One youth man making hit after hit! Like I said when I went in the studio how old was I? Anyway, he played the piano. The organ player was Ossie Hibbert. I did a mix for the Jah Mojo record and everybody loved the rhythm. He loved the rhythm from time too… the Pablo version was so popular! Horace just came in the studio… it was a Friday morning.
So it was Leroy Sibbles who actually chopped the rhythm guitar in it and then, the following day, I got Horace to sing on the rhythm. And take it too! The lyrics were written and voiced at that moment. There and then. Doing that you have no soul! You become over technical and everybody wants to be greater than they really can be.
You can only be the best you can be…. But after all that when I saw Mr Dodd he was alright. At those times there were very few people making instrumentals. It was always vocals or deejays but for me, even Pablo, people would just put Pablo blowing but I loved the clavinet sound. The sound had a little coarseness but it had a little sweetness about it at the same time. To me it was always new things.
I named all those tunes. It was just that sound and what was going on up Wareika Hill. A bad boy kind of tune but sweet within overall… like a militant tune. But I made a lot of mistakes as well. You never thought money might be there later on… that many years from now these tunes would still be circulating. So mainly in those times I never was a business man! I needed to be in it for that as well but I paid the price. You know what I mean? When I first came to London 10th February I had a jacket with short sleeves and a jumper… bell foot pants… I thought I was criss!
I spent three months here. London was strange but it was nice… I was staying with Bert from Ital Records. I think Lord David was playing there. When you went to a club or a dance to me it was quite peaceful. God help you if it had happened at home in Kingston! The only thing that crossed my mind was I used to hear them talking about these Teddy Boys… but they had well faded out by then. It was a nice place to be apart from the cold. And I thought to myself I would like to live somewhere like this.
London was more forward as well because music that was recorded back home… some of them were reaching here long before they were released in Kingston. The lady on the cover is my first wife. I actually took the photograph myself. Leonard then returned to Jamaica to do more recording and to promote Santic Records from his office in downtown Kingston.
The Kung Fu movies were strong at the time. In Jamaica if I was using four men. Drums, bass, rhythm and keyboards and one hundred and twenty dollars could have given you three good rhythms with the best musicians!
It was ten dollars a track… ten dollars for each man. I am sure this one will be among your selections. NB Some original records have been used for mastering this album where the engineer has created the mixes as the master acetate was being cut and no tapes exist. Every attempt has been made to ensure the best sound reproduction but where this is less than perfect we believe the quality of the music itself shines through.
African Chant - Jah Woosh - Gathering Israel (CD to these tracks, one will find that these musicians were way ahead of their time both spiritually and mentally. There imaginations and vibes had lead the music world of Reggae to invent computer music, but until this day no computer could not compare these great musicians talent, vibes and skills.
Mento is a traditional secular dance style and genre of music typically played by small rural groups of musicians playing fife, banjo, guitar, maracas, a bass lamellophone called a rumba box and less often, violin, piano, clarinet, and PVC pipes as bass. Its origins are somewhat obscure. Although clearly of African descent, it has obvious European influences. Cultural historians see Mento as deriving from an African-Jamaican adoption and adaptation of the popular European dance, the Quadrille, which arrived in Jamaica via the slave owners.
Performed by slave musicians, generally on fiddles and fifes, it gradually spread throughout the Island. After emancipation inthe Quadrille in Jamaica was danced in two ways: the Ballroom and Camp styles. Jamaican high society danced the Ballroom style to the formal choreography but the Camp style could be considered more rural with a looser choreography, broadly seen as incorporating African elements.
Thus a distinctly Jamaican element was added to a European form, as a means of self-expression and local social and cultural identity. The use of the Banjo in many of these recordings is significantbridging the gap between the early North American finger-styles and the later, more rudimentary, jazz plectrum styles.
Here, the rhythmically complex single line work with plectrum sometimes reminds one of an extra tuneful W. By the time these s recordings were made, Jamaican musicians had incorporated a wide variety of music.
