concentrating on the earliest recorded musics in Jamaica, mento, rhythm and blues, ska, rocksteady, and early reggae.  We have also been fortunate to have some of the greatest recording artists in Jamaican music history visit the show from Jimmy Cliff  to Owen Gray,  Prince Buster, Roy and Yvonne, BB Seaton, Lynn Taitt, Eric Monty Morris,  Keith and Tex, Big Youth, Lord Tanamo, Derrick Morgan, and Laurel Aitken as well as modern performers like Dave Wakeling of The English Beat, Greg Lee from Hepcat and David Hillyard (who composed our opening theme) and Glen Pine from The Slackers.  This has been a blast these last two decades.

Over the last few weeks, Lily and Generoso have rummaged through the years via piles of old cassette tapes, DATs, CDs and MP3s to create this past week’s twentieth anniversary show,  Included are interviews from the aforementioned artists and live performances from the show, and even a set from the patron saint of The Bovine Ska, Magnus Johnstone, who passed away in 2013, as well as the rare recordings of tracks from the performers that you have come to expect over the last twenty years.

We have no intentions of stopping what we have been doing since 1996 and we would like to thank all of the listeners, artists, and WMBR for their support over the years.

XO
Generoso and Lily

So, please celebrate with us by listening to our 20th Anniversary Special:

Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: The 19th Annual Jamaican Christmas Show 12-20-15

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Christmas Reggae From The Gable Hall School

Happy Holidays Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners!

For the nineteenth year in a row, we have produced a show that not only features some of the best and rarest Jamaican Christmas tunes from 1955-1978 like Glen Adams’ 1974 cut for Straker’s Records Christmas Rock Reggae and Jackie Mittoo’s 1978 After Christmas, a dubby haunting organ driven version of Joy To The World, but also we gave you tidbits of Jamaican holiday traditions and foods as well.

Christmas across all cultures has a variety of traditions. Here in America, traditions are often focused on the food we share on the holiday, with staples including turkey, ham, eggnog, and gingerbread cookies. For Americans, you may wonder, what is Christmas like in Jamaica? Christmas time in Jamaica often means the creation of traditional items for the table, and one of those staples is Sorrel drink.  Sorrel is a cold, delicious, spicy and festively red-pink tea made from Sorrel, which is also known as roselle. The roselle is a plant in the hibiscus family, and after the flower blooms on the plant, the sepals of the flower become the source for the tea. The roselle grown in Jamaica was transported to Latin America in colonial times, thus creating the agua de Jamaica you see in Mexico and in taquerias in Los Angeles. The Sorrel drink in Jamaica is often spiced with pimento berries, the fruit that makes allspice, and ginger along with a wee bit of rum, making a festive drink that is perfect for celebrating Christmas, especially in the warm weather of Jamaica.

One of the other staples of Christmas is Christmas cake, a black rum cake made with dried fruit that makes American fruit cake look shameful.  Christmas cake is sometimes made for weddings as well, but it is most common around Christmas time. With origins from English Christmas Pudding, Jamaican Christmas cake uses rum and red wine to soak dried fruits such as prunes, raisins, cherries, and dates, which gives the dessert an intense brown color.  

Another major tradition of Christmas in Jamaica is the visit to the Grand Market on Christmas eve. The Grand Market opens in major towns, with vendors selling toys, sweets, fresh fruit, snacks, games, and clothes. Sound systems and bands also play music throughout the day, and families gather to celebrate the holiday together with some shopping, strolling, eating, and viewing of Christmas decorations on nearby buildings.

Jonkonnu bands were long ago a tradition of the Christmas season. The Jonkonnu bands would parade down the street in large, masquerade costumes. The traditional set of Jonkonnu characters include the horned Cow Head, Policeman, Horse Head, Wild Indian, Devil, Belly-woman, Pitchy-Patchy and sometimes a Bride and House Head who carried an image of a great house on his head. Today, these theatrical bands are not as common, but a few still perform around the holiday.

After Christmas Day, Boxing Day is celebrated, which is a day to further spend with family and to spread cheer. Boxing Day is often spent with extended family and is the time to thank people who provide a service to you throughout the year such as the postal or newspaper delivery or local businesses that you regularly frequent.

You can listen to our full Gladdy Anderson retrospective from December 20, 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.

Happy New Year!

