Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: Remembering Nora Dean and JJ Label Spotlight 10-4-16

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Rest In Peace Nora Dean

The October 4th, 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady began on a sad note, as  the wonderful singer, Nora Dean,  passed away on Thursday in Connecticut at age 72.  Nora had been living in Connecticut since moving here from New York in 2010.  Nora Dean began her career during the rocksteady era with Coxsone Dodd, recording her first song, Mojo Girl, at Studio One in 1968.   She would achieve larger fame when she recorded the racy reggae cut, Barbwire, for Byron Smith at the Baron’s label in 1969. Dean cut so many tracks that we love, as not only a solo artist, but as a prominent member of The Soulettes and The Ebony Sisters.  Due to Mixcloud policies that prohibit us from playing more than four songs from one artist, our tribute to Nora was contained in eight songs that began our show this week.  We included many wonderful cuts in this memorial and we hope that you appreciate her sweet and expressive voice on these songs.  Rest in peace Nora.

We thought that for our record label spotlight, given that last week, we presented a ska, rhythm & blues, and rocksteady spotlight, we thought that this week, we must have a reggae one! In thinking of reggae, there are many producers whom we love here on the Bovine Ska and Rocksteady, and in thinking about which one to feature this week, we arrived at Carl Sir JJ Johnson, a label owner and producer who was exceptionally prolific in the early reggae era. We know a little bit about Sir JJ’s early years. Carl Johnson was the son of Bromley Johnson, the man who created the Magnet Bus Company, which was one of the first bus providers that ran to and from rural Jamaica. Carl Johnson, who would be known as Sir JJ was as business oriented his his father, but he directed his efforts on the music business. Sir JJ first started as a jukebox distributor. Eventually, like other folks involved in the jukebox industry, he decided to open up a record shop, picking 133 Orange Street for his center of business, a prime location because Beverly’s was right next door For his signature label that bore his nickname, Sir JJ recruited outstanding talent. 

The house backing band for the Sir JJ label was Bobby Aitken and his Carib-beats. For the label, the group was called the JJ All Stars, and the members were:  Bobby Aitken, the leader of the group,  on guitar,  Winston Richards AKA Grennan on drums, “Iron Sprat” on bongos, Vincent White on bass, Alphonso Henry on alto sax, Val Bennett on tenor sax, Dave Parks on trombone, Mark Lewis on trumpet, and Bobby Kalphat on keyboards .  Of course, given that we are talking the JJ Label, we had to play “The Selah,” which is one of the most successful Sir JJ tracks, with many versions of the track made in the same year that the original was released.

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Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: Linden Pottinger’s Gaydisc Label 9-27-16

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Roy Panton and Millie Small on Gaydisc

We started off the September 27th, 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady with two sets of dazzling reggae beginning with a version to version produced by one of our favorites. Keith Hudson.   After a fun set of mento, we went into a long ska set beginning with our continued tribute to the late Prince Buster with the cut, Cincinnati Kid from 1965.  The ska set ended with a super rare cut that was also produced by Prince Buster, but performed by Lloyd Barnes in 1964 entitled, Time  Is Hard.  We then went into our spotlight of Lindon Pottinger’s Gaydisc Label.

Before Lindon Pottinger ventured into the music industry, he was an accomplished accountant and businessman. With his wife, Sonia, who would become one of the most distinguished women in the Jamaican music business, Lindon opened up a recording studio in the Pottinger home. This studio served as the center of recording for the SEP and Golden Arrow, and the label of our spotlight tonight: Gaydisc. The label started out in 1962 and was prolific until 1967, so this spotlight will contain ska, ballads, and rocksteady productions from Mr. Pottinger. We’ll start off with Al T. Joe’s “I’m On My Own”

In 1964, Lindon sold the recording equipment in his and Sonia’s home studio to Duke Reid, and in 1965, Lindon and Sonia parted ways.Despite these major changes, Lindon would continue to produce for Gaydisc. And, he would continue to manage his record pressing plant as well.

The Cables…Though the Cables formed in 1962 with Keble Drummond, Vincent Stoddard, and Elbert Stewart, they did not enter the recording studio until 1966. The first producer they visited was Lindon Pottinger, and their first single was “You Lied,” which was backed by Bobby Aitken and his band. You’ll heard The Cables’s debut single, which was released on Gaydisc.

Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: Prince Buster Memorial Part One-Buster’s Ska Productions 9-13-16

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Buster’s Group fierce R&B on Wild Bells

Hello Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners,

Just a few weeks ago, we memorialized saxophonist Deadly Headley Bennett, who would eventually play a role in Prince Buster’s history, and we’ll get to that in the middle of this program, but sadly, we have done many memorial shows these last few years, but this one has really impacted us in a very personal way.  Generoso has written a comprehensive and personal obituary on Buster which was published on Ink19 this week.

One of our favorite Jamaican artists of all time, Prince Buster, passed away on the morning of September 8th in Miami after complications from heart issues. Prince Buster had a stroke in 2009, but we had not heard anything about his health since then, so the announcement was extremely unexpected, and we’ve spent a lot of time mourning the loss of a music pioneer and a giant persona whose bravado brought even more to the iconic tracks that shaped Jamaican music history

Born as Cecil Bustamante Campbell, Prince Buster grew up with his grandmother in rural Jamaica. Here, he gained an interest in music after singing in churches.  When he was a teenager, he moved to Kingston and lived on Orange Street, and he naturally found an affinity for the sound system culture. Specifically, he spent a lot of time with Tom Wong, who is best known as Tom the Great Sebastian, who ran a sound system out of his shop and in the dancehalls of Kingston.

As the sound system culture further developed, each operator and their set of selectors would compete against each other. The big two were Coxsone Dodd’s Downbeat and Duke Reid’s the Trojan, and Prince Buster and his crew aligned himself with Coxsone, who was more of an underdog than Duke Reid. Buster provided Coxone’s dances with security, and eventually, he would become a selector for the Downbeat sound. With this experience, Buster was armed with plenty of knowledge on how to run a sound system, so he went to Tom Wong and asked him for a loan in order to create his own sound, which would become the renowned and popular Voice of the People.

With his sound system up and running, Buster was ready to begin recording his own singles. Before he would ever appear in front of the microphone, Buster produced tracks to be played at his sound system; you will hear a selection of these tracks in this first set in the spotlight. To start this show, we heard from Buster himself. Though he had already established himself as a producer, in 1961, for his own Wildbells label, Buster recorded his very first track as a vocalist, “Little Honey,” which will start off the first of a two week tribute to the mighty Prince Buster, the Voice of the People.

Due to Mixcloud’s policy (you can only play four songs per artist every show), we have primarily structured this show on Prince Buster’s magnificent productions during the Jamaican rhythm and blues and ska eras.  You will hear some of the greatest hits of that time from Derrick Morgan, Eric Monty Morris, Basil Gabbidon and more! Included in this show are segments of Generoso’s 2002 interview with Prince Buster that was conducted a week before Buster was to play a show that Generoso helped produce in Boston that featured Buster, Derrick Morgan, Eric Morris, and Millicent Patsy Todd with the excellent reggae group, The Pressure Cooker backing up the artists.

The interview segments describe in detail, the controversial recording of the Folkes Brothers, “Oh Carolina,” the Black Head Chinaman record war between Buster and Derrick Morgan, and Buster’s duet with the late great singer, Slim Smith.

Here is Part One of our two part Prince Buster Memorial from September 13, 2016:

 

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:

Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: Felix “Deadly” Headley Bennett Memorial Show 8-30-16

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“Deadly” Headley Bennett UK Unity 

Hello Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners,

It is with great sadness that we must report the passing of legendary saxophonist, Deadly Headley Bennett.

Deadly Headley passed away at his home on August 21st at the age of 85. He had been suffering from back and prostate issues since 2013, and two Sundays ago, he passed away suddenly after being up and about earlier in the day. We will pay tribute to Deadly Headley’s impressively prolific career for the full two hours of this week’s show.  Headley received the Order of Distinction in 2005 for all of his contributions to the progress of Jamaican music, and in this program, you’re going to hear some of the biggest tracks in Jamaican music because Deadly Headley was there for those history changing moments.

Born as Felix Bennett in Kingston, Deadly Headley started his music education at an exceptionally young age, enrolling in the Alpha Boys Catholic school at the age of five. With the education and support of the school’s music program, Deadly Headley emerged from the school ten years later, at the mere age of 15, as an accomplished saxophone player. 

As the fifties arrived, Bennett performed primarily in jazz, and as the sixties arrived, he had established himself as an excellent performer and session musician. Bennett’s recording career had a sudden and surprise beginning. Bennett performed and hung out with Rico, and when Rico was invited to play Coxsone’s sound system, Deadly Headley was part of the horn section. During this performance, Coxsone’s friend spotted him, and suggested that Bennett should be playing for Coxsone’s recordings.

