The Ambassadors

Heritage Of Ska

The Ambassadors

Long before Jamaica’s music became internationally recognised and commercially viable. There were people laying the foundation paving the way for a culture and its music. It is doubtful they had any idea of the impact their effort would have had on the world. The people who made it happen very seldom gets rewarded or recognised for their commitment. In keeping with our ethos to bring Music and the Arts closer together for the benefit of a wider global community we aim to shine the spotlight on some of the people, places, and things we hear too little or nothing about.

Edward Seaga

Edward SeagarMy birth, on 28 May 1930, was cause for celebration among those of my family who resided in Boston – my mother’s parents and her siblings lived there, as well as my father’s aunt. The celebration was particularly meaningful to the paternal side of the Boston family as the baby was a boy, the valued gender among people with Middle Eastern traditions. The hospital was located at 202 West Newton Street, Newton, Massachusetts. The receipt for payment of my birth was $28.50. more


 Sonia Eloise Pottinger OD

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SONIA POTTINGER

21 June 1931 – 3 November 2010 was a Jamaican reggae record producer. The most important Jamaican woman involved in music business, Sonia Pottinger was the first female Jamaican record producer and produced artists from the mid-1960s until the mid-1980s. Married to music producer Lyndon Pottinger, she opened her Tip Top Records Shop in 1965 and started to record musicians in 1966. The first single she issued was “Every Night” by Joe White & Chuck. Other artists recorded during this period include Roland Alphonso. Throughout the rock steady and early reggae eras, she became very prolific with hits by The Ethiopians (“The Whip”),Delano Stewart, The Melodians (“Swing And Dine”), Ken Boothe, Alton Ellis and Toots & the Maytals, released on her Gay Feet, Tip Top, Rainbow, and High Note labels.

In the early 1970s her work was less prolific, but in 1974 she bought the Treasure Isle label from long-time friend Duke Reid shortly before his death. Her rights to the label’s recordings were challenged by the Jamaica Recording and Publishing Studio Limited (the company created by Reid’s rival Clement “Coxsone” Dodd), Reid’s son Anthony and his company Treasure Isle Records International Limited, and Edward “Bunny” Lee, but the case was decided in her favour in 2009. In the 1970s, she produced albums by Bob Andy, Marcia Griffiths, Culture, U Roy and Big Youth. Her most well known production is Culture’s ‘’Harder Than The Rest’’ album, released in 1978.

In the dancehall era show produced Archie & Lynn’s “Rat in the Centre”. She retired from the music business in 1985. Sonia Pottinger died at her home in Kingston on 3 November 2010, after suffering for some time with Alzheimer’s disease. A thanksgiving service in her honour was held on 19 November 2010, attended by Minister of Culture Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange and major figures from the Jamaican music industry including Judy Mowatt, Alvin Ranglin, Donovan Germain, and Tommy Cowan. https://reggaewomanworldwide.wordpress.com/producers/rw-sonia-pottinger/


Jackie Mittoo

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JACKY MITTO

Keyboard virtuoso Jackie Mittoo was among the true legends of reggae — a founding member of the Skatalites and an extraordinarily prolific songwriter, he was perhaps most influential as a mentor to countless younger performers, primarily through his work as the musical director at the famed Studio One. Born Donat Roy Mittoo in Browns Town, Jamaica on March 3, 1948, he began playing keyboards at the age of four, and was rarely far from a piano through his teen years, performing professionally in groups including the Vagabonds and the Vikings. He frequently skipped school to play with the house band at nearby Federal Studios, and it was there that he met producer Coxsone Dodd, who recruited Mittoo for recording sessions when the scheduled pianist failed to appear on time. While attending Kingston College, he began jamming with fellow student Augustus Pablo, and they eventually formed a trio — the Jackie Mitree — which performed his original compositions.

