Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Seven Inches Of Christmas Joy - The Jamaican Christmas Mix 2012


 1.  Little John - Save A Little For Christmas - Junjo 7"
2.  Roman Stewart - Christmas Affair - Well Charge 7"
3.  Jah Walton - DJ Christmas - Black & White 7"
4.  Don Cornel & The Eternals - Christmas Joy - Moodisc 7"
5.  Barry Brown - Christmas Christmas - Hitbound 7"
6.  Cocoa Tea - Christmas Is Coming - Arrival 7"
7.  Johnny Clarke - I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus - Total Sounds 7"
8.  Verna Lee Powell - He Is My Santa Claus - Jama 7"
9.  Glen Adams - Xmas Rock - Gem 7"
10.  Trinity - Video Christmas - Thunder Bolt 7"
11.  Silent Choir - Silent Night - Magnet 7"
12.  Niyah & The Sunflakes - Merry Christmas - Sonet 7"
13.  Glen Adams - Joyful Tidings - Clocktower 7"
14.  Mutabaruka - Postpone Christmas - High Times 7"
15.  Tippa Lee, Nardo Ranks, Half Pint & David Brevett - Dedicated To Santa - Studio One 7"
16.  Nigger Kojak - Christmas Style - Joe Gibbs 7"
17.  Norman T. Washington - It's Christmas Time Again - Gas 7"
18.  Owen Gray - Collins Greetings - Collins Downbeat 7"
19.  Cedric Bravo w/Rico & The Four Stars - Merry Christmas - Ska Beat 7"
20.  Leon Danger & Mr. Culture - This Christmas - Hillsman 7"    

Once again I want to thank my friend Roger Wilkerson for putting together the cover art... I gave him an idea and he ran with it!  Thanks Roger!

It looks like the upload server I used is being a pain in the ass so here's a Zippyshare link for those who have been trying to download the mix - Merry Christmas!!


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A 2012 Christmas Gift To You!

Something has been missing... I couldn't figure
it out at first but I was thinking about a yearly
tradition that I had abandoned this year and things just didn't feel right.  So, with love in my heart and the intention to provide some Christmas joy for the multitude of people who have expressed their love and appreciation for the Christmas Mixes over the years, I have put together another one.  

Now don't expect to be hearing 25 brand spanking new tracks because I made it clear last year that I had exhausted my efforts to find more Jamaican Christmas music for additional mixes so what I did is the next best thing... I have taken 20 of my favorite Christmas 7" records, mixed them together and threw a bow on it and there you have it... Seven Inches Of Christmas Joy... yeah, I know it sounds a little risque but I promise you nothing inappropriate, it's only the title.  

During the holiday season you hear these horror stories of someone's Aunt Edna repackaging the gift you gave her last year and someone getting their feelings hurt, etc. but this repackaged gift from me to you is shame-free and an hour of unadulterated Jamaican Christmas fun!

I'll post the mix tomorrow, I've got a bunch of things to get done before work today and I'm running out of time... stay tuned!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Complete 2012 Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular! Happy Halloween!

For all you lazy bastards who haven't been keeping tabs on the daily downloads or for those who may come across this blog in a last-minute mass consumption orgy of Halloween blogs, I present for your haunting pleasure, The Complete 2012 Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular.  Twenty-one creepy cuts guaranteed to keep you awake at night and checking the closets for the boogeyman... twenty-one spine tingling songs compiled with the express purpose of scaring you silly... twenty-one terrifying tracks to drive you to madness and set your teeth a'chattering... I could go on but I think you've got the point...a very sharp point I might add...

Mwuhahahahahahahahaha!  Happy Halloween!! :)

I also wanted to take this space to thank my pal Roger Wilkerson for putting together the classic comic book covers for each of this years tracks!  He did a great job and I had as much fun seeing the end results as much as you hopefully did.  Roger has a photo blog on Tumblr which is always entertaining, I recommend checking him out!  Be sure to tell him that Reggaexx sent ya!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2012 - Track Twenty One - Your Teeth In My Neck

I'm bringing you this track a day early so that I can post the full 2012 Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular tomorrow on Halloween!  I just spent a sleepless night waiting to lose power in the midst of Hurricane Sandy and by the grace of god we didn't, we actually weathered the storm with minimal destruction.  My thoughts, prayers and best wishes go out to those who didn't fair as well along the east coast and especially to those in New Jersey and New York who really took a beating.  I was going to take this space to bitch about the fact that my kids are probably going to get screwed out of trick or treating but when people's lives and homes are destroyed it's not hard to realize that I should be counting my blessings and save the complaining for another time.  We'll make the best of Halloween 2012, regardless of what happens and enjoy the time we're together... this will definitely be a Halloween they won't forget.

