Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: Tribute To Jamaican Women Vocalists 3-15-16

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One Of The Prettiest Skas From Doreen Shaffer

Howdy Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners,

Per the request of our longtime listener Melody,  we decided to dedicate the entirety of the March 15th, 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady  to our favorite women vocalists in Jamaican music history.  We started that show with a long set of the male/female duets that were quite popular during the Jamaican rhythm and blues era.

  1. In 1956, “Let the Good Times Roll” from American duo Shirley & Lee hit the number spot on the US R&B charts. Given the fact that at that time, American music was still very much prominent on Jamaican radio and at sound systems, the male-female duo started emerging in Jamaican Rhythm & Blues, pulling female voices into the foreground more than ever before. The duos succeeded and included:  
    1. Keith & Enid were Keith Stewart and Enid Cumberland, and they were one of the first duos to see chart success, scoring a #1 single in 1960.
    2. Derrick and Patsy’s “Love not to brag,” which was inspired by Eric Monty Morris, who was better off than Derrick’s family and may have had the tendency to brag about the things he had.
      1. Patsy Todd
        1. Born in West Kingston, Patsy grew up adoring Frankie Lymon, so much so that her dream was to marry him. When Patsy ended up leaving school at the age of 14, Derrick Morgan approached her to sing on a record a duet with him on a tip from Patsy’s mother, who had approached Derrick and told him that Patsy had a great voice. And that help from her mom started a successful duet that began with “Love Not To Brag, Love Not To Boast,” a hit for Duke Reid’s Dutchess label. Patsy also collaborated with Stranger Cole; then in the late 60s, she moved to America, giving up on the music industry, and worked as a hospital secretary for three decades, only to return to music in more recent years with retro shows.
  2. Millie Small
    1. Millie Small is the first Jamaican female singer to achieve international success with her cover of Barbie Gaye’s “My Boy Lollipop,” which introduced a much wider audience to ska. But before that enormous hit, she got her start at Vere Johns Opportunity Hour, winning the contest at the young age of twelve. In her early recording career, she recorded in duos, including the track you just heard from Millie and Roy Panton, “We’ll Meet,” which was a hit in Jamaica.
  3. The Soulettes
    1. The Soulettes were Rita Marley, her cousin Constantine Walker, and Rita’s school friend Marlene Gifford. One day, Rita heard that the Wailers walked by her house, and the Soulettes approached them and sang a quick song, which Peter Tosh reacted to and consequently invited them to record at Studio One, where Bob was auditioning singers at the time and gave the trio their name.   
  4. Doreen Schaffer
    1. Doreen got her start at Studio One, and was one of the original four singers for The Skatalites and the singing partner of Jackie Opel.
  5. Phyllis Dillon
    1. Born in Linstead, Phyllis began her musical career performing with the Vulcans as a young singer, and when the group played at the Glass Bucket Club in Kingston, she caught the eye of Lynn Taitt, who brought her over to Duke Reid’s Treasure Isle. In 1967, Phyllis moved to New York, but she would continue to fly back to Jamaica to record for Duke Reid.  
  6. The Gaylettes
    1. The Gaylettes were originally Judy Mowatt, Merle Clemenson, and Dawn Hanchard. The earliest tracks of the original group were not successful, so Judy Mowatt returned to dancing, which was actually her original desired career path, and The Gaylettes went on hiatus. While dancing with a group in Kingston and selling products for the Colgate-Palmolive Company to survive, Judy met Beryl Lawson. While rehearsing a dance routine at the Baby Grand Club, Judy and Beryl began to sing together, and upon realizing their ability to harmonize together, Judy called over Merle Clemenson, forming a trio that would become the next incarnation of The Gaylettes.  
  7. Marcia Griffiths
    1. As a teenager, like so many of Jamaica’s great voices, Marcia Griffiths’ passion for singing began as a member of the church choir. However, her singing at home would launch her career. Philip James of the Blues Busters heard Marcia’s voice next door when he went to visit his girlfriend, and he immediately brought her over to Byron Lee and insisted that she be a part of the line up for an upcoming talent show at the Carib Theater on Easter Sunday. Though skeptical, Byron Lee included her in the show, where Marcia’s cover of Carol Thomas’s “No Time to Lose” caught the attention of Ronnie Nasralla, who brought her over to JBC that same evening to perform on television.
  8. Ebony Sisters
    1. Originally a gospel group who recorded for Coxone Dodd’s Tabernacle label as the Soul Sisters, the group would also record as the Reggae Girls before becoming the Ebony Sisters. As the Ebony Sisters, they recorded for Harry Mudie and Bunny Lee. During their career, they would also join forces with I Roy and Ralph Haughton.
  9. Nora Dean
    1. One of the most creative and daring of singers, Nora Dean recorded in many forms. As a solo artist, she recorded for the big producers in Jamaica including Coxone Dodd, Duke Reid, Lee Perry, and Bunny Lee. She was also a member of The Ebony Sisters, The Soul Sisters, and The Soulettes.
  10. Hortense Ellis
    1. Hortense Ellis, like many of the great Jamaican artists, got her start on the Vere Johns Opportunity Talent Show, entering her first contest at 18 and making it to the final round four times. As the sister of Alton Ellis, Hortense did get a bit overshadowed by her brother, but she did see success with her talent, winning the silver cup as Jamaica’s Best Female Vocalist in 1964 and 1969. She toured with Byron Lee and the Dragonaires in the 60s and recorded with the major producers in Jamaica, including Duke Reid, Coxone Dodd, and Ken Lack.
  11. Cynthia Schloss
    1. The wife of Winston Blake, Cynthia got her start in 1972 when her friends from work at the Jamaica Telephone Company tricked her into auditioning for the Merritone talent series. She caught Blake’s attention, and he produced and released her record Ready and Waiting, which was a success for her and the Merritone Music label.

