Monday, April 30, 2012

Larry Williams

An LP on the Sue label from the 60's with Screaming Lord Sutch introducing a "live" concert by Larry Williams who owed a lot to Little Richard and James Brown. Wikipedia says - "Larry Williams (May 10, 1935 – January 7, 1980 was an American rhythm and blues and rock and roll singer, songwriter, producer, and pianist from New Orleans, Louisiana. Williams is best known for writing and recording some rock and roll classics from 1957 to 1959 for Specialty Records, including "Bony Moronie", "Short Fat Fannie", "High School Dance" (1957), "Slow Down", "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" (1958), "Bad Boy" and "She Said Yeah" (1959), which were later covered by British Invasion groups and other artists. John Lennon, in particular, was a fan of Williams, recording several of his songs over the course of his career. "Bony Moronie" is listed as one of the Top 500 songs that shaped Rock and Roll. Williams lived a life mixed with tremendous success and violence-fueled drug addiction. He was a long-time friend of Little Richard. As a child in New Orleans, Williams learned how to play piano. When he was a teenager, he and his family moved to Oakland, California, where he joined a local R&B group called the Lemon Drops. In 1954, Williams went back to New Orleans for a visit. He began work as Lloyd Price's valet and played in the bands of Price, Roy Brown and Percy Mayfield. In 1955, Williams met and developed a friendship with Little Richard Penniman, who was recording at the time in New Orleans. Price and Penniman were both recording for Specialty Records. Williams was introduced to Specialty's house producer, Robert Blackwell, and was signed to record. In 1957, Little Richard was Specialty's biggest star, but bolted from rock and roll to pursue the ministry. Williams was quickly groomed by Blackwell to try to replicate his success. Using the same raw, shouting vocals and piano-driven intensity, Williams scored with a number of hit singles. Williams' three biggest successes were "Short Fat Fannie", which was his first hit, reaching #5 in Billboard's pop chart, "Bony Moronie", which peaked at #14, and its flip "You Bug Me Baby" which made it to #45. "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" charted at #69 on Billboard the following year. Both "Short Fat Fannie" and "Bony Moronie" sold over one million copies, gaining gold discs." Larry Williams - Side One

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Gerard Hoffnung

An curious Lp I found the other day which features interviews or short talks with Gerard Hoffnung the English humourist in the 50's from various radio programmes on the BBC. A cross between Count Arthur Strong and Boris Johnson. Probably hilarious at the time but now seems rather dated and quaint. Wikipedia says - "Gerard Hoffnung (22 March 1925 – 25 September 1959) was an artist and musician, best known for his humorous works. Born in Berlin, and named Gerhard, he was the only child of a well-to-do Jewish couple, Hildegard and Ludwig Hoffnung. He was sent to England, where he attended Bunce Court School in 1938. In 1939, his parents left Germany, initially for Florence and then for London, and Hoffnung then attended Highgate School, while his father went to what was then the British Mandate of Palestine to enter the family's banking business. This temporary separation became permanent as a consequence of World War II. Hoffnung died of a cerebral haemorrhage only 20 years after arriving in England, but filled those two decades with considerable achievements as - amongst other things - a cartoonist, tuba player, impresario, broadcaster and public speaker, much sought after by the Oxford and Cambridge Unions. Hoffnung published a series of books of cartoons poking gentle fun at conductors and orchestral instrumentalists. After his death, some of these were turned into a short animated film by Halas and Batchelor under the title The Hoffnung Symphony Orchestra, which won a number of awards in 1965-66. He created three Hoffnung Music Festivals held at the Royal Festival Hall in London. These featured contributions from distinguished "serious" musicians. Compositions specially commissioned for the Festivals included Malcolm Arnold's A Grand, Grand Overture, Op. 57 which was dedicated to U.S. President Herbert Hoover and was scored for several vacuum cleaners and other domestic appliances. Franz Reizenstein's Concerto Popolare was described as "The Piano Concerto to end all Piano Concertos". William Walton conducted a one-note excerpt from his oratorio Belshazzar's Feast: the word, "Slain!" shouted by the chorus. Much of Hoffnung's own humour relies on timing. A notable example is the 'Bricklayer's Lament' which was part of his 1958 Oxford Union Speech. Hoffnung's life was in the tradition of the Great British Eccentric, despite his continental origins. He affected, consciously or otherwise, the persona of an elderly music master, a role honed while teaching at Stamford School, where his eccentricities are remembered to this day. His voice had the hoarseness one associates with age, its cadences slow and faltering after the fashion of the old, or perhaps in homage to Colonel Blimp. His eccentricities were legendary, to the point where stories about him are fantastic enough to be believable, as nobody would think of making them up. For instance, he is said to have been fanatical about learning to whistle entire symphonies, even calling friends who were conductors and whistling down the phone line at them to check his memory." Gerard Hoffnung - Side One

