Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: Enid Barnett’s Deltone Label 5-31-16

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The Versatiles bizarre version on Deltone!

 

Howdy Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners,

The May 31st, 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady  began with a never before played on the show ska single from Justin Hinds and The Dominoes which was released on Treasure Isle in 1965, Zion Higher.  In fact the first two sets of the show were of the ska variety ending with Trial and Crosses from a very young, Lee “Scratch” Perry which was released on Coxsone’s Worldisc label in 1964.  In honor of Memorial Day, we began our weekly mento set with a 1956 MRS recording entitled, Soldier Man, from the seldom played Arthur Knibbs.  I say seldom as even though he was as prolific an artist that existed during mento, finding his recordings has been a real chore but as always we continue to search the racks.  We started the final set of the hour with the Bassies, too pretty for words rocksteady cut on Coxsone in 1967, River Jordan.  When that set ended, with the end of the first hour. we launched right into our spotlight of Enid Barrett’s DELTONE LABEL.

One of the most interesting things about Deltone is the names of two women attached to it. There is solid evidence to believe that Dorothy Barnett owned the label. Meanwhile, there are other claims that Enid Barnett owned the label, which most likely comes from the fact that Enid is credited as the producer of many records on Deltone. From what we can tell, Enid is a relative of Dorothy’s or Dorothy’s producer name, if anyone listening has any thoughts on this, we’d love to hear from you. We do know that Dorothy Barnett had some solid experience in the record industry before she ventured out to create her own label and record shop. She worked as Coxsone Dodd’s secretary, and from her observations of the ins and outs of the record business, she opened up Deltone, the shop and label. The shop, like other legendary ones, had its storefront on Orange street, and as a result, Barnett’s record label had the ability to attract much talent, including Lee Scratch Perry, who would engineer plenty of tracks for Deltone. We kicked off this spotlight in the rocksteady with Some of Them A Bawl from The Pioneers.

Deltone was somewhat of a family business. One of the musicians who saw the greatest success at Deltone was Keeling Beckford, who was Dorothy’s cousin. Also, as a result of Keeling’s presence at the label, Theo Beckford, Keeling’s uncle, would play piano on multiple Deltone tracks. The Versatiles had worked consistently with Joe Gibbs, but they decided to venture out and went over to Deltone. Teardrops FallingSomeone to Love, and Children of Today were engineered by Scratch for Deltone!

XOXO Generoso and Lily

Here is the May 31st, 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady for your listening pleasure….

Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: Coxsone Dodd’s Sensational Label 5-24-16

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The Jiving Juniors on Sensational!

Howdy Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners,

The night after the Bovine Ska and Rocksteady this week, The Rastafarians played a brilliant set at Dub Club here in LA, that was further enhanced by Scientist, who was manning the boards and spinning the band’s sound into wild beautiful experiments.   We are still a bit tired as their set went very very late which is tough for a Wednesday but who’s complaining.  It was great.

The opening set of the May 24th 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady  was inspired by my good friend Douglas Purdy, who posted Kris Kristofferson’s 1971 classic, Loving Her Was Easier which started a conversation about the famed singer/songwriter and actor.   We wondered if the current generation was even aware of Kristofferson’s huge impact on music during the 1960s and 70s and as a response, I selected a few of my favorite Jamaican versions of his songs including: Ken Parker’s take on Help Me Make It Through The Night which he cut for Treasure Isle in 1972 and Glen Adams interpretation of For The Good Times, released on Straker in 1971.

After the next set of early reggae from 1971-1973, we went to our weekly mento set that started with Count Owen’s Draw Down More from the Rock Steady Calypso record  which was released on Kalypso in 1968.  We then ended the first hour with a long set of Jamaican rhythm and blues to get you ready for this week’s spotlight on the early Coxsone Dodd imprint, SENSATIONAL.  The set of rhythm and blues began with the very first recording by famed vocalist Gene Rondo, who cut a two sides for the Magico label in 1960.   We played his track with Roy entitled Little Queenie.   We followed that with a rare cut from the famed duo of Joe Higgs and Roy who cut the early rude boy tune,  Gun Talk for Luxor in 1961.   When the set was over, we started the second hour with our spotlight on The Sensational Label…

We’ve been focusing quite a bit on reggae labels recently, and for this week’s show, we thought we should go back in time and genre to the Jamaican Rhythm & Blues.  This early style had plenty of smaller producers such as BSR favorites Charlie Moo and Simeon Smith, but the era was dominated by Coxsone Dodd.  The man of the Downbeat Sound System, Clement Seymour Dodd received the nickname Coxsone from the sport of cricket, far from the world of music where he would make his name. As a young man, he was a strong cricket player, and for that he was given the nickname “Coxsone” after Alec Coxon, a member of the Yorkshire County Cricket Club.

