Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Super Calypso Hits Vol. 1

I've had a couple of requests for this one again as the old files have been deleted for some reason. A late period compilation of calypso from the West Indies on the Camille label in Barbados from 1973. Wikipedia says of Lord Melody - "Melody was born Fitzroy Alexander at San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago, raised at an orphanage in Port of Spain, and met Alwyn Roberts (soon to become better known as Lord Kitchener) after moving to Arima while still in his teens. Roberts took him under his wing and they returned to Port of Spain, where Lord Kitchener became the leading calypso star, with Melody one of his main challengers. His popularity increased locally when Lord Kitchener emigrated to England in 1947. Melody began singing in the calypso tents in the mid 1940s and was one of the leaders of the Young Brigade tent during the 1950s and early 1960s.He also regularly toured the Caribbean. His early successes included "Berlin on a Donkey", mocking Adolf Hitler, and "Boo Boo Man". In 1954 he won Trinidad's Calypso King title with "Second Spring", and he was signed to the American Emory Cook's record label, Cook Records, in 1956. He was one of six calypsonians who were chosen to sing for Princess Margaret at the Governor's House during her visit to Trinidad in 1956; the others were Sir Galba, Mighty Dictator, Mighty Spitfire, Mighty Panther, and Lord Viper. Melody went on to compose a number of other songs that poked fun at his own appearance, such as "Creature from the Black Lagoon". His first known album was "Calypso Fiesta - Limbo In Trinidad" which was released in 1956 on Vitadisc records and was a 78RPM shellac 10" containing 8 songs including his popular Mama Look A Boo Boo. Another release "Calypso Carnival 1958" was released on Balisier records in 1958. It was a split release - the first side contained 6 Lord Melody songs (some of which didn't appear elsewhere), and the second side was composed of instrumental tracks by Cyril Diaz (whose band usually backed Melody on his recordings). Cook Records released some live tracks featuring him on their albums Jump Up Carnival and Calypso Kings And Pink Gin in 1957, which led to him recording a full album for the label the next year. His first album on cook records, Lord Melody Sings Calypso, was released in 1958, with a second album, Again! released the following year. He frequently sparred in song with the Mighty Sparrow. Rivalry between Melody and the Mighty Sparrow was recorded in the calypsos "Ten to One is Murder" and "Cowboy Sparrow". The humorous rivalry between the two calypsonians was immensely popular with audiences. Melody's third album "Calypso Through The Looking Glass" was released in 1960 and featured the infamous "Belmont Jackass" in which Melody berates Sparrow's wife. Another one of Melody's recordings, "Wau, Wau" (more commonly known as "Shame & Scandal"), became an international hit in 1962 and was recorded in the U.S., Europe and Australia. The song was a version of a song originally recorded by Sir Lancelot in 1943 with new verses written by Melody. This subsequently became the most widely known version of the song and his version was covered by The Wailers with Peter Tosh on lead vocal." Super Calypso Hits - Side One. Super Calypso Hits - Side Two.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Reggae Special