Groups that reflected and older performance tradition, characterised by home-made musical instruments and exclusively local repertoire and dance, were no longer the only ones playing Mento. These dance bands seemed to have greater aspirations: many of the bands in higher demand traveled throughout the island and later, as they grew in size, throughout the Caribbean.
There were many reasons for this development. In addition to the increased American military presence in the Caribbean in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and the expansion of shipping routes throughout the area, an important reason was the introduction and spread of radio, which quickly became a disseminator of musical taste. Another reason was the increased local availability of imported foreign recordings.
Both American Jazz and Trinidadian Calypso were popular in Jamaica, largely because both were recorded, distributed and marketed throughout the British Empire and United States. Following World War II, tourists looked away from Europe for holidays and as the s approached, tourism exploded.
Famous people and commerce were attracted to Jamaica and when the Jamaica Tourist Board was established init became clear that the government had made a commitment to the tourist industry. Jamaica was marketed as a destination both exotic and familiar. Local entrepreneurs followed suit. By the s Calypso was a style more familiar to holiday makers. According to Dennis Alcapone, The bigger heads were not used to us making records, so when I did a record, they would laugh and say, But Dennis, you dont sing, a talk you talk.
How you mek record? Count Matchuki, like many other reggae legends, started his public life as a dancer but, byhe was working as a selector for Tom the Great Sebastian and later moved on to work with Clement Dodds Downbeat sound. He had that little flavour in him, and he brought it on with a lot of style, explains Clive Chin who used to see Machuki in the dance. In those early days, Machuki was officially employed as a selector.
Selectors, at the time, all they could know to do was pick up the record, put it on, pick it up, put it on, and they had nothing in between because, you must remember, it was just one turn table they using at the time. So, they had that break. And in that break now, Machuki would do his toasting. He brought in that whole style of saying something before he put the needle onto the vinyl. He was the first- before Lord Comic, King Stitt.
Legendary toaster U Roy used to listen to Count Machuki. I used to love to hear that man talk because when him talk its like you wan hear him say something again. So, I always try to be in time, the way he was in time with the rhythm. Cause theres a little art to it. You have to listen and be in time with the rhythm. Them things me learn from dem man there. Machuki, though, had a secret source of inspiration. Producer Clive Chin remembers him carrying around a particular book.
There was one he said he bought out of Beverlys [record shop] back in the 60s. The book was called Jives and it had sort of slangs, slurs in it and he was reading it, looking it over, and he found that it would be something that he could explore and study, so he took that book and it helped him. King Stitt did a good thing with things like [hit 45] Fire Corner, but it didnt really get off until U Roy came along. One possibility would be The Jives of Dr. Hepcat Then Lizzie came - he used to play Jammys Hi-Fi.
I used to go and listen to him and I admired the sounds he put out. He used to play King Tubbys sound system. That was, and is, the best. It had everything a system should have. When you sat down and listened to that man [U Roy] playing that sound system, it really blew your mind.
King Stitt made it interesting. This guys talking! U Roy came and mashed the place up! You had deejays that actually recorded in the Ska era, you know. But those deejay didnt follow African Chant - Jah Woosh - Gathering Israel (CD up. Machuki do a nice tune for Clive [Chin]. U Roy, teamed up with producer Duke Reid, shot off like a rocket. U Roy, himself, was stunned by the songs success. Not long after the two tune recorded in the studio, me hear them a play pon the radio station. When I hear the two tunes playing pon the radio, I just tell myself, seh, Oooooo, a just two little stupid tunes whe them a play pon the radio, just like how so much tunes just a play pon the radio and dont get nowhere.
That is the first thing I tell myself. But, the tunes didnt disappear. They just got bigger. I hear them everyday! Them things was a big surprise and that was the starting of something good for me Wake the Town went straight to number one on both radio stations. To my surprise, those two songs become number one and number two, U Roy recalls.
It was like a blessing to me. A deejay never do that. And a couple of weeks after, I had the one, two, three on the radio station. Wear You to the Ball stay pon the chart for 12 weeks in the number one position. The fact that U Roy was talking over the versions of the most popular records of the day made all the difference.