Dodd had many imprints that released R&B tracks, and Sensational was one of them. It’s a special one because there was a lot variety in sounds here, with the short life of the label including multiple backing groups and distinct arrangements. And to begin the spotlight, we’ll start off from a group that epitomized the R&B sound, The Jiving Juniors.  In these early days of Coxsone productions, two of the backing bands he relied on a great deal were  Rolando Alphonso and his Alley Cats and Hersang & the City Slickers.

We hope that you enjoy the show.  Here is the May 24th, 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady:

Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: Baba Brooks’ Double B Label 5-17-16

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Barbara Jones cut her first tune for Double B!

How’s it going, Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners!

Lily and I were super excited after dancing to a fantastic set of original reggae and ska from David Hillyard and The Rocksteady Seven at La Cita on Friday night that we went home at 1AM and began pulling a massive Bovine Ska and Rocksteady for May 17th! Sure, we were a bit danced out, but we still grabbed some killer tracks for you, beginning with two sets of ska which started with Lee “Scratch” Perry’s anti-Prince Buster tune for the N&D Label in 1963, Don’t Copy!  Our second set of ska began with a version to version of Count Ossie and The Upsetters’ ( the vocal group, not the Lee Perry backing band) Studio One gem, Turn Me On, which was followed by the version from Rolando Alphonso, also on Studio One in 1965, Tall In The Saddle. 

A mento set followed with Percy Dixon and His Merry Boys leading the way with their version of the naughty, Ben o Dict.  We ended the first hour with rocksteady to get you in the mood for the DOUBLE B Label spotlight.  Part of that rocksteady set had a tune  from beautiful voice of Ken Parker, from the DOUBLE D Label which has nothing to do with your spotlight label, DOUBLE B, called The Search Is Over from 1968.  Yes, we did that just to confuse you.  Soon, we were off to do the DOUBLE B Label spotlight! Major props to Lily for doing the research on this one as there is very little known about this small, but vital label.

The Double B label existed from 1972 to 1975, and all of the records were produced in Jamaica and based on the early releases and the name of the label, we have reason to believe that the owner of the label was Baba Brooks.  Baba Brooks produced the debut single for Double D, and then most of the remaining productions were created by vocalist Glen Lee.  We began the label spotlight, with Barbara Jones’s Sad Movies, followed by Sir Harry’s version of the track, both produced by Baba Brooks. Sad Movies is a cover of Sue Thompson’s track of the same name from 1961, which went to #5 on the American Billboard charts. Sad Movies is also Barbara Jones’s debut recording.

As mentioned in the introduction, Glen Lee was both a vocalist and a producer. He recorded as a singer for Double B as he produced other artists. In the early 70s, he would gain further notability as a producer for his work with George Faith. And Glen Lee’s recording studio was not too far from Lee Scratch Perry’s record shop, and this proximity would facilitate the beginning of Lee Scratch Perry’s collaboration with George Faith.  We hope you enjoy the spotlight!

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.

XO
Lily and Generoso

Here is the May 17th, 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Radio Show.  Please share!

https://www.mixcloud.com/bovineska/generoso-and-lilys-bovine-ska-and-rocksteady-baba-brooks-double-b-label-5-17-16/

Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: Pete Weston’s Advance Label 5-10-16

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Jackie Brown in 1975 On Advance!

 

Howdy Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners,

A lovely week of weather and good eating lead into the festive May 10th, 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady so we decided to do a deep and extended spotlight on Pete Weston’s wonderful, reggaerific ADVANCE LABEL which features top tune from Junior Byles, Alton Ellis, Shorty The President, Ken Boothe and many more. The spotlight, as always, begins in the middle of the show!