By 1962, Mittoo was earning attention across the island for his work in the band the Sheiks, one of Jamaica’s most sought-after club attractions. Despite rechristening themselves the Cavaliers Orchestra, their popularity continued to soar without missing a beat. When Dodd opened Studio One in Kingston in 1963, he tapped Mittoo to serve as musical director; in the years to follow he played on virtually every disc the studio produced, arranging much of the material and helping develop new songs until they were sufficiently polished to meet standards. By the early months of 1964, he set about forming a new band with Studio One session regulars Tommy McCook, Lloyd Brevette, and Lester Sterling, as well as the Cavaliers’ Lloyd Knibb and Johnny Moore. Dubbing themselves the Skatalites, they were to become the quintessential ska band of the period; also featuring the legendary trombonist Don Drummond, the group lasted just 14 months — from June 1964 to August 1965 — but their influence on music worldwide remains incalculable.

After the Skatalites split, Mittoo began a solo career, scoring a major hit with his rendition of the Heptones’ “Fatty Fatty.” The instrumental smash “Ram Jam” followed in 1967, and resulted in a series of instrumental LPs, among them In London, Evening Time, Keep on Dancing, Now, and Macka Fat. At the same time, Mittoo continued his relentless pace at Studio One — according to the terms of his basic arrangement with Dodd, he received payment upon delivering five new rhythms a week, which over the years resulted in literally thousands of compositions which he both produced and arranged. Among Mittoo’s greatest contributions of the mid- to late ’60s were “Darker Shade of Black” (the basis for Frankie Paul’s “Pass the Tu Sheng Peng”), Freddie McGregor’s “Bobby Babylon,” Alton Ellis’ “I’m Still in Love with You,” the Cables’ “Feel Like Jumping” and the rocksteady anthem “Baby Why,” and Marcia Griffiths’ first hit. In 1970, his “Peanie Wallie” was also versioned by the Wailers, becoming the hit “Duppy Conqueror.”

Mittoo relocated from Jamaica to Toronto, Ontario in 1968, one of many reggae performers who found a home among the clubs lining the city’s Yonge Street area. He returned to Kingston regularly, however, and was closely aligned with Dodd and Studio One throughout the decades to follow. In Toronto, Mittoo also accepted a day job working for the Canadian Talent Library, an organization which worked to ensure that a sufficient amount of Canadian music was broadcast over national radio airwaves. By 1972, he had lived there for four years, and as such, his work became qualified as “Canadian content,” so for the CTL he recorded the album Reggae Magic, which launched the hit ‘Wish Bone.” During the mid-’70, Mittoo also traveled to England to record a series of LPs with Bunny Lee; during the next decade, he worked regularly with Sugar Minott as well. In 1989, Mittoo joined the reunited Skatalites, but health problems soon forced him to bow out; he died of cancer on December 16, 1990.

Read more @: http://www.reggaemovement.com/Artists/Mittoo-Jackie


Arthur ‘’DUKE’’ Reid

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ARTHUR DUKE REID

Arthur “Duke” Reid, CD was a Jamaican record producer, DJ and label owner. He ran one of the most popular sound systems of the 1950s called Duke Reid’s the Trojan after the British-made trucks used to transport the equipmen

Reid was born in Portland, Jamaica. After serving ten years as a Jamaican police officer, Reid left the force to help his wife Lucille run the family business, The Treasure Isle Grocery and Liquor Store.

He made his way into the music industry first as a sound system (outdoor mobile discothèque) owner, promoter and disc jockey. He quickly overtook Tom the Great Sebastian and his sound system as the most popular sound system in Jamaica. Soon he was also sponsor and presenter of a radio show, Treasure Isle Time. A jazz and blues man at heart, Reid chose “My Mother’s Eyes” by Tab Smith as his theme tune. Other favourites of his included Fats Domino, a noticeable influence on the early Reid sound.

Early Reid productions were recorded in studios owned by others, but when the family business moved from Pink Lane, Kingston to Bond Street, Reid set up his own studio above the store. He became proprietor of a number of labels, chiefly Treasure Isle and Dutchess (his spelling). Much of his income derived from licensing agreements with companies in the UK, some of which set up specialist Duke Reid labels.

