Federal Records is generally considered to be responsible for birthing Rocksteady in the 1960’s, but Jamaica’s first recording studio also had a nice little side-thing going for jazz records at the same time. New Dub Store compilation Jamaica Jazz from Federal Records: Carib Roots, Jazz, Mento, Latin, Merengue & Rhumba 1960-1968 collates some crucial cuts from the period. Features Ernest Ranglin, Count Owen & His Calypsonians, Cecil Lloyd and many more.

2 x vinyl LP available in store and online.

The Ethiopians was one of Jamaica’s most popular bands during the late ska, rocksteady, and early reggae periods. As a much-loved harmony group. After a series of major ska and rock steady hits, the group began working with producer, Karl ‘J.J.’ Johnson, with whom they subsequently enjoyed some of the biggest reggae sellers of the late sixties and early seventies, most notably ‘Everything Crash’, ‘What A Fire’, ‘Feel The Spirit’, ‘Hong Kong Flu’ and ‘Woman Capture Man’.

The Reggae Power album is chock-full of these tasty melodies and rhythms and comes wrapped in a cool sleeve photo … More

The Hammond organ was first manufactured in 1935. In 1954, the now famous Hammond B3 model was introduced with additional harmonic percussion feature. When the company went out of business in 1985, around two million of various models of the Hammond organ have been produced. The Hammond B3 was originally marketed to churches as a lower-cost alternative to the wind-driven pipe organ. It quickly became popular with professional jazz musicians in organ trios. Jimmy Smith’s use of the Hammond B3 inspired a generation of organ players, and its use became more widespread in the 1960s and 1970s in rhythm and blues, rock, reggae, and progressive rock.

This collection is centered on the exciting and dynamic sounds of the Hammond B3 organ! Coming soon, pre-order here.

The Colony of Jamaica gained independence from the United Kingdom on 6 August 1962. In Jamaica, this date is celebrated as Independence Day, a national holiday. Having dominated the rock steady era, Arthur ‘Duke’ Reid was searching for a way to build upon his standing as one of Jamaica’s premiere record producers following the arrival of the new reggae sound towards the close of the Sixties. By releasing Gay Jamaica Independence Time he proved that he still released high-quality tracks.

Some of the most talented musicians from that period are featured on this record, like U-Roy, The Ethiopians, Alton Ellis, … More

Orange Street has a mystical place in Reggae’s history. Set in the heart of downtown Kingston, Jamaica. Even to this day it stands somehow locked in time & space. The beat of the music ever changing & evolving. As politics, religion even the weather effect its course one thing remains a constant, Orange Street is central to the islands musical story. The Ska era of Jamaica’s sound time has told us can be dated from around 1962 to late 1966. The instigators being the big three producers of this period, Clement Coxonne Dodd, Prince Buster & Duke Reid.

The Rocksteady sound which ran a shorter more intense race between 1966 to 1968 would be Duke Reid’s to command.. … More

Born OTD in 1945, keyboardist best known for his work with the Small Faces & the Faces, Ian McLagan. The band is remembered as one of the most acclaimed and influential mod groups of the 1960s. With memorable hit songs and one of rock’s first concept albums, they later evolved into one of the UK’s most successful psychedelic acts before disbanding in 1969. Lane, Jones and McLagan would later form The Faces with Rod Stewart and Ron Wood.

From the Beginning was the (unofficial) retrospective album released in June 1967. It’s a mix of A-sides, first album outtakes … More

You must have wondered how it all began with the Jamaican beat music called Ska. Let’s set the records straight, it was “Duke” Reid from Western Kingston who developed this beat based on the indigenous music of Jamaica. It was way back in 1952 and then “Duke” called it ‘Rhythm ‘n Blues’. Exciting, hypnotic, a mixture of Jamaican folk music and rock ‘n roll. Duke Reid, lover of music and the deep rolling rhythms of his Jamaican people heard the beat develop from watching his people dance.

He got himself an amplified “Sound system” and while hiring it out for dances, he listened and he watched, on … More

The legendary Okeh Records needs little introduction to soul music fans around the world. It has been relentlessly plundered and treasured for its slue of Northern Soul classics produced by A&R manager Carl Davis and his songwriter Curtis Mayfield during the “soul years” 1963-70. However, the imprint was originally launched 100 years ago in 1918 by Otto K. E. Heinemann who had already established a recording studio and pressing plant in New York City. The label name was derived from Heinemann’s initials O.K.E.H. From the very early years, Okeh issued records for minority audiences, such as its foreign language music, field recordings & Dixieland jazz

But perhaps the most significant recording was “That Thing Called Love” by Mamie Smith in 1920, the first ever by … More

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