The show began with two sets of ska, beginning with Eric Monty Morris’s forthright tune for Duke Reid from 1964, Drop Your Sword!  Prince Buster and Hazel followed with World Peace, a top cut on Buster’s own Voice Of The People label from 1963.   Sammy and the Drumbago Band was next with You’ve Been Drunk which was originally released on Count John The Lion in 1963 and we ended that first set with the Spanishtown Ska Beats and King Solomon from 1964.   The mento set started with a track never before played on The Bovine Ska, a mento from the Chin’s label entitled, Not Guilty, which is amazing considering we have been doing a mento set for almost fifteen years!  A long rocksteady set was next and that began with a cool one from the vocal group, The Lyrics on Coxsone’s Studio One, called A Get It from 1966.  That set ended with a Tommy McCook instrumental released on Sure Shot in 1967, Soul For Sale.  We then got into the special one hour spotlight on the ADVANCE LABEL.

We do not know a ton about the Advance label, but we do know that it was a subsidiary of Micron Music, which was owned by Michael Johnston, Ronnie Burke, and Pete Weston. Michael Johnston and Ronnie Burke were roommates at Jamaica College who loved jazz, and the two founded Micron Music together. They soon brought Pete Weston on board, with Pete adding his production gift to Johnston and Burke’s distribution and promotion sensibilities. Pete Weston entered the world of production when he approached Herman Chin Loy. At the time, Pete wanted to leave his work in the insurance industry to become a producer, and Herman Chin Loy took him in, allowing him to work on Chin Loy’s projects. Quickly, Weston established himself as a strong producer, and he headed over to Micron Music. It is unclear when the Advance imprint opened up, but it must have been shortly after the creation of Micron and Pete Weston’s arrival because Weston’s productions dominate the releases. However, the label had some flexibility with production, and as a result, a variety of artists and producers released a handful of tracks for the imprint.

Scouty Whyte was one of these producers, recording one of Advance’s earliest releases in 1971, Ken Boothe’s Make Me Feel Alright, which is the track that kicked off the spotlight. As a producer, Pete Weston attracted quite a bit of talent to Advance, and one of the major artists was Lee Scratch Perry. Their collaboration was solidified in 1975, and Scratch would distribute records through Micron, and he would also collaborate with Pete as a producer and as an engineer on the Advance label.

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.

XO
Lily and Generoso

Here is the May 10th, 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Radio Show.  Please share!

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: Lord Tanamo Memorial And A Sugar Label Spotlight 4-26-16

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1970 Classic From Richard Ace On Sugar


Howdy Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners,

For those who love music like we do, this last week has been a tough one to take.  On April 21st, Prince and Lonnie Mack passed away.  Two days later Philly soul legend Billy Paul also passed at the age of 82 and a few days before them all, the great vocalist, Lord Tanamo died at the same age of 82 as Billy Paul.  A sad week indeed.

Lord Tanamo was born Joseph Abraham Gordon and was raised in Denham Town in Kingston. He began singing mento on the street and then in hotels with Cecil Lawes, a rhumba box player but eventually Tanamo would cut great mentos at Caribou. With ska quickly becoming the island’s national rhythm, Tanamo, along with Doreen Shaffer and Jackie Opel, would eventually become one of the main singers of The Skatalites.  In fact it was Tanamo himself who gave the band their name as he would proudly tell me himself whenever we met.

I first met Tanamo back in 1998, when The Allstonians, who did a great job his backing band at the time, graciously brought him down to WMBR where I got a chance to interview him.  I would chat with him on a few occasions after that over the years.  A great singer and performer. He will be very missed by many.  

Before the April 26th, 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady, Melanie Gordon, the daughter of Lord Tanamo, kindly asked me to read the following statement before our tribute on our program:

Speaking on behalf of my family ..we would love to pass our heartfelt appreciation and thanks to you and your listeners for their tributes and kind words.  We celebrate with joy, dads music forever.

We honored Lord Tanamo by opening our show with four of our favorite tracks that he sang on. Three amazing skas:  You’ll Never Know (caribou-1965) , If You Were Only Mine (caribou-1965) , and Come Down (SEP-1965) and a superb mento, Little Fist (caribou-1955).  R.I.P. Tanamo.  Thank you for all you did.

Anglo-Indian Charles Ross as a producer in Jamaica, Charley Ross was best known for his rocksteady productions from his Flame label and from the records that were distributed in England on the Blue Cat label, a subsidiary of Trojan. Given Ross’ reach to England, it is no surprise that he would continue to work with labels there, and in 1969, the Sugar label, a subsidiary of Pye Records, the label responsible for releases from Lonnie Donegan, The Kinks, and Petula Clark, opened, and Ross was named as the production director of the label.