He dominated the Jamaican music scene of the 1960s, specialising in ska and rock-steady, though his love of American jazz, blues and soul was always in evidence. Reid had several things going for him that helped him to rise to prominence. He made a concerted effort to be in the studio as much as possible, something his counterparts did not do. He was known as a perfectionist and had a knack for adding symphonic sounds to his recordings and producing dense arrangements. Furthermore, his records were considerably longer than those being produced by his rivals. His tunes often broke the four-minute barrier, while most ska songs were barely longer than two minutes. The material that Treasure Island issued exemplified the cool and elegant feel of the rocksteady era.

Reid initially disliked ska for being too simple and having too much focus on drums rather than on guitar. However, Reid eventually got behind ska and produced hits by Justin Hinds & the Dominoes. By the 1970s, Reid’s poor health and the trend towards Rastafarian influenced roots reggae noticeably reduced the number of releases from Treasure Isle. Reid forbade Rasta lyrics from being recorded in his studio and thus Coxsone Dodd was able to dominate the Jamaican recording industry. Reid maintained his high profile largely by recording the “toasting” of DJs U-Roy and Dennis Alcapone as well as vaguely Rasta-influenced oddities such as Cynthia Richards’ “Aily-I”.

At around this time, Reid protégé Justin Hinds noticed his boss appeared unwell and recommended a doctor. Cancer was diagnosed and Reid decided to sell Treasure Isle to Sonia Pottinger, widow of his friend Lenford “Lennie the King” Pottinger, and already owned High Note Records, which was one of the largest record labels on the Island. He kept involved for a while acting as a Magistrate but died in 1975.

Reid was posthumously awarded the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander on 15 October 2007.

Read more @: http://www.reggaemovement.com/Artists/Reid-Duke


Chris Blackwell

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CHRIS BLACKWELL

Christopher Percy Gordon “Chris” Blackwell (born 22 June 1937) is an English businessman and former record producer, and the founder of Island Records, which has been called “one of Britain’s great independent labels”. According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, to which Blackwell was inducted in 2001, he is “the single person most responsible for turning the world on to reggae music.”

Forming Island Records in Jamaica on 22 May 1959 aged 22, Blackwell was amongst the first to record the Jamaican popular music that eventually became known as ska. Returning to Britain in 1962, he sold records from the back of his car to the Jamaican community.

Backed by Stanley Borden from RKO Entertainment, Blackwell’s business and reach grew substantially, and he went on to forge the careers of Bob MarleyGrace Jones and U2 amongst many other diverse high-profile acts. He has produced many seminal albums, including Marley’s Catch A Fire and Uprising.

http://www.mixonline.com/news/profiles/chris-blackwell-lp-dvd-still-living-island-life/372779

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/rockandpopfeatures/9243693/Chris-Blackwell-the-original-trustafarian.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Blackwell http://www.reggaeproducers.com/producers/Chris_Blackwell.htm


Marcus Garvey

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MARCUS MOSIAH GARVEY

Marcus Mosiah Gavey, Jr., OHN(17 August 1887 – 10 June 1940), was a Jamaican political leader, publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, and orator who was a staunch proponent of the Black Nationalism and Pan-Africanist movements, to which end he founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League(UNIA-ACL). He founded the Black Star Line, which promoted the return of the Africa diaspora to their ancestral lands.

Garvey was unique in advancing a Pan-African philosophy to inspire a global mass movement and economic empowerment focusing on Africa known as Garveyism. Promoted by the UNIA as a movement of African Redemption, Garveyism would eventually inspire others, ranging from the Nation of Islam to theRastafari movement (some sects of which proclaim Garvey as a prophet).

Garveyism intended persons of African ancestry in the diaspora to “redeem” the nations of Africa and for the European colonial powers to leave the continent. His essential ideas about Africa were stated in an editorial in the Nego World entitled “African Fundamentalism”, where he wrote: “Our union must know no clime, boundary, or nationality… to let us hold together under all climes and in every country…”

 http://debate.uvm.edu/dreadlibrary/winnick.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/obituary-don-taylor-1126414.html http://unitedreggae.com/movies/g/25/ http://debate.uvm.edu/dreadlibrary/winnick.html


 Sister Ignatius (THE NUN WHO NURTURED SKA. 1.)