Other key female figures

  1. Sonia Pottinger
    1. Sonia was one of the most powerful women in the Jamaican music industry, for she was the first female record producer and label owner. She and her husband first recorded artists and sold records from their home, and after the two split up, she built a pressing plant and recording studio behind the record store.
  2. Janet Enright
    1. Janet Enright got an early start in music, performing as a guitarist for the prime minister and Louise Bennet as a teenager. She joined the Eric Deans Orchestra at the age of fourteen. Here, she befriended Don Drummond and Wilton Gaynair, and she would join them as a member of Wilton Gaynair and the All-Stars. When Janet formed her own band, she performed for American artists who visited Jamaica.
  3. Doris Darlington
    1. Coxone Dodd’s mom and the first female sound system operator
    2. When Coxone was traveling to buy records, Doris would setup dances and select  records for the Downbeat soundsystem. She also sold Studio One records at her shop, Music Land, providing a store front in Spanishtown to sell records.

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 15th, 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady tribute to Jamaican women vocalists:

 

Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: Rupie Edward’s Opportunity Label 3-8-16

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Hot Reggae Cut From Joe White On Opportunity

Hello Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners,

We started off the March 8th, 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady with two sets of uplifiting ska to counterbalance the reggae heavy OPPORTUNITY LABEL spotlight that starts midway through the program.  We kicked off the ska with a rollicking Derrick Morgan cut from 1965 which was released in England on Blue Beat entitled, Baby Face.  A mento set followed the opening two sets of ska and had as part of it one of our favorite golden age mentos, Chamboline by Lord Power.  We ended the first hour of the show with a set of early 1970s reggae to put you in the mood for the reggae of the Opportunity Label beginning with Errol Dunley’s 1973 track for the African Museum Label, Movie Star. We then went into the Opportunity Label spotlight…

Here on the Bovine Ska, we adore Rupie Edwards. We underscored his well known Success label a few months ago, and on one of our search excursions, we saw the sweet label art of Opportunity, and we knew we had to spotlight this label, which has some excellent Rupie reggae on it.

Born in Goshen, St Ann’s Parish but raised in St. Catherine, Rupie Edwards had a very early start in music. As a child, Rupie learned about music in school by his teacher’s lessons where she would tap a melody and the class would have to recognize it. By the age of 7, Rupie had a band with his classmates. As his bandmates played tin cans, drums, and comb kazoos, Rupie played the bamboo pipe, and at the age of 13, he moved to Kingston with his mother, arriving to a growing, thriving music scene.