Monday, April 23, 2012

Don & Dewey

Some frantic R&B now with a Latin twist from an LP on the Specialty label from the 70's but most of the songs on this compilation are from the 50's and early 60's. Wikipedia says - "Don and Dewey were an American rock and roll duo, comprising Don "Sugarcane" Harris (June 18, 1938[1] - 1999) and Dewey Terry (July 17, 1937[2] - May 11, 2003). Both were born and grew up in Pasadena, California. In 1954, Dewey Terry was a founding member of a group called The Squires while still in high school. He was later joined by a friend, Don Bowman (who would later change his name to Harris). In 1955 the Squires released a record on the minor Los Angeles-based label Dig This Record. In 1957 the group broke up, but Don and Dewey remained together. Later that year they were signed by Art Rupe's Specialty Records label and for the next two years produced rock and roll, Both Don and Dewey played guitar, with Dewey often doubling on keyboards. When not playing guitar or bass, Don occasionally played the electric violin, a skill for which he subsequently became well known under the name of "Sugarcane" Harris. Legendary drummer Earl Palmer played frequently on their sessions. Although Don and Dewey did not have any hits of their own, several of the songs that they wrote and/or recorded would appear on the charts later, performed by other artists. "I'm Leaving It Up to You" became a #1 hit for Dale & Grace in 1963. "Farmer John" was a hit by The Premiers, reaching #19 in 1964 after having been covered The Searchers a year earlier. "Koko Joe" (written by the then Specialty Records producer Sonny Bono), "Justine" and "Big Boy Pete" were a staple for The Righteous Brothers for many years. (Indeed, it has frequently been noted that the early Righteous Brothers act was quite closely based on Don and Dewey's.) Finally, "Big Boy Pete" became a minor hit in 1960 for The Olympics, reaching #50 and a #4 hit for The Kingsmen when recorded with new lyrics as "The Jolly Green Giant" in 1965. In 1959 Don and Dewey and producer Bono left Specialty Records for Rush Records, where they recorded a few songs but split up shortly afterward. In 1964 Art Rupe recorded both Don and Dewey and Little Richard (another Specialty Records act) and, although some energetic music was generated, there were to be no further hits for either act. The pair played briefly in Little Richard's band and then went their separate ways once again." Don & Dewey - Side Two

Little Eva

A record without it's sleeve I bought many years ago at Cheshire Street in East London I think. Some lovely examples of soul ballads in the style of The Ronettes and Carol King. Indeed Carol King wrote many of the songs on this compilation LP of her hits with Gerry Goffin. Wikipedia says - "Born in Belhaven, North Carolina, she moved to the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn, New York at a young age. As a teenager, she worked as a maid and earned extra money as a babysitter for songwriters Carole King and Gerry Goffin. It is often claimed that Goffin and King were amused by Boyd's individual dancing style, so they wrote "The Loco-Motion" for her and had her record it as a demo (the record was intended for Dee Dee Sharp). However, as King said in an interview with NPR and in her "One to One" concert video, they knew she could sing when they met her, and it would be just a matter of time before they would have her record songs they wrote, the most successful being "The Loco-Motion". Music producer Don Kirshner of Dimension Records was impressed by the song and Boyd's voice and had it released. The song reached #1 in the United States in 1962. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. After the success of "The Loco-Motion", Boyd was stereotyped as a dance-craze singer and was given limited material. The same year, Goffin and King wrote "He Hit Me (It Felt Like A Kiss)" (performed by The Crystals) after discovering that Boyd was being regularly beaten by her boyfriend.[2] When they inquired why she tolerated such treatment, Eva replied, with apparent sincerity, that her boyfriend's actions were motivated by his love for her." Little Eva - Side Two

Monday, April 16, 2012

Blues For Your Pocket

A nice blues compilation I seem to have had in my collection for ever which came out in 1972 on the Transatlantic label. I think I must have bought it new for the princely sum of 19 shillings and 11 pence! Has some great artistes on it including Son House, Furry Lewis, Jazz Gillum and Big Bill Broonzy.