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SISTER IGNATIUS DAVIS

Sister Mary Ignatius Davies (18 November 1921−9 February 2003) was a Jamaican nun and inspirational music teacher known for her work at the Alpha Boys School.

Born Mary Davies in Innswood, Saint Catherine Parish, Jamaica, Davies was baptised at the St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Spanish Town, and went to the St. Catherine Elementary School. After her family moved to Kingston, she attended Mico Elementary School and later the Alpha Academy, the girls’ high school attached to the Alpha Boys School. She joined the Sisters of Mercy on 1 February 1939, aged 17, taking the name Ignatius, and lived at the school for the remainder of her life.

She inspired many musicians from the Alpha school to become professional musicians, including future Skatalites Tommy McCook, Don Drummond, and Johnny “Dizzy” Moore, as well as trombonist Rico Rodriguez and Leslie Thompson, who went on to become the first black conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra.

In 1996 she was awarded the Badge of Honour for services to Jamaica.

She died at the University Hospital of the West Indies, Jamaica, on 9 February 2003, aged 81, after suffering a heart attack the day before.


Alpha Boys School

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ALPHA SCHOOL

Alpha Cottage School (often referred to as Alpha Boys School)is a school on South Camp Road in KingstonJamaica, run by Roman Catholic nuns. Established in 1880 as a “school for wayward boys”, it became renowned for both the discipline it instilled in its pupils and the outstanding musical tuition they received.

The school has had its own band since 1892, originally a drum and fife (musical instrument) corps, and later a brass band, following the gift of brass instruments from the Roman Catholic Bishop of Jamaica. The school has been credited with influencing the development of ska and reggae. Notable music instructors included Lennie Hibbert, Eric Deans and Sister Mary Ignatius Davis.

The Alpha All Stars band comprises former students of the school.

Notable alumni, all musicians, include: the four founding members of the Skatalites (Tommy McCook, Johnny “Dizzy” Moore,Lester Sterling and Don Drummond), Dizzy Reece, Cedric Brooks, David Madden, Theophilus Beckford, Rico Rodriguez, Yellowman, Vin Gordon. Harold McNair, Joe Harriott, “Deadly” Headley Bennett, Leroy “Horsemouth” Wallace, the Israel Vibration vocal trio (Lascelle “Wiss” Bulgin, Albert “Apple Gabriel” Craig, and Cecil “Skeleton” Spence) and Leroy Smart.

http://youtu.be/YJ6Zv4xPmS0

http://unitedreggae.com/movies/g/25/

 Alpha – School http://www.alphaboysschoolradio.com/music.html Bob Marley ‘’MOVIE’’ Interview http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/ed2ac1e9-d51d-4eff-a2c2-85e81abd6360#p00ffm5g


 Derrick Morgan

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DERRICK MORGAN

Derrick Morgan (born 27 March 1940, Mocho, Clarendon, Jamaica) is a musical artist popular in the 1960s and 1970s. He worked with Desmond Dekker, Bob Marley, and Jimmy Cliff in the rhythm and blues and ska genres, and he also performed rocksteady and skinhead reggae.

In 1960 Morgan became the only artist ever to fill the places from one to seven on the Jamaican pop chart simultaneously. Among those hits were “Don’t Call Me Daddy”, “In My Heart”, “Be Still”, and “Meekly Wait and Murmur Not”. But it was the following year that Morgan released the biggest hit of his career, the Leslie Kong production of “Don’t You Know”, later retitled “Housewives’ Choice” by a local DJ. The song featured a bouncing ska riddim, along with a duet by Morgan and Millicent “Patsy” Todd.

Morgan had a major success in 1962 with “Forward March”, a song celebrating Jamaican independence from Great Britain.

In the mid-1960s, when ska evolved into the cooler, more soulful rocksteady, Morgan continued to release top quality material, including the seminal rude boy classic, “Tougher Than Tough”, “Do the Beng Beng”, “Conquering Ruler”, and a cover of Ben E. King’s soul hit, “Seven Letters”. Produced by Bunny Lee, “Seven Letters” is often cited as the first true reggae single. In 1969 Morgan cut the famous skinhead anthem “Moon Hop” (on Crab Records). However, failing eyesight then forced him to give up regular stage appearances. Morgan still performs occasionally at ska revival shows across the world – often backed by the guitarist Lynn Taitt. He remained popular in Jamaica and the UK into the early 1970s, and has lived primarily in the UK or the US since the late 1960s.

