Sunday, December 05, 2010

Ghosts of Christmases Past...

Here are the Jamaican Christmas Mix from previous years... 100 songs in total and with a combined running time of around 6 hours, there's enough here to keep you reggae-ing around the Christmas tree all month long!

The 2006 Jamaican Christmas Mix

1. Carlene Davis – Santa Claus (Do You Ever Come To The Ghetto)
2. King Stitt – Christmas Tree
3. Johnny Osbourne – Christmas Stylee
4. The Joe Gibbs Family – We Three Kings
5. Gregory Isaacs – Christmas Behind The Bars
6. Yellowman – Where Is Santa Claus?
7. Eek A Mouse – Christmas A Come
8. Cocoa Tea - Christmas Is Coming
9. The Aggrovators – Santa Claus Dub
10. Ras Pidow – Winter Storm
11. The Wailers – White Christmas
12. Toots & The Maytals – Christmas Feeling Ska
13. Alton Ellis & The Lipsticks – Merry Merry Christmas
14. Jacob Miller – On The Twelve Days Of Ismas
15. Trinity – Video Christmas
16. Eek A Mouse – The Night Before Christmas
17. Michael Palmer – Happy Merry Christmas
18. The Granville Williams Orchestra – Santa Claus Is Ska-Ing To Town
19. Tiger – Tiger Claus
20. Freddie McGregor – O Come Let Us Adore Him
21. Dillinger – Hi Fashion Christmas
22. Jacob Miller – Deck The Halls
23. Trinity – All I Want For Christmas
24. The Ethiopians – Ding Dong Bell
25. Rico And His Boys – Silent Night

The 2007 Jamaican Christmas Mix

1. Jacob Miller - All I Want For Ismas
2. Horace Andy - Christmas Time
3. The Aggrovators - Santa Claus And The Aggrovators Conquer The Martians Inna Holiday Rockers Style
4. Kingstonians - Merry Christmas
5. Cocoa Tea - Please Come For Christmas
6. Mutabaruka - Postpone Christmas
7. Brent Dowe - Christmas In Jamaica
8. Steve Golding - Strictly Rock Christmas
9. Kashief Lindo - Someday At Christmas
10. Frank Cosmo - Merry Christmas
11. Al & The Vibrators - Merry Christmas
12. Lovindeer - It's Christmas Time Again
13. Jackie Mittoo - Joy Joy
14. The Cimarons - Holy Christmas
15. Ringo - Christmas Time
16. Little Kirk - Gee Whiz
17. Half Pint - Christmas Vibes
18. Gregory Isaacs - White Christmas
19. John Holt - Winter World Of Love
20. Sugar Minott - Christmas Jamboree
21. Peter Broggs - Twelve Days Of Christmas
22. Barrington Levy - Christmas Day
23. The Wailers - Sound The Trumpet
24. Little John - Save A Little For Christmas
25. Ernest Wilson - We Wish You A Merry Christmas

The 2008 Jamaican Christmas Mix

1. Nigger Kojak - Christmas Style
2. Bunny & Skully - White Christmas
3. Lord Nelson - Party For Santa Claus
4. The Wailers - Go, Tell It On The Mountain
5. Frankie Paul - Merry Christmas
6. Alton Ellis - Christmas Coming
7. Glen Adams - Xmas Rock
8. Michigan & Smiley - Little Drummer Boy
9. Desmond Dekker & The Aces - Christmas Day
10. Iron Phoenix - Natty Dread Christmas
11. Gregory Isaacs - It's Christmas Time Again
12. Johnny Clarke - I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
13. Winston Groovy - Merry Christmas
14. Jacob Miller - Silver Bells
15. Ray I - Natty No Santa Claus
16. Jah Walton - DJ Christmas
17. Toots & The Maytals - Happy Christmas
18. Horace Andy - Oh Little Town Of Bethlehem
19. The Silvertones - Bling Bling Christmas
20. Freddie McGregor - Irie Christmas
21. Charley Fresh - Jam Down Christmas
22. Tippa Lee & Rappa Roberts - Christmas Is Coming
23. Hortense Ellis - Black Christmas
24. Trinity - African Christmas
25. Richard Ace - Joyful Reggae

The 2009 Jamaican Christmas Mix

1. Tristan Palmer - Christmas Jamboree
2. Roman Stewart - Christmas Affair
3. Frank Cosmo - Greetings From Beverley's
4. General Trees - Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town
5. Jackie Edwards - White Christmas
6. Shorty The President - Christmas Fair
7. Norman T. Washington - It's Christmas Time Again
8. Colin Roach & Anthony Malvo - Merry Christmas
9. J.C. Lodge - Joy To The World
10. Lloyd Seivright - Mary's Boy Child
11. Lui Lepke - Christmas Season
12. Winston Francis - Here Comes Santa
13. Verna Lee Powell - He Is My Santa Claus
14. Sandra Robinson & Lee Scratch Perry - Merry Christmas, Happy New Year
15. Ringo - Never Forget Christmas
16. Sonny Bradshaw - Peace And Love
17. Barry Brown - Christmas Christmas
18. Anthony Selassie - Rub A Dub Christmas
19. Hopeton & Primo - Peace On Earth
20. Tennessee Brown & The Silvertones - Jingle Bells
21. Don Cornell & The Eternals - Christmas Joy
22. Gable School Choir - Reggae Christmas
23. Neville Willoughby - Christmas In JA
24. Rupie Edwards - Christmas Rush
25. Go Home Productions - Karen Meets Roots Radics Uptown

Enjoy and don't say I never gave you nothin'!
And the least you could say is thank you!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

No It's Not The Major Award You See Pictured Below, It's The Jamaican Christmas Mix 2010!

Ho, ho, ho and all that stuff... I know I am way ahead of schedule this year but I figured it makes more sense to share early so everyone can enjoy the mix throughout the Christmas season instead of towards the end... and for one thing, it was nice not procrastinating until the last minute!

We start off the 2010 Christmas Mix with a little tune by the man Barrington Levy called "Once A Year" from a 1980 12" on the G.G. Hit label. It is followed by the absolutely killer DJ riff on the same riddim by Jah Thomas which we will call "Christmas Shopping" since it isn't given credit on the record's label.

Mixing it up inna Studio One style for the next tune... Tennessee Brown & The Silvertones give us their distinctively Jamaican take on "Little Drummer Boy." Many may mistakenly give credit to "Little Drummer Boy" or "Carol Of The Drum" to the angelic voiced Harry Simeone Chorale but it was originally written in 1941 by Katherine K. Davis. Harry and his posse just helped to popularize the tune when it was released in 1957. The Harry Simeone free version you're going to hear is taken from the 1992 Heartbeat CD Reggae Christmas From Studio One.