After attending Kingston Senior School for two years, Rupie focused on his music career at the young age of 15, first recording for Simeon Smith and his Hi-Lite label. The tracks did not take off his recording career, so Rupie pragmatically became a mechanic who repaired cars, and one of his jobs included Coxsone Dodd’s own Buick.

During his time as a mechanic, Rupie did not give up music. He recorded with the Virtues, receiving his first production credit in 1966 for their track, “Burning Love,” but by 1968, the group split up. That same year, Rupie was able to open up his Success record store, where he hired Bob Andy to run the store, since Rupie still needed to be a mechanic for a bit in order to finance the shop. But ultimately, the music industry always beckoned him, and Rupie took the record shop as his full time job, focusing on his work as a producer and record label owner, releasing his productions on both Success and our label of tonight, Opportunity.  

Gregory Isaacs introduced Errol Dunkley to Rupie Edwards, and we are thankful for that because Dunkley’s tracks for Rupie are just too good.

In his excellent biography, Some People Rupie hypothesizes that his own fascination with versions may have come from the fact that when he was a child, he learned God Save Our Gracious King and sang it in school. Then, when King George passed and Queen Elizabeth took over, the children all had to sing God Save Our Gracious Queen, giving Rupie a primer on how to change parts of songs while keeping the same melody, a technique he would most certainly utilize for his excellent versions on Opportunity.

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


Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: Winston Blake Memorial 3-1-16

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R.I.P. Winston Blake

Welcome Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners,

On the March 1st, 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady we shared the sad news of the passing of Winston, “Merritone” Blake. Winston passed away on Saturday morning at the University Hospital of the West Indies at the age of 75.  We send much respect and many many condolences to our dearest friend Barbara and the entire Blake family. The Merritone legacy is an enormous one, and we would like to dedicate this entire show to Winston Blake’s impact through his work bringing Jamaican music to the world.

Born in Morrant Bay, in the St. Thomas parish, Winston Blake grew up with music constantly in his life. In the Blake family home, there was always a gramophone and music to listen to, and this was one of the early catalysts that would lead to the Merritone sound system, one of the longest to exist in Jamaica.

The Merritone sound has always been a family business. The Mighty Merritone sound system opened up in St. Thomas, the first in the parish, in 1950 by Winston’s father, Val. The soundsystem idea emerged as the Blake brothers, Trevor, Winston, Tyrone, and Monte, would frequently visit a chinese restaurant at the bus stop on their way home from Kingston, where the owner, a Mr. Chin, played records on his Skyrocket sound system; the sounds and setup here inspired the brothers to propose the idea to their father, who was a civil servant, in order to improve the family’s finances. After some consideration, their father returned from a trip abroad with a Philips 21 amplifier, two speakers, and Garrard turntables to get the system setup as Winston and his brothers made connections on how to source records. Six years after the beginning of the soundsystem, Val passed away, and Winston and Trevor took over it full time, eventually moving the Merritone sound to Kingston in 1962.

In Kingston, the Merritone soundsystem rose in ranks, becoming a favorite at the Copacabana, The Wheel, Sombrero Club, and the Glass Bucket. During this time, Winston Blake caught the eyes of Federal Records, and the sons of Ken Khouri, Paul and Richard, opened up a subsidiary named Merritone to produce original records that had a label name that people would associate with the vibrant and popular sounds of the Merritone soundsystem. Winston did not produce records for this label, but the decision of the Khouris to name the label after the Blake family’s sound is an enormous testament to the impact of Winston and Merritone music.

We began this memorial show, with the substantial ska and rocksteady that was produced for the Merritone record label.