 


Millicent Patsy Todd

Howard Campbell, Gleaner Writer

For most of the early 1960s, Millicent ‘Patsy’ Todd was the teen star of ska. She recorded numerous duets with singers Derrick Morgan and Stranjah Cole….

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PATSY AND MORGAN 2011

Todd’s best-known hit with Morgan was Housewife’s Choice for producer Leslie Kong.

There have been many Ska hit songs and there will be many more but possibly the most memorable and emotive is ‘’When I Call Your Name’’ by Patsy Todd and Stranger Cole. and the ballad “Give Me The Right”, which were done for producer Arthur ‘Duke’ Reid. more

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STRANGER COLE PATSY TODD

There are voices that were meant to sing together and Diana Ross and Lionel Richie must have learned something from Patsy and Stranger. Ska have had some Kings and Queens but King Cole and Queen Patsy are the undisputed.

Queen Patsy Todd. & Stranger Cole in Video:  http://youtu.be/rX3nVln90gY

Ska’s Teen Star To Be Honoured Tonight … ‘Patsy’ Todd Recalls Good Old Days : http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20110730/ent/ent1.html


 Mortimo Planno

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RASTA ELDER PLANNO

The Cuban Jamaican Lion is one of Rastafari’s most prominent Elders. He played a major role in the Visit of the Ethiopian Emperor Heile Selassi I, to Jamaica in 1966. He was a guide and confidant of Bob Marley.

http://youtu.be/BXCfNVLV2i0

http://www.cifas.us/sites/g/files/g536796/f/201304/EarthMostStrangestMan_Transcribed.pdf

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mortimer_Planno


 Esther Anderson

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BOB AND ESTHER

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ESTHER ANDERSON

Actor, Hollywood movie star, Film producer and Writer. The pillar of fire that lit up and burned a clear path for the Wailers and Bob Marley. Could Bob have been the Phenomenon he was without Esther? Esther Anderson Documentary of “Bob Marley The Making Of A Legend”http://youtu.be/-Ns8UmNko08 “Lost” Footage Of Bob Marley’s Early Career: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-12748659 Esther Anderson: Biography, Wikipaedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esther_Anderson_%28Jamaican_actress%29 Interview Of Esther Anderson, “They said I’d snubbed Hollywood”: http://caribbean-beat.com/issue-122/esther-anderson-they-said-id-snubbed-hollywood#axzz3SZA5eCxL Interview – Bob Marley by Esther Anderson: http://rastaleaks.com/2011/03/10/10/


 Stranger Cole

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STRANGER COLE

Stranger Cole, also known as StrangeJah Cole (born Wilburn Theodore Cole, 1945) is a Jamaican singer whose long recording career dates from the early days of ska in 1962 through to the 2000s.

Cole was born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1945 and nicknamed “Stranger” by his family, as they considered that he didn’t resemble any member of his kin. Cole was initially successful as a songwriter, writing “In and out the Window”, which was a hit for Eric “Monty” Morris. This success gave him the chance to make his recording debut in 1962, instantly finding success with singles such as “Rough and Tough” and “When You Call My Name” (a duet with Patsy Todd) for producer Arthur “Duke” Reid. more

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.Stranger_Cole


 Mallica Reynolds ‘’KAPO’’

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M KAPO REYNOLDS

Mallica Reynolds, OD (10 February 1911 – 24 February 1989), better known by the adopted name “Kapo”, was a Jamaican artist and religious leader. Considered one of the greatest artists in Jamaica’s “Intuitives” artistic movement, Kapo’s religious beliefs were reflected in his work. more

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mallica_Reynolds

https://nationalgalleryofjamaica.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/mallica-kapo-reynolds-1911-1989/

 


 Ras Michael and the Sons of Negus

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RAS MICHAEL

Henry was born in St. Mary, where he was raised in a Rastafari community. As a teenager he moved to Kingston’s Waterhouse district where he played with local Rastafari musicians. He set up the Zion Disc label in the mid-1960s, and also worked at Coxsone Dodd’s legendary Studio One as a session musician and released a number of singles. He was the first member of the Rastafari movement to have a reggae radio program in Jamaica (The Lion of Judah Time program first aired in 1967 on the JBC).