Coxsone invited Bennett to Federal Studios, and Deadly Headley first recorded “Independence Blues” for him, with Lester Sterling also on the recording, which created a battle for solos between Lester and Deadly Headley. “Independence Blues” was cut for Coxsone’s D. Darling label and features the voice and guitar of Basil Gabbidon, and it is the track that would start Bennett’s many decade career in the recording industry. Consequently,  it is the track that will started tonight’s memorial on Deadly Headley Bennett.

In addition to recording in the studio in 1962, Deadly Headley also performed as a member of The Shieks in their performance to welcome Princess Margaret when she visited Jamaica to mark the nation’s independence. It is unclear as to what tracks Deadly Headley would play on for Coxsone in 1962, but his role was certain on recordings for a young producer named Leslie Kong and his Beverley’s label. It is well documented that Headley was a featured player for Leslie Kong, who insisted that Headley play a solo for the more prominent singles to come out on the label during its beginning  We then heard tracks on Beverley’s from not only a young Jimmy Cliff, Derrick Morgan and Eric Morris but also the very first recording of Bob Marley prior to his time with the Wailers.  Four tracks were cut at Beverley’s with Marley from that session with Headley in 1963, including “One Cup of Coffee,” “Do You Still Love Me,” “Terror”, and the track we will played on our tribute, “Judge Not”

In the early 1960s, Deadly Headley would play for a multitude of producers in the ska era and  Bennett would continue to record for Studio One during this time. Included in the tracks recorded for Coxsone Dodd is Wailer Peter Tosh’s “Maga Dog,” which features a wonderful solo from Headley Bennett. That was the track we played next on the show.

In 1966, rocksteady would become the preferred beat of the time, and Deadly Headley would play on some of the era’s finest tracks. Of course, during the rocksteady, the band that was most in demand bore the name of the man who invented the rhythm, Lyn Taitt. We then heard two instrumental tracks that feature Taitt’s guitar and Headley’s beautiful sax sound.

“Satta Massagana” was recorded at 7 am at Coxsone’s studio through Carlton Manning, who arranged for his brother Donald Manning and his group The Abyssinians to record in Coxsone’s studio without his approval or knowledge. “Satta Massagana” was the first recording of the session.   In the short session, three tracks were quickly recorded, and shortly thereafter, “Satta Massagana” became a hit rhythm that would get versions many many times

In 1969, Deadly Headley went to Canada and returned in 1977 and when Headley returned to Jamaica in ‘77, he was in as much demand as ever and performs on some of the most legendary albums of the era.  We went through album after album of his recordings from 1977 to 1979 and selected our favorite performances from Headley from those full length records.

Only one full length album bears Headley’s name in the title as the featured artist…35 Years From Alpha was produced in 1982 by the king of On-U Sound, Adrian Sherwood and featured Headley on alto sax, Bim Sherman on vocals, and fittingly his former horn section partner Rico on trombone. To end this two hour tribute to Headley, we played two selections from that amazing album.

Here is the August 30th, 2016 edition of Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady and our two hour tribute to the late, great Felix “Deadly” Headley Bennett:

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Roy Panton and Millie Small on Gaydisc

We started off the September 27th, 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady with two sets of dazzling reggae beginning with a version to version produced by one of our favorites. Keith Hudson.   After a fun set of mento, we went into a long ska set beginning with our continued tribute to the late Prince Buster with the cut, Cincinnati Kid from 1965.  The ska set ended with a super rare cut that was also produced by Prince Buster, but performed by Lloyd Barnes in 1964 entitled, Time  Is Hard.  We then went into our spotlight of Lindon Pottinger’s Gaydisc Label.

Before Lindon Pottinger ventured into the music industry, he was an accomplished accountant and businessman. With his wife, Sonia, who would become one of the most distinguished women in the Jamaican music business, Lindon opened up a recording studio in the Pottinger home. This studio served as the center of recording for the SEP and Golden Arrow, and the label of our spotlight tonight: Gaydisc. The label started out in 1962 and was prolific until 1967, so this spotlight will contain ska, ballads, and rocksteady productions from Mr. Pottinger. We’ll start off with Al T. Joe’s “I’m On My Own”

In 1964, Lindon sold the recording equipment in his and Sonia’s home studio to Duke Reid, and in 1965, Lindon and Sonia parted ways.Despite these major changes, Lindon would continue to produce for Gaydisc. And, he would continue to manage his record pressing plant as well.

