Born OTD in 1944, Bob Andy. Bob Andy was one of the founding members of The Paragons, along with Tyrone Evans and Howard Barrett, with John Holt later joining briefly before being replaced by Vic Taylor. Andy left after Holt rejoined and worked for Studio One delivering records and songwriting before embarking on a solo career.

Bob Andy is, arguably, reggae’s first serious songwriter. In the 1960s, when top ska and rocksteady acts were into covering … More

Born OTD in 1939, Jamaican singer and record producer, Derrick Harriott. “..Prince Buster in his Cincinnati Reds baseball cap appears next singing ‘Wash Wash’ surrounded by other singers including Derrick Harriott & Carlos Malcolm who steps off his trombone for a few vocals on the mic. The Maytals perform next with ‘Treat Me Bad’..

Operation Jump Up is the culmination of four years of research. The detailed historical narrative features dozens of interviews with … More

Born OTD in 1945, Jamaican singer-songwriter who became an international musical & cultural icon, Robert Nesta Marley. Blending mostly reggae, ska, & rocksteady in his compositions. Marley started in 1963 with the group The Wailers & forged a distinctive songwriting & vocal style that became popular with audiences worldwide. The Wailers released some of the earliest reggae records with producer Lee “Scratch” Perry.

Diagnosed with a type of malignant melanoma in 1977, Marley died on the 11 May 1981 in Miami at the … More

Born OTD in 1936, Lester Sterling, AKA Lester “Ska” Sterling. Like many Jamaican musicians of his generation, Sterling attended the Alpha Boys School. Originally a trumpeter, he is predominantly known as a player of alto saxophone. Sterling is a founding member of The Skatalites. After The Skatalites originally disbanded in 1965, Sterling played with Byron Lee & the Dragonaires and recorded several solo singles for the London-based producer “Sir” Clancy Collins.

Behind Jamaica’s musical reverberation lies the unlikely story of a boarding school run by Roman Catholic nuns and a brass … More

Born OTD in 1932, Jamaican record producer who was influential in the development of ska and reggae in the 1950s, 60s & beyond. Clement Seymour “Sir Coxsone” Dodd. In 1959 he founded a record company called World Disc. In 1962 he produced the Jazz record “I cover the waterfront” on the Port-O-Jam label, two of the musicians who played on the album, Roland Alphonso & 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. 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 Wailers.

“The rivalries between the sound systems, especially Prince Buster and Coxsone Dodd, was to produce many records, quite apart from … More

Born OTD in 1931, saxophonist and founding member of The Skatalites, Roland Alphonso. “..Coxsone maintains that his first-ever commercially minded session, with a band led by saxophone colossus Roland Alphonso, disappeared somewhere between the mastering rooms in New York and Kingston harbour”.

The first major account of the history of reggae, black music journalist Lloyd Bradley describes its origins and development in … More

Ska originated in Jamaica in the late Fifties and combined Caribbean mento and calypso with American jazz and rnb. Ska developed in the Sixties with artists such as Prince Buster, Clement Coxsone Dodd, and Duke Reid who formed sound systems to play American rhythm and blues and then began recording their own songs.

Ska was popular with British mods and was later adopted by many skinheads. As music changed in the US, so … More

Born OTD in 1936, Jamaican pianist, Theophilus Beckford. “..Ellis further compounds what many have claimed was the turning point, when a slightly wonky shuffle beat became highlighted within the traditional 12-bar blues structure, paving the way for ska. The guy really start that off-beat thing, Theophilus Beckford.”

Behind Jamaica’s musical reverberation lies the unlikely story of a boarding school run by Roman Catholic nuns and a brass … More

When Jamaica became independent on August 6, 1962, ska music was playing in yards, dancehalls, and in recording studios as this new nation celebrated. It was a spirited music, full of promise, optimism, and energy and it was the perfect sound to showcase to the world. Now that Jamaica was independent, what better way to demonstrate the culture, beauty, and art of Jamaica than through ska, both as a music and as a dance. The Jamaican government, tourist and business industry, and newly developing music industry made it their mission to bring Jamaican music to the world, through events they termed Operation Jump Up. This is the story of that effort and how, for a brief time, ska rivaled the Beatles and the Twist.

Operation Jump Up is the culmination of four years of research. The detailed historical narrative features dozens of interviews with … More

‘Sound Reasoning’ is a unique photographic journey through the Dancehall scene of the 80’s with short excerpts from interviews Anna Arnone did with a whole host of artists from the scene. Coxsone, Saxon, Macka B., Smiley Culture are just a few of the names featured

Benjamin Zephaniah’s introduction to the book is very personal. He illustrates the importance of Sound System culture and just how … More