Wikipedia says of Memphis Slim -

"Memphis Slim's birth name was John Len Chatman, and he was born in Memphis, Tennessee, United States. His father Peter Chatman sang, played piano and guitar, and operated juke joints, and it is now commonly believed that he took the name to honor his father when he first recorded for Okeh Records in 1940. Although he started performing under the name Memphis Slim later that same year, he continued to publish songs under the name Peter Chatman.
He spent most of the 1930s performing in honky-tonks, dance halls, and gambling joints in West Memphis, Arkansas, and southeast Missouri. He settled in Chicago in 1939, and began teaming with Big Bill Broonzy in clubs soon afterward. In 1940 and 1941 he recorded two songs for Bluebird Records that became part of his repertoire for decades, "Beer Drinking Woman," and "Grinder Man Blues." These were released under the name "Memphis Slim," given to him by Bluebird's producer, Lester Melrose. Slim became a regular session musician for Bluebird, and his piano talents supported established stars such as John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson, Washboard Sam, and Jazz Gillum. Many of Slim's recordings and performances until the mid-1940s were with guitarist and singer Broonzy, who had recruited Slim to be his piano player after Joshua Altheimer's death in 1940."

Wikipedia says of Fred McDowell -

"McDowell was born in Rossville, Tn. His parents, who were farmers, died when McDowell was a youth. He started playing guitar at the age of 14 and played at dances around Rossville. Wanting a change from plowing fields, he moved to Memphis in 1926 where he started to work in the Buck-Eye feed mill where they processed cotton into oil and other products. He also had a number of other jobs and played music for tips. Later in 1928 he moved south into Mississippi to pick cotton. He settled in Como, Mississippi, about 40 miles south of Memphis, in 1940 or 1941, and worked steadily as a farmer, continuing to perform music at dances and picnics. Initially he played slide guitar using a pocket knife and then a slide made from a beef rib bone, later switching to a glass slide for its clearer sound. He played with the slide on his ring finger.
While commonly lumped together with Delta Blues singers, McDowell actually may be considered the first of the bluesmen from the 'North Mississippi' region - parallel to, but somewhat east of the Delta region - to achieve widespread recognition for his work. A version of the state's signature musical form somewhat closer in structure to its African roots (often eschewing the chord change for the hypnotic effect of the droning, single chord vamp), the north hill country blues style (or at least its aesthetic) may be heard to have been carried on in the music of such figures as Junior Kimbrough and R. L. Burnside, while serving as the original impetus behind creation of the Fat Possum record label out of Oxford, Mississippi."

Tracks are as follows -

1. Memphis Slim - Boogie Woogie Piano Styles
2. Little Brother Montgomery - Lonesome Mama
3. Sticks McGhee - Drink Of Wine Mop Mop
4. J. D. Short - So Much Wine
5. James "Son" Thomas - Beefsteak Blues
6. Fred McDowell - Mojo Hand

Blues For Your Pocket - Side Two

Joey Lewis

An Lp I've had for a while. Not sure where it came from. Released in the 70's I imagine on the Straker's record label this is instrumental soca at it's best.

Wikipedia says -

"Soca is said to have been created in 1963 (see 1963 in music) by Ras Shorty I's "Clock and Dagger" from calypso music. Shorty added Indian instruments, including the dholak, tabla and dhantal. A prolific musician, composer and innovator, Shorty experimented with fusing calypso and the other Indian inspired music including chutney music for nearly a decade before unleashing "the soul of calypso,"...soca music. Shorty had been in Dominica during an Exile One performance of cadence-lypso, and collaborated with Dominica's 1969 Calypso King, Lord Tokyo and two calypso lyricists, Chris Seraphine and Pat Aaron in the early 1970s, who wrote him some creole lyrics. Soon after Shorty released a song, "Ou Petit", with words like "Ou dee moin ou petit Shorty" (meaning "you told me you are small Shorty"), a combination of calypso, cadence and kwéyòl. Shorty's 1974 Endless Vibrations and Soul of Calypso brought soca to its peak of international fame.
Many people think that soca music was created by the blending of calypso and soul music. Many people believe this misconception because it is stated that Lord Shorty called soca "soul calypso". What Lord Shorty meant to say[citation needed] was that soca was the "soul of calypso", but to make it short he called it "soca", which blends the first two letters of "SOul" and "CAlypso". Soca music evolved from a fusion of calypso, cadence, and Indian instruments."