Various artists reggae LP from late 60's I would guess. Wikipedia says of Coxsone label- "Clement Seymour "Sir Coxsone" Dodd, CD (Kingston, Jamaica, January 26, 1932 – May 5, 2004) was a Jamaican record producer who was influential in the development of ska and reggae in the 1950s, 1960s and beyond. He received his nickname "Coxsone" at school: because of his teenage talent as a cricketer, his friends compared him to Alec Coxon, a member of the 1940s Yorkshire County Cricket Club team. Dodd used to play records to the customers in his parents' shop. During a spell in the American South he became familiar with the rhythm and blues music popular there at the time. In 1954, back in Jamaica, he set up the Downbeat Sound System, being the owner of an amplifier, a turntable, and some US records, which he would import from New Orleans and Miami. With the success of his sound system, and in a competitive environment, Dodd would make trips through the US looking for new tunes to attract the Jamaican public. Dodd opened five different sound systems, each playing every night. To run his sound systems, Dodd appointed people such as Lee "Scratch" Perry, who was Dodd's right hand man during his early career, U-Roy and Prince Buster. When the R&B craze ended in the United States, Dodd and his rivals were forced to begin recording their own Jamaican music in order to meet the local demand for new music. Initially these recordings were exclusively for a particular sound system but the records quickly developed into an industry in their own right. In 1959 he founded a record company called World Disc. 1962 he produced the Jazz record I cover the water front on the Port-O-Jam label, two of the musicians who played on the album, Roland Alphonso and Don Drummond became founding members of the Skatalites one year later. In 1963 he opened Studio One on Brentford Road, Kingston. It was the first black-owned recording studio in Jamaica (see 1963 in music). He held regular Sunday evening auditions in search of new talent, and it was here that Dodd auditioned Bob Marley, singing as a part of The Wailing Wailers. He gave the group a five-year exclusive contract, paying them £20 for each song they recorded; for a time, Marley slept in a back room of the studio. The Marley-penned song "Simmer Down", a Dodd production, went to number one in Jamaica in February 1964. However, he became notorious for rarely paying the band the money they were owed for the record sales, and as a result the group were living in relative poverty despite being household names in Jamaica. This eventually became their catalyst for leaving the label. During the late 1960s and 1970s, the 'Studio One sound' was synonymous with the sound of ska, rocksteady and reggae, and Dodd attracted some of the best of Jamaican talent to his stable during this time, including Burning Spear, Ras Michael, Delroy Wilson, Horace Andy and Sugar Minott. He continued to be active in the music industry into his seventies, and on May 1, 2004 Kingston's Brentford Road was renamed Studio One Boulevard in a ceremony which paid tribute to his accomplishments as a producer. He died suddenly of a heart attack four days later while working at Studio One.[2] Dodd was posthumously awarded the Order of Distinction, in the rank of Commander on October 15, 2007, for service to the Jamaica music industry." Tracks are as follows - !. Sould & Inspiration - The Hamlins 2. Rocking Time - Roy & Enid 3. Scorcia - The Sound Dimensions 4. Pressure & Slide - The Jennors 5. Reggae For Days - Roy & Enid 6. Music Like Dirt - The Lyrics. Reggae Special - Side Two

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Soul Brothers

I thought I had featured the Soul Brothers before but a quick look in the archive seems to suggest I haven't. So here's a nice instrumental Ska LP on the Coxsone label from 1967. "The Soul Brothers bridged the gap between Ska and the arrival of Rocksteady mixing it all up with Funk, Jazz and Latin styles. The Soul Brothers recorded at Studio One between 1965-1967. This was the transitionary period between Ska and Rocksteady where the music was a mixture of Funk, Latin and Jazz sometimes with a reminder of Ska and the hint of Rocksteady. The previous era of Ska had been dominated by the Skatalites. The Skatalites were made up of Don Drummond, Roland Alphonso, Jackie Mittoo, Johnny Moore, Lloyd Knibbs, Lloyd Brevett, Tommy McCook, Ernest Ranglin and Lester Sterling. Formed in 1963, The Skatalites were the first in-house band at Studio One and created scores of classic hits such as "Guns of Navaronne", "Man in the Street", "El Pussy Cat" and many more. Unfortunately the strong personalities in the group meant that The Skatalites stayed together for less than two years. It was also around this time that the mentally unwell Don Drummond was arrested for the murder of his girlfriend, the dancer Margerita. In August 1965, barely a week after the demise of the original Skatalites, The Soul Brothers (featuring ex-Skatalites members Jackie Mittoo, Roland Alphonso, Johnny Moore and Lloyd Brevitt) were up and running as the new house band at Studio One. Other members in this group included Wallin Cameron (guitar) and Bunny Williams (drums). This release could just as easily have been called Rolando Alphonso and The Soul Brothers or just The Soul Brothers as the group were essentially a collective, releasing material under their own name or under a nominal leader (usually Jackie Mittoo or Rolando Alphonso). The group line-up changed over time with Bobby Ellis (trumpet), Bryan Atkinson (bass), Dennis Campbell (Sax), Harry Haughton (guitarist) and Joe Isaacs (drummer) replacing various members alongside the ever present Jackie Mittoo. The Soul Brothers mix of musical styles is described as Ska, Jump-Up and Soul sounds." Tracks are as follows - 1. Lawman 2, The Fiddler 3. Something Else 4. P. Cafe 5. Wakie Wakie ^. Instant Jerk Soul Bros - Side One