One of my favorite stories about the rise of an artist in Jamaica is that on Don Henry Buckley, who got his start at Merritone. During the daytime, Buckley was a police officer and was the conductor for the Jamaica Constabulary band. At night, Buckley would write, sing, and record for the Merritone label. Buckley wrote the Gaylettes’ “Silent River Runs Deep” and “Emergency Call.” In the spirit of collaboration, like many label’s artists, the musicians on the Merritone label would also sing on other artists’ tracks. Consequently, you’ll hear Judy Mowatt’s Gaylettes provide backup vocals on Buckley’s recordings.

By the late 60s, Winston began recording for Rupie Edwards’ and Harry J’s labels. As a recording artist, he was recording DJ tracks, and occasionally, he was known here as The Blake Boy.  During the soundsystem days, the Merritone team initially got the records from American R&B in three ways:

  1. From sellers who would hang outside of whorehouses to sell records
  2. From people who traveled to America to do farm work and would bring records back
  3. When radio stations in Tennessee were later re-broadcasted in Jamaica, the late night shows played ads for record shops in the state that offered fixed price bulk record deals where they would send a set of records for a price

By the 1970s, the market and popularity for American records had definitely dried up, and like many other operators, Winston began to produce his own records, which was an absolutely sensible direction because by this point, the Merritone soundsystem had been in existence for two decades, and Winston had been holding talent shows to discover new talent.  One of the talents Winston discovered with the VIP Talent Series was Cynthia Schloss. The tracks you heard were from the Ready & Waiting record, which Blake arranged and produced, and he definitely spared no expense in the backing band for this album. The band included: Cedric Brooks and Tommy McCook on horns; Val Douglas on bass; and the great Marcia Griffiths providing backing vocals.

Winston was not only responsible for the Merritone sound system and label, which brought music to people since the 1950s to today, he was also responsible for fostering community up until today. He was the creator of the Merritone and Family Fun Day which was held in Connecticut for the last 15 years before moving to Long Island last year. He also created the Merritone Family Reunion & Homecoming Event, which celebrates its 26th anniversary this year, to bring together all who hold the Merritone sound near and dear to them.

In the 1970s, Winston opened the Turntable Club on Red Hills Road in Kingston. This would be the epicenter of nightlife in Kingston, and in the tradition of the original Mighty Merritone sound system, the Turntable Club allowed all people, regardless of socioeconomic status, to listen to the best artists and selectors in the city. As a result, everyone stopped by the Turntable Club, including the Rolling Stones, Bob Marley, and King Tubby.

For his contributions to the Jamaican music and entertainment industry, Winston received the Order of Distinction in 1998. In 2012, he received a proclamation from the office of Yvette Clarke, 11th Congressional District, New York for his contributions to music.

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 Winston Blake Memorial Program from March 1st, 2016

Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: Byron Lee’s SOUL Label 2-23-16

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A Jolly Ska From Llans Thelwell on SOUL

Welcome Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners,

The February 23rd, 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady began with two sets of smooth rare rocksteady beginning with a fine release on Buster’s Olive Blossom imprint that featured a duet between Buster and Larry Marshall from 1967 entitled Broken Heart.  After our weekly mento set that included woeful Rent Worries from Chin’s Calypso Sextet we launched into the ska to get ready for the spotlight on Byron Lee’s SOUL Label.

In looking for this week’s spotlight, we realized that while we still have more ground to cover with Duke Reid, Coxsone Dodd, Prince Buster, and the Pottingers, we have missed one other major and prolific producers of Jamaican music: Byron Lee.

Born in Christiana in Manchester Parish, Byron Lee received his first introduction to music from the Jonkunoo and Bruckins dances which his family practiced, being that though his father was from Hong Kong, his mother was from Auchtembeddie in the same parish. At the age of eight, the Lee family moved to Kingston, and he attended the Mount St. Joseph’s Catholic school. Here, he was introduced to music in a more formal way; he took music lessons and learned piano from a nun who offered them as a deterrent from teasing and giving the girls at school a hard time.  

By the time college came around, Lee’s music took a backburner to football, where he thrived. But, after a win, the college had a dance and needed a band, and music returned into his life when he formed a band to perform at the event. A year after this fortuitous reacquaintance with music, the Dragonaires formed with Byron playing bass and serving as band leader.  