We're wrapping up the Spooktacular with a classic cut from Scientist's 1981 Greensleeves LP, Scientist Rids The World Of The Evil Curse Of The Vampire.  It's called "Your Teeth In My Neck" and it's the stripped down dub version of Michael Prophet's tune "Love and Unity."   I have added some Dr. Van Helsing audio from one of my favorite Dracula films, 1958's Hammer Films classic Horror of Dracula.  Peter Cushing sounds great on this bad-ass riddim!  Lots of love people!  Be safe and have a happy Halloween!!

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2012 - Track Twenty - Holy Water

Staying with the late 80s vibe with our second to last track for 2012... this one is by Admiral Bailey and comes from a Jammy's 12" and its called "Holy Water."  A tune that outlines the benefit of using holy water in obeah and witchdoctor ceremonies... another fun song.  I have always been a big fan of the Admiral and it's nice to finally have a song to work into a Spooktacular!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2012 - Track Nineteen - Duppy

We're three tracks away from wrapping up the 2012 Spooktacular and we're gonna get right into it... next up is "Duppy" by Oliver Samuels.  Yes, Oliver Samuels, the Jamaican comedian and actor who tries his hand at DJ'ing on this tune, and might I say with appropriately spooky results.  The story of the town drunk who wanders home one night after closing out the bar, takes a short-cut through a cemetery and ends up spending the night in a freshly dug grave because his inebriated state will not allow him to climb out, a real fun tune.  "Duppy" comes from a 1989 7" on the Stage label.  Enjoy!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2012 - Track Eighteen - Ballad Of Annie Palmer

Track Eighteen in the Spooktacular and this one comes from George McLean doing his best impersonation of Johnny Cash.  You may ask yourself, why would a reggae artist be impersonating the legendary Man In Black?  The answer is simple... "The Ballad of Annie Palmer," the story of Rose Hall's Legendary White Witch, was written and recorded by Johnny Cash and released on his 1973 album Any Old Wind That Blows.  Now this begs the question, what the hell was Johnny Cash doing writing about a witch in Jamaica?  Regardless, this reggae-fied version of "Ballad of Annie Palmer" was released on the Mighty Cloud label and its influence spawned a whole heap of Johnny Cash impersonators throughout the island... of course I may be lying about that part of the story but the visual imagery of reggae singers dressing in Western-styled shirts, wearing bolo ties and singing about Rings of Fire and the Folsom Prison Blues is rather entertaining.  Have a great weekend folks!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2012 - Track Seventeen - Ghost Rider

Here's a swingin' number by the Music Doctors called "Ghost Rider" that was released as a b-side on the Downtown label in 1969.    Organ driven and funky, this is truly a wicked tune and one that will make you want to get your feet moving - skinhead reggae at its best!  The Ghost Rider you see pictured above was a series that was published by Charlton Comics before the Marvel superhero that shared the same name.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2012 - Track Sixteen - Living Among The Dead

Here's another ska tune to quench your spooky listening thirst... this one is by Lloyd Clarke and comes from an early 60s press on a blank 7".  To be honest with you, I found an MP3 of this track about 2 years ago and immediately started searching for a copy of the vinyl, but when I saw the $700 price tag, I backed off rather quickly!  "Living Among the Dead" is a super rare and desirable record  but I think the MP3 will suit my collection just fine and besides, it will serve its purposes here in the 2012 Spooktacular.  I added some trailer audio from Dawn of the Dead and some howling zombies for background effect, I think you'll dig it!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2012 - Track Fifteen - Sammy Dead

Kickin' off Tuesday with another spooky ska tune... this one is by Eric "Monty" Morris backed by Byron Lee & The Dragonaires and was originally pressed as a 7" on the Kentone label in 1964.  Eric Morris got his start in the 1950s and cut his first tune under the tutelage of Derrick Morgan before going on to record for Prince Buster and Duke Reid.  He was most famously known for being the original vocalist for the Skatalites but "Sammy Dead," which we're gonna hear today, was a big solo hit for Morris and one that works well with our Spooktacular!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2012 - Track Fourteen - Midnight Spin

Val Bennett is up next in the Spooktacular with a little number called "Midnight Spin" released as a 7" in 1969 on the Camel label.  So grab your partner, hit the dance floor and take a little spin because this tune kicks ass, if you'll excuse my language.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2012 - Track Thirteen - Suzanne Beware of the Devil

This is one of those tunes that has been lurking in the Spooktacular vault for years, never before seeing the light of day until now.  From 1972, a little poppy number from Dandy Livingstone that reached as high as number 14 on the UK pop charts, and coming from a 7" on the Horse label.