Ross would produce the records in Jamaica, and Pye Records would press and distribute the records in the UK and then Bell Records would distribute them in the U.S. For reasons unclear, this deal with Pye somewhat came to a close, and Sugar was then under the supervision and control of Decca. Hoping that Sugar would be Decca’s definitive reggae arm, the label giant became disappointed in the very short lived output of the label, and Sugar’s last record would be released in 1970.  

Sadly, that was the last the music world heard from Charley Ross, and it’s such a shame because his productions were recorded exceptionally well. We kicked off this spotlight with the beautiful vocals of Joe White and My Guiding Star from 1969.

Sugar released two full-length LPs in its final year: Claude Sang’s World of Reggae Volume One and Charles Ross Reggae Combo’s World of Reggae Volume Two.  The Two  Zorro Five tracks that we played on the spotlight before our favorite cut from Sugar were supposed to be released on Sugar toward the end of the label, but given its mysterious termination, the Zorro Five singles were transferred to Decca.

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.

XOXO,
Lily and Generoso

Here is our April 26th, 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady which featured the Lord Tanamo Memorial and spotlight on the Sugar Label:

Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: Vincent Chin’s Pat’s Label 4-19-16

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A Killer Ska From Alton Ellis On Pat’s

Hello Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners,

As our Pat’s Label spotlight was a mix of hot ska and early reggae, we decided to start the April 19th, 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady with some smooth, pretty rocksteady…Two  sets worth actually, beginning with Dandy Livingstone and Play It Cool from his 1967 LP release on Giant, Rock Steady With Dandy.

A mento set followed the rocksteady sets which had a wonderful tune from The Jamaican Calypsonians on Times Record entitled, Donkey City and for the final set of the hour, we have you a fierce set of ska beginning with the Buster’s All Stars and their TV inspired song, The Fugitive which came out of Voice Of The People in 1965.  After that set, we went full force into the Pat’s Label spotlight.

In terms of dynasties in Jamaican music, there is no family more prolific than the Chins. Born in Kingston, Vincent “Randy” Chin got started in the music industry working for Isaac Issa, who owned jukeboxes across the island. Vincent would rotate in new records and remove older ones from the jukeboxes. With this job, the old records were discarded, and knowing that these records, while not the newest should not be wasted, Vincent accumulated them, creating the starting inventory for the Randy’s Record Mart when it opened in Kingston in 1958.

First, Vincent recorded and produced artists in Jamaican Rhythm and Blues in the early sixties for his Randy’s label, seeing success with Lord Creator and Bunny and Skitter and by 1962, Vincent and Patricia, his wife and business partner, built the formal recording studio known as Studio 17, which would see the talents of everyone from The Skatalites to John Holt to Lee Scratch Perry to Bob Marley as the studio progressed.  Besides the signature Randy’s label, during the early sixties, the Chins also created Pat’s Record as an imprint, which is the subject of our record spotlight tonight. Absolutely named after his wife, Vincent would take the helm of producing the tracks released on Pat’s Record.

While Vincent did produce the recordings, this spotlight would not be right without discussing the role of the lovely Miss Pat, the inspiration for Pat’s Record, in the Chin family music career. Pat was seminal in the creation of a one-stop record store in Kingston while Randy’s Record Mart did of course sell in house productions, it also sold the records of other producers, and those distribution deals were created by Miss Pat.

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.

XOXO,
Lily and Generoso

You can listen to our April 19th, 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady with our spotlight on the Pat’s label here:

Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: Keith Hudson’s Inbidimts Label 4-12-16

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Dennis Alcapone’s I’m Rocking On Imbidimts

Welcome Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners,

The Tuesday, April 12th edition of Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady began with a hearty tribute to Toots and the occasion that he will be on tour again this summer after a three year hiatus due to the jerk who hit him with a bottle for no reason whatsoever.  We have always loved Toots and have honored him multiple time during the twenty years of the radio show but this time means something more so we started off the beautiful cut that he and the Maytals recorded in 1964 for Coxsone, Heaven Declare.  We stayed on the ska for the first two sets of the show with a highlight being BB Seaton as Bibby with The Astronauts on the Astronaut label from 1964 and Wicked Men.

