Born OTD in 1941, Jamaican record producer, Bunny “Striker” Lee. Lee began his career working as a record plugger for Duke Reid’s Treasure Isle label in 1962, later performing the same duties for Leslie Kong. He then moved on to work with Ken Lack, initially in an administrative role, before taking on engineering duties. Lee then moved into producing (i.e. financing) records himself, his first hit record coming with Roy Shirley’s “Music Field” on WIRL in 1967. Lee then set up his own Lee’s label, the first release being Lloyd Jackson’s “Listen to the Beat”.

Omnipresent on the Jamaican music scene for over four decades, Bunny Striker’ Lee is one of the most important figures … More

Ska was the name given to the music that came out of Jamaica between 1961 and ’66, based on the American R&B and doo-wop records that the sound systems in Kingston used to play. But the American records’ style started to mellow out while the Jamaicans preferred a more upbeat sound. So the sound system bosses became record producers to cater to this demand. Sir Coxsone Dodd and Duke Reid led the way, putting the top musicians on the island in the studio to make music, with the emphasis on the offbeat making the music unmistakably Jamaican.

WIRL (West Indies Records Limited) was set up by the Jamaican politician Edward Seaga in the late 1950s. He had … More

By 1970, Lee Scratch Perry was firmly established as one of Jamaica’s premier producers, having issued a series of local hits on his Upsetter imprint, including the international best-seller, ‘Return of Django’. His no-nonsense, hard-hitting sound won him numerous fans, both in his native land and the UK, where legions of young skinheads snapped up every record they could find that bore the Perry hallmark sound. Originally issued by Trojan at the start of 1970, ‘Scratch The Upsetter Again’ illustrates Perry taking a contemplative glance further into the realm of instrumental sound.

New reissue vinyl LP available in store and online.

Born OTD in 1946, Cuban-Jamaican singer, Rita Marley. “..When Beverly would travel to Studio One from Trench Town she says she and the Wailing Wailers would take a short cut through the Calvary Cemetary and pass Rita Anderson’s home…. Not only did Beverly help launch their career, but her connection also brought Rita Anderson and Bob Marley together. They were married on the 10th February, 1966.”

In a music world that was rougher than rough, where men took monikers of royalty and machismo like Duke and … More

Out now! You must have wondered how it all began with the Jamaican beat music called Ska. Let’s set the records straight, it was “Duke” Reid from Western Kingston who developed this beat based on the indigenous music of Jamaica. It was way back in 1952 and then “Duke” called it ‘Rhythm ‘n Blues’. Exciting, hypnotic, a mixture of Jamaican folk music and rock ‘n roll. Duke Reid, lover of music and the deep rolling rhythms of his Jamaican people heard the beat develop from watching his people dance. He got himself an amplified “Sound system” & while hiring it out for dances, he listened & he watched, on so many Saturday nights when the back streets & dance halls of Kingston come alive — & his dream was born — music sprung from the basic beat of Jamaica with all the USA influences and the power & beauty & joy of the earth. This respective ska album focuses on much of the work from The Skatalites & Babba Brooks.

New vinyl release available in store and online.

Coming soon, pre-order here. Jamaican singer Marcia Griffiths’ ‘Sweet And Nice’ reissued on 2 x LP. Kingston songstress Marcia Griffiths’ 1974 debut album Sweet And Nice is being reissued on double vinyl, via Be With Records this August. Though the album has been released under various names and iterations, Be With is presenting it in its original form, remastered from the studio tapes. Its 21 tracks include the 14 songs from Sweet And Nice on the first LP, alongside 7 rare cuts on the second LP.

Pre-order double vinyl LP here.

Don Drummond became famous as one of the original members of the instrumental ska band The Skatalites. He composed most of their tunes and recorded different tunes in the ’50s and ’60s. He was an excellent trombonist and the famous producer Duke Reid remixed a couple of his tracks years after his death. The instrumentals which are blended together searching for the famous ska sound. The different musicians, who never seem to be out of the Jamaican Hit Parade, bring you 12 numbers packed with the infectious West Indian beat which will make you want to dance and keep on dancing. The so-called Memorial Album illustrated how Drummond’s talent would change the future of Trojan.

Repress vinyl LP available in store and online.

Countless incredible records were made in Kingston between 1968-1971 that have never been able to lose the stigma of being defined as ‘skinhead reggae’ but in Jamaica the term never meant anything. However, Bunny Lee’s ‘Agro Sounds’ meant a great deal both at home & away. They were tough, rougher than rough, kicked like a bovver boot & were sharper than a razor cut.

‘The Agro Man’ AKA Bunny Lee, founder of the legendary Agro Sounds record shop at 101 Orange Street in London, … More

Whilst DJing, I was playing some of The Skatalites records and someone came up and said to me, “Can’t you play any ska?” I replied I am, they’re called The Skatalites… Yet another Don D. Special album with complete saxaphone and trombone harmony. Drummond, McCook and Alfonso at their very best.

Faithful reproduction of the original 1969 Treasure Isle collection featuring 12 prime slices of The Skatalites at their finest , … More