If you've never heard this one you're in for a treat, a jilted lover basically begging Suzanne, his girlfriend, to avoid the temptations of the seedier side of life presented in all their glory through the guise of the devil.  A love song with a demonic undercurrent... besides what would the Spooktacular be without an appearance by the devil?

Have a great weekend folks!  See you again on Monday!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2012 - Track Twelve - Barnabas

Will Barnabas Collins ever stay dead?!  Regardless of Tim Burton's atrocious summer blockbuster paying pseudo-homage to Dark Shadows, I will take the over-the-top acting of Jonathan Frid over Johnny Depp any day!  

Regardless, we will get into the twelfth track in the 2012 Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular... this little dubby number is simply titled "Barnabas" and it comes from a 1976 7" on the Nationwide label by the man Pat Kelly and produced by none other that Vivian "Yabby You" Jackson.

I have spiced it up with a trailer from the 1970 film "House of Dark Shadows."

And this may be a new record... 8 tracks in a row without a single comment on any!  So great to see my efforts are being appreciated... just thought I'd bitch a little!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2012 - Track Eleven - Crucial Burial

Up next in our Spooktacular is a moody little tune from the late great melodica-maestro Augustus Pablo... this one is called "Crucial Burial" originally pressed as a 12" on Pablo's own Rockers label sometime in the late 70s!  I think the melodica lends itself well to spooky subject matter, it just has a haunting, almost mythical sound and no one could coax a tune outta the instrument like Augustus Pablo.  I think you're gonna dig this one, if you'll pardon the pun.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2012 - Track Ten - Scare Crow Style

Junior Brammer AKA Trinity is up next in the Spooktacular, this time with a tune paying homage to the utilitarian scarecrow... this one is called "Scare Crow Style" and comes from his album Around The World on the Yard International label and released circa 1980-81.  

Monday, October 15, 2012

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2012 - Track Nine - Obeah In America

This one is a change of pace from our last track... Peter Metro gives us another peak at Obeah on this little charmer from the mid 80's originally released on the Jah Life Time label.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2012 - Track Eights - Haunted House

This is a good one to wrap up the week... The Upsetters with a rockin' tune from 1970 paying tribute to the horror genre with a song called "Haunted House."  Originally released as the b-side to Double Wheel in 1970 on the Spinning Wheel label and credited to someone name Melanie Jones, this is a good one.  Put it together with its own spooky sounds and some embellishments from yours truly and you've got a Spooktacular classic!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2012 - Track Seven - Obeah Book

The Ethiopians, founded by Leonard Dillon, have been a part of Jamaican music from the start.  Dillon recorded some mento tunes in the late 50s until forming the vocal group we all know and love shortly after.  They got their start in 1966 recording for Coxsone Dodd's Studio One and later moving on to the W.I.R.L label where they had their first success with "Train To Skaville" and followed it up in 1968 with the timely hit "Everything Crash."  The rest is history, so they say.

The next tune in the Spooktacular is taken from the Ethiopians 1977 LP Slave Call and it is called "Obeah Book."  For those who are uninformed, obeah is folk magic, sorcery and religious practices with West African roots, similar to Voodoo, Santeria and Hoodoo.  In the song, Leonard Dillon, accompanied by some damn fine Max Edwards nyabingi drumming, sets out to let it be known that Rastafari is in no-way connected with the works of Obeah.  Not particularly spooky subject matter but thematically a part of what we've got goin' on here!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2012 - Track Six - Annie Pama

The Annie Palmer legend is a good ol' fashioned Jamaican ghost story, complete with a White Witch well versed in Haitian Voodoo who enjoyed fraternizing, torturing and killing slaves, murdering husbands with reckless abandon, casting evil spells on servants, etc.  Annie Palmer's reign of terror came to end when a former lover and powerful Voodoo priest murdered her in return for killing his daughter.  But did a little thing like death stop Annie Palmer?  Hell no!  Her spirit is said to still haunt the Rose Hall Plantation outside of Montego Bay.   To be honest with you, I think the whole story  would be perfect fodder for a daytime soap opera.  I have done some in depth write-ups about the White Witch over the years, if you want to read more, have a gander at the archives.