Lily and Generoso

 

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: Theo Beckford’s King Pioneer Label 10-20-15

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Our Opening Tune For The King Pioneer Spotlight



Hello Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners,

First off, thanks again to all of you who wrote and wished Generoso a happy birthday!  Last week’s all 1968 show was a tad silly but we had fun doing it and we were glad you liked it as much as you did.  We are also happy to announce are very happy to say that our weekly show besides being uploaded to Mixcloud will now also be part of Rasta Radio JA, Barbara Blake Hannah’s radio station based out of Kingston, Jamaica. Every Friday from 2PM-4PM Jamaican time our show will air for the good people of Jamaica. We could not be prouder.

This week’s show began with two sets of rare rare rocksteadys, starting with a tune from a little known group, The Swingers, with a track called “Show It Now” which was released on Prince Buster’s Olive Blossom Label in 1967.  We followed that with another rare cut, this time from Coxsone in the same year, 1967, “Have Mercy” from The Jamaican Shadows.  Two wonderful tracks that got the ball rolling.  After another set of rocksteady, we started our weekly mento set with “How You Come Over,” a tune from the queen of mento, Louise Bennett from her “Jamaican Folk Songs” LP which was released back in 1954.  We ended the first hour with a long set of Jamaican rhythm and blues to put you in the mood for our King Pioneer spotlight.  A standout duet during that last set of the first hour featured two amazing singers who both visited The Bovine Ska in the past, Owen Gray and Laurel Aitken. They teamed up in 1962 for the Dee’s Label with the boisterous “She’s Gone To Napoli.”  After that set, we started our half hour tribute to Theo Beckford’s King Pioneer Label….

Born in Trenchtown, Kingston, Theophilus (Theo) Beckford taught himself how to play piano at the Boys’ Town School, gaining inspiration from Roscoe Gordon and Fats Domino, whose records were extremely popular in 1940s and 1950s Jamaica. With Stanley Motta’s mento recording business (his side project from his photo supply shop), Beckford found a role as a session musician for the MRS label, backing up mento artists such as Lord Composer and the mighty Count Lasher. In 1956, Beckford recorded “Easy Snappin” for Coxone Dodd’s Downbeat soundsystem, during what is believed to be Coxone Dodd’s first studio session at a time in Jamaican music history where 78s were no longer popular and when American R&B was not as accessible in Jamaica. Beckford met Coxone Dodd through Ken Khouri; Beckford would sing for Khouri’s Federal Records, and Coxone Dodd decided to record at Federal Studios. While “Easy Snappin” is often considered and regarded as the first ska track in Jamaica, it contains that signature rollick of Jamaican Rhythm & Blues, so that claim is a little questionable. Regardless of where “Easy Snappin” falls in the transition from R&B and into ska, it was a huge hit for the soundsystem and eventually for Dodd’s Studio One when it was released as a record in 1959. Beckford would continue to record for Dodd and eventually all of the major soundsystem operators: King Edwards, Prince Buster, and Duke Reid. In 1963, after much experience as a session musician, Theo Beckford opened up his own label for greater independence, and that is the King Pioneer label, our label spotlight of tonight. King Pioneer was a full labor of love. Beckford created the name and the label artword, drawing the signature crown himself.

Backing up the the King Pioneer records were the The Theophilus Beckford Orchestra and The King Pioneer All Stars are not 100% clear; as with many house bands, there’s a rotating cast. Some of the members were: Drumbago and Wackie Henry on drums, Lennie ‘Blues’ Gordon on bass, Lloyd ‘Ace’ Richard and Lord Jellicoe on guitar, Val Bennett and John the Baptist on alto sax, Baba Brooks and Raymond Harper on trumpet, Ronald Wilson on trombone, Lester Pegart, Stanley Notice, and Dennis Campbell on tenor sax, and of course, to round out the instrumentalists, Theo himself contributes piano and organ in addition to production.

You can hear our full show from October 20th, 2015 HERE.  Subscribe to our show on Mixcloud, it’s free and you’ll get an email every Tuesday when our new show goes up.

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

Join the group for the radio show on Facebook.

Love,
Generoso and Lily

Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: Prince Buster’s Islam Label 9-29-2015

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A Top Tune From The Maytals on Islam

Welcome Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners!

This week’s program began with a massive triple version of Johnny Clarke’s 1974 tune,”None Shall Escape The Judgement.” We followed that set with another set of early reggae gems beginning with two awesome versions of The Impressions gem, “You Must Believe Me” performed by Ninety and Dennis Alcapone and the Rupie Edwards All Stars.  Our mento set began with an awesome track from Roy Shurland and the Trenton Spence Quartet who gave us their take on the classic which was released on the Kalypso Label, “Matty Belly.” After two more mento cuts, we played you a set of skas which featured one of our favorites from the smooth voice of Ken Parker, “Before and After” which he recorded for Studio One in 1966.  We ended the first hour with another Coxsone Dodd production, this time from Winston Stewart from 1964,”Leave Me Alone.” We started the second hour of the show with our spotlight on Prince Buster’s ISLAM label.