It pains me to say this... the late great, Gregory Isaacs is up with his version of "The Christmas Song" originally penned by Mel Torme and Bob Wells. One of my favorite traditional Christmas songs and Gregory makes it just a little smoother with his trademark Cool Ruler style... that will forever be missed. This was lifted from the 1990 CD Sonic Sounds Presents A Vintage Christmas obviously on the Sonic Sounds label.

Pearl Bailey tosses it to the next track and it's a fun one... it's called "Wuh You Got To Gimme For Christmas" by an artist by the name of Sachmoore and is taken from a 7" on the Canadian Pebble Grove label. In a nice calypso style, Sachmoore recounts the story of Vera a pushy woman who lives down the street who won't let any man pass her yard without asking him, "Wuh you got to gimme for Christmas." The thing is, Vera expects a gift for Christmas and is more than willing to reciprocate the kind gesture but Sachmoore doesn't want anything to do with the "gift" she's offering in return, if you know what I mean - wink wink, nudge nudge.

Leon Danger and Mr. Culture are up next with the a hopeful plea for peace from 2006 called "This Christmas." It comes from a 7" on the Hillsman label and it is really one of those tunes that makes you pause and think about the wrongs of the world and makes you hopeful for a time when man can live at peace. A beautiful song.

Up next is Chris Wayne with his version of the 1951 classic "Silver Bells." This one comes from the 1989 compilation LP Youth Promotion Christmas Jamboree on the Youth Promotion label and it was produced by another one of this year's late greats; Sugar Minott. It definitely has a distinctive late 80's digital feel that works real well with the the lyrics.

Going back quite a few years, to 1965 to be exact, for the next track in our Christmas Mix... The mix takes a decidedly turn for the ska with this tune appropriately titled "Merry Christmas" by Cedric Bravo with Rico and The Five Stars and from a 7" on the Ska Beat label. I love this song; nice mellow ska with a festive theme and even further accentuated by the fantastic trombone riffs of the legendary Rico Rodriguez. Push aside the Christmas tree and clear some space on the floor when you get up and groove to these yuletide vibes!

Norman T. Washington is up next in the mix... I took his song "Happy Christmas" which was originally released in 1975 as a 7" on the Jama label and mixed it up with its b-side version to create a dubby tune complete with echo and reverb. I was going to buy the single but came across a CD on Ernie B's called Music Specialist Christmas Sampler also on the Jama label for $.99! In this economy I gotta save where I can save! I was quite pleased with the end result and I hope you are too!

With an appropriately extravagant intro stolen from Dean Martin's Christmas album we roll into one of the baddest versions of "Silent Night" you've ever heard. This one is by a group that was labeled as the Silent Choir and it comes from a 1973 7" on the UK based Magnet label. They even toss in a couple verses of "Jingle Bells" to keep it lively! One of this year's favorites!

The late great Alton Ellis gives us the joyous "Praise Jah It's Christmas." This track was borrowed from Heartbeat Records' 2002 various artists CD release, Christmas Greetings From Studio One. Nice sentiments from Mr. Ellis and a nice tune!

The man Wade Brammer, better known as DJ Trinity, follows up Alton with a smooth love song called "Santa Claus Comes Once A Year." The message is simple, Santa Claus only comes once a year but his love, for one lucky lady, is continually there... not necessarily a straight forward Christmas song but enough sweet vibes to keep it in the yuletide vein. This one comes from a 2003 CD on the Burning Bush imprint called Ghetto Deejay Style: The Best Of Trinity.

Speaking of aliases... Edmund Carl Aiken, better known as Shinehead, is up next with the smooth "Reggae Christmas Medley" riding the M-16 riddim and taken from a 1989 7" on the Elektra label.

Also from 1989... the late, Tyrone Taylor, of "Cottage In Negril" fame, gives us a nice upbeat digital take on the 1934 Felix Bernard and Richard B. Smith composition "Winter Wonderland." This comes from the Blue Mountain Christmas Party LP on the Blue Mountain label.

The self-titled Big Belly Man, Admiral Bailey keeps us in the digital stylee with his 1985 7" on the Jammy's label called "Christmas Style."

Man, this is starting to look like a memorial mix instead of a Christmas mix! The late singer, musician and producer, Ruddy Thomas is up next with a nice little song called "Reggae Happy Christmas." Some good vibes in this tune, which comes from a 7" on Ruddy's own Ruddy T label.

Mixing it up inna rub-a-dub style is Tony Tuff with the tune "Christmas Irie" from my copy of the problematic Merry Christmas From Black Roots LP (see last years griping) on the Black Roots label.

I've been hesitant on posting the next two tunes because of their scratchiness but decided to bite the bullet and do it anyway. These two come from the Rub A Dub Christmas album on the Black Solidarity label. Little John starts it off with "It's Christmas Time" followed immediately with Triston Palmer's "Oh Holy Night." Both appearing here after a 3 year wait and in all of their nakedly noisy Jamaican pressed glory.

The group called the Arcanians are up next with the song "Christmas In Jamaica." This is a nice mid-80's era tune taken from a 12" on the Jama label and I find the chorus so catchy that I find myself humming it to myself long after the record has been put back on the shelf.

A swingin' version of "Joy To The World" by Alton Ellis and taken from the 1990 CD Sonic Sounds Presents A Vintage Christmas comes in next. I've heard this Christmas carol all my life by countless performers but Alton Ellis' is the only version that will make you want to get up and skank along.

King Everald is up with his King Tubby produced digital cut "Santa Claus" and it's lifted from a 12" on the Firehouse label. Not one of my favorites but I hope you like it nonetheless.

The man Delroy Melody, who I can't find any background information on, follows up King Everald with a nice little tune called "Christmas Time" from a 7" on the Acadia label. Nice vibes in this tune.

Finally... The Cimarons wrap up the 2010 Jamaican Christmas Mix with their 1971 takes on the timeless Christmas carol and the Irving Berlin standard... the song is awkwardly called "Silent Night White Christmas" and was originally pressed as a 7" on the Downtown label... we're going to hear the same tune but it comes from the 2005 CD The Reggae Christmas Collection on the Pulse label.

Well that wraps it up... I hope everyone has a great holiday season and to quote the legendary Don Cornelius... "I wish you peace, love and sooooooul!" Lots of love everyone!

The Complete 2010 Jamaican Christmas Mix 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Jamaican Christmas Mix 2010 - Coming Soon!

I'm putting the final touches of the 2010 Jamaican Christmas Mix and will be posting it extremely early this year... tomorrow in fact! That way you'll be able to enjoy the music throughout the holiday season without having to have it in pieces or worrying about missing it. It's my gift to all those who have supported this blog since I started it 6 years ago and who have really embraced and appreciated these holiday mixes. 25 tracks in total that'll keep you rockin' and swing during this yuletide season!