But we're talkin' music here... and next up in the Spooktacular is "Annie Pama" (Palmer) by Bunny Lee's Allstars and it comes from a 1970 7" on the UK based Pama label.  This is an upbeat instrumental tune that I have been diggin' for years and it has been patiently waiting on the reserve list until now.  Dig it!

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2012 - Track Five - Jamboree

I have done so many versions of Zombie Jamboree over the last eight years that I'm having a hard time thinking of anything new or interesting that I haven't already revealed about the song... so let's keep it short and sweet.

"Zombie Jamboree" AKA "Back to Back" has become a yearly staple here in the Spooktacular and the version you're about to hear in the 2012 mix is probably one of the best!  The fifth track in our yearly spooky compilation is simply entitled "Jamboree" and comes from Laurel Aitken's 1966 7" on the Ska Beat label.

Cuban born Laurel Aitken came to Jamaica in 1938.  He got his start singing mento tunes for tourists who arrived at Kingston Harbor and night-lighting as a nightclub singer as well.  The rest is history, so they say, because after a lifetime in the music business, cutting records for countless producers and labels, as well as producing and jumping back and forth between England and Jamaica, he definitely earned his moniker The Godfather of Ska.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2012 - Track Four - Bermuda Triangle

For the most part, the tracks on the Spooktaculars have been firmly planted on terra firma, but with with this next track we're heading offshore into the North Atlantic, more precisely we're heading off the Bermuda Triangle!  

You'd have to be in a coma not to have heard about the Bermuda Triangle and the mysterious disappearances of ships and aircraft in this geographically triangular expanse of ocean between Miami, Puerto Rico and Bermuda.  Popular culture has attributed these events to paranormal or even extra terrestrial activity but no one has provided proof of anything about this strange region, that is until now! You will hear the fantastic tale of survival from the man Bionic Steve himself!  

Bionic Steve, born Marcus Townsend, is best know for his 1993 hit "Fly De Gate" on the riddim of the same name, but "Bermuda Triangle" predates that one by a good 13 years!  Little, i.e. nothing, is written about Bionic Steve except for a few details regarding his tragic murder in 1997, so I can't contribute anything else factual about him. So let's get to the record itself... pressed in 1980 on Derrick Harriot's Crystal label, it tells of Steve's fearful journey through the Devil's Triangle and his subsequent survival.

So put on your life preserver, roll up your pant legs and hold on because the seas are about to get rough!  

Friday, October 05, 2012

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2012 - Track Three - Frankenstein

Before I get on with my eloquent espousing on today's creepy tune I just wanted to mention something about this years presentation of the 2012 Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular... As the first four posts this month show, I am a huge fan of vintage horror comics.  I have posted the occasional comic cover in previous years to highlight the appropriate tune but this year I've decided to combine my love of old horror comic books with my love of all tunes spooky and I had my friend Roger Wilkerson create individual vintage comic book cover variations on each song... and I've got to tell you, they have turn out awesome.  Be sure to collect them all!

Frankenstein, the monster that is, has always been my favorite monster.  I'm pretty sure my first exposure was as a kid, when TV stations would play old movies to serve as filler on Sunday morning, and I came across 1948's Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein.  Kinda roundabout way of getting into ol' Frankie but it worked nonetheless.

Frankenstein, the record, by Byron Lee & The Dragonaires is up next in our spooky cavalcade of mayhem.  This is one of those holy grail records I have been searching for for years.  Sure, I had a copy of the song on CD but I wanted the 45 and I spent nearly 4 years tracking it down.  My luck changed last summer when I finally found it for sale and without an exorbitant price tag.  But enough about that... 

If I remember correctly I gave a background on Byron Lee & The Dragonaires before so I won't get into it again.  What you're going to hear is just a fantastic ska tune that successfully captures all the creepiness that is Frankenstein but still manages to get your feet moving.  I have embellished the song with a cut from my favorite 1974 Halloween sound effects LP,  Sounds of Terror!  You remember that one?  That's the LP my mom bought me at Woolworth's before a Halloween party we hosted when I was 3 years old and it scared the living shit out of me!   But let's get to the tunage!