Another Prince Buster label for the spotlight you ask?  Why yes!  Two months ago, we featured the earliest Buster imprint, Wild Bells and this week, we are looking at his Islam label. In 1964, Prince Buster, under the invitation and encouragement of Muhammad Ali, attended a Nation of Islam talk at Mosque 29 in Miami. Upon returning to Jamaica, he converted from his original Christian faith to the Islam faith. Upon this spiritual change, Buster created a new imprint in honor of his conversion, appropriately named Islam. We begun the spotlight on this Prince buster label with a full set of tracks from the year of the Islam label’s foundation, 1964. One of the reasons why we selected the Islam label was the variety of artists who recorded for the label, including Lord Inventor, who you just heard from Lord Inventor was a Guayanese singer who traveled to Jamaica to cut some sides for notable producers, including Prince Buster. We also played a track  from The Watermen, who were actually The Royals and they were: Roy Cousins, Errol Green, Berthram ‘Harry’ Johnson, and Maurice ‘Professor’ Johnson. For some odd reason, the pressings of Save Mama at the time, for Islam and the English press on Blue Beat listed group under the name of The Watermen, and this would be the only single for The Royals under this pseudonym.  Also played in this spotlight were The Charmers, the duo of Lloyd Tyrell and Roy Willis. They were super prolific in 1964, recording for Coxone Dodd, Duke Reid, and that one for Prince Buster on the Islam label in its primary year. As the duo’s career continued, they would also record for Sonia Pottinger while continuing their recordings with Coxsone.

You can hear our show from September 29th, 2015 HERE.

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

Join the group for the radio show on Facebook.

Love,
Generoso and Lily

 

Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: Celebrating Pre-1962 Rico Rodriguez 9-8-15

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R.I.P. Rico Rodriguez

Hello Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners:

Both Lily and I are deeply saddened by the news of the passing of legendary trombonist, Emmanuel “Rico” Rodriguez, who died on September 4th, 2015 at the age of 80. Many of you may know him from his work with The Specials or with Jools Holland’s Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, but long before his recordings and performances in England, Rico was performing on the tracks of early ska and Jamaican Rhythm and Blues, and these earliest recordings are the ones we want to highlight to pay our respects to the mighty Rico. For this tribute show, we decided to examine Rico’s work prior to his emigration to England in 1962 for the second hour of the program.

Born in Havana, Cuba to a Jamaican mother and Cuban father, Rico and his family moved to Kingston as a child and attended the Alpha Boys School in the company of many future Jamaican music all-stars. In fact, his time at the Alpha Boys School allowed him to cross paths with another trombone king in Jamaica, Don Drummond, who would introduce Rico to the instrument he came to master and taught and mentored as a young musician. While learning from Don, Rico joined the Jamaica Jazz Orchestra with Don, Rupert Anderson, and Carlos Malcom. There’s a bit of contention around which track is the first recorded track by Rico. In interviews, we’ve seen The Jiving Juniors, “Over the River” as the first and in others, we’ve seen Continental Shuffle as the other. Given the dating of the record pressings, we began this spotlight on Rico’s spectacular trombone playing with Bridgeview Shuffle by the Matador All Stars.

By the time Rico left for England in 1962, he was in high demand, and as thus, it is no surprise he recorded for multiple labels and played on many many sessions.. Beyond his records for Lloyd Daley, Dada Tuari, and Duke Reid, Rico, like many artists in Jamaica, also recorded for Coxone Dodd. We heard Rico backing up Lascelles Perkins on “Lonely Robin,” recorded for Worldisc in 1961. In the late 50s, Rico moved to Count Ossie’s community in Wareika Hills, which was introduced to him by Don Drummond, who would invite Rico up to the hills after school to practice and perform. During this time, he got to explore multiple forms of music and would perform with Ossie, consequently, allowing him to perform on Ossie’s records in the early 60s.

In 2007, Rico received the Member of the Order of the British Empire award for his contributions to music. And, in 2012, he received the Silver Musgrave Medal for his musical contributions to Jamaica. We thank him for his legacy, and we send much respect to his family and to all of the artist who had the opportunity to work with him.

Listen to the entire program from September 8th, 2015 with the one hour tribute to Rico Rodriguez on MIXCLOUD HERE.

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XOXOXO
Generoso and Lily