So, there was an element of nostalgia in play. Inthe reggae beat ruled the day. The Duke Reid tunes were rock steady, and people loved to hear them again, but now with a modern twist- a toaster on top. So there was an element of familiarity coupled with something current and modern. The U Roy releases with Treasure Isle were revolutionary. Each 45 featured something old and something new. The John Holt songs were already well known throughout the island.
But the toasting was new. The combination of something familiar and something different caught fire, paving the way for the deejay revolution. Dennis Alcapone remembers, It took the place of the vocals that was going on at the time, because U Roy actually took over the charts. He had one, two, three [songs on the top ten].
Deejay records took center stage at the time. After U Roys success, everyone wanted to be a deejay. And every producer thought he could get a hit by putting a deejay over his old vocal tracks. And a whole generation of young men had a new hero to emulate. U Roy also deserves credit for his style of deejaying, which was very different from was going on earlier in the dance. Deejay Dennis Alcapone recalls, U Roy actually did change the whole thing. Because U Roy made up his thing like it was a complete song, like a singer.
Lyrics were going straight through the rhythm and he actually made up a song that people could sing along to. No one wasnt filling out the whole rhythm with lyrics. It was regular dancehall jive, in those days. Then U Roy came and filled the rhythm out with lyrics, and that was something new. The deejays who were toasting over instrumentals left a lot of space for the music to flow in between the words.
U Roy recalls, Thats how it used to be when you at a dance and talk on a sound. You generally never used to crowd the music. Just say a couple of words and the people long fe hear you again. That was the way it always had been.
But when U Roy began making hits, he set a new standard. Earlier deejays used to start with a spoken introduction and then add a few carefully placed interjections to accentuate the beat. Meet me at the big gun down. I am Van Cliff. Thats it. And it was great for instrumentals, especially in the upbeat Ska age. But when Rock Steady took over, it was African Chant - Jah Woosh - Gathering Israel (CD different story.
While mixing, the engineer left strands of the vocal in the version. This gave the deejays a jumping off point, something on which to base his lyrics. As the vocal drops out, U Roy comes in with, That is a musical question and it needs a musical answer. Where do I go from here? Got no place to go. Got to stay right here and work my musical show. Ironically, at the time, U Roy didnt fully believe that deejays could make legitimate recordings. When he was working with King Tubbys set in the late.
He was making dubplates for King Tubbys exclusive use on the sound. When I used to play with Tubbys sound, Tubby used to have a dubbing [dub cutting] machine. So, if he want a special tune to make for his sounds, he could just make it. So, that was the only thing that ever got me to record at that time, doing certain tune for the sound. Tubbys recorded some excusive discs for his sound system with U Roy toasting over some of the rhythm tracks Tubby had mixed in his studio.
Rock Steady producer, Duke Reid, heard them playing and was fascinated. Duke Reid heard the music and he said, I would love to see this man. So, I went to the studio with him and made some arrangements.
Duke Reid knew exactly what he was doing. He had a sixth sense for knowing which songs would go straight to the top. According to U Roy, Duke is a man whe, when him hear a hit, him know it- that its a hit. At first, him know it. The man used to have a gun and when him have a hit, whenever its a hit, the man bust up pure shot in the room. The U Roy recordings were never meant to remain dubplates for a sound. When he made those first recordings with U Roy, he was aiming for the commercial market.
U Roy recalled, This is a record fe go out there for sales, and its a different thing from when you deh a dance. He [Duke Reid] definitely do them for sale purpose. No question about that. This go there to the public for sales, it haf fe more professional. Once U Roy hit the charts, deejays were freed from their live status and joined singers as regularly recording artists. A deejay on vinyl was no longer just a dubplate thing. Not only did U Roys popularity launch a continuing barrage of deejay recordings, it struck the first rock from the wall diving uptown and downtown Jamaica.
People from all over the island bought the new releases, not just the folks in the ghetto who went to dancehall sessions. There is a lot of people from up Beverly Hills, Red Hills, from all about, that buy a lot of my tune, U Roy commented. The popularity of the songs bridged a great social divide and also created a market for downtown music uptown and all over.