Stay tuned!

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Complete Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010!

Here it is! All 21 tracks wrapped up in a neat MP3! Enjoy, and Happy Halloween!

I will be spinning some of the tunes featured throughout the last 5 Spooktacular years tonight in Washington DC at DC Soundclash at the Marx Cafe (3203 Mount Pleasant St NW, the monthly event takes place from 10PM until 3AM) amongst the multitude of well deserved Gregory Isaacs tributes... so if you happen to be in the area, stop by and have a listen!

The Complete Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010
Download Here

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010 - Track Twenty One - Things In The Dark

Here it is! The final track in the 2010 Spooktacular! It has been a fun month and I hope that this years mix didn't disappoint... I will be posting the complete 2010 mix a little later this afternoon for those who weren't able to keep up with the daily downloads. But, let's get to the final track...

I wanted to finish things up this year with a positive message so I decided on Delroy Wilson's "Things In The Dark" from his 1976 7" on the Impact label... aside from the scary title it is basically a warning to the wrong-doers in our societies that evil things done in the dark will come out in the light. So let this serve as a warning to those who plan on going out on Halloween to do wrong, yeah I'm talking to you punk-ass teenagers out there, intent on soaping windows, toilet papering trees, smashing pumpkins or hijacking trick-or-treaters and stealing their hard-earned sugary haul.

And on that note I'm gonna wrap it up... but not without leaving you with a final thought. This is the poem by Marnie Pomeroy that started our mix this year and I'm going to use it again as my closing... Happy Halloween my friends!

Who raps at my window?
Who in a white sheet
Runs across the midnight lawn
Without the sound of feet?

What moon grows in the East
So huge and dusky red?
Who howls from the chill within the hill
Where the farmer's hound lies dead?

The dry leaves twist and rattle
Alive in an evil spell.
Down by the pond the man who drowned
Tolls a wavering bell.

The wind has hardly wakened,
Yet flapping through the air
Fly shapes with wings and bony things
And forms with jagged hair.

Who blows at my candle?
Whose fiery grin and eyes
Behind me pass in the looking glass
And make my gooseflesh rise?

Who moved in that shadow?
Who rustles unseen?
With the dark so deep I dare not sleep
All night on Halloween.

"Things In The Dark" by Delroy Wilson
Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010 - Track Twenty One

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Non-Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010!

Here it is! With the untimely passing of Gregory Isaacs I wasn't sure I'd have enough time to put this one together this year but here it is...

1. The Ghastly Ones - Grave Dig Her
2. The Gore-Gons - Ghoul Bash
3. The Moon-Rays - Blues For Vampires
4. Round Robin - I'm The Wolfman
5. The Munsters - Down In The Basement
6. The Metrolites - The Blob
7. Misfits - Halloween
8. Tino - Zombies Walk Dub
9. Satan's Pilgrims - Peter Lorre
10. Milton Delugg - Frankenstein
11. Gein & The Graverobbers - The Crypt Keeper's Holiday
12. Bomboras - Stormy
13. Bobby "Boris" Pickett - Graveyard Shift
14. Meteors - Halloween Scream
15. Zombina & The Skeletones - Dracula Blood
16. The Creepniks - Surfin' With Satan
17. Frankie Stein & His Ghouls - In A Groovy Grave
18. Phantom Creeps - The Creature Walks Among Us
19. Sonny Terry - Bad Luck
20. Torquays - Ghost Rider
21. Vincent Price - Don't

Happy Halloween - Enjoy!
The Non-Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010 - Track Twenty - Duppy Bye Bye

Track twenty is upon us and it's called "Duppy Bye Bye" by the man Lloyd Lovindeer. Lovindeer is well known for his humorous tunes, especially "Wild Gilbert" released in the aftermath of Hurricane Gilbert in 1988 and selling over 50,000 copies and is therefore considered the highest selling single in Jamaican history.

With "Duppy Bye Bye" we get to hear Lovindeer explore the supernatural side with his trademark wit and humor intact. Just to let everyone know, some may find the fact that the chorus in the tune bears a resemblance to Buju Banton's much ballyhooed and equally reviled homophobic "Boom Bye Bye" off-putting, but Lovindeer isn't going there. This song is about fighting off the undead not attacking people for their sexual preference. But I'm not here to discuss that... I'm here to get you in a Halloween mood!

"Duppy Bye Bye" mentions a lot of superstitious customs to avoid contact with duppies; turning your clothes inside out, carrying garlic, obeah and its multitude of powders, potions and oils are all mentioned. But, Lovindeer proudly proclaims his protection comes from his spiritual beliefs and that all the superstitions serve no purpose.

This one comes to us from a 1992 7" on the TSOJ label.

"Duppy Bye Bye" by Lovindeer
Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010 - Track Twenty

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010 - Track Nineteen - Duppy Story

Nineteen down, two to go! The next tune in the Spooktacular is by the DJ Daddy Meeky called "Duppy Story," a nice ghost story inna early dancehall stylee! "Duppy Story" tells about Meeky's late night encounter with a few different duppies on his way back from seeing a scary movie. Also, Daddy Meeky's tune comes complete with the trailer to William Castle's 1960 haunted house classic "13 Ghosts"... but unlike 13 Ghosts you don't need to use your Illusion-O Ghost Viewer glasses to witness the action.

This one comes from a 7" on the Dennis Star label produced and arranged by Clive Kennedy circa 1986.

Speaking of ghost stories... I finally attended the Ghost Walk in the small town of Havre de Grace last Saturday and it was pretty entertaining! And though I didn't see any actual ghosts or really get the hell scared out of me like I'd been hoping, it was well worth the effort. I took some pictures of the old houses that supposedly harbor ghosts and I have yet to have them analyzed by any team of paranormal investigators but I'll let you know if anything of the supernatural variety pops-up.

"Duppy Story" by Daddy Meeky
Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010 - Track Nineteen

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Halloween Spooktacular in the Washington Post Express!

I am really psyched that the Halloween Spooktacular got mentioned in the Washington Post Express! Read the column online - here! Thanks Christopher!

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010 - Track Eighteen - Barnabas Collins

For the love of god, will this guy ever stay dead?! Here I am into the fifth year of creating these Halloween mixes and along comes Barnabas Collins poking his fangs into yet another Spooktacular! Judging by the plethora of tunes paying tribute to Ol' Barnie and or Dark Shadows, it's quite obvious that this guy must have achieved folk hero status in Jamaica back in the 70's!

This one is by a group called Del, Owen & Newts and is taken from a 7" on the Hatchet label from the mid 70's. I never even knew this song existed until I discovered the tune mentioned online this spring and thankfully got ahold of a copy in September and I gotta say, it's a good one!