For our mento set, we began with one of the many tunes featuring a mento band attached to a Jamaican hotel, which was the thing back in the day.  Here we have the Montego Beach Hotel Calypsonians on the (you guessed it) Montego Beach Hotel Gift Shop Label and the song, Red Head, from 1959.   Thanks as always to Mike from mentomusic.com for the information on many of the mento cuts we play on the show.  An invaluable resource for us over the years on the Bovine Ska.

The final set of the first hour started with a version to version of Lloyd Young’s killer reggae from 1972 on Shalimar, Butter and Bread which we followed with The Shalimar All Stars and Bread and Butter.  After a few more early reggae cuts, we launched into our spotlight of Keith Hudson’s IMDIBIMTS LABEL!

Often referred to as the Dark Prince of Reggae, Keith Hudson is an amazing figure in Jamaican music.  He attended the Boys Town School in Kingston and frequented Coxsone’s Downbeat sound system constantly which would lead to also hanging around Coxsone’s studio musicians, carrying Don Drummond’s trombone to recording sessions. As a teenager, Hudson became very well known for his sense of style and his pragmatic sensibilities when it came to his music

First, Hudson was a newspaper salesman, and afterwards, he became a dental technician, specializing in fitting dentures, and from this work, he used his earnings to fund his first record label, Imbidimits, named for the patois word for dental embedments. Imbidimits featured plenty of stars, including John Holt, who recorded for Keith Hudson in 1969, and who will kick off the spotlight with “Never Will Hurt My Baby”

Zap Pow were a Jamaican reggae band, whose members have included guitarist Dwight Pinkney, singer Beres Hammond and trumpeter David Madden. They existed from 1969 to 1979.   In terms of great talents at Imbidimits, the house band for the label was Soul Syndicate, who Hudson somewhat strongarmed into working with. Hudson’s muscle, Derrick Stamma Hobson, was sent to convince the group to record for Imbidimits, and though that almost led to a violent confrontation, Hudson reassured the group that he was simply a fan of the group and would like to work with them

Ken Boothe’s Old Fashioned Way put Keith Hudson on the map as a producer and after that, his collaboration with Dennis Alcapone would launch Alcapone’s career.  Speaking of deejays, Hudson would also be integral in the rise of Big Youth, who recorded S90 Skank for the Imbidimts label which had the rhythm of Keith Hudson’s own We Will Make.

Trojan’s imprint Green Door would distribute Hudson productions. By the mid 70s, Hudson stopped producing and transitioned into a career as a singer. He moved to London then New York, where he signed a deal with Virgin records, who hoped he would be the next Bob Marley. Always trying to record something new, Hudson was always trying out something. It’s such a sin that he was diagnosed with lung cancer in August 1984 and passed only three months later. He was an enormous talent

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.

XOXO,
Lily and Generoso

You can listen to our April 12th, 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady and our tribute to Keith Hudson’s Imbidimts label right here, right now!

Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: Jimmy Riley Memorial Show 3-29-16

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R.I.P. Jimmy Riley

It is with sadness that we must share the new that Jimmy Riley passed away on March 23 from bone cancer at the age of 61.

Jimmy Riley is a chameleon of music. As a singer, he performed with the Uniques and the Sensations prior to becoming a solo artist, and additionally he emerged as a producer as reggae grew. Furthermore, he is also the father of the noted musician Tarrus Riley. Jimmy will be remembered as a fine singer, a talented producer, a caring father, and a dedicated mentor to musicians. We are so very sad to hear of his passing, and tonight, we will spotlight each facet of Jimmy Riley’s career. We send much respect to his family and all who worked with him.

To start off, we will began with recordings from the group that he helped form: The Sensations. Jimmy Riley went to school at Kingston Senior High School with Slim Smith, and he very much wanted to be a member of the Slim’s group, The Techniques, but the group already had four members, so adding a fifth did not make sense, even though Jimmy did his best to join the band, helping to carry clothes to and from shows and rehearsing with them as well. As a result, Jimmy formed the Sensations with Cornell Campbell, Aaron Davis, and Buster Riley, creating a group that had great talent in their own right. The quartet auditioned for Gladdy Anderson at Treasure Isle and were accepted on the spot. King Sporty came by the studio and brought Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers’, “Juvenile Delinquent,” and the Sensations began to rehearse their own version of it. The group’s version of that iconic track was their first recording, and they saw success with it at the dances in Jamaica. Next, we’ll hear The Sensations’ “Juvenile Delinquent,” the track that marks the strong beginning of Jimmy Riley’s career as a recording artist.