They first worked with Edward Seaga for their recordings and with Ronnie Nasralla, the future owner of BMN records which the Dragonaires would record at later, as the manager of the group. During these years, Lee quickly emerged as a producer and arranger. Over the course of his prolific career, Lee would have many labels including our favorites, Tiger and Jaguar.

One of the earlier labels in Lee’s recording stable was Soul, a ska label, and the subject of our spotlight tonight. We kicked off the spotlight with Keith Lyn and Ken Lazarus backed up by the Dragonaires on “I Don’t Love You Anymore,” a track off of the original Come Fly With Lee LP.

In addition to Byron Lee and The Dragonaires, there was another backing band for the Soul label: Llans Thelwell and his Celestials. The line up for the Celestials was:

  1. Bass Guitar – Llans Thelwell
  2. Congas [Tumba] – Francis Dennis
  3. Cover [Design] – Ronnie Nasralla
  4. Directed By [Musical Director] – Llans Thelwell
  5. Drums – Dennis Robinson 
  6. Guitar – Jack Hurst, Neville Headley
  7. Lead Vocals – Busty Brown
  8. Tenor Saxophone – Stanley Notice
  9. Trombone – Barry Hayles
  10. Trumpet – Joe Bennett*, Tony Wong

Vocals, Percussion – Barry Malcolm, Junior Chambers

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,
Generoso and Lily

Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: Jimmy Riley’s PEE Label 2-16-16

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A Killer Reggae Cut from Dave Barker on PEE!


Welcome Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners,

After a bit of hospital interruptis on Generoso’s part, we were extremely happy to present this Bovine Ska and Rocksteady on February 16, 2016 with it’s tribute to Jimmy Riley, a few weeks before he passed away on his PEE Label.  That was midway through the show as we began with two sets of fierce ska, beginning with a rarely heard gem from one of our favorite singers, Justin Hinds And The Dominoes entitled Look Into That which was released on Treasure Isle in 1965.

Jimmy Riley was a member of Sensations, Uniques, PEE is one of many labels the Riley formed. Born in Kingston, Jimmy Riley attended Kingston Senior High School with Slim Smith. As Slim began to see success with The Techniques, Riley hoped to sing with them, but he unfortunately did not get into the group. As a result of this, Riley formed The Sensations with some great voices: Cornell Campbell, Aaron Davis, and Buster Riley. However, Riley eventually did get to sing with Slim Smith, not as a member as the Techniques but as a member of the second incarnation of the Uniques that included Jackie Parris and Lloyd Charmers as members.

Eventually, the Uniques disbanded and although Riley would record as a soloist, he also gave production a shot, creating the Yes and Full Moon labels as well as the PEE label, the subject of our spotlight tonight. From phenomenal instrumentals to his own recordings, the PEE label showed Riley’s talent as a producer. We are really excited to present this one to you, and started with “Daddy Don’t You Walk So Fast” from his own group, The Sensations.

The PEE label is an interesting one. The name is a bit of an odd choice, but what is even more mysterious is the caduceus stamped in large format on the label. As the symbol of Hermes, the messenger in Greek mythology, the caduceus is an interesting choice for a label cover. If anyone out there has any further information on how the PEE label came to be, we would definitely love to hear from you.

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 the Feb 16th, 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady

 

Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: The 20th Annual Anti-Valentine’s Day Show! 2-9-16

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Well Daltons, Don’t Do It Then!

Hello Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners!

A prized tradition during the almost twenty year run of Generoso And Lily’s Bovine Ska And Rocksteady from when it was started was the Annual Anti-Valentine’s Day. This is where I, Generoso, would play two hours of songs featuring sets dedicated to many maladies associated with love like the pain breaking up, revenge, sadness, rejection…Yep, you get the picture.  These sets would be combined with dire facts relating to love like the current divorce rate and the costs of such splits and stories, many sent in by listeners, that regale accounts of tragic relationships from blind dates to the end of thirty year marriages. Fun!