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2012 - Track Two - Death A Come

Lloyd Robinson is up next in our distinguished anthology of spooky tunes... this one is called "Death A Come" and it comes from a 7" from 1969 on the Matador label.

Lloyd Robinson started out recording for Studio One in 1963 and worked his way through a few more producers such as Duke Reid, Sir JJ and Lloyd Daley, to name a couple.  Later, he would achieve further success when he teamed up with Glen Brown to form the vocal group Lloyd & Devon.

The story on the record is simple... no one wants to die.  I've embellished the audio with the trailer from the 1973 film Doctor Death starring John Considine and a multitude of nameless screaming female victims.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2012 - Track One - Midnight Time

And we're off!  It's great to be back with another set of spooky tunes for your holiday listening pleasure!  It has been a hectic September and it wasn't until the middle of the month that I realized that I hadn't started on the 2012 Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular but lo and behold I got my ass in gear and got it in the can!

We start off the 2012 Spooktacular with a tribute to the spookiest time on the clock... I of course am speaking about midnight and we get an upbeat horn-laden tribute to the "witching hour" from Tommy
McCook & The Supersonics.  "Midnight Time" comes from the 1999 Beatville CD Top Secret, which is in fact a re-release of a 1969 LP on the Techniques label and produced by the late great Winston Riley.

Just a smooth way to get into the Halloween mood and one that I hope you'll enjoy!

Monday, October 01, 2012

The Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2012!

Greeting friends!  Are you ready for the 2012 Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular?  I am running a tad bit behind on getting the mix finalized but I can guarantee that you that the Halloween mix will live!!  Just like previous years, I will be posting a different song each weekday, complete with all the spookiness you've come to expect when the leaves change color and the weather takes a turn for the chilly.  I will start with our daily posts on Wednesday but I wanted to assure everyone that I am in fact ready to spread the Halloween vibes in a J-A Style!  I'm keeping the write-ups short this year because the lack of response is infuriating and I've finally learned to just let it go... Stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

King Stitt... the rumors of his death have been greatly exaggerated.

I heard through the grapevine that the legendary Winston Sparkes AKA King Stitt has died...

Lesson Learned; never trust what you hear through the grapevine!

Quoting from the Gleaner...

Krista Henry, Staff Reporter

"Veteran deejay King Stitt is sick but not gone. Rumours began circulating yesterday that the deejay was dead.

Speaking with The Gleaner, son of the legendary Studio One founder Clement 'Coxsone' Dodd, Courtney Dodd, disclosed that Stitt was still alive.

Dodd, who also heard rumours about Stitt's passing, said, "He's sick and was in the hospital for two months."

According to Dodd, Stitt was in the Kingston Public Hospital for the last two months after coming from Brazil and reportedly not feeling well. Stitt was released from the hospital on Saturday, but according to Dodd, the doctors haven't yet discovered what is causing his illness.

"I saw him Saturday," Dodd said. He added, "He's not looking so good, He's still weak and not eating. He's lost a lot of weight and not talking much."

Born Winston Sparkes, he was called Stitt as a boy because of a stutter. Keeping the name, Sparkes called himself King Stitt on stage.

Stitt's long history with Studio One began in 1956 when he started deejaying on Coxson's Downbeat sound system.

Count Machuki noticed him for his dancing and gave him the chance to try his hand on the mic.

Following the folding of Coxson's Downbeat sound system around 1968, King Stitt found himself working as a mason in Ocho Rios. He had been deejaying at the mic for more than 10 years when he was first recorded over brand new reggae rhythms in 1969.

His first record releases came from producer Clancy Eccles with classic tracks like Fire Corner and Lee Van Cleef."

What I thought was a retrospective is now going to serve as a living tribute to Jamaica's Oldest Living DJ and a true originator!

King Stitt Mix!

1. Lick It Back
2. I For I
3. Fire Corner
4. Oh Yeah
5. Play It Cool
6. Jump For Joy
7. Be A Man
8. Herbman Shuffle w/Andy Capp
9. In The City
10. Rhyming Time
11. Sounds Of The 70s
12. Soul Language
13. Dance Beat 1
14. Reality
15. Rub A Dub
16. Rockers Corner
17. Live Jah Up
18. Lee Van Cleef
19. Vigorton Two
20. No Man Version