I don't know why, but the Barnabas Collins thing has gotten to be such a integral part of the Spooktaculars that I don't know if I'm going to be able to continue each year without at least one mention of the schlocky TV soap opera bloodsucker. As far as the namesake goes, we've had three versions of Lone Ranger's "Barnabas Collins," Yellowman's answer "Mi Kill Barnie", Dillinger's version "I Thirst," Charles Hannah & The Graduates "Dark Shadows," and there are still 4-5 more that I have up my sleeve... but I'll tuck it away in the coffin until next year. Maybe when the Dark Shadows and Barnabas tunes dry up, it may be the perfect indicator of an appropriate time to discontinue the Spooktacular... we'll see!

"Barnabas Collins" by Del, Owen & Newts
Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010 - Track Eighteen

Monday, October 25, 2010

Gregory Isaacs - 1951-2010

I am devastated to hear the news that Gregory Isaacs has died... one of my all-time favorite singers and performers and it's with tears in my eyes that I face the prospect of creating a Gregory Isaacs tribute long before it should be due... I am so thankful that I had the chance to see Gregory on countless occasions and he is a voice in reggae that will sadly be missed. Rest in peace Gregory, we'll miss you.

Gregory Isaacs Tribute Mix

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010 - Track Seventeen - Satan Side

I know the image on the left there is a little ghastly for a mild-mannered Jamaican music blog but every October the Spooktacular gives me the chance to showcase imagery best reserved for a heavy or death metal blog. It's the odd juxtaposition that makes this so much fun to begin with... and some would say you can't get an odder juxtaposition than reggae music and Halloween to begin with. But this is what I've been doing for the last 5 years and I hope people understand my motives... sharing my passion for reggae music and my love for Halloween all at the same time.

Keith Hudson and the Chuckles are up next with the absolute killer "Satan Side" - a bass heavy, wicked tune that goes great with the spooky thing we got goin' on here this month! It's from a 7" on the Mafia label.

"Satan Side" by Keith Hudson
Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010 - Track Seventeen

Friday, October 22, 2010

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010 - Track Sixteen - Vampire

Up next in the 2010 Spooktacular... the song is called "Vampire" and comes a group that I have absolutely no background information on called Positive. With a very Peter Tosh-esque delivery and refrain, this 1983 tune should probably sound somewhat familiar to those who have been around these parts before. I would say that Positive's "Vampire" serves as an expansion on the ideas Tosh explored on the "Vampire" 7" he released on his Intel Diplo label in 1976 and again on his Grammy Award winning "No Nuclear War" album in 1987. Regardless, Positive does a decent version that fits in well with our theme here... though, it should remain very obvious to even those with untrained "reggae ears" that the vampire in the tune is really an analogy for those who fight to oppress those who are perceived to be beneath them.

See you next week for the last five tunes!

"Vampire" by Positive
Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010 - Track Sixteen

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010 - Track Fifteen - Bad Beast

The Vampire Beast Craves Blood or The Blood Beast Terror is a 1967 film starring Peter Cushing about a scientist who creates a creature that is capable of changing from a gigantic moth to a beautiful woman. The problem is, when the beautiful woman takes the form of the winged insect she has a propensity for human blood. And as you'd imagine, terror ensues. Such a bad movie but so enjoyable... I don't know what that says for my taste in film but I digress.

The Vampire Beast Craves Blood is the basis for the next tune in our mix called "Bad Beast" performed by the group Skin, Flesh & Bones, a group whose name alone makes them fodder for the Spooktacular treatment. The group was formed by bass player Lloyd Parks and featured Sly Dunbar on drums, Ansel Collins on keyboard and Radcliffe "Dougie" Bryan on guitar. Skin, Flesh & Bones featured many of the guys that would later become known as Channel One's infamous studio band The Revolutionaries where the Riddim Twins, Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare, would form their partnership that has lasted some 30 years and counting.

"Bad Beast" is the B-side from a mid-7o's 7" on the Upset label... I'd give ya the information on the A-side but the label on the copy I have isn't legible. I've added some trailer audio and a clip from the film into the mix to keep you on the edge of your seat! Enjoy!

"Bad Beast" by Skin, Flesh & Bones
Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010 - Track Fifteen

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010 - Track Fourteen - Run For Your Life

Karl "King Cannon" Bryan is up next in the Spooktacular with a smooth tune from 1969 called "Run For Your Life" which was pressed on the Camel label, yet another subsidiary of Pama Records. Bryan shows off his baritone saxophone prowess here with an instrumental that will not only get you in a Halloween mood but will get your feet moving.

Bryan began his career in the late 50's, joined the Carlos Malcolm's Afro-Jamaican Rhythms in 1964 and even went on to play with the Lyn Taitt's legendary Comet before going solo in 1967.

Now, let me tell ya... the background that I put together for this tune was one of my most involved efforts ever on a Spooktacular... I wanted to capture the effect of the hip modish chick, you see pictured on the right, running for her life from the evil book wielding mummy giving chase. It was one of the first times I found the picture first and followed-suit by tailoring the track to suit the image.

"Run For Your Life" by Karl Bryan
Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010 - Track Fourteen

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Spooktaculars From Halloween Past

Here they are in all their gory glory... the Halloween Spooktaculars from years past! Now's your chance to collect them all!! Not sold in stores, these mixes will put you in the right Halloween mood and provide a nice spooky background for your pumpkin carving! Perfect for scaring trick-or-treaters! Act now! While supplies last!

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2007

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2008

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2009

Halloween Spooktacular 2006

Halloween Spooktacular 2007

Halloween Spooktacular 2008 - Satan Takes A Holiday

Halloween Spooktacular 2009

Now what would you pay for all these Halloween mixes if you were to purchase them at your local department store? Get them here at Distinctly Jamaican Sounds for the small price of a thank you.

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010 - Track Thirteen - Annie Palmer

Annie Palmer has been discussed here before but I'll give you a short history of my favorite Jamaican ghost story before we get to the next track...

Annie Mae Patterson was born to an English mother and Irish father in Haiti in 1802. Annie's parents both died mysteriously when she was 10 and from that point on was raised by her Haitian nanny who supposedly trained her in voodoo. She came to Jamaica in 1820 in search of a wealthy husband and came across John Palmer who fit the bill nicely. They were soon married and Annie Palmer quickly became the mistress of the Rose Hall Plantation right outside of Montego Bay.

Allegedly, Annie grew bored with her husband and began seeking out lovers. She would select slaves, who she was attracted to and would invite them to come to her chambers at night where she would have their way with them and would have them killed or kill them herself when suspicion or boredom reared its ugly head.