Why would I do this, a now happily married man take such an assault on the saccharin, greeting card created holiday that ruins couplings both young and old?  Well, you got part of the answer there but the other part consists of feelings held by the long term committed bachelor that I was prior to meeting my lifelong cohost Lily.  You see, I had seven relationships in my past life as a single end between the first and fourteenth of February with three ending on the very saint’s feast day. Coincidence, no I don’t think so as this “holiday” puts an unneeded pressure on relationships as the kind of gift/evening is contingent on the current duration/affection amount of the union.  For example, let’s say that you have been dating for two weeks when the dreaded Cupid Day occurs…What amount of buy in are you supposed to have? If you do too much, it may make a more sensible partner run from level jumping and not enough pageantry might convince the more romantic partner that they are not the intended apple of your eye.

Hence, Valentine’s Day is the giant foot stamping on the flower of budding romance.

The 2016 year’s Anti-Valentine’s Day Show selected sets based on the following moments of a doomed relationship in a chronological breakup order…The FOOL set which normally occurs during the Valentine’s Day preparation that leads to failure, the set that highlights the moments when you let that love GO, the music assembled for the times when you realize that they are GONE. The subsequent set of songs about HEARTACHES when you start to notice that your love is no longer sitting with you on the couch.  As you stare at the empty couch, you begin to feel SORRY for messing it all up which forces you to sadly REMEMBER all of the good times you had as opposed to moments like when she opened up your Valentine’s Day present and called you an asshole for getting her a set of car air fresheners because you thought that it would be funny to remind her that her car smell like an old man’s armpit (I thought she would think it was funny).

So, you can now profit from my years of pain and listen to a superbly curated Anti Valentine’s Day Radio Show that features top ska, rocksteady, and reggae by such artists as The Heptones, Alton Ellis, Bob Andy and many more in the comfort and safety of your own home via Mixcloud.

Please share the show on Facebook and Mixcloud.

Enjoy and screw Valentine’s Day

Love,
Generoso and Lily

 

 

 

Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: Charlie Moo And His Moo’s Label 2-2-16

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The Smooth Voice Of Mellowlark, Basil Gabbidon

Welcome Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners,

The February 2nd, 2016 edition of Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady that contained a twenty-years-in-the-making spotlight on Charlie Moo’s MOO’S LABEL began with the smooth sounds of the rocksteady duo and Ewan and Denver’s cut on Jolly in 1967, “I Want You So Bad” and ended that first set with another rocksteady duet featuring a young Phil Pratt teaming up with Ken Boothe on Caltone in 1968 with “Sweet Song For My Baby.”  We followed that first set up with another set of rare rocksteady before going into our weekly mento set that began with the voice of Alerth Bedasse and his cut for Chin’s in 1956, “Calypso Pepperpot.”  To get you ready for the Moo’s Label spotlight we ended the first hour with a rollicking set of Jamaican rhythm and blues beginning with The Mellowlarks cut that came out on Coxsone All Stars label in 1960, “No More Wedding.”  When that set ended, we started our long overdue spotlight of the Moo’s label.

Given the name of this show, we’ve wanted to have this spotlight for a few years now, and after plenty of searching and scouting, we’ve finally gathered enough tracks to present the Moo’s label spotlight.

During the thriving era of Jamaican Rhythm and Blues, many shop owners took a crack at the recording business. Labels sprung up as quickly as they ceased to exist, but many managed to capture the earliest sounds of some of Jamaica’s soon to be superstars and such was the case with Charlie Moo’s label. According to Prince Buster, Charlie Moo owned an ice cream parlor at the corner of Orange and North Street. This parlor was a popular meeting spot in the heart of a lot of musical activity. This humble parlor would soon transform into the Beverley’s Record Store when Leslie Kong and Charlie Moo became business partners, but Moo would only produce records himself for two years. We began with an artist who was essential during the early Jamaican Rhythm and Blues period and who recorded three tracks for Charlie Moo, Lloyd Clarke. This is his earliest cut for the Moo’s label, “60 years,” from 1961.

Beginning the second set is vocalist Owen Gray, who was already an established star during the Jamaican Rhythm and Blues period, having cut many important singles for Coxsone Dodd’s Worldisc label, including “On the Beach,” the very first Jamaican track to mention a sound system. He only cut this one track, “Time Will Tell,” for Charlie Moo, but would eventually cut many more for Charlie’s business partner, Leslie Kong and his Beverley’s label. 