Joey Lewis - Soul Chick/Walk 00 Miles/Steel & Brass

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Billie Anthony

A 78 found today at Age UK. I have never heard this version of This Ole House before but apparently it was a big hit in the 50's long before Shakin' Stevens.
I love the deep baritone voice that keeps chiming in every so often!

Wikipedia says -

"Billie Anthony (11 October 1932 — 5 January 1991) was a Scottish female singer. She is best known for her Top 10 hit version of "This Ole House", which despite chart competition from other versions of the same song, reached #4 in the UK chart.

She was born Philomena McGeachie Levy in Glasgow, Scotland. Her mother, Lily, was a talented dancer and her father, a song and dance man, and stage manager at the Glasgow Empire. Her godmother was Gracie Fields. Although her parents divorced when she was eighteen days old, she spent her entire childhood in and around the theatre, and wanted a career on the stage as a dancer. At first her mother was against her going into show business, so on leaving school she reluctantly agreed to train as a dressmaker, but her obsession with the theatre proved too powerful.
In 1946, when still only fourteen, she ran away from home and joined the chorus of a touring show as one of "May Moxon’s Young Ladies". Five years later she met Peter Elliott, who was part of a famous show business family called The Musical Elliotts. They developed an instant friendship and, due to their mutual love of dancing, decided on the formation of their own double act. As Phil and Peter Elliott, they successfully toured variety theatres as "The Debonair Dancers — Four Educated Feet". They toured continuously throughout 1952 but, in 1953, were compelled to abandon their act when Peter was called up to do his national service with the Royal Air Force."

Billie Anthony - This Ole House

Billie Anthony - (Oh) What A Dream

Swinley Sings & Plays

A curio from the pile of records and books I bought this morning from the Age UK shop that were selling off everything for " A bag for a £1" - today only. This EP caught my eye. It has no sleeve but I love the simple graphics/lettering on the label. Swinley seems to be a school in Brackell Berkshire. This was recorded in 1935 so puzzled why it's on a vinyl 45 and not on a 78? A bit of detective work found the County Recording Service but they only seemed to have made things for Julian Cope and more recent stuff so doubt if it's the same place. Curiouser and curiouser!
The record itself is rather dull and sounds like something Uncle Mac used to play on his radio show in the 50's.

Swinley Sings & Plays - Side One

Swinley Sings & Plays - Side two

Friday, April 13, 2012

Bob Fisher & His Skiffle Group

An LP found today in the Oxfam shop for a mere three quid which was a surprise as they usually charge a lot more for rarities like this. I assume it is rare as not much mention of Bob Fisher or his skiffling pals online. The record was made in Canada on the Arc label so they may be Canadians cashing in on the skiffle boom of the late 50's? Any leads greatly appreciated as usual.

Bob Fisher - Have A Drink On Me

Bob Fisher - Putting On The Style

Bob Fisher - Wabash Cannon Ball

Bob Fisher - Maggie Mae

Bob Fisher - Big Midnight Speacial

Bob Fisher - Grand Coulee Dam

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


The last scratchy reggae single for the time being. This one is by the Paragons who I know little about on the Treasure Isle label from 1968.

Wikipedia says -

"The Paragons were originally Garth "Tyrone" Evans, Bob Andy, Junior Menz, and Leroy Stamp. In 1964 Stamp was replaced by John Holt, and Howard Barret replaced Menz.
The early Paragons sound was influenced by American soul music and used the tight vocal harmonies of Jamaican groups of the early 1960s. In 1964, the group caught the attention of the record producer, Duke Reid, and they cut a succession of singles for his Treasure Isle record label.
After this early success Bob Andy quit the group, and the Paragons abandoned their soulful sound to become the most popular rocksteady act in Jamaica, but disagreements over money led to the band's break-up in 1970. Of the band's other members, only John Holt went on to have a significant solo career.
The Paragons' recordings, most famously "Tide Is High", written by Holt, and featuring the violin of "White Rum" Raymond, are among the highlights of Jamaican popular music. "The Tide Is High" was taken to the top of the UK and US charts by Blondie in 1980; whilst Atomic Kitten's cover version also topped the UK Singles Chart in 2002."