The Cables…Though the Cables formed in 1962 with Keble Drummond, Vincent Stoddard, and Elbert Stewart, they did not enter the recording studio until 1966. The first producer they visited was Lindon Pottinger, and their first single was “You Lied,” which was backed by Bobby Aitken and his band. You’ll heard The Cables’s debut single, which was released on Gaydisc.

Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: Carlton Bradford’s Triumph Label 8-23-16

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Triumph All Stars on Triumph, 1968

Howdy Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners,

The August 23rd, 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady began with two sets of ska, including a set of COWBOY-themed ska which was a silly, last minute decision based on us acquiring the Prince Buster’s 1962 single, Cowboy Comes To Town! We love westerns so what can you do?  We ended the two sets of ska with the king of the reggae harmonica, Roy Richards, on Studio One in 1965 with Double Trouble.  Our weekly mento show had a few rare gems this week, including The Dictator With The Jamaican Calypsonians and their 1955 tune for the Kalypso label, Chinese Cricket Match.  We ended the first hour with a long set of rocksteady starting with the seldom heard band, The Jupiters who cut a Judge Dread styled courtroom tune, The Return Of Ezekial  for Joe Gibbs Amalgamated label in 1967.  That set ended with another track from 1967, this time a cover of Maurice Williams doo-wop classic, Stay, this time performed by The Summertaires for the Coxsone label.  We then went into our spotlight of the Triumph Label.

The Triumph label is one of those short lived labels that we are always amazed to dig up! Carlton Bradford was the owner and producer, with releases on Triumph concentrated in rocksteady and early reggae. Bradford was primarily known as a singer; he was a member of The Vibrators and The Soul Cats, both groups that were prolific throughout early Jamaican music.  With Leslie Bailey and Solomon Gayle, Bradford recorded as a vocalist as part of The Vibrators, who started with Justin Yap and his Top Deck label. The trio would record through rocksteady and reggae, serving often as backing vocalists for many labels, including Coxsone and Gay Feet.

With Ewan McDermott and Kevton Williams, Bradford sang as a member of The Soul Cats, who were active in reggae in the late 70s.  The Soul Cats would actually open up the Bradmack label together in America, releasing their own tracks as The Mighty Soul Cats for the label that had its home in New Jersey and was distributed out of the Bronx.For Triumph, we get to hear Bradford focused on rocksteady and early reggae as he got his start as a producer. He attracted quite a lot of talent to Triumph and excellently produced their recordings. Many of Bradford’s productions were picked up by Blue Cat and Pama’s subsidiary Nu Beat in England, but they originated on Triumph. 

Winston Wright was one of the most prolific organists in Jamaican music. As a member of Tommy McCook and the Supersonics and Lynn Taitt and the Jets, he recorded extensively with Duke Reid early in his career. He would see enormous success from his essential part in “Liquidator,” the hit from the Harry J All Stars and would go on to record for the backing bands of some of the biggest labels and producers, including Clancy Eccles, Byron Lee, King Jammy, Alvin Ranglin, and Lee Scratch Perry just to name a few. One of the labels that Winston Wright stopped by was Triumph, and he performed with the Triumph All Stars to cut a track for Bradford.

We hope that you enjoy the August 23rd, 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady:

Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: King Edwards’ Giant Label 8-16-16

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Roy Panton and Cornell Campbell as The Bellstars

Hello Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners,

A triple version of Delano Stewart’s That’s Life, a pretty 1968 tune for Sonia Pottinger’s High Note is how we commenced the August 16th, 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady.   We continued the with another set of early reggae that ended with Leonard Wilson’s 1975 track for Mighty Cloud, I Want To Thank You and the version by The Mighty Cloud Band, Thank You Instrumental.  We thought to go with an uptown mento sound for this week’s mento set…Baba Motta’s Jamaica Talk , Tony Johnson and His Carousel Band’s Give Her Banana, and  Clyde Hoyt and George Moxey Quartet’s Montego Calypso.   To end the first hour, a long set of rare ska to get you ready for the ska of King Edward’s Giant Label that ended with The Originators,  Chelip Chelip, which was released on SEP in 1966.  It was then off to the spotlight…

Vincent ‘King Edwards’ began his career as a sound system operator with his brother George. Vincent traveled to America in 1954 and brought back records and the equipment for a sound system. Upon his return to Jamaica, Vincent and George opened up the Rock and Roll soundsystem, but the first dance did not go well, and Vincent and his brother George took some time to improve the soundsystem. Rock and Roll returned to the scene in 1956, and immediately started to be called the Edwards Sound. Shortly thereafter, King was added to the sound system name, emerging as the King Edwards soundsystem. Vincent would get exclusive records from artists in America, specifically Philadelphia where his sister lived and from the south where, giving the King Edwards soundsystem an edge that would append ‘The Giant’ onto the name.