You can listen to our full Bovine Ska and Rocksteady from February 2nd, 2016 HERE. Subscribe to our show on Mixcloud; it’s FREE, and you’ll get an email every Tuesday when we post a new show.

For all of our listeners on the east coast, we hope this show keeps you warm!!! Please help us and spread the word and repost if you liked the show!

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

Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: Jah Lloyd’s Teem Label 1-26-16

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Top Tune From Winston Jarrett On Teem

 

Howdy Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners!

We started the January  26th. 2016 episode of Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady with two sets of dynamite rare ska beginning with The Spanishtown Ska Beats on the Soulsville Center Label in 1965 doing the original version of the song that Keith and Tex made famous, “Stop That Train.”  A mento set followed which ended with the Sugar Belly Combo and their flying bamboo saxophone version of the classic mento of “Rucumbine” which was released on Studio One in 1966. We ended the first hour with a long set of early reggae that started with a version to version excursion of the Mediators 1970 hit on Success,  “When You Go To A Party.”   After that set we began our half hour spotlight of the TEEM LABEL…

Born Patrick Lloyd Francis, Jah Lloyd, who was also known as Jah Lion and Jah Ali, was introduced to the growing music industry in Kingston when he moved from his hometown of St. Catherine to Trench Town at the age of 12. Early in his recording career, he was a founding member of The Eagles. However, he would not stay with the group, and Francis joined strengths with Fitzroy Bunny Simpson to form The Mediators (sometimes noted as The Meditators). The group recorded for Coxsone Dodd, but Francis found a place with Rupie Edwards, who not only recorded the duo but also gave Francis a job as a salesman for the Success label and record shop.  After working for Success for two years, Francis knew many of the key players in the record industry, and when he himself wanted to record again, he approached Lee Scratch Perry. Inspired by the rise of deejays, particularly Big Youth, Francis decided to toast over records rather than sing for the Upsetter label. After recording a few tracks for Lee Scratch Perry, Francis decided to open up his Teem label with his brother Vincent where he would produce other artists and release some of his own recordings as well.

Francis’s former singing partner, Bunny Simpson re-entered his life, this time with his new group The Diamonds. At this point, they had recorded for Stranger Cole and Derrick Harriot, but at Teem, they scored a big hit with “Shame and Pride.” Francis introduced The Diamonds to Joseph “JoJo” Hoo-Kim, who produced them at Channel One, where the group, who eventually became known as The Mighty Diamonds, rose to great success.

You can listen to our full Bovine Ska and Rocksteady from January 26, 2016 HERE. Subscribe to our show on Mixcloud; it’s FREE, and you’ll get an email every Tuesday when we post a new show.

For all of our listeners on the east coast, we hope this show keeps you warm!!! Please help us and spread the word and repost if you liked the show!

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.

Hugs,
Lily and Generoso

Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: Phil Pratt’s Jontom Label 1-19-16

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Tommy McCook’s Killer Ska On Jontom

Hello Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners,

After last week’s reggae-heavy spotlight on Willie Francis’ LITTLE WILLIE LABEL, we decided to take this week’s spotlight on the Bovine Ska back to the ska and rocksteady with the JONTOM LABEL, which features tracks from one of our favorite producers, Phil Pratt. That spotlight begins about halfway through the program, so before that, you will hear some reggae, mento, and ska.

To start off the show, we presented a reggae version to version, with the original “Afrikaan Beat” from Lester Sterling and its version, “To The Fields,” from Herman Chin-Loy. In the second set of reggae, we had another version to version matchup with The Bassies “Things A Come Up To Bump” and Sound Dimension’s take on the track, “Black Onion.”

For the mento set 30 minutes into the program, we played one of our favorites, Zach Matalon and the Sonny Bradshaw Quartet’s “Cordelia Brown,” a production from Stanely Motta and his MRS label in 1954. Then, to prepare for the Jontom spotlight, we prepared an extended set of ska showcasing the School Girls’ “Last Time,” Owen & Leon’s “How Many Times,” and Jackie Opel’s triumphant take on the gospel traditional, “Sit Down Servant.”