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RAS MICHAEL AND SONS

His band is called The Sons of Negus and are known for their traditional Nyabinghi drumming and chanting. From 1974 they regularly released albums, combining electric instruments with traditional hand drumming. Ras Michael contributed to recording sessions at Lee “Scratch” Perry’s Black Ark studio (including sessions with Bob Marley), and he performed with Marley at the One Love Peace Concert in Jamaica in 1978. With the Sons of Negus he recorded an album (Love Thy Neighbor) with Perry at the Black Ark. He recorded ‘Give Love’ with Suns of Arqa in 1984 for their album India?. In all, he has recorded over 25 albums.

In addition to acting as an evangelist, ambassador and diplomat for the Ethiopian Orthodox Tawahido Church internationally, Ras Michael is one of the founders and president of the Rastafarian International/Marcus Garvey Culture Center in Los Angeles, and the Fly Away Culture Center in Kingston, Jamaica. Currently he lives in California.

Ras Michael and the Sons of Negus: http://www.clintonlindsay.com/2015/02/08/nyahbinghi-sound-gets-little-respect-in-jamaica-say-ras-michael/ http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/obituary-don-taylor-1126414.html


Count Machuki

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COUNT MACHUKI

Winston Cooper (c.1939–1995), better known as Count Matchuki or Count Machuki, was the first Jamaican deejay.

Cooper was born c.1939 in Kingston, Jamaica, and began working on sound systems in the 1950s, when the music played was largely American R&B. His stage name of Count Matchuki derived from his habit of chewing matchsticks. He initially worked on Tom Wong’s Tom the Great Sebastian system and later the Tokyo the Monarch system, before moving on to Clement “Coxsone” Dodd’Downbeat Sound System. He added talkovers to the songs, emulating the jive talk of American radio DJ’s at the request of Dodd, who became familiar with the US style on his visits to the States to buy records to play on his sound system. He thus originated a deejay style that was later developed by artists such as U-Roy, and which eventually led to rap. Matchuki started by adding spoken introductions to the records that were played, taking inspiration from the American magazine Jive. He has also been credited as the originator of beatboxing, adding what he called “peps” to records that he thought sounded weak. In the late 1950s, the prevailing sound changed with the advent of ska, and Matchuki added his deejay skills (often uncredited) to several records by The Skatalites. He introduced King Stitt to Dodd’s sound system, and Stitt took over as lead deejay when Matchuki left to join Prince Buster’s Voice of the People system. In the late 1960s, with little financial reward or recognition for his work, he left the music industry. He appeared in the Deep Roots Music documentary in the late 1970s along with Sir Lord Comic.

U-Roy has cited Matchuki as a major influence on his work. Winston “Count Matchuki” Cooper died in 1995. He is survived by his daughter Carla Cooper.     more

http://skabook.com/foundationska/2015/01/jive-talking-toasting/


The Mento Band

The Jolly Boys is a mento band from Port Antonio, Jamaica. It was formed in 1945 and had great commercial success in the late 1980s and 1990s among reggae and world music fans. They released a new album in 2010 (Great Expectation) and are currently the house band at GeeJam, a hotel in Port Antonio.