Paragons - Silver Bird

Paragons - So Close To You

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Keith & Enid/Trenton Spence

Another obscure single - to me anyway. I've never heard of Trenton Spence and not much about him on the internet. Any info. greatly appreciated as always. Keith & Enid I do know as I have an LP by them somewhere that has been requested. If only I could find it! Watch this space.

Keith & Enid - Send Me

Trenton Spence - People Will Say We're In Love

Desmond Dekker/ The Maytals

More greats from the reggae pile. Another double "A" side with Desmond Dekker and The Maytals sharing the honours on this 1968 single on the Pyramid label.

Wikipedia says of Desmond Dekker -

"He was born Desmond Adolphus Dacres in St. Andrew, Jamaica and grew up in Kingston, where he attended the Alpha Boys' School. After his mother took ill and died, his father moved him to St. Mary, and then to St. Thomas, where he apprenticed as a tailor before returning to Kingston and taking a job as a welder, singing around his workplace while his co-workers encouraged him. In 1961 he auditioned for Coxsone Dodd (Studio One) and Duke Reid (Treasure Isle). Neither was impressed by his talents, and the young man moved on to Leslie Kong's Beverley's record label, where he auditioned before Derrick Morgan, then the label's biggest star.

With Morgan's support, Dekker was signed but did not record until 1963 because Kong wanted to wait for the perfect song, which "Honour Your Mother and Father" was felt to be. "Honour Your Mother and Father" was a hit and was followed by "Sinners Come Home" and "Labour for Learning", and at this time Desmond Dacres became Desmond Dekker. His fourth hit made him into one of the island's biggest stars. It was "King of Ska", a rowdy and jubilant song on which Dekker was backed by The Cherrypies (also known as The Maytals). Dekker then recruited four brothers, Carl, Patrick, Clive and Barry who became his backing band, The Four Aces.
Dekker and the Howards recorded a number of hits including "Parents", "Get Up Edina", "This Woman" and "Mount Zion". Until 1967 Dekker's songs were polite and conveyed respectable, mainstream messages. In that year, however, he appeared on Derrick Morgan's "Tougher Than Tough", which helped begin a trend of popular songs glamorizing the violent rude boy culture. Dekker's own songs did not go to the extremes of many other popular tunes, though he did introduce lyrics that resonated with the rude boys starting with one of his best-known songs, "007 (Shanty Town)". The song established Dekker as a rude boy icon and he also became an established hero in the United Kingdom's mod scene.[citation needed] "007 (Shanty Town)" was a Top 15 hit in the UK, and Dekker toured that country with a posse of mods following him."

Wikipedia says of The Maytals -

"Frederick "Toots" Hibbert, the frontman of the group, was born in May Pen, Clarendon, Jamaica in 1945, the youngest of seven children. He grew up singing gospel music in a church choir, and moved to Kingston in 1958 at the age of thirteen.
In Kingston, Hibbert met Henry "Raleigh" Gordon and Nathaniel "Jerry" Mathias, forming in 1961 a group whose early recordings were incorrectly attributed to 'The Flames' and 'The Vikings' in the UK by Island Records. The Maytals first had chart success recording for producer Clement "Coxsone" Dodd at Studio One. With musical backing from Dodd's house band, The Skatalites, the Maytals' close-harmony gospel singing ensured success, overshadowing Dodd's other up-and-coming vocal group, The Wailers. After staying at Studio One for about two years, the group moved on to do sessions for Prince Buster before recording with Byron Lee in 1966. With Lee, the Maytals won the first-ever Jamaican Independence Festival Popular Song Competition with their original song "Bam Bam" (later covered in a Dancehall style by Sister Nancy, and also by Yellowman in 1982). However, the group's musical career was interrupted in late 1966 when Hibbert was arrested and imprisoned for 18 months. He stated that he was not arrested for ganja, but whilst bailing a friend. He also stated that he made up the number 54-46 when writing "54-46 That's My Number" about his time in jail.
Following Hibbert's release from jail towards the end of 1967, the Maytals began working with the Chinese Jamaican producer Leslie Kong, a collaboration which yielded a string of hits throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s. These included "Do the Reggay", one of several songs released in 1968 to first use the word 'reggae' (spelled 'reggay') in a Jamaican recording; "Pressure Drop"; "54-46 That's My Number" the 1969 Jamaica festival's popular song winner; "Sweet and Dandy"; and "Monkey Man", the group's first international hit in 1970."