It also made U Roy the musical granddaddy to generations of youth that followed. U Roy was, and is still, well loved by Jamaicans. Former pupil, deejay Josie Wales used to look up to him, U Roy used to be a pace setter like that and we used to admire him, as youth, and want to be like him.
With his gentle manner and warm humor, he inspired confidence in people. U Brown, the heir to U Roys vocal styling, followed the teacher closely in those early days. On any given day, I wake up and Im walking around Towerhill, when I see U Roy ride past on his motor cycle or on his brother-in-law peddle bike, It was like a joy to see him.
It was like my musical god [is] there. I speak honestly. And I never get a chance to express these things to U Roy. He dont have to put out a lot, like some people have to come and do a lot of physical things to.
U Roy just a humble person. But once you and him click, from there, the rest is just joy. I respect him a lot to be honest. Even clothes, I used to love how he dressed. Wearing his tall beaver hat with his red, gold and green robes, U Roy always looked the part of the star deejay. We learn to buy good things - its nothing about no show off thing, but you ina the music, music is a ting whe, is different from when you come out of a yam field.
You cyaan go up on stage and look like you a come out of your yam field. If me sit down pon me corner then, those are the clothes me sit down pon the corner in, not the clothes me come pon the stage, you know? Spending over 40 years in music, U Roy saw the whole scene take shape, climbing the ladder from selector to deejay to sound owner. If me didnt enjoy it me woulda never, never do it. Until this day its my trade. He influenced so many people and set the stage for what was to follow musically, a 50 year reign of dancehall music from Jamaica spreading throughout the world.
Although U Roy was the main star of the day with his Treasure Isle hits, one of the most important but overlooked toasting masters was Dennis Alcapone whose Studio One LP, Forever Version, remains a true classic of early deejay recording. Denniss influence was just as pervasive as U Roys, especially inside the dancehall.
A lot of young deejays were coming into the session inspired by Alcapones style. All of those guys used to listen to me. Big Youth used to come to my dance and listen to me. Jah Stitch used to follow me all around the country when I was playing. Trinity used to live close by me, where I used to play. I remember him as a little boy. I used to call him Glen. Dillinger was my apprentice. In fact, Dillinger originally called himself Young Alcapone.
I really get my deejaying skill from Alcapone. Stitch claimed, further, that when Alcapone heard him deejay, he would tell Stitch that he still heard a big piece of himself in the younger man. Dennis started with El Paso sound in Although he was a follower of U Roy, his style was completely his own. Where U Roy had more melody in his voice, Alcapones words were more spoken, or chanted.
His sound, El Paso, became an institution in Jamaica. It was just me. I was the whole thing. So, they couldnt match that! I went and get the dubplates, myself. I bought all the records for the sound. I take the dates [bookings] as well. I did everything. The guys nowadays think they can just drive up when the dance is going on, take up the mic.
They dont know lucky they are. These lyrics were so popular and so well known that they entered the vocabulary of every deejay in Jamaica. Byafter several prolonged stays in the UK, Dennis got married and settled there permanently. He resides there today, still working in the business. When Alcapone left Jamaica, that was the end of El Paso. It was going on after I left, because you had quite a few people [deejays] that went on El Paso since I left.
It wasnt about the equipment; it wasnt a big sound. But El Paso was me. There was no El Paso without Dennis Alcapone. Dennis Alcapone was El Paso. Many of the fresh crop were toasting in a new way, with a new range of subject matter roots and Rastafari.
By the early 70s, Jamaicans were clearly in love with toasting. Deejays had broken through the invisible barrier between the dancehall and commercial worlds. Even so, there remained certain islands of hostility towards the mic chanters both in and out of the music business.
Competition lead to a certain resentment between the singers and the talkers. As U Brown recalls, Back in those days, a lot of singers never liked when deejays would deejay on their rhythm tracks. Singers were the ones that always made the original rhythm. They are the ones that always go with the musicians and make the tracks. And then the producers might call the deejay to say something on the track. So, when the deejays start to become popular, a lot of singers never liked it.