Six years later Annie poisoned her husband John Palmer so that she would become the soul owner and benefactor of the plantation. Supposedly, over the course of the years Annie married and killed two other husbands, acquiring their wealth and continued her illicit affairs with slave men whenever she desired. Oddly, Annie Palmer sealed off the three bedrooms in which her three husbands had died and word began to spread around the plantation that the Great House was haunted.

Her cruelty was legendary... the story says that she would have slaves flogged and beaten for her own amusement and even took them back to the mansion for continued torture when night fell. In 1831, Annie hired a man from England to become her bookkeeper - she was immediately taken by the new man but he had eyes for one of Annie's housekeeper Millicent. The bookkeeper decided to play both sides of the fence, so to speak, and it infuriated Annie. The White Witch cast a spell on Millicent and within 9 days she was dead. Millicent's grandfather, Takoo, who was a powerful voodoo priest and one of Annie's occasional lovers, was incensed by his granddaughter's death and proceeded to storm into her bedroom and strangled her to death.

Well, as you can imagine... the legend of her spirit still haunting the Great House at Rose Hall continues to this day. Countless sightings of ghostly apparitions and odd occurrences throughout the years have fueled the legendary status of Annie Palmer and firmly planted The White Witch Of Rose Hall in the ghostly folklore of Jamaica.

Gloucester "Danny" Hill is a self-taught musician who started in the late 50's performing with a mento group. He won first prizes for his skills in 1962 and 1963 at talent contests held at the Ward Theater in Kingston and it was right after that he recorded the next tune in our Spooktacular for producer Neville Foo Loy in 1964. The song is called appropriately enough, "Annie Palmer" and comes from a 7" on the Top Sound label. A wicked ska tune to spice things up a bit.

"Annie Palmer" by Danny Hill
Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010 - Track Thirteen

Monday, October 18, 2010

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010 - Track Twelve - The Executioner

In the 1965 Italian gothic horror film Blood Pit Of Horror (based on the writings of the Marquis de Sade and directed by Massimo Pupillo), Mickey Hargitay plays the Crimson Executioner, a depraved and evil monster who pleases himself by torturing and killing a group of hapless fashion models who unwisely decide to use his castle as the backdrop for a photo shoot.

Jackie Mittoo, on the other hand, was not at all like the Crimson Executioner... he didn't torture and kill fashion models and he didn't live in a castle that was the scene of a photo shoot gone awry... but he did play a wicked organ. Mittoo was a founding member of the Skatalites and went on to record for countless producers and bands until his untimely death in 1990.

Starting off our second complete week of the Spooktacular we've got Jackie Mittoo lending his groovin' keyboard skills to a tune called "The Executioner." It's the B-side to the Jah Stitch 7" "Midnight Iwa" on Bunny Lee's Jackpot label. Mittoo gets a nice groove goin' on this one and serves as a nice bed for the Bloody Pit Of Horror trailer and all its sinister yet slightly corny implications.

"The Executioner" by Jackie Mittoo
Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010 - Track Twelve

Friday, October 15, 2010

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010 - Track Eleven - Duppyman Skank

Now I know you're looking at this picture of the late great Michael Jackson and wondering what the hell does this have to do with the Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular... the answer quite simply, is James Bond. Now I could just leave it at that but before this turns into a bad rehash of Abbot & Costello's "Whose On First" routine I'll explain.

James Bond is not the 007 you're thinking of... James Bond was/is a DJ who released this tune "Duppyman Skank" as a 12" on the Magnum label circa 1983... and is a bit of a tribute to Michael Jackson's Thriller video. With lyrics like "Inna Thriller, you a see 'nuff duppy, Michael Jackson a lead the posse. You shoulda see the duppy do the boogie... all a dem just a rock to the beat..." it's obvious that James Bond was a Michael Jackson fan as well. Not to mention that Bond drops some names that makes it even more fantastic... "The bloodsucker that they call Dracula, Jack The Ripper was a womanizer, Frankenstein never know him mother, Peter Cushing have to be the father." Bad assss!!

"Duppyman Skank" by James Bond
Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010 - Track Eleven

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010 - Track Ten - A No Duppy

Since I've exhausted my resources in trying to locate decent artist interpretations of duppies I have resorted to using the label for the next tune in the Spooktacular... please forgive me. I won't even delve into the fact that I'm still without a scanner and had to swipe the image of the label from Youtube but I digress.

Up next is Derrick Morgan with the song called "A No Duppy" from 1974 on the Wizard label... now I've been listening to this tune for a few years now and have hesitated at including it in the mixes because I can't really determine what the song is about. At first it can be perceived to be an attack on Ernie Smith and the story behind his tune "Duppy Gunman" which was discussed here last October. Or it can be perceived as a statement about the then current state of police and military activity in Kingston during the time. Regardless... it's a cool tune and Morgan's wicked laughter at the beginning and scattered throughout is alone worth the price of admission.

"A No Duppy" by Derrick Morgan
Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010 - Track Ten

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010 - Track Nine - Death Rides A Horse

With the proper imagery and sound effects, this song "Death Rides A Horse" by the Hippy Boys works well with the spooky theme. The Hippy Boys, formed in 1968 by Lloyd Charmers, and featuring an all-star line-up of talent; Reggie Lewis on guitar, Glen Adams on organ and the Barrett brothers, Aston and Carlton on bass and drums... were a tight backing band. The tune starts with that creepy hoarse voice declaring that Death does in fact ride a horse and it has just enough of a creepy vibe to get your skin crawling when played at loud volume.

The track comes from a 1970 7" on the Unity label (also a subsidiary of Pama Records) and is the B-side to Max Romeo's tune "Melting Pot."

"Death Rides A Horse" by the Hippy Boys
Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010 - Track Nine

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010 - Track Eight - Devil Woman

I can't find any background information on the Tender Tones so I won't go there... here is a smokin' tune from 1969 that ties into the Halloween spookiness we got goin' on here... its called "Devil Woman" and is from a 7" on the UK based Pama Records subsidiary Crab label. A rockin' upbeat "skinhead reggae" number relating us with the tale of a mortal man combatting his seemingly evil significant other... I could really have related with the poor guy's burden a couple years ago myself but I'm not gonna get into that. :)

The film trailer at the beginning is from the early 70's Filipino horror/kung-fu film Devil Woman that I have never seen but immediately added to my must-see list.

I've got to let everyone in on something... until this summer, I was never a huge fan of the skinhead reggae sub-genre. But upon further investigating and listening I've really developed a new-found appreciation. Besides, there were a lot of "spooky tunes" recorded inside that 1968-1972 window and I have yet to come across one that doesn't kick ass... some of which are featured in this years mix.