At the second hour mark, we were happy to finally present an eleven track spotlight on Phil Pratt’s Jontom label.

While we love Phil Pratt for much of his production work in reggae, he got his start as a producer during rocksteady for his own label, Jontom, the subject of our spotlight in this week’s edition of the Bovine Ska and Rocksteady. Born as George Phillips, Pratt moved to England as a teenager to live with his father but returned to Jamaica five years later. Upon his return, he tried to record first for Coxsone Dodd but without success, and when he met Ken Lack, who gave Pratt his stage name when he could not recall his real last name, the two hit it off. Pratt started as a singer for Caltone, and Lack decided to give Pratt his own label to release his own productions, jumpstarting Phil Pratt’s career as a producer. We started off this spotlight with a soul cut from The Uniques titled, “Do Me Good.”

Ken Boothe, who recorded “The One I Love” for Jontom, has an integral role in the creation of Phil Pratt and Ken Lack’s collaboration at Caltone and eventually Jontom. When Phil was trying to work with Coxsone, he met Ken Boothe. Ken introduced him to Roy Shirley, who introduced him to Bunny Lee, and Bunny Lee introduced Pratt to Ken Lack.

To close the show, we had a smooth set of rocksteady that included the ever-so-pretty “Mother Pepper” from Desmond Dekker, “Home, Home, Home” from Derrick Harriott, and “What To Do” from Roy Shirley.

You can listen to our full Bovine Ska and Rocksteady from January 19, 2016 HERE. Subscribe to our show on Mixcloud; it’s FREE, and you’ll get an email every Tuesday when we post a new show.

For all of our listeners on the east coast, we hope this show keeps you warm!!! Please help us and spread the word and repost if you liked the show!

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.

Have a great week!

Lily and Generoso

Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: Willie Francis’ Little Willie Label 1-12-16

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Earl George Cooks On Little Willie!

Hello Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners!

We did a splendid show for you this past week with a spotlight of the rare Jamaican label, Little Willie. About midway through the show, you can check out a the thirty minute Little Willie spotlight of top flight reggae from 1971-1974.

Our show started with two sets of rare ska beginning with Llans Thelwell and His Celestials and their 1964 cut for Federal, Mughead Ska!  We ended the second set with a classic from the trombone of Don Drummond on Beverleys, Dragon Weapon. After a mento set featuring a tune from the queen of mento, Louise Bennett Hol’ M Joe on Folkways.  We ended the first hour with a reggae set that contained a version to version of the Curtis Mayfield classic, Give Me Your Love from the Superfly soundtrack. 1973’s Super Soul from Junior Soul and Superfly from I-Roy from 1974.  We then went into our Little Willie label spotlight.

Born in South Manchester, Jamaica, Willie Francis began his career in the Jamaican music industry as a singer in ska. After recording for Prince Buster in the late 60s under the name of Francis, by the time early reggae arrived, Willie opened up the Little Willie Record Label, where he released his own recordings as an artist and as a producer for other musicians. Operating from Francis’s record store on Orange Street, the Little Willie Records label, sometimes called Little Willie Karate Dance Records for the dancer on the label art, released quite a few great reggae cuts that we’re excited to share with you tonight.

Of the artists who stopped by Little Willie, Max Romeo went to the label to record Maccabee Version, which indeed uses the melody of “Good King Wenceslas” and intended to criticize the King James translation of the bible. Searching in the Hills was the debut recording for Calvin Scott, who Willie discovered as a teenager. Willie traveled to Rocky Point, Clarendon to record a group named the Rockydonians. Calvin was the brother-in-law of one of the members, so he hung around them. When the group arrived to the studio, they did not record for Willie; instead Calvin did. Almost ten years later, Calvin would emerge as the artist Cocoa Tea, who has continued to record reggae and has also been quite an influence on dancehall.

You can listen to our full Bovine Ska and Rocksteady from January 12th, 2016 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.

See you here next week!

Lily and Generoso