But producers couldnt ignore sales, and deejay records were hits. People still loved U Roy as the originator, the godfather, but the style was changing and now people were looking for more content in the lyrics basket. The new deejays complied. By the mid 70s, deejays were not only talking in complete sentences, they were delivering a message.
The roots era had begun and music was increasingly being used to impart a social, political and spiritual agenda. The biggest changes to in the art of toasting in the 70s, came from the large man with the imposing appearance, Big Youth. Flashing his red, green.
With his head full of thick dreadlocks, at a time when performers were almost universally baldheaded, Big Youth launched a Rasta revolution in the dancehall. Change the whole deejay concept and everything.
Cause Big Youth come in a different style - with dreadlocks. He had an LP come out same time in England, and it sell like a Bob [Marley] was just starting with Chris Blackwell. Bob, them, did trim off them hair. When Big Youth [became a] dread now, Chris Blackwell see the potential of it and make Bob them dread back. As a new beat came in, with a different pace and a different atmosphere, the newer deejays developed a fresh approach that complimented the current sound.
Big Youth came in a different era really, Dennis Alcapone remembers. People like me and U Roy, we were working on the Rock Steady rhythms that was laid down from in the 60s. Big Youth started working on the new drum and bass [style].
Thats when the music was changing. The rhythm change. The style change in Jamaica. And the rhythm keep changing. You have so much different deejays that come along and take over from another deejay cause the rhythm the deejay is working on change on him, and he cannot handle the other one as a new deejay [could] that come when that style change.
Theres always changes. He yelled, he shrieked, he hollered. Like Alcapone, he incorporated nursery rhymes into his lyrics. But, as Big Youth matured, the influences he drew on broadened. His first record, the Movie Man, was not recorded for any of the top producers of the day, but as a joint effort between him and his good friend, signer Gregory Isaacs.
As a first effort, it got a positive reception, but didnt go far enough. Referred to, in hindsight, as the Godfathers of Hip-Hop, the Last Poets worked to define and articulate a black identity within the North American environment, and to communicate these ideas to urban African Americans.
A year later, Youth worked with Gussie Clarke who produced his second big hit, the innovative Screaming Target, followed by an LP of the same name. Gussie recalls, It was even unique how we put it all together. Its kinda like Screaming Target just flow into the box. Overnight we just recorded the whole album. Cause interacting with so many producers, I could get all the rhythm tracks I needed.
It was phenomenal. With the impetus of the two hits propelling him forwards, byBig Youth was able to set out independently with his own label, Negusa Negast, and begin producing himself while he continued to have hit after hit with other producers.
The concepts of black consciousness and African unity were just starting to appear in reggae, reflecting the rise of the Black Power movement in North America and elsewhere. Big Youth began to use his performances and his records to talk about the social and economic conditions for black people in Jamaica and around the world. Because of his borrowing from such diverse sources, Big Youth developed a loyal following among American intellectuals who considered him to be the thinking mans deejay.
In the music press, articles appeared analyzing his lyrics in an often heavy-handed, academic manner that, up to that point, had not been experienced within Jamaican music.
But, while others were picking his lyrics apart, he was throwing them together, with enviable joy and enthusiasm. An incredibly versatile deejay, Big Youth broke all the unwritten musical rules. Because he had so many lyrics, he frequently recorded several songs over one rhythm, each new recording taking a different theme and a different style. He would double track his own voice. He would even sing. With absolutely no modesty or reserve, Big Youth would belt out soul and reggae songs using current rhythms as backing tracks.
Because his lyrics were complex and often beautiful, and his messages powerful and universal, Big Youth was one of the first deejays to appeal to a worldwide audience. His records were far more than some scat singing and some jive catchphrases although he could settle into a rhythm with the best.
Each 45 was as complete as any song written and recorded by a singer. Big Youth attacked issues in his words, like the poverty of shantytown Riverton City, or Kingstons political violence.
Youth was truly a masterful song writer. In writing such complete lyrics over the versions, he raised the standard for deejaying and created a role for deejays as reformers, in delivering their messages of social injustice. Some were mine and some were tracks from other producers I was able to get them because it was just a business. We wanted to do the project, we offered them a price.
