Born OTD in 1940, Jamaican ska & reggae singer, songwriter, arranger, promoter, record producer & talent scout, Clancy Eccles. Eccles’s professional singing career began as a teenager, working the north-coast hotel circuit in the mid-1950s. In his late teens, he moved to Ocho Rios, where he performed at night in various shows, with artists such as The Blues Busters, Higgs & Wilson and Buster Brown. He moved to Kingston in 1959, where he started his recording career. He first recorded for Coxsone Dodd, who had organised a talent show in which Eccles took part.

“..Social comment or protest had been part of the music scene since 1959 and Clancy Eccles ‘Freedom’ (a rudimentary R&B … More

Born OTD in 1949, Jamaican singer Marcia Griffiths. “How Marcia Griffiths came to find herself at Studio One is a story of being in the right place at the right time, although in Kingston during the 1960s, right places were plentiful as musicians of all types were springing up all around – sound systems on corner after corner, trombones & trumpets in Coxsone Dodd’s, Duke Reid’s & Leslie Kong’s studios..”

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

Ska never stopped you know! From its Jamaican music if the piano’s not playing ska or the guitar….any music you have…Reggae…even the computer music..the piano’s playing Ska Ska Ska…it leads the music so Ska is still the backbone of Jamaica music, Right?’ Bunny Lee. The music of Jamaica has had a profound and lasting influence all around the world and reggae is the name by which it has become universally known. Although the term ska is often used to describe all Jamaican music before dub, deejays and dread in the mid 70s, the real Jamaican ska was made in Kingston between 1961/62 and 1966.

Vinyl LP available in store and online.

Born OTD in 1928, Jamaican musician who was bandmaster at the Alpha Cottage School, and also a vibraphone virtuoso, recording two albums for Studio One, Lennie Hibbert. At the age of eight he began attending the Alpha School, where he joined the school band as a drummer. He worked as a live musician in jazz groups in the 1960s, and frequently worked with the Sound Dimension band, recording some of the best-known riddims for Clement “Coxsone” Dodd.

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

Love Is All I Bring showcases the very talented female performers of Trojan Records, who in the world of reggae can often to be overlooked. Featuring vocals from the likes of Millie Small, Althea & Donna, Marcia Griffith, Phyllis Dillion, and Susan Cadogan plus productions by Sonia Pottinger this all female collection also includes personal album notes from musician Rhoda Dakar. Split across 2 LP’s discs (extended version), with hits on one and rarities on the other, this collection comprises some of the greatest reggae tracks, whilst highlighting the importance and talent of Jamaican female artists.

New double vinyl LP available in store and online.

For those that enjoyed the recent BBC4 documentary on Randy’s ‘Studio 17’, here’s a collection of some of those great artists that featured on the programme. Kingston’s musicians and artists would congregate outside Randy’s shop (and in Chancery Lane at the side of the shop) waiting for the chance of a session or listening out to hear if their records were being played in the shop. Chancery Lane was such a popular meeting place for Kingston’s musical fraternity that it became known as ‘Idler’s Rest’ and Studio 17 was now known as the place where the hits were made.

Vinyl LP available in store and online.

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