Desmond Dekker - Foo Manchu

The Maytals - We Shall Overcome

Monday, April 09, 2012

Winston Jarrett

More reggae from 1974 - this time Winston Jarrett on the Atra label.

Wikipedia says -

"Born in 1940 in Lime Tree Gardens, Saint Ann Parish, Jarrett grew up in the Jones Town area of Kingston after moving there with his mother at the age of five. There, he was taught to play guitar by Jimmy Cliff and Alton Ellis. Jarrett's introduction to the music industry was as a member of Alton Ellis's backing band The Flames in the early 1960s, formed when Ellis's original singing partner Eddie Perkins emigrated to the US, singing on hits such as "Dancecrasher", "Cry Tough", "Rocksteady" and "Girl I've Got a Date". While with Ellis he wrote songs such as "Sunday Coming" and "True Born African". In 1967, Jarrett parted ways with the UK-bound Ellis and with fellow Flame Edgar "Egga" Gardner formed The Righteous Flames with Junior Green, and the trio recorded for Arthur "Duke" Reid's Treasure Isle label and then for Clement "Coxsone" Dodd's Studio One label. In 1969 they also recorded for Lee "Scratch" Perry ("Zion I Love You"). In the 1970s, they were generally billed as 'Winston Jarrett and the Righteous Flames'. Among the members of The Righteous Flames was Danny Clarke, who left to form The Meditations in 1974.
In the 1970s, tired of recording for others without receiving adequate payment, Jarrett self-produced much of his output, releasing it on his own Attra, Human Rights and Humble labels. Jarrett recorded as a solo artist in the late 1970s and 1980s, releasing the Wise Man album in 1979 and Rocking Vibration in 1984. He re-formed the Flames, releasing the album Jonestown in the late 1980s, and in the early 1990s recorded a tribute album to Bob Marley, also featuring Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer."

Winston Jarrett - No Time To Waste

Winston Jarrett - Time Dub

The Soul Vendors/ Ethiopians

Double "A" sided single featuring the Soul Vendors and The Ethiopians on the Studio One label from 1967.

The Soul Vendors -

"The Soul Vendors the group that gave us 'Rock Steady', the phrase originated by Coxone Dodd, the record producer and owner of Studio One studio. This new sound was much slower than Ska, stronger base line and a persistent shuffling rhythm together with some very fine sax and trumpet solo's, and the organ was used to greater effect. The vocal styles were very soulful, heavily influenced by the USA soul and R & B records of that period. "Rock Steady" by Alton Ellis issued in 1967 on the Treasure Isle label sums up the new style, using repeat upbeat guitar riff and the brass section answering the vocals, beautiful sax solo, even a vocal backing group, all added up to a suberb production by Duke Reid who went on to make this new sound his own. "

Wikipedia says of The Ethiopians -

"The group started out recording for Clement 'Coxsone' Dodd in 1966. Dillon had previously released some mento songs under the name Jack Sparrow. Around late 1966, Morris left the Ethiopians. Having left Dodd, the Ethiopians started recording at Dynamic Studios for the W.I.R.L. label, releasing the rocksteady "Train to Skaville", which was their first success. In 1968, they recorded the song "Everything Crash", their first big hit. The song criticised the political situation in Jamaica at the time, such as water rationing and power cuts that led to unrest; such as an incident in which thirty one people were shot by the police.[citation needed] "Everything Crash" was later covered by Prince Buster. "The Whip" is another of their enduring songs from that period.
In 1969 they released the album, Reggae Power, and in 1970, Woman a Capture Man. Between 1970 and 1975, the Ethiopians switched from producer to producer, releasing songs such as "No Baptism", "Pirate", and "Good Ambition". Reid left the group in 1974. In September 1975, Taylor was killed by a van while he was crossing a road. In 1977, Dillon's fellow Ethiopians members Bro Fatty, Bro Ewing, Bro T, Mello and Hychi Dread released the album Slave Call, under The Ethiopians name.
In 1991, Dillon recorded the solo album On the Road Again. Toward the end of the 1990s, Dillon formed a new Ethiopians lineup with female backing vocalists Jennifer Lara and Merlene Webber, who appeared on the 1999 album, Tuffer Than Stone.[2]
After developing a brain tumor, on 28 September 2011 Dillon died at his daughter's home in Kingston, Jamaica."