In those days it was called, I bought a cut off the rhythm. They were making the hits and defining the trends. The studio bosses began to take notice. In the mid 70s, Channel One Studio did very well with a young and upcoming deejay with a piercing wit and an original style. When Dillinger came along, U Roy and I Roy were already well established and at the top of their field. But Dillinger didnt pick either one as his teacher.
Instead, he studied under Dennis Alcapone and came to sound a lot like him- at least in the beginning. Born inLester Bullocks began hanging around the dancehall until, as a teenager, he got a break and started performing with El Brasso sound from McKoy Lane. The youth hung around El Paso sound doing anything that needed to be done. At times I had to lift the box because the boxman is not there and I just want to hear the sound play. It was the love of the music and [we wanted] the music start play.
So, we do anything to let the sound play quick as possible. Alcapone took the young deejay under his wing and began giving Dillinger a chance to be heard. I used to follow that sound. So, any time he take a break, went to smoke or get a drink, I would take the mic. Alcapone didnt offer direct instruction, and Dillinger, a natural at the microphone, didnt seem to need any.
But he was the first guy who put a mic in my hand. He gave me the opportunity to build up my own craft, to expose myself. On some of his early recordings, Dillinger sounds uncannily like his elder. But the young deejay didnt waste time in finding his own unique style. When I come in the business, they [deejays] were talking like Yea! Cause it was toasting when I come Album) the business. Man like U Roy, Dennis Alcapone, they used to toast.
I come with like a sing-jay. The first number one, Woman then a locks and the man them a platrest a lickle while and make me show you me style Woman them a locks and he man them a plat.
Cha man! Little vignettes found within his songs offered a subtle but humorous slant on the society of the day. While most of the deejays in the 70s took Rastafarianism very seriously, and expressed these sentiments in their songs, Dillinger took a humorous, although always sympathetic, perspective. Natty swim ina the ital bath, Him dont go a sea cause the sea so salt, Natty dread find fault, say the sea too salt In The General Channel One Dillinger draws a lyrical picture of the Rastaman who doesnt eat meat or believe in death.
Natty Dread a the general Thats what him dont go a funeral Natty dally out a mineral fe wha? Fe go swim ina the river But Natty Dread dont shiver Cause him dont eat liver, Him a go swim ina the river, Simply because him live ya, you know Dillinger was a keen observer of life.
One of his biggest hits, CB Well Charged 7 inch,looked at the motorcycle craze that had taken over Kingston. It was a fashion in those times. In Jamaica, if you are going in the dance, you had a lot of bikes. Sometimes you hardly have space to stand up because of the bikes; sometimes you lean on a bike muffler and it burn you because its hot. They would ride their bike to the dance, the girls in their shorts was on the back of the bike.
They start with Honda 50, then they come with the S 90, thethe and they come down to the CB There was a lot of dread in the 70syou used to see riding. Thats where the inspiration come. Although he would shout and wail like the best, Dillingers tone was often much calmer than his predecessors, at time, almost conversational.
In Eastman Skank Channel Onewhen faced with a tense situation, he remains unruffled. Traveling from the west to the east, To go check Harry Geese To have a musical feast with my brand new release. Yet, for all his restraint, Dillinger recorded some of the most intense deejay records of all time. Behind his calm reserve, he held a laser-likeability to focus pure energy in single word or phrase. With the quiver in his voice, Dillingers chant, Ethi-Ethi-opia, AddidsAddis-Ababa, brings the righteous wrath of Jah down on all evil doers.
Deejay Trinity recalls, I was inspired by Big Youth. Cause in those days, Big Youth usually chant, and I love chanting, cause chanting have a message. U Roy only have a sweet tone, and him have some nursery rhymes, some nice likkle [little] lyrics, but Big Youth usually have the revolution kind of style. That was the style people wanted in the 70s as political changes moved the country closer to discord and disorder. The chanting style became the mark of the 70s deejay. Jah Stitch, another popular deejay from Big Youths area, would use a similar technique.