"Devil Woman" by the Tender Tones
Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010 - Track Eight

Monday, October 11, 2010

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010 - Track Seven - Dracula

Tommy McCook & Bobby Ellis are up next with a smooth instrumental in honor of the world's most famous vampire! McCook (March 3, 1927 - May 5, 1998), a founding member of the Skatalites, was one hell of a saxophonist and this track makes that quite evident. Ellis (July 2, 1932), an alumnus of the Alpha Boys School, was/is a hell of a trumpeter and his combination with McCook on this track also makes that quite evident. The tune comes to us from a 7" on the Soul Beat label and when put inna combination with a couple snippets from Bela Lugosi's legendary performance in the 1931 classic, you have a pretty spooktacular track... if I do say so myself.

"Dracula" by Tommy McCook & Bobby Ellis
Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010 - Track Seven

Friday, October 08, 2010

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010 - Track Six - Ghost Walk

Carlton "Caly" Gibbs is up next in the Spooktacular with a record that works well with the spooky vibe we've got goin' here... The song is called "Ghost Walk" and was recorded and released in 1970 on the Pressure Beat label in Jamaica and the Amalgamated label in the UK. A nice ol' school DJ style over Joe Gibbs' version of the Bob Marley "Duppy Conqueror" rhythm... a real bad-ass tune!

Speaking of Ghost Walks... I'm planning on hitting a local ghost walk this weekend in Havre de Grace, a small town situated on the Susquehanna River and only a few miles away from home. Unfortunately we got rained out last year so I'm hoping that the weather holds... Oddly enough, this will be the first ghost walk I've ever done on this side of the Atlantic and I'm looking forward to getting in the spirit and hopefully getting the hell scared outta me! I'll let ya know!

Have a great weekend and I'll see you on Monday!

"Ghost Walk" by Caly Gibbs
Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010 - Track Six

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010 - Track Five - Red Blood

Vin Gordon, the trombone player with a laundry list of nicknames; Trommie, Don D. Jr. or Don Drummond Jr) gives us the fifth tune in this year's Spooktacular. The tune is called "Red Blood" and is paired with the trailer from a double feature of particularly bad 1969 films called Women and Bloody Terror and Night of Bloody Horror.

Gordon's tune was recorded by Coxsone Dodd at Studio One in the 70's and as far as I can tell was never released as a single... it is borrowed from the excellent 2002 Studio One compilation on the Soul Jazz label called Studio One Scorcher and works well with the spooky vibe we've got going on this month.

The two crap-tastic films that accompany the spooky tune were both directed by Joy N. Houck Jr. and released as a twin billing. Women and Bloody Terror takes place during New Orlean's Mardi Gras when a suburban housewife throws caution to the wind and begins bedding any man she wishes. But once a motel parking lot attendant and his sidekick being pursuing and attempting to blackmail her, the bloody terror ensues. Night of Bloody Horror involves a guy who goes on a killing spree and has all the trappings of what you'd expect from a 60's era psychedelic styled exploitation film - trippy visual effects and a loud psych band wailing away in the ubiquitous club scenes. Not exactly two of the greatest exploitation films from the era but surprisingly entertaining.

But anyway... let's get to why you came here in the first place!

"Red Blood" by Vin Gordon
Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010 - Track Five

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010 - Track Four - Duppy Jamboree

Byron Lee & The Dragonaires got started in 1950 and still remain active today, though they have since changed their name to Byron Lee's Dragonaires following Lee's death in 2008. Most known and beloved by many for the soca music they began recording in the late 70's, their foray into reggae music was short-lived... considering the majority of their output during this era were covers of roots reggae originals written by other artists and upbeat, potentially "white-radio-friendly" instrumentals, they produced little original or groundbreaking material. That's not to say Lee and the musicians in his band weren't competent... these guys could/can play but, during the heyday of roots reggae when songs of sufferation, hardship and praises of Jah were prevalent, the polished "uptown" sound that emerged from the grooves of Byron Lee's records didn't have a lot of pull for hardcore "downtown" reggae fans.

But on to today's song! This is one of my favorite "duppy tunes." If you've been with me in years past you've already heard two other versions; the original by Levi Williams and a version by Flip Kay but now we're gonna give Byron Lee & The Dragonaires their chance. The tale of an innocent bystander witnessing a ghostly celebration on the bank of a river has such a distinctive Jamaican ghost-story feel that I consider this an exemplary example of a near perfect duppy tune regardless of who's performing. Byron Lee's interpretation comes from a 1976 album of authentic reggae covers called Reggay International
on the Dynamic label.

"Duppy Jamboree" by Byron Lee & The Dragonaires
Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010 - Track Four

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010 - Track Three - Witchcraft

Carl "Mr. Satisfaction" Dawkins never had any intention of being a singer... at one point he even found himself competing on the national level as a soccer player. But later, he did do some recording with the Techniques and their legendary front-man Slim Smith which caused him to reconsider his career path. He cut his first solo record "Hard Times" in 1967 and its b-side "Baby I Love You." But in 1970, he went on to record "Satisfaction" the tune that would become synonymous with his name.

The Carl Dawkins tune that has been "spookied up" for the Spooktacular is called "Witchcraft" and it comes from an early 70's 7" on the Sir JJ label... a soulful tale of how finding love must be the work of supernatural powers. The witch cackling and bubbling cauldron effects have obviously been added by yours truly but they are only secondary when it comes to the classic/fantastic R&B "soul-shouter" style delivery that makes this song so smooth.

"Witchcraft" by Carl Dawkins
Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010 - Track Three

Monday, October 04, 2010

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010 - Track Two - Hell Boat

When I dug up this record recently I knew it would be perfect for the Spooktacular I just wasn't sure why... sure it had "hell" in the title which is an obvious plus but, somewhere tucked away in a dusty bin in the back of my brain was a bit of recognition... but what the hell did hell have to do with a boat? A split second later it dawned on me... Charon! C'mon you know Charon don't you? Check out the pic over there on the right and you'll see the evil looking guy I'm talkin' about!

Charon is the ferryman of Hades who carries the souls of those recently deceased from the banks of the living world across the river Styx and Acheron to the world of the dead... at least according to Greek mythology. If the deceased had a coin to pay the fare they were brought across and if they didn't, they were cursed to roam the banks of the Acheron for a hundred years. The ancient Greeks would place coins under the tongue of a corpse before burial so that they were prepared for their journey in the afterlife.

But back to the music... The Santic All Stars were the house musicians for Leonard "Santic" Chin and his Santic Records label. In the early 70's Chin worked most notably with Horace Andy and Augustus Pablo and was the man responsible for the classic various artists album Harder Shade Of Black originally released in 1971. "Hell Boat" is the flipside of the Augustus Pablo's tune "Pablo In Dub," a 7" on the Santic label. A nice, heavy, drum and bass laden tune, doctored up just right for the Spooktacular!