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MENTO BAND

The Jolly Boys grew out of a group called the Navy Island Swamp Boys that formed on 11 April 1945, and often played at Errol Flynn’s parties. This group included Moses Deans on banjo and guitar, Noel Lynch on Guitar and “Papa” Brown on rumba box. After this group split in 1955, Deans and Brown formed The Jolly Boys (a name Errol Flynn is said to have coined) with Derrick “Johnny” Henry on maracas and drum, Martell Brown on guitar, and David “Sonny” Martin on guitar. One of the group’s regular substitutes in this period was percussionist Allan Swymmer, who joined the group as a full member in the 1960s. This group was very popular throughout Port Antonio and earned the reputation of being the finest mento band in the parish. more


 Curtis Mayfield

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CURTIS MAYFIELD

Band have had on Jamaica. Journalist Robin Murray once wrote, “When Curtis Mayfield’s group The Impressions touched down on Jamaican soil in 1967, the move garnered a reaction akin to the opening phase of Beatlemania.” The year was more accurately 1966, but Murray’s sentiment is not lost—The Impressions, and Curtis Mayfield, were of huge importance in Jamaica. Clinton Lindsay has written of Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions, “Their impact spread far and wide, even here in Jamaica, where they had more of their songs covered by Jamaican groups than any of their contemporaries, which included outstanding performers like The Drifters, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Little Anthony and the Imperials, and a little before them… more


 Lord Creator

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LORD CREATOR

Lord Creator born Kentrick Patrick, circa 1940, San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago is a calypso and soca artist. He emigrated to Jamaica in the early 1950s where he wrote some of Jamaica’s most famous songs including ‘’Kingston Town’’

Alongside Cuban born Rolando Alphonso, BarbadianJackie Opel and fellow Trinidadians Lynn Taitt and Lord Bryner, Lord Creator was an important and positive ‘outside’ influence during the early development of the Jamaican music scene. Read more

 


Keith and Enid

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KEITH & ENID

Where would our music be without them?  Their tireless commitment held a nation that vibrated with anticipation for music being played by the newly formed sound systems such as Duke Reid’s “Treasure Isle” and Coxsone Dodd’s “Studio One”.  They were instrumental in major changes that occurred as Ska and Rock Steady morphed into Reggae. more

 

 


 Pauline Black

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PAULINE BLACK

Pauline Black (born Belinda Magnus; 23 October 1953) is a British singer, actress and author. She is mainly known for her role as the lead singer of the ska group The Selecter.

Black was a founding member of ska band, The Selecter formed in Coventry in 1979. The Selecter, along with The Specials and Madness, are credited with starting the ska revival movement. She adopted a stage name in order to conceal her involvement in the band from her employer, choosing the surname Black partly in reaction to her upbringing – her adoptive family had always referred to her as “coloured” rather than black.

Rolling Stone said of Black “Hands down, Pauline Black possessed the best voice that ever graced a 2-Tone release. Blessed with a bewitching soprano and dramatic panache, Black’s voice reached plateaus that made every other musical detail sound like part of a backdrop painted just to set the stage for her entrance.”

The Selecter split-up in 1982 but have sporadically reformed since 1994.


 Doreen Shaffer

Doreen Shaffer (Jam) and The Moon Invaders - Groove Station, Dresden 14. Januar 2010 (17)

DOREEN SHAFFER

For History to convey the truth about Ska and the development of Jamaica’s music. It cannot ignore Doreen Shaffer. Such an act would invalidate its authenticity

Doreen Shaffer (born in Jamaica) is a singer of Ska and Reggae music. She’s one of the great female voices from Jamaica.

In 1964, she recorded her first single “adorable You” on Studio One label.

Between 1964 – 1965, she released some songs with the band “The Skatalites”. As Doreen Shaffer, she has recorded some albums, her first “The First Lady Of Reggae”1970, while the latest work is “Groovin” 2009.

In 2012, on the occasion of 50th anniversary of the Jamaica’s independence and the new album with Skatalites, she will be one of the undisputed queens of Ska & Reggae music in the world.  more


Jimmy Cliff

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JIMMY CLIFF

His name and his works portrays a Nation Jamaica and a Continent Africa.  The word legend has been used a lot but its use in reference to Jimmy Cliff is genuinely justifiable. Jimmy’s unswerving dedication to the Arts sets him apart from most musicians and actors across the world. He is certainly among the elite of the Arts world and his body of work and Charity justly testifies of his status as a Legend.

For more information about James Chambers O.M. (AKA) Jimmy Cliff. The only living Musician and Actor to be a holder of the Order of Merit. more

 

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