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

Born OTD in 1934, Cuban-born Jamaican ska & reggae trombonist, Emmanuel “Rico” Rodriguez. Rodriguez was born in Havana, Cuba, & at an early age moved with his family to Jamaica. He grew up there in Kingston, and was taught to play the trombone by his slightly older schoolmate Don Drummond at the Alpha Boys School. He recorded with producers such as Karl Pitterson, Prince Buster, and Lloyd Daley. He was known as one of the first ska musicians. Beginning in the 1960s, he worked with The Members, The Specials, Jools Holland, and Paul Young.

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

Reissue soon come. “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 “Ska 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

Born OTD in 1947, rocksteady singer, arranger, and radio presenter, Hopeton Lewis. “Hopeton Lewis’ classic tune, ‘Take It Easy’, is credited with being the first to employ the rocksteady rhythm in 1966. The song featured Lynn Taitt on guitar and his band the Jets on backup”.

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

Out soon! It was the one and only Arthur “Duke” Reid who brought the Jamaican music scene to a higher level by perfecting the recording quality day by day. By the time and effort, he put in producing he created some of the most important Trojan releases. The wonderful compilation Soul of Jamaica consists of music recorded in 1968 by some of the top-notch musicians who were available for the recording sessions.

Duke had Tommy McCook and the Supersonics, led by the Ex-Skatalite saxophone king and featuring teenage drumming sensation Paul Douglas … More

Out this Friday. The Treasure Isle Recording Studio, which is now acknowledged as the leader in producing the hits of Jamaica & where Rock Steady all happened. Backing all the tracks on this LP is Tommy McCook & the Supersonics, the original Rock Steady Band. Tommy, on tenor sax, is one of Jamaica’s greatest musicians, and his arrangements on this & other records, as well as his superb solo work, are evidence of this. Thanks to the artists, musicians, engineers, and the producer, Duke Reid—here is Rock Steady at its best.

Jamaica’s most successful producer, manager, and promoter is undoubtedly Duke Reid. Many may remember him as Duke Reid—The Trojan, with … More

Out next week, repress of The Pioneers’ ‘Battle of the Giants’. One trio that not only succeeded, but blossomed following the onset of reggae, is The Pioneers, who in 1969 became one of the first Jamaican acts to achieve international success with their UK hit, ‘Long Shot Kick The Bucket’. Their third album Battle Of The Giants is a little bit softer compared to their previous records, and even features a soul ballad. ‘Consider Me’ and the title track “The Battle Of The Giants” are two of the best known songs from this album. The collection is a must-have for all self-respecting fans of boss reggae and is now finally available once again.

Out next Friday, 30th August, reissue vinyl LP. Pre-order here.

In 1959 Vincent opened a small shop, named after Randy’s Records in Gallatin, Tennessee, on the corner of East Street and Tower Street in downtown Kingston and started selling old records from the jukeboxes. The business expanded rapidly and, two years later, Randy’s moved to new premises in Kingston’s commercial district at 17 North Parade where Randy’s Record Mart soon established itself as one of Jamaica’s leading retail outlets. Vincent started to produce his own recordings and, in the summer of 1962, Jamaica declared its independence to the sound of Lord Creator’s ‘Independent Jamaica’ produced by Vincent Chin and released on Randy’s Creative Calypso label..

  ..Vincent also produced some superlative ska sides, including The Maytals’ incredible tribute to Cassius Clay ‘He’s The Greatest’, but … More

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