While Montego Bay natives Jackie Bernard, his brother Footy Bernard and cousin Lloyd Kerr recorded under various guises in the early ’60s, their collective arrival as The Kingstonians in 1967 marked a sea change not only in the vocal trio’s productivity and popularity, but also in the emerging Reggae sound. The Kingstonians made several chart-topping singles between 1968 and 1970, including the massive hit “Singer Man” whose success ultimately led to the release of their sole LP, Sufferer.

Originally issued on Trojan, Sufferer collects a dozen of The Kingstonians’ best-known songs. Produced by Derrick Harriott, these truly boss … More

Born OTD in 1932, Jamaican ska trombonist, composer & founding member of The Skatalites, Don Drummond. This is a comprehensive biography of a brilliant musician & his lover who forever shaped the course of ska, reggae, & popular music worldwide despite poverty, class separation, mental illness, racial politics, exploitation, & sexism that resulted in murder. Through the words of Drummond’s childhood friends, classmates, musicians, medical staff, legal counsel, & teachers, comes a first-hand story of his “unusual mind.” They recall the early days in the recording studio, playing the instrumental backup for Bob Marley & others, & the nights in the Rasta camps where musicians burned the midnight oil & more.

They roam the halls of the primitive and haunting mental hospitals; remember the gyrations of his lover, Margarita, the Rumba … More

Born OTD in 1936, Lester “Ska” Sterling, AKA, Mr. Versatile. Like many Jamaican musicians of his generation, Sterling attended the Alpha Boys School. Sterling is a founding member of The Skatalites (playing alto saxophone), one of only two (the other is Doreen Shaffer) still alive. 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. His debut solo album, Bangarang, was released on Pama Records in 1969.

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

Some extremely good goodies to be found here in this 7” box-set by Treasure Isle, in which the catalogue is raided for amazing recordings that, for one reason or another have never been released before despite featuring some of the finest artists in the game. Ten 7’s, housed in a lovely box with an intriguing essay to provide context.

Ten 7″ discs comprising previously unreleased cuts and rare alternate versions of 20 killer ska tracks, direct from the vaults … More

Pat Kelly out of all the Jamaican singers was influenced most by the voice of American soul singer Sam Cooke. As were indeed many of the singers from that time, few however could carry out this daunting task as well as Pat Kelly. His delivery was perfect and so was his ability to carry any song that came his way.

For this release we have focused on material that Mr. Kelly had recorded with legendary Jamaican producer Bunny ‘Striker’ Lee. … More

Once in a while, a man comes along who has the talent not only within one field, but many fields. Lee Perry is such a man. Singer, songwriter and producer. This album is a showcase for what this man is trying to say with his music. Defying convention time and again, Lee has spearheaded musical taste in Jamaica and once again, he comes up with new sounds and dances on this album… The Upsetter.

Classic Trojan album now reissued on vinyl. Originally released in 1969. Heavyweight 180gm vinyl. Available in store and online.

Welcome to the rocksteady sound from Jamaica. Towards the end of 1965 some say due to the extreme heatwave that was hitting the island, the people that followed the Sound System dances demanded a slower beat so they could still move and groove to the all night musical affairs. So the jerky ska swing was slowed down to a steady beat that also allowed the songs cut at this time to shine through. So sit back and enjoy the tunes that rocked the island between 1966-1968 the rocksteady sound that hit the town…

Vinyl LP available in store and online. £12.99.

Born on the 12 January 1931, Jamaican tenor saxophonist, and one of the founding members of The Skatalites, Roland Alphonso. In 1948 he left school to join Eric Deans’ orchestra and soon passed through other bands in the hotel circuit and first recorded as a member of Stanley Motta’s group in 1952, going on to record frequently as a session musician. In 1956 he first recorded for Clement “Coxsone” Dodd, although these early recordings were lost before they were mastered.

When the Skatalites disbanded by August 1965, Alphonso formed the Soul Brothers (with Johnny “Dizzy” Moore, and Jackie Mittoo) to … More

Born OTD in 1944, the Queen of Rocksteady, Phyllis Dillon. “..it was at the Glass Bucket that Phyllis Dillon met Lynn Taitt after The Vulcans performed. Taitt complimented her singing and suggested she begin recording. He took her a few days later to meet Duke Reid at Treasue Isle Records. She was just 19 years old when she recorded her first tune for Reid, a tune called ‘Don’t Stay Away’, which she had written herself.”

These are the Songbirds: Pioneering Women of Jamaican Music. Featuring exclusive photos and dozens of interviews from the women themselves, … More