Stitchs hallmark was the quivering voice, the bible verses, the rhythmic monotone delivery. The effect of the slow, droning vocals over the dense, thickly layered rhythm tracks, was hypnotizing.
Big Youth [used it] before U Roy. U Roy used to record for Treasure Isle. Nobody couldnt do no Rasta tune there. Treasure Isle [Duke Reid] was a police.
So, nobody could do no Jah tune there. Everybody smoke weed down there. Reggae music really come with weed. Weed smoking and the Rastafarian consciousness were penetrating deep into the music. The romantic rock steady period was over. Artists were taking up questions of black identity and looking toward Africa for solutions. The music reflected the new, post independence, reality. People had seen their dreams evaporate and they were angry, frustrated and searching for solutions.
All of which lead reggae to undergo seismic changes which affected the very core of the dancehall. The roots era had dawned and music was increasingly being used to impart a social, political or spiritual agenda.
In Jamaica, times were getting dread. In the 60s, when we celebrated our independence, when we came out of the colonial era, it was really nice, explains producer Clive Chin. Its just that, after that 10 year stretch that just went past unnoticed, like the turn of a page - everything just started changing.
People became more self conscious of who they are, what they were defending. The music started to change as well. There was a big change. The rock steady, which had that sweet melody, went by and the more political and social material came into effect. In the 70s, life proved so difficult that many Jamaicans, including Clive and his family, moved to the U. Politics began to creep into every aspect of life in Jamaica, including music.
Deejay Dennis Alcapone was one of the many who, like the Chins, abandoned the country. At the time, Jamaica was just turning violent [due to] the political situation. You can be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Better to be safe than sorry. So, when I came to England and see the situation here, and go to the dances and see that there was no shot firing and people would stay in the dance until six, seven in the morning.
It was a completely different situation, you know. Appealing to the downtrodden and disenfranchised, Manley had sought out the help of musicians in his campaign. Inner Circle, Jacob Millers band, supplied the music. The charismatic Manley toured the countryside, and ventured deep into the inner city ghettos to spread the message of his party. Manley portrayed himself as the Biblical Joshua and carried a stick he referred to as the rod of correction.
Claiming the rod has been given to him by the Emperor Haile Selassie, Manley courted the Rastafarian vote with considerable success. But the euphoria of the election victory quickly dampened as Jamaica began to confront some of its greatest challenges.
Manley was a strong supporter of Third World solidarity and aligned himself with Cuba and other revolutionary governments, something that set off alarms in Washington, still shaking from the Cuban Missile crisis. Jamaicas close proximity to Cuba was a concern, and the U. As Mark Wignall expressed it in The Jamaican Observer, In the mid to late s, at a time when Cold War tensions were being played out right across the globe between the U.
Guns began coming into the country. In the period leading up to the general Album), violence took off in earnest. It was then no secret that new guns had come upon the Jamaican landscape, and it was argued that the firepower of the JCF [Jamaica Defense Force] was inferior to those of the gunmen aligned to the political parties.
An interesting mix is given to the album by King Tubby who always seems to revel in the rawer sounds. Side two finds Jah Woosh in an inventive form.
It was soon quickly rereleased by Trojan Record. Like Prince Far I, Jah Woosh had developed his toasting or deejaying into what was described as chanting, a mixing together of singing and deejaying. Jah Woosh. Black, Bim Sherman and Horace Andy. His most notable work in recent years was the production with V. Like many in the UK reggae business all he needs is some decent promotion and a little luck.
What are you doing over here now? No, different, different music. How long has it taken you to set it up? I set it up in March, when I come back from Jamaica this year. How long have you been in the business? Fromthe man who discover me was Morwell Wellington, then Rupie Edwardsfrom their various companies.
Have you had any hits in Jamaica? But I travel a lot now. I travel Holland, England, America and France. Do you have any problems moving around, cause it seems those reggae artists who do, lose themselves sound wise.
How do you control that? You find the money, the money can lead. We start on four track, then you find as they make some money they go into sixteen, and sixteen is something else.
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