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Charlie Gillett - UB40/Joe Lung (Re-Up)

Two more Undercurrents radio shows from 1981 with Charlie's guests being UB40 and Joe Lung. Both talking about the independent music scene at the time. UB40 , who's debut album was high in the charts chat about their influences and how they got started and play music from The Clash and Gregory Issacs etc. as well as featuring tracks from "Signing Off" which they made in a bedroom studio in Birmingham.
Joe Lung , a DJ played records in clubs like the Marquee and Moonlight and his selection of platters includes The Dancing Did and The Delta 5 etc.

Wikipedia says of UB40 -

"The band members began as friends who knew each other from various schools across Birmingham. The name "UB40" was selected in reference to the document issued to people claiming unemployment benefit from the UK government's Department of Health and Social Security (DHSS) at the time of the band's formation. The designation UB40 stood for Unemployment Benefit, Form 40.

Brian Travers saved up and bought his first saxophone whilst working as an electrical apprentice for NG Bailey. leaving after a few years to become a founding member of UB40 alongside Jimmy Brown, Earl Falconer and Ali Campbell.

Before some of them could play their instruments, Ali Campbell and Brian Travers travelled around Birmingham promoting the band, putting up UB40 posters. The band purchased its first instruments from Woodroffe's Musical Instruments with £4,000 in compensation money that Campbell, who would become the lead singer, received after a bar fight during his seventeenth birthday celebration.

Their sound was created and honed through many long jam sessions at various locations in Birmingham. Their first gig took place on 9 February 1979 at The Hare & Hounds Pub in Kings Heath, Birmingham for a friend's birthday party.

UB40 caught their first break when Chrissie Hynde heard their John Peel session and gave them an opportunity as a support act to her band, The Pretenders. UB40's first single, "King"/"Food for Thought" was released on Graduate Records, a local independent label run by David Virr. It reached No. 4 on the UK Singles Chart.

Their first album was titled Signing Off, as the band were signing off from or closing their claim on the unemployment benefit. It was recorded in a bedsit in Birmingham and was produced by Bob Lamb. Norman Hassan said of the recording: "If you stripped my track down, you could hear the birds in the background." This is because his tracks were recorded outside in the garden. Signing Off was released on 29 August 1980, and entered the UK Albums Chart on 2 October 1980. It reached as high as No. 2 in the UK and spent 71 weeks in total on the chart. Signing Off is now a Platinum album."Charlie Gillett - UB40 Pt. 1 Charlie Gillett - UB40 Pt. 2.Charlie Gillett - Joe Lung Pt. 1.Charlie Gillett - Joe Jung Pt. 2

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Oliver De Coque

Nice high-life LP on the Olumo records label from 1980. Wikipedia says - "Oliver De Coque is a well known name in Nigeria as well as the Nigerian music circle. Though many[who?] believe he was not a Nigerian owing to his popular name which has a French leaning, he had started music with Ekpili at the age of 17. Oliver De Coque was from Ezinifite, Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State. Oliver's real and full name is Oliver Sunday Akanite. Oliver de Coque was a prolific guitarist who popularised the "Ogene" dance inspiring style of Nigerian highlife, and recorded no fewer than 73 albums in his lifetime. Some of his major hits include "Biri Ka Mbiri, and "identity" remixed in a hiphop style by his son Safin de coque Oliver played on the Prince Nico Mbarga's evergreen album "Sweet Mother." Tracks are - 1. Identity 2. Nwa Bu Ife Ukwu OLiver De Coque - Side Two