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.

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

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 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

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

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

Desmond Dekker recorded some of his best-known songs together with his backing group the Aces. Their single “007 (Shanty Town)” made him Jamaican music’s first outernational superstar, reaching the 14th place in the UK charts. The Leslie Kong produced Double Dekker was first issued in 1973 and consists of the best material Desmond recorded during his early years. In 1969 he scored a number one hit with the legendary song “Israelites”. You’ll hear how the Ska music from the mid-60s developed to the Rocksteady sound. This was “Ska” or “Blue Beat”— (or its new name for the slower tempo “Rock Steady”), and the lyrics come from the Calypso-Mento method of telling about current events in music. He was really at his prime from 1969 to 1971, a recorded classics such as “It Mek” (1969) and “You Can Get It If You Really Want” (1970), which you’ll both find on this record. Even before Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff Jamaica already had their own international superstar, Desmond Dekker was his name

Pre-order new reissue double vinyl LP here.

Coming soon, pre-order here. Go Mod! heavyweight vinyl set by Charly Records is an overview of the original Mod era. From that, you can guess that we are talking less ‘crate digging’ and more mod classics. Ok, perhaps not the obvious classics, but tunes at that end of the range. According to Charly, this is music from ‘the decade that defined the sound of Mod’, which is down as 1957 through to 1967.

Pre order vinyl double LP here.