Saturday, August 06, 2016
Day 280 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - The Jolly Boys - Take Me Back To Jamaica
This one never fails to put a smile on my face! Going back to mento for Jamaican Independence Day itself and this one came nearly a half-century after the heyday of the rumba box, banjo and bamboo saxophones. Today's tune is called "Take Me Back To Jamaica" by the Jolly Boys and it comes from their 1991 CD release Sunshine 'N' Water on the Rykodisc label. The Jolly Boys originally grew out of a band called the Navy Island Swamp Boys who used to play for Hollywood star Errol Flynn and guests at exclusive parties on his private island off the coast of Port Antonio called Navy Island. As can be expected the Jolly Boys quickly became a tourist favorite at hotels and private engagements across Jamaica throughout the 60s and in 1966 spent nearly six months in New Hampshire for several performances. They continued plugging along for the next couple decades on the tourist circuit, recruiting new members as the original players succumbed to age, illness or death and in 1989 they were approached to record an album for an international audience and in turn raised the awareness of Jamaican mento to levels it had never known before. They are still active today and I can't tell you how much of a revelation it was for me the first time I heard them twenty years ago, the Jolly Boys were who inspired me to seek out, appreciate and enjoy classic mento in the first place! But let's get to today's track, I've got rice and peas on the stove that I don't want to stick. Happy Independence Day Jamaica!