Soul Vendors - Pupa Lick

Ethiopians - Leave My Business Alone

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Prince Buster

More ska from 1965 on the Blue Beat label. Classic Prince Buster that wasn't a big hit like Al Capone etc. but sounds pretty good to me now.

Wikipedia says -

"Cecil Bustamente Campbell, O.D. (born 28 May 1938), better known as Prince Buster, and also known by his Muslim name Muhammed Yusef Ali, is a musician from Kingston, Jamaica. He is regarded as one of the most important figures in the history of ska and rocksteady music. The records he made on the Blue Beat label in the 1960s inspired many reggae and ska artists.

Campbell began his professional career as a singer in 1956; performing in Kingston nightclubs. He formed a succession of bands with several of his friends, none of which were successful.
Campbell's music career reached maturity with the growth of the sound system. Across Jamaica, music promoters drove vans filled with stereo equipment to stage mobile parties. The operators of the sound system would play the popular R&B dance records of the day and often they would have a vocalist called a toaster call out the dancers' names, chant in rhythm, and make light-hearted boasts. Deejay "toasting" was one of the precursors to the style of vocal delivery that eventually evolved into rap.
Eventually, Campbell was introduced to Clement Dodd, a musically-inclined businessman who operated one of Kingston's most popular sound systems. Interestingly, Campbell was not hired as a musician but as security; because of rivalries between fans devoted to a particular sound system, the parties sometimes could become quite rough, and Campbell had been a skillful amateur boxer as a teenager. It was in this line of work that he earned the nickname "The Prince", which along with his boyhood moniker "Buster" (from his middle name Bustamente), formed the name under which he would later become famous."

Prince Buster - Big Fight

Prince Buster - Red Dress

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Sweet Confusion

Another reggae single on the Escort label from 1969.
Again very hard to find anything about them on the internet. Any info. greatfully received.

Sweet Confusion - Conquer Lion

Sweet Confusion - Hotter Scorcher

Rico Rodrecez

Odd spelling of Rico Rodriquez here on this Pama single from 1968. A chugging ska instrumental takes on two big soul hits of the 60's.

"One of the most prolific session players of Jamaica's pre-ska era, trombonist Rico Rodriguez recorded both as a solo artist and as an honorary member of The Specials. Born October 17, 1934, his musical pursuits began while attending Kingston's Alpha Boys School, an institution for wayward boys, where he studied trombone under the legendary Don Drummond. In the years to follow, Rico emerged as one of Jamaica's most highly regarded session musicians, often working under the direction of the renowned producer Duke Reid.

In 1961, in the months prior to the explosion of the ska phenomenon, he relocated to the UK, where he recorded a number of sides for the fledgling Island label and gigged extensively on the jazz and R&B circuits, playing with Georgie Fame's Blue Flames and others. He also remained a top-notch session man, appearing on Sugar & Dandy's 1967 classic "A Message to You Rudy," among others. "

Discover more about Rico Rodriquez HERE.

Rico Rodrecez - It's Not Unusual

Rico Rodrecez - Soul Man

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Stargazers Of Kumasi

EP on the Philips label from 1963. The Stargazers consist of DeRoy Taylor, Adlib Kwaku Anim, Dan Danquah,and Patience Ocansey.

The label blurb says -

"The "Stargazers" dance band is a highlife-band with a very popular "beat", a beat created in Kumasi, but well known for years thoughout West Africa.
This popularity did not come easily and they had to work hard for their success by composing first-class dance music, playing well rehearsed arrangements and travelling to many places in Ghana and other West African counties to find dance halls.
The Stargazers of Kumasi ave made broadcasts and were the first Ghanaian band to appear on television (W.N.T.V.) and they have also made a large number of records."

Stargazers - Maggie Menewo Bewu/Fa To Woho Fa

Stargazers - Asamando/Wansemapobi

Soul Rhythms

Pleasant enough rock steady single on the Gas label from 1969. Nothing found for the Soul Rhythms on the internet.

Soul Rhythms - Soul Call

Soul Rhythms - Musical Gate

The Two Kings

Rather scratchy single on the Island label from 1965. Average rock steady songs by a duo that's unknown to me. Hardly surprising considering the dullness of both songs here.

The Two Kings - Hit You Let You Feel It

The Two Kings - Honey I Love You