"Hell Boat" by The Santic All Stars
Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010 - Track Two

Friday, October 01, 2010

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010 - Track One - Darkest Night

I can't believe I'm doing this again... but alas here we are in October and here we are with another Spooktacular. I have dug long and hard to uncover some more spooky Jamaican tunes for your listening pleasure and I hope they are well received. Initially I planned on presenting the Spooktacular in a different fashion this year but with the zero hour upon us I decided to just stick with the tried and true yet pain-in-the-ass-ingly labor intensive of doing a track a day. One tune will be posted for each weekday in October and once assembled in order you'll have the complete Halloween Spooktacular 2010. And if you don't feel like busying yourself with downloading individual track you can read along each day and wait until Saturday October 30th when I'll post the complete uncut mix for your downloading enjoyment.

We start off this year's Spooktacular with an introduction from the late Jean Shepherd... you know, the legendary radio raconteur that wrote In God We Trust All Others Pay Cash, the book that served as the basis for the holiday classic A Christmas Story. The poem he reads is appropriately called "Halloween" and was written by Marnie Pomeroy and it sets the perfect mood!

The first tune we're gonna hear is a wicked instrumental called, "Darkest Night" by James Eastwood and it comes from a 10" on the Pressure Sounds label that was originally produced by Herman Chin Loy in 1972. A nice skanking reggae rhythm coupled with some sinister sounding fuzzy guitar, effectively brings to mind imagery of a dark night and all the things that go bump within. Unfortunately I can't find any information on James Eastwood... hopefully someone can fill us in.

"Darkest Night" by James Eastwood
Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010 - Track One

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Spooktacular 2010 Will Live!

Gonna give this Halloween thingee one more spin... and ain't that a cool spooky reggae label?

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

I must have killed her with the Spooktacular I had in the works. This is not good...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Down In A Tenement Yard

What new can be said for living life in poverty that can't already be discerned from the lyrics of decades worth of reggae music? The epitome of desperation... of suffering... of misery... of persecution is precisely illustrated to me in the roots and rockers music of the mid to late 7o's. As an outsider, I will never know what it's like to really suffer but this music provides me with a peak at what a hard life must really be like.

It's the odd juxtaposition that really draws me to this sub-genre... the rhythms are harder edged and usually "spaced-out" with lots of echo and effects but they still provide a positive energy and a structural foundation for the serious, and oftentimes downright heartrending lyrics. The instrumentation; flying cymbals, pounding basslines and driving tempos, shine through and add the positive spark that keeps this music from becoming dire and downbeat expressions of hopelessness. There is an optimistic energy here that allows the listener to feel that there is love, there is unity and most importantly there is hope.

Here's what you're going to hear...

Dennis Brown starts it off with the song "Tenement Yard" and it's taken from a 2003 various artists CD called Jah Love Rockers (Revolutionary Sounds From The Rockers And Steppers Era) on the Trojan label. It is quickly followed up with the DJ Ranking Buckers and his tune on the same riddim called "Kill Landlord."

Lightening up the mood after those deadly lyrics is Dillinger with "Out De Light," a 7" on the Jamaica Sound label circa '78.

Trinity is up next with his 1977 tune "Natty On De Banking" and it's taken from a 12" on the Caribbean label, it's followed by the B-side version that really kicks ass, if you'll excuse my language.

Errol Dunkley & I-Roy give us "Created By The Father" a 12" circa 1977 on the Love label.

Augustus Pablo's "Jah Dread" from his 1979 Greensleeves album Original Rockers is mixed up with Jacob Miller's "Who Say Jah No Dread" from the 1992 Greensleeves release of the same name, containing music from 1974-1975.

One of my favorites is up next... Sylford Walker gives us the wicked Deuteronomy from the Blood & Fire Lamb's Bread International release from 2000, which was originally recorded in 1977-78, and I've mixed it up with Welton Irie's "Black Man Get Up Tan Up Pon Foot" from the same CD. King Tubby wraps up with a fantastic driving dub version... crank it up to 11!

Big Joe follows it up with a tune called "Woodcutter Skank" from a 1975 various artists LP on the Cactus label called Quad Star Revolution.

Cornell Campbell's "The Gorgon Speaks" is next and I've mixed it up with the version. It comes from another fantastic 2000 Blood & Fire CD called I Shall Not Remove which compiles a lot of great material from 1975-1980.

We follow up Cornell with Jah Stitch and the tune called "Strictly Rockers" and it has been lifted from a 1976 various artists LP on the Live & Love label called Strictly Rockers In A Dread Land.

The Voice Of Thunder, Prince Far I, gives us the next track. It's called "Same Knife" and it's a 7" on the Crazy Joe label... and it's mixed with "Different Dagger" the version from the B-side.

Another favorite... Johnny Clarke's "Do You Love Me?" from the Pressure Sounds various artists CD release from 2009 Once Upon A Time At King Tubby's mixed up with Tubby's version.

Taking a trip to the Black Ark we've got the Cool Ruler Gregory Isaacs and one of his best known persecution tunes, "Mr. Cop." It is available on lots of greatest hits albums and CDs and I took this one from the Trojan's 2003 Cool Ruler (The Definitive Collection).

Sticking with the Ark for another tune... Winston Heywood & The Hombres give us "Backbiting" from the Pressure Sounds 1998 CD Produced And Directed By The Upsetter.

Prince Jazzbo follows it up with "Prophet Live" from the Clocktower LP called Ital Corner is mixed up with "Prophet Dub - Satta" originally released in 1976 on the album Natty Passing Thru on the Black Wax label.

Big Youth gives us a wicked tune called "Dread Inna Babylon" from the Heartbeat release from 1982 called The Chanting Dread Inna Fine Style... it's the only foray into the 80's but Jah Youth always has this timeless sound anyway. The "Dreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeead" call at the beginning is absolutely wicked!

Junior Byles is up next with "Weeping" and its version of course... this is off the Trojan various artists CD Down In A Tenement Yard (Sufferation & Love In The Ghetto) from 2007. I highly recommend this CD - some real nice music from '73-'80 all in one convenient package.

Linval Thompson gives us the title track to the 2000 Bunny Lee produced Blood & Fire CD Ride On Dreadlocks. This one also comes highly recommended... fantastic!

Sticking with the King Tubby groove we've got goin' on, Tappa Zukie and his tune "Jah Is I Guiding Star" from yet another Blood & Fire release. This one is from the '94 release If Deejay Was Your Trade.

"Girl I Love You" by the man Horace Andy is bringing up the rear in this mix. I was going to use my Well Charge 7" but it has an annoying hiss that I can't overcome. I actually went back and remixed this tune because it really stood out... and not in a positive way. This version, which contains a lot more reverb than the vinyl mix, is from the VP compilation CD set called Channel One Story Chapter Two.

We wrap it up with King Tubby and "Hijack The Barber" and it comes from the 1974 Total Sounds LP Dub From The Roots.

Down In A Tenement Yard

Friday, July 16, 2010

Lincoln "Sugar" Minott 1956-2010

I just read the sad news about his passing... and instead of wasting a lot of time writing up a biography that no one will bother to read when scrolling to the download links, I'll just be a "Mr. Cut-and-Paste Google Boy" and post what I read in the Jamaica Observer this morning, Friday the 16th, a week after his passing. But I figured, instead of hiding behind the fact that I didn't have the breaking news first I decided to create a tribute to the man and his music. So, to the asshole who posted the rude comment, I've got some advise... instead of criticizing me for copying and pasting why not spend some time creating a tribute of you own. But really... if you're coming here for the latest news in reggae music you're on the wrong blog, this ain't fuckin' CNN! Better late than never I say... respect due to Sugar Minott! Now back to our regularly scheduled programming!

"Foundation reggae and dancehall artiste, Lincoln 'Sugar' Minott passed away Saturday night at the University Hospital of the West Indies in St Andrew.

According to Peter Burke, a close associate of the singer, Sugar Minott had complained of feeling ill on Saturday and was taken to the hospital where he died at minutes after 10 pm. "Sugar had a heart condition and it was about a year and a half ago that he got the first scare. He was in Canada at the time and I was with him. But as soon as the flutters subsided, Sugar was back to being his old self. That is just how he is," Burke told the Observer.

"This is just so sudden and unexpected. Sugar Minott has made a major contribution to the music business ... he was truly an icon and I am going to miss him tremendously," Burke said,

Sugar Minott, who was born Lincoln Barrington Minott on May 25, 1956, earned for himself the moniker Godfather of Dancehall. He is credited with being the pioneer, who, by laying vocal tracks over the original tapes from the '60's, rather than using a live band -- as was the norm in those days -- caused a revolution in the sound that brought a new style to Reggae music known as dancehall.

A prolific songwriter and singer, Sugar Minott is has over 60 albums and is known for such anthems as Herbsman Hustling, Mr DC, House is not a Home, No Vacancy, Good Thing Going and Never Gonna Give Up Jah.

The veteran singer also distinguished himself as a talent scout/producer and early on in his career established his Black Roots label, which led to the creation of a sound system and a company, Youthman Promotions, to give young artistes a "buss". Artistes such as Little John, Triston Palmer, Barry Brown, Tony Tuff, Junior Reid, Yami Bolo, Don Angelo, Tenor Saw, Nitty Gritty, Garnet Silk who did his first recording for the Black Roots label, Tony Rebel, Colorman, Daddy Freddie, Johnny Osbourne, Steve "Shalom" Harper are among those who passed through Youthman Promotions.

On hearing of his passing, singers Freddie McGregor, Johnny Osbourne and Leroy Sibbles reportedly volunteered to do a spontaneous tribute at the Rose Garden in Brooklyn New York, where Sugar was scheduled to perform last night. Minott also reportedly had gigs in California later this week including the popular Reggae on the River on July 18.

The Reggae music fraternity has been rocked by a number of deaths in recent months. Minott's death follows on the heels of IRIE FM founder Karl Young and Voicemail member O'Neil Edwards."

What you're going to hear...

1. Change Your Ways - At Studio One - Soul Jazz LP
2. Careless Ethiopians - The Roots Lover: 1978-1983 Compilation - Moll-Selekta CD
3. Walking Through The Ghetto - Down In A Tenement Yard Compilation - Trojan CD
4. Feel The Rydim - Power House Selector's Choice Vol.1 - North Parade CD
5. Cell Block One - Power House Selector's Choice Vol.4 - North Parade CD
6. Herbman Hustling - Herbman Hustling - Heartbeat LP
7. Hang On Natty - At Studio One - Soul Jazz LP
8. Sandy - The Roots Lover: 1978-1983 Compilation - Moll-Selekta CD
9. Buy Out The Bar - Power House Selector's Choice Vol.2 - North Parade CD
10. Sprinter Stayer - Strictly The Best Vol.12 - VP CD
11. Jam In The Streets - 1985 Master Mega Hits - Jammy's LP
12. Come On Home - At Studio One - Soul Jazz LP
13. Never Too Young - Trojan Lovers Rock Boxset - Trojan CD
14. A House Is Not A Home - Gumari 1 12"
15. Dance Hall Style - The Roots Lover: 1978-1983 Compilation - Moll-Selekta CD
16. Have You Ever Found A Love - Sufferer's Choice - Heartbeat LP
17. Ghetto-ology - Down In A Tenement Yard Compilation - Trojan CD
18. Give Me Jah Jah - At Studio One - Soul Jazz LP
19. Come Back Baby - Dancehall Showcase Vol.2 - Black Roots LP
20. Hold On - The Roots Lover: 1978-1983 Compilation - Moll-Selekta CD
21. Leave Dreadlocks Business - Sweeter Than Sugar - Sonic Sounds LP
22. Dancehall We Deh - Roots Dancehall Party - Silver Camel CD
23. Jah Jah Rule - Stalag 17, 18 & 19 - Techniques LP
24. Get It All Over - Sweeter Than Sugar - Sonic Sounds LP
25. In This Time - Rockers Vibration - Dread At The Controls LP
26. Jahovia - At Studio One - Soul Jazz LP
27. No Vacancy - The Roots Lover: 1978-1983 Compilation - Moll-Selekta CD
28. Devil Pickney - Taxi 7"
29. Uptown Girl - Bebo's Music 12"
30. Not For Sale - King Jammy's At Channel One - Jamaican Recordings CD
31. Stop Fight Rasta - Sweeter Than Sugar - Sonic Sounds LP
32. Too Much Backbiting - When The Dances Were Changing - Pressure Sounds CD
33. Playing Rub A Dub - Waterhouse Revisited - Hightone CD
34. Nah Follow Fashion - Power House Selector's Choice Vol.3 - North Parade CD
35. A True - Power House Selector's Choice Vol.2 - North Parade CD
36. Chatty Chatty Mouth - Power House Selector's Choice Vol.3 - North Parade CD
37. Dance Hall Business - Herbman Hustling - Heartbeat LP
38. Rosabelle - Sweeter Than Sugar - Sonic Sounds LP
39. Vanity - At Studio One - Soul Jazz LP
40. Oh Mr. D.C. - Best Of Studio One - Heartbeat CD

RIP Sugar Minott

I noticed that Garageband has a new option to compress files... and I'm not happy with the way it turned out. I'll repost a hi-fi version of the mix on Monday...

Have a great weekend,

Mr. Cut and Paste Google Boy