After the Techniques disbanded, Slim Smith founded the Uniques with Franklyn White and Roy Shirley. That first version of the Uniques separated after their early recordings failed to take off, and Slim took some time to record as a soloist. Well, the Sensations would disband during this time, and upon this, Jimmy reunited with Slim Smith along with Jackie Parris and Lloyd Charmers as a vocalist for the second version of the Uniques. The Uniques saw great success, defeating Bob Marley and Wailers to win the Battle of the Groups at the Ward Theater. We’ll heard Jimmy Riley with the Uniques next. “Lesson of Love” was written by Jimmy Riley.

After the Uniques split up, Jimmy Riley began to record as a soloist, first for Bunny Lee. Born as Martin James Norman Riley, Jimmy is credited as a recording artist and a producer as either Martin or Jimmy Riley. While most know Jimmy as a soloist for his track, “Love and Devotion,” which he recorded for Sly and Robbie, his early solo works are excellent, and you’ll hear them next.

As a producer, Jimmy Riley created his own labels, which included PEE, the subject of one of our label spotlights, along with Yes and Full Moon later in reggae. Plenty of his productions also made their way to England, to be distributed by some of our favorite English imprints. To kick off this hour of Jimmy Riley productions, we’ll start of with three tracks from the mighty PEE label.

For a younger generation, many know Jimmy as the father of Tarrus Riley, and the two of them would often perform as a duo, including most recently at Central Park’s Summer stage last year. We send much respect and many condolences to Tarrus.

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.

XOXO,
Lily and Generoso

Here is our March 29th, 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Jimmy Riley Memorial Radio Show

Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: Lloyd Daley’s Syndicate Label 3-22-16

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A Classic From Alton Ellis On Syndicate

Welcome Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners,

If you love the ska, and we think you do, then you will love the beginning of this week’s Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady from March 22nd, 2016.  We started with two sets of rare ska beginning with the massively underrated vocalist and guitarist, Basil Gabbidon and his 1963 cut for Prince Buster’s Wildbells Label, Dig The Dig.  Our mento set this week featured an awesome tune from Joseph Gordon, aka Lord Tanamo entitled Wicked Woman that was released on the Caribou label.  We ended the first hour of the show with an early reggae set beginning with a version to version excursion from 1972 on the Sioux Label.  Joe Higgs’ Lay A Foundation was followed by Jackie Rowland’s version.

Lloyd the Matador Daley is one key figure in the Jamaican music industry that we love on the Bovine Ska. While best known for his Matador label and soundsystem, Lloyd Daley has much more known to his name.

As a young man, Daley graduated from Kingston Technical High School with a focus on electronics. As a result, he had the skill to transform his amplifier to one for a sound system. In 1958, the popular Matador sound system opened up on Victoria Avenue, and nearly simultaneously, Daley also opened up Lloyd’s Radio and Television Service to repair electronics in Kingston. Given this technical gift, Daley was able to create a purer, richer sound for the Matador system, giving him an advantage over others and allowing him to advertise his sound systems to other selectors and operators who would then purchase their equipment from Daley.

Due to difficulty in getting records, Daley decided to record his own tracks starting in 1958, beginning in the Rhythm & Blues. Given his sound engineering focus, Daley’s recordings would come to be known as some of the cleanest, undistorted recordings in R&B and ska.

As with many operators, Daley had plenty of record labels, including Mystic and secret Agent in addition to his signature Matador label, and the one we want to highlight tonight is Syndicate, an excellent reggae label laden with Daley’s deep knowledge and skill of sound production.  The Matador sound was so strong that on the celebration of Big Junior, who had just been a part of Dr. No, Duke Reid and Lloyd Daley were set to each play an hour set. However, Duke Reid decided he wanted more than an hour, and in order to correctly take his turn, Daley, laid down Lloyd Lambert’s “Heavy Sugar” and turned up the volume, eventually drowning out Duke Reid.

When police gave Daley a hard time about the noise produced by the sound system, he took it down and sold parts of it to fund a recording studio in the new electronic repair shop. In this studio and recording space, Jackie Mittoo’s “Dark of the Sun” and The Scorchers’ “Ugly Man” were recorded.

 

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.

XOXO,
Lily and Generoso

Here is our March 22nd, 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: