Born OTD in 1945, Jamaican singer and songwriter, known as the leader for the reggae and ska band Toots & the Maytals, Frederick Nathaniel “Toots” Hibbert. Hibbert moved to Kingston as a teenager in the early 1960s, met Raleigh Gordon and Jerry Matthias, and formed The Maytals. The Maytals became one of the more popular vocal groups in Jamaica in the 1960s, recording with producers Coxsone Dodd, Prince Buster, Byron Lee, Ronnie Nasralla, and Leslie Kong.

Vinyl LP available in store and online.

Get ready .. With excellent sleevenotes by Lloyd Bradley (author of the classic book Bass Culture – When Reggae Was King), this album is dedicated to rocksteady at Studio One as well as covering reggae soul and the birth of reggae. Featuring an all-star selection of artists: Ken Boothe, Marcia Griffiths, Jackie Mittoo, The Heptones, John Holt, Alton Ellis, Dennis Brown and more.

Double vinyl LP available in store and online.

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

Soon come. Reissue of The Maytals ‘ Never Grow Old’ album. “This album which you are about to hear will give you more than an earful of the ingredients which are characteristic of a group of three youngsters popularly known by fans in the music world as “The Maytals”. When these three youngsters debuted on the scene two years ago, they brought along with them a new style, a new spiritual “Ske Beat”, which was eagerly welcomed by the listening public. When their recordings became “Giant Size Hits”, it was obvious that their phrasing and dynamic delivery had earned unreserved approval.”

Beginning with the tune “I’LL NEVER GROW OLD”, this record quickly established a bright jumping pattern of success followed by … More

‘Sound Reasoning’ is a unique photographic journey through the Dancehall scene of the 1980’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 powerful their pull was on the youth whose roots were in the Caribbean, especially Jamaica, and how integral reggae, MC’s and Dancehall were to the continuing tradition of the spoken word as a way of spreading news, storytelling and poetry.

The book also covers much of the background and history to the Sound Systems in Anna’s images of and words … 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.

Born OTD in 1944, Peter Tosh of the Wailers. In 1964 Tosh helped organize the band the Wailing Wailers, with Junior Braithwaite, a falsetto singer, and backup singers Beverley Kelso and Cherry Smith. Initially, Tosh was the only one in the group who could play musical instruments. According to Bunny Wailer, Tosh was critical to the band because he was a self-taught guitarist & keyboardist, and thus became an inspiration for the other band members to learn to play. The Wailing Wailers had a major ska hit with their first single, “Simmer Down”, and recorded several more successful singles before Braithwaite, Kelso and Smith left the band in late 1965.

“..And the Rasta language rapidly evolved into its unique take on English that was both as Jamaican as possible and … More

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.