Thursday, August 04, 2016

Day 278 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Eric Donaldson - Land Of My Birth

A couple years back my Jamaican co-worker Ingrid gave me a request.  She wanted me to compile as many Jamaica Festival tunes I could find and put them on a couple CDs so that she could listen to them in her car on her way back and forth to work.  Of course I agreed because I always love a challenge and after a weekend of digging I gave her the CDs.  Ingrid of course loved the CDs but quickly proclaimed today's track "Land Of My Birth" by Eric Donaldson her all-time favorite.  Donaldson started his career in 1964 at Studio One but Coxsone never released any of the material so he went on to form a group called The West Indians who scored a hit with "Right On Time" for producer J.J. Johnson in 1968.  After a short stint with Lee Perry and the band who had been renamed themselves The Kilowatts, Donaldson decided to pursue a solo career.  His trademark tune "Cherry Oh Baby" was the first he submitted to the Jamaican Festival Song Competition in 1971 which subsequently won the award and became a huge hit.   Teaming up with songwriter Winston Wallace, Donaldson scored another contest win in 1977 with "Sweet Jamaica" in 1977 and "Land Of My Birth" in 1978.  Donaldson went on to win the competition three more time but this one full of national pride and patriotism is still revered as the greatest Festival Song in the contest's history.  And it's with this in mind that I dedicate today's tune to all Jamaicans living at home and abroad!  Respect!

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