Like many other sound system operators, the Edwards brothers would play primarily American soul and R&B, but as the 60s arrived, they began recording acetates in Jamaica customized for his soundsystem, and that led to a natural transition into recording and releasing records for the public in the early 1960s. There is of course the flagship label that many know of: The King Edwards label, but here on the Bovine Ska, we wanted to spotlight a label that was the other part of the soundsystem name, and that is The Giant label.

Vin and George Edwards were extremely active throughout ska, but the label stopped releasing records as rocksteady and by the early 70s the soundsystem completely closed it doors. A few factors played into this: Vin’s interest shifted toward on politics; he served as a Councillor and then became a member of parliament. He was also getting into horse training, which is something he still does today. George moved to the countryside of Jamaica, away from the city and the music scene. Furthermore, Vin was not a marijuana smoker (nor an alcohol drinker), and after a while the rampant smoking that would occur in the studios made the music business difficult for Vin.

Please let us know if you enjoy the August 16th, 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady:

Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: Lee “Scratch” Perry’s Wizz-Dom Label 8-9-16

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The Ethiopians Soar on Perry’s Wizz-dom Label

Hello Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners!

We spent the bread that we would’ve used to buy food to get records for the August 9th, 2016 Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Radio Show, but please don’t let the guilt that you should feel influence you in any way to listen to the this week’s show! Midway through the show, we have a spotlight on Lee “Scratch” Perry’s Wizz-dom label (1972-1973) which is so good that we have almost forgotten how satisfying a square meal feels like when you get to eat one. Amazing cuts from The Heptones, Melodians, Junior Byles and of course, The Upsetters! As the Wizz-dom label is so thick with the reggae, we decided to start off this show the ska, beginning with Joe White’s festive 1965 cut for Duke Reid’s Treasure Isle label, Irene.    Our mento set featured the title cut from Percy Dixon’s Scandal In Montego Bay LP which was released on Sue in 1964.  After that set, we launched into a long set of rocksteady with a real rarity being The Minstrels 1968 tune for Coxsone on Studio One, Giving Up On Love.  We then went right into the Wizz-dom label spotlight.

We are thrilled to present a spotlight on a label from one of the most inventive producers, engineers, and all-around performers tonight….Lee Scratch Perry.  Over the course of his career, Perry founded many labels. Upsetters, Goodies, and Justice League are just a few, but this week we decided to focus in on the Wizz-dom label. Believed to be born in Kendal as Rainford Hugh Perry, Scratch got his recording first name from his mom’s nickname for him, Leeburn.  Perry’s path to music began in Negril. On moving to Negril from Clarendon, where Lee had built up a reputation as a great dancer, Lee worked on construction as a part of Jamaica’s development of the region as a tourist site.  During his days spent moving rocks on construction sites, the sounds of the shifting and the clashing of stones spoke to Lee and pointed him toward Kingston to make music. In the Kingston music scene, Lee wore many hats for Coxsone Dodd and Studio One writing and arranging songs and appearing in front of the microphone as a recording artist. After spending a lot of time with Coxsone, Perry moved over to Joe Gibbs before eventually venturing out and creating his iconic Upsetter label, giving him his own avenue to flourish as a producer and arranger.

At Wizz-dom, we see Scratch as the mastermind for all goings-on for the music being recorded and the distribution of his recordings.   In the early days of Wizz-dom, Pat Francis approached Scratch with “King of Kings,” and after recording it, Scratch felt that Francis would be a good salesman for Wizz-dom and the other labels he had, so Francis became a salesman for Scratch, a position he held for three years. We kicked off the spotlight with this track that started the Pat Francis and Scratch business relationship, King of Kings, a majestic track that set the tone for this Wizz-dom spotlight.

The Upsetters, the house band for Lee Scratch Perry productions, had three distinct line ups. By 1972, when the Wizz-dom label was launched, the Upsetters had a fluctuating lineup, but Perry would always insist on using the best musicians he could find for each recording.   By 1974, the band membership became more stable with Boris Gardiner on bass, Earl “Chinna” Smith on guitar,  Winston Wright & Keith Sterling on keyboards, and  Sly Dunbar or Benbow Creary on drums.

Enjoy the August 9th, 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady

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: