Thursday, December 31, 2015

Day 61 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Freddie McKay - Dance Dis Ya Festival

It's New Years Eve and I wanted to feature something upbeat and fun to get in the mood... though I just happen to find New Years the most anticlimactic night of the year.  But let's not dwell on my griping...  today/tonight's tune is "Dance Dis Ya Festival" by Freddie McKay which was originally released on Channel One's Well Charge label in 1976, won the Jamaican Independence Popular Song Contest that year and is still highly regarded by many Jamaicans as one of best Festival songs ever recorded.  Happy New Year all!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Day 60 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Earl "Chinna" Smith - Forward The Hand Of Time

As we approach 2016, I figured it would be appropriate to feature a song that makes reference to the progress of time... that tune is by legendary guitarist Earl "Chinna" Smith and is a pretty badass reggae instrumental take on American R&B singer Tyrone Davis' 1970 hit "Turn Back The Hands Of Time."  This was originally released on Chinna Smith's 1977 album Sticky Fingers... a smooth song!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Day 59 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - King Tubby - Straight To Scratch Head

Micron Music was one of the most underrated labels in reggae's early days... using a host of studios and producers including Bunny Lee & Lee Perry, their output was pretty top-notch.  In 2008, the UK-based Pressure Sounds released a compilation of Micron's recordings from 1973-1976 on an album called Every Mouth Must Be Fed and to me, it was an eye-opening experience.  The 59th track in the 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge is a King Tubby production called "Straight To Scratch Head" which is the dub version of a classic Junior Byles tune called "Lorna Banana." 

Monday, December 28, 2015

Day 58 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Augustus Pablo - Natural Way

Keeping in the dub mood for the 58th track we've got a nice tune by the late great Augustus Pablo with Tubby at the controls... this one is called "Natural Way" and comes from the 1977 album East of the River Nile, originally released on the Message label.  Pablo's soothing, yet moody melodica does wonders for easing the tension of starting another workweek... even if it is the last shortened workweek of 2015.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Day 57 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Keith Hudson - In The Rain

What could be more appropriate than a song about rain right now?  We here on the east coast of the U.S. are experiencing some of the weirdest winter weather ever!  When we should be bundling up to merely step outside the door we are going coat-less, hell on Christmas Eve I was wearing flip flops and breaking a huge sweat just stuffing the stockings like it was the end of June.  But anyway, let's get to today's tune... we're gonna start the next week with some dub and this one is called "In The Rain" and comes from the 1974 album Pick A Dub by Keith Hudson.  The album was originally released on the Klik label but was reissued in 1994 on Blood & Fire.  Lloyd Bradley, author of This is Reggae Music, suggest that the album is "one of the supreme heavyweight champion dub sets and even went so far as to include it on a 2007 list of "1000 Albums to Hear Before You Die."  With the Barrett Brothers and King Tubby at the helm this is completely badass!  Dig it!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Re-upped Classics From Years Past...

Hey folks!  I just re-upped all the Christmas mixes and I even added a new link to the 2013 mix as well, just check the original post from 2013.   I have received requests to re-up the mixes from 2014 and 2015, but they don't exist.  In 2011 I pulled the plug on new mixes each year when I felt like I had covered all the quality Jamaican Christmas songs and was coming up short finding new ones that would be even considered remotely palatable.  That year I decided that instead of piling together a bunch of awful stuff I would go out on a high note and possibly follow-up in the upcoming years with "best of" compilation.  In 2012 I did the mix "Seven Inches of Christmas Joy" which was a mix of previously featured tunes all ripped from 7" vinyl and in 2013 I did a mix of previously featured tunes mixed in with a couple new songs that I never used before... the lack of response made me realize that I'd be better off just leaving future Christmas Mixes alone.  I haven't put one together since... so if you've just happened across the blog and want to collect 'em all, if you've got 2006-2013, you've got the complete set!  Enjoy!

Sorry I didn't post this before Christmas but it was an absolute nightmare re-upping all these at the same time and I finally had the opportunity to get it done this morning!

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

The 2010 Jamaican Christmas Mix

1. Barrington Levy - Once A Year
2. Jah Thomas - Christmas Shopping
3. Tennessee Brown & The Silvertones - Little Drummer Boy
4. Gregory Isaacs - The Christmas Song
5. Sachmoore - Wuh You Got To Gimme For Christmas
6. Leon Danger & Mr. Culture - This Christmas
7. Chris Wayne - Silver Bells
8. Cedric Bravo w/Rico & The Five Stars - Merry Christmas
9. Norman T. Washington - Happy Christmas
10. Norman T. Washington - Happy Christmas Version
11. The Silent Choir - Silent Night
12. Alton Ellis - Praise Jah It's Christmas
13. Trinity - Santa Claus Comes Once A Year
14. Shinehead - Reggae Christmas Medley
15. Tyrone Taylor - Winter Wonderland
16. Admiral Bailey - Christmas Style
17. Ruddy Thomas - Reggae Happy Christmas
18. Tony Tuff - Christmas Irie
19. Little John - It's Christmas Time
20. Triston Palmer - Oh Holy Night
21. Arcanians - Christmas In Jamaica
22. Alton Ellis - Joy To The World
23. Delroy Melody - Christmas Time
24. King Everald - Santa Claus
25. Cimarons - Silent Night/White Christmas

 The 2011 Jamaican Christmas Mix

1. Dean Fraser - Deck The Halls
2. John C - We Three Kings
3. Ken Boothe - This Christmas
4. Glen Adams - Joyful Tidings
5. Byron Lee & The Dragonaires - Winter Wonderland Reggae
6. Don Drummond - Snowboy
7. Barrington Levy - Flash Your Dread
8. Trinity - Flash Your Dread (DJ Version)
9. Johnny Osbourne & Jennifer Lara - Christmas Medley
10. Horace Andy - Hark The Herald
11. D.D. Dennis - Christmas Message
12. Wain Nelson - Santa Claus
13. Lord Beginner - Christmas Morning The Rum Had Me Yawning
14. Raymond Harper - White Christmas
15. Jimpy - Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
16. Eek A Mouse - Have A Merry Little Xmas
17. Niyah & The Sunflakes - Merry Christmas
18. Lovindeer - Christmas Feeling
19. Don Carlos - Jingle Bells
20. Tippa Lee, Nardo Ranks, Half Pint & David Brevett - Dedicated To Santa
21. Silvertones - Merry Merry Christmas
22. Dennis Brown - Ding Dong Merrily On High
23. Gregory Isaacs - Ding Dong Bell
24. Junior Roots - Christmas Time Again
25. Owen Gray - Collins Greetings

The 2012 Jamaican Christmas Mix - Seven Inches Of Christmas Joy

1.  Little John - Save A Little For Christmas
2.  Roman Stewart - Christmas Affair
3.  Jah Walton - DJ Christmas
4.  Don Cornel & The Eternals - Christmas Joy
5.  Barry Brown - Christmas Christmas
6.  Cocoa Tea - Christmas Is Coming
7.  Johnny Clarke - I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
8.  Verna Lee Powell - He Is My Santa Claus
9.  Glen Adams - Xmas Rock
10.  Trinity - Video Christmas
11.  Silent Choir - Silent Night
12.  Niyah & The Sunflakes - Merry Christmas
13.  Glen Adams - Joyful Tidings
14.  Mutabaruka - Postpone Christmas
15.  Tippa Lee, Nardo Ranks, Half Pint & David Brevett - Dedicated To Santa
16.  Nigger Kojak - Christmas Style
17.  Norman T. Washington - It's Christmas Time Again
18.  Owen Gray - Collins Greetings
19.  Cedric Bravo w/Rico & The Four Stars - Merry Christmas
20.  Leon Danger & Mr. Culture - This Christmas  

The 8th Week Mix! Available For Your Uninterrupted Listening Pleasure!

Seasons Greetings!  Available for your uninterrupted yuletide listening!  What you're gonna hear!

1.  Barrington Levy & Jah Thomas - Once A Year/Christmas Shopping

2.  Granville Williams Orchestra - Santa Claus is Ska-ing to Town

3.  The Wailers - Sound the Trumpet

4.  The Maytals - Christmas Feeling

5.  Silent Choir - Silent Night

6.  Horace Andy - Oh Little Town of Bethlehem

7.  Don Cornel & The Eternals - Christmas Joy

Be sure to stop back tomorrow for the start of Week 9!

Day 56 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Don Cornel & The Eternals - Christmas Joy

Track 56 of the 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge... and it's another fantastic reggae Christmas song... Don Cornel & The Eternals with a little tune called "Christmas Joy," produced by Harry Mudie and released on his Moodisc label in 1970.  Don Cornel would go on to achieve further success using the name Cornell Campbell, and this holiday tune beautifully showcases his trademark sweet falsetto.  Of course my opinion may be a little biased because Cornell Campbell just so happens to be one of my all-time favorite Jamaican vocalists.


Friday, December 25, 2015

Day 55 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Horace Andy - Oh Little Town Of Bethlehem

Merry Christmas!  Keeping it short and sweet today due to the fact that I've got a lot of eating, drinking and relaxing to get done... at least before I unfortunately need to leave for work.  But let's get to the 55th track in the 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge and it is my favorite Jamaican Christmas song of them all!  Horace Andy gives us his rendition of "Oh Little Town of Bethlehem," taken from the 1979 various artists compilation called The Joe Gibbs Family Wish You a Merry Rockers Christmas on the Joe Gibbs label.  In my opinion, Mr. Andy gives us one of the most heartfelt and genuine deliveries of this classic Christmas carol ever recorded regardless of genre!  Lots of love to each and every one!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Day 54 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Silent Choir - Silent Night

Wow, this month has been flying by... I'm finding it hard to believe that we've already arrived at Christmas Eve and today's tune couldn't be more timely and appropriate... Silent Choir gives us "Silent Night" which was released on the UK-based Magnet label in 1973.  While traditional renditions of Silent Night undoubtedly remain the most pious and reflective of all the Christmas carol, the addition of a reggae beat elevates the mood significantly... that coupled with a lively verse or two of Jingle Bells doesn't hurt things either.  Merry Christmas everyone! 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Day 53 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - The Maytals - Christmas Feeling

Day 53 of 365... some more ska!  From 1964 and again from Coxsone Dodd's Studio One, we have another upbeat "feel good" Christmas tune!  This one is by The Maytals and it's called "Christmas Feelings," and it comes from a 2002 Heartbeat Records compilation of Studio One Christmas songs called appropriately Christmas Greetings From Studio One!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Day 52 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - The Wailers - Sound The Trumpet

Keeping up the mood with some more ska!  The 52nd track in the 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge is by the Wailers; Bob, Peter and Bunny and it is a scorcher!  "Sound The Trumpet" AKA "Christmas Is Here" was recorded at Studio One with the immortal Skatalites doing the backing and released in December of 1964 on Coxsone Dodd's Muzik City label.  This is definitely one of those great Jamaican tunes that can easily transcend anyone's self-imposed genre limitations on Christmas music, it has been in my playlist for over 20 years!  Guaranteed to get your feet moving!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Day 51 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Granville Williams Orchestra - Santa Claus Is Ska-ing To Town

Day 51 of 365... and today we're going ska!  If you can listen to today's tune without having a smile on your face you may want to check your pulse or consult a doctor because it's a good chance that you may no longer be among the living.  The Granville Williams Orchestra gives us "Santa Claus Is Ska-ing To Town" originally released in the mid-60s on their own G.W.O. label and now available on a multitude of Jamaican Christmas compilations, this one is the epitome of a good time. 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Day 50 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Barrington Levy & Jah Thomas - Once A Year

Kicking off the 8th week with a lot more Jamaican Christmas vibes!  As you can imagine, this week is gonna be jam packed with "tunes of the season" and if you'll excuse my language for a moment, this one kicks ass!  Barrington Levy and Jah Thomas give us "Once A Year/Christmas Shopping" and it has been lifted off a 1980 12" on GG's Hit label produced by Alvin Ranglin and backed by the GG All Stars.  A festive tune that always puts a smile on my face!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

The 7th Week Mix! Available For Your Uninterrupted Listening Pleasure!

What you're gonna hear in this seventh installment…

1.  Yellowman - Body Move
2.  Charlie Chaplin - We Hot
3.  Badoo & Toyan - Reaching To Be Free
4.  Ranking Joe - Ask Me No Question
5.  Errol Scorcher - Dance All Style
6.  Little John - United We Stand, Divided We Fall
7.  Cocoa Tea - Christmas Is Coming

Be sure to stop back tomorrow for the start of week 8!


Day 49 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Cocoa Tea - Christmas Is Coming

Okay, okay... I can't ignore the fact that we're just less than a week away from Christmas and today's tune will help put us all in the holiday spirit!  This is one of my favorite reggae Christmas tunes and much like yesterday's Little John offering it has the great Junjo at the helm... a spirited Yuletide take on the Three Blind Mice riddim that will have you skanking around the Christmas tree!  It's called "Christmas Is Coming" by Cocoa Tea and it is taken from a 1984 7" on the Arrival label and it is definitely festive!

The complete Week 7 Mix will be up shortly!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Day 48 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Little John - United We Stand, Divided We Fall

Track 48 of 365 in the 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge is called "United We Stand, Divided We Fall" by John McMorris AKA Little John and it comes to us from a sweet slice of early 80s 12" vinyl.  Produced by the great Junjo Lawes and released on the Jah Guidance label in 1982, this has always been my favorite Little John tune!  It was also one of the first Junjo productions I ever bought, at Daddy Kool Records in London while on vacation many years ago.  This record along with a stack of other vinyl treasures I had accumulated were lugged from London to Ireland to France and back to the States in a heavy flat cardboard box that never left my hands or my lap.  It also started my near-obsession with Junjo's productions... an obsession that still has an effect on my vintage vinyl buying habits.  Riding a bass heavy Roots Radics take on the Silhouettes riddim, this record is a thing of beauty!  

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Day 47 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Errol Scorcher - Dance All Style

The late Errol Archer AKA Errol Scorcher got into the music business by deejaying with several sound systems in the 1970s.  His first single "Leggo Mi Hand Babylon" was not a huge success but subsequent singles were met with some acclaim.  Scorcher's 1978 tune "Peace Truce," which celebrated the coming-together of rival warring political factions which culminated in the One Love Peace Concert in April of that year.  His biggest success came a year later with "Roach In The Corner" and around that time he started his Scorcher record label.  Sadly Errol Scorcher died in 2012 at the age of 55 from a ruptured blood vessel in his head.  But enough of the background, let's get to today's track... the 47th in our yearlong track-a-day extravaganza!  This one is called "Dance All Style" on the Bobby Babylon riddim; produced and arranged by Scorcher himself and released on his Scorch label in 1980.  Dig it!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Day 46 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Ranking Joe - Ask Me No Question

Track 46 of 365... A little Ranking Joe for a Wednesday!  This tune is called "Ask Me No Question," was produced by Joe Gibbs and released on the Town & Country label circa 1978.  This tune is basically a conglomeration of proverbs telling people to respect one other... I'm particularly fond of, "spit in the sky and it'll fall into your eye," which basically means what you do or what bad you wish for others will eventually be the cause of your own downfall.  A bit of wisdom over a nice horn-heavy riddim!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Day 45 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Badoo & Toyan - Reaching To Be Free

Track 45 of 365... if you're like me, by this point in December you're about ready to rip off your own ears if you have to hear another lousy Christmas song by Mariah Carey or the most dreaded of all holiday tunes Wham's "Last Christmas."  I went on a rant on Facebook last week about how that song is dredged up every year to assault our ears but I won't get into it here... to combat the onslaught of bad Christmas music I have decided for the rest of the week to just go all-out rub-a-dub to give you a short respite from this all-consuming holiday.  Today track is by Badoo & Toyan and it's called "Reaching To Be Free" from 1980 and comes from a 12" on the KG Imperial label... riding the Storm riddim, this tune is wicked!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Day 44 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Charlie Chaplin - We Hot

Today's tune is by Charlie Chaplin, and no I'm not talking about the silent film comedian with the bowlegs and the cane, we're talking about Richard Patrick Bennett...  The DJ who like Josey Wales got started with U-Roy's Stur-Gav Hi-Fi circa 1980 and went on to record a multitude of singles and albums and in 2013 actually received an Order of Distinction from the Jamaican Government.  Today's track, 44 of 365, is called "We Hot" and it comes from the album Sound System that he recorded for Henry "Junjo" Lawes in 1984 and which was released on the Arrival label. 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Day 43 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Yellowman - Belly Move

As most people know, I have always been a huge Yellowman fan and this track kicking off the 7th Week has always been one of my favorites!  The 43rd track in the 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge is a wicked tune called "Body Move" lifted from a Junjo Lawes produced 12" on the Witty label.  This is not the version heard on the Nobody Moves Nobody Get Hurt album... pretty much nothing but King Yellow, drum and bass! Completely kicks ass! And the semi-spacy, minimalistic Roots Radics version at the tail doesn't hurt things either.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

The 6th Week Mix! Available For Your Uninterrupted Listening Pleasure!

What you're gonna hear in this sixth installment…

1.  King Stitt - Christmas Tree
2.  Toots & The Maytals - Walk With Love
3.  The Wailers - Cheer Up
4.  Roman Stewart - Christmas Affair
5.  Johnny Clarke - Do You Love Me?
6.  Earl Cunningham - Want My Pay
7.  Josey Wales - Love Me Have Fi Get

Be sure to stop back tomorrow for the start of week 7!


Day 42 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Josey Wales - Love Me Have Fi Get

Track 42 of 365... sticking with some more rub-a-dub for a Saturday!  Joseph Sterling AKA Josey Wales, is on my list as one of the top ten greatest DJs to ever ride a riddim.  In his time spent with U-Roy's King Sturgav Hi-Fi, Josey expertly learned the ropes and when he teamed up with producer extraordinaire Henry "Junjo" Lawes in 1982, the results were pure niceness!  Today's tune "Love Me Have Fi Get" (AKA Love I Want)  taken from a 12" on the Volcano label and coupled with the Roots Radics smooth 'A Love I Can Feel/Love In The House' riddim, is a prime example.  To me, things couldn't sound sweeter!

The Complete 6th Week Mix will be up shortly!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Day 41 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Earl Cunningham - Want My Pay

Day 41 of the 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge... After what seemed like an extra long week we have finally arrived at yet another glorious Friday... and it's a pay day!  With that said, today's song "Want My Pay" by Earl Cunningham couldn't be more appropriate... produced by Jah Thomas and originally released in 1983 on the GG's Hit label and riding the classic Answer riddim, I don't think I could have found a better tune for today.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Day 40 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Johnny Clarke - Do You Love Me?

Sticking with the fantastic flying cymbals for another tune and this one comes directly from Bunny Lee and the Aggrovators' Carlton "Santa" Davis; the producer, band and the very drummer that revolutionized the sound... according to reggae historian and author David Katz in a great article regarding this topic which you can read here, Santa Davis modeled the distinctive open and closed hi-hat pattern from the "Philly Bump" soul pattern popularized by the band Mother, Father, Sister, Brother and their song "The Sound of Philadephia" AKA the theme song to Soul Train.  This is the 40th track in the 365 day Jamaican Music Challenge and it's voiced by the man Johnny Clarke and it's called "Do You Love Me?" not to be confused with the American song by the Contours of the same title.  This tune was originally released in Jamaica circa 1975 as a 7" on the Bar Bell label, as well as Hotstick and Monica's in Canada around the same time! 

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Day 39 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Roman Stewart - Christmas Affair

The 39th track in the 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge and we're going with something a little seasonal... we hop into Wednesday with another Christmas tune!  This one is Roman Stewart's "Christmas Affair"; recorded at Channel One and released in 1976 on their illustrious Well Charge label... this is one of my favorite Jamaican Christmas records simply because I'm a sucker for some serious flying-cymbal!

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Day 38 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - The Wailers - Cheer Up

I have been a huge fan of Leslie Kong's productions for longer than I can remember, in fact I had been enjoying the picking guitar and bouncing basslines that came outta Beverley's long before I knew exactly what I was hearing.  Case in point, today's tune "Cheer Up" by the Wailers circa 1971... aside from the early socially conscious lyrics and sweet harmonies from Bob, Peter and Bunny it's that guitar that makes this one.  At about 1:12 when we get a taste of Hux Brown's simplistic but absolutely masterful reggae guitar, made famous to those outside the reggae realm on Paul Simon's 1972 hit "Mother & Child Reunion," it is pure bliss!

Monday, December 07, 2015

Day 37 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Toots & The Maytals - Walk With Love

Day 37 of the 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge... Toots and the Maytals with "Walk With Love," a great upbeat song from 1971, originally released as a 7" on the Beverley's label and one that will put a smile on your face... even on a Monday morning.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Day 36 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - King Stitt - Christmas Tree

With Patti in healing mode it's time to jump back into week six with a sweet seasonal tune... King Stitt gives us one of the baddest Jamaican Christmas tunes in my library.  This one is called "Christmas Tree" from 1970 and it always puts me in a funky Yuletide mood!  Dig it!  Nice! Nice! Nice!

Saturday, December 05, 2015

The 5th Week Mix! Available For Your Uninterrupted Listening Pleasure!

 What you're gonna hear in this fifth installment…

1.  John Holt - Stick By Me
2.  Ike Bennett & The Crystalites - Patricia
3.  The Emotions - Buy You A Rainbow
4.  The Versatiles - I Love You Baby
5.  The Techniques - Queen Majesty
6.  Ernest Wilson - Undying Love
7.  The Pioneers - Love Love Everyday

Be sure to stop back tomorrow for the start of week 6!


Day 35 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - The Pioneers - Love Love Everyday

One more this week for my sweet Patricia... this one is called "Love Love Everyday" by the Pioneers and it comes from a 1969 release on the Amalgamated label produced by Joe Gibbs.  Just an upbeat, positive, horn-heavy song to keep spirits up this Saturday. 

Thank you to everyone who offered their words of support and love during this week, you don't know how much it is truly appreciated.

The uncut week-long mix coming in a few!

Friday, December 04, 2015

Day 34 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Ernest Wilson - Undying Love

Moving on to the 34th tune in the 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge and yet again it's dedicated to Patti... it's "Undying Love" by Ernest Wilson, produced by Coxsone Dodd and originally released in 1968 on Studio One and later on Coxsone.  In my honest opinion one of the most beautiful love songs ever recorded, bar none.  Sweet lyrics, sweet horns and a rhythm that warms you like a favorite blanket on a cold night.

Patti continues to amaze me... I get home from my first day back at work since her surgery to a complete Thanksgiving dinner that I unfortunately missed out on last week!  Three days after brain surgery she made a turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes and of course, I was beyond delighted!  Plain and simple she is the best!  

This song is for you Patti!  I love you!

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Day 33 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Techniques - Queen Majesty

Sticking with yet another rocksteady tune from Treasure Isle... this one is the 1968 classic by The Techniques called "Queen Majesty" and like the rest of the week it also goes out to Patti.  A cover of the 1963 Impressions song "Minstrel & Queen" the Jamaican version sounds so much sweeter than the original... but then of course I may be just a little biased.

Today the recuperation continues, Patti is in great spirits as the mending continues.  I am thankful that she is getting back to being herself and each day that goes by I realize how much of a trooper she really is; you can't keep her down!  I don't know where she gets the strength... I know if the roles were reversed I'd wouldn't want to do anything but lie in bed and feel miserable and sorry for myself for the next six months but she is getting back on her feet!  She really is amazing!

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Day 32 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Versatiles - I Love You My Baby

Another tune for Patti.  This one is by The Versatiles with Tommy McCook & The Supersonics and is called "I Love You My Baby," originally recorded and released in 1969 on Duke Reid's Treasure Isle label.

Yesterday, Patti was released from the hospital and has been home since resting as comfortably as expected.  Her follow-up MRI looked good and after what seemed like an extra two days of waiting for the paperwork to be completed she was released.  She was nearly desperate to sleep in her own bed and it's perfectly obvious that the familiarity instantly put her at ease and she was finally able to get a decent rest.  Truly there is no place like home.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Day 31 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - The Emotions - Buy You A Rainbow

This 1967 rocksteady tune by the Emotions "A Rainbow" AKA "Buy You A Rainbow" originally pressed on the Caltone label is also dedicated to my love. 

So far things are looking good... The doctor informed us that the operation was a complete success and that there were no complications. Patti was awake and talking less than an hour after the surgery and is being kept for observation for the next 24 hours... we are justifiably relieved and confident that things will only get better.  Patti has already begun making plans to switch the part on her hair so that the bald spot and stitches will be less noticeable... she is back to her "old self" and we couldn't be happier!  She is holding out hope that they will discharge her today so that she can get back home to recuperate but we'll take it as it comes.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Day 30 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Ike Bennett & The Crystalites - Patricia

Today is the day for the surgery and Patti has a long day ahead of her so I want to keep this short and sweet...

Appropriately, "Patricia" is the track for today.  Ike Bennett and the Crystalites from 1968 doing a rocksteady interpretation of Perez "The King of the Mambo" Prado's hit he recorded ten years earlier in 1958.  

When Patti and I first got together six years ago this track became her signature ring-tone on my cell phone and to this day it remains as such.  And every Jamaican Independence Day, when our suburban backyard becomes an island oasis complete with jerk chicken, rice and peas, rum punch, scores of rambunctious children and lots of highly amplified Jamaican music, I always play "Patricia" so that regardless of where she is around the yard or in the house and whether she's minding the food, keeping the kids from drinking all the Ting in the cooler or engaging the guests, I love and appreciate her.  It's my simple way of paying my respect to the woman who has made my life so fulfilling and happy.  I plan to do so for a long time to come.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Day 29 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - John Holt - Stick By Me

You'll have to forgive me this week if I get a little sappy because it's gonna get personal.  No, I'm still going to have a track each day but I dedicate the entire week to my love Patricia Parker.  You see, on Monday she's going to be admitted to Johns Hopkins for a serious neurological procedure and to be completely honest… I'm scared shitless.  The thoughts of anything bad happening to her absolutely fills me with dread and fear and it is only my faith in God that I know everything will be okay.  As much as I'd like to perform this surgery to make sure it's done right, I can't because unfortunately I am not a surgeon nor do I play one on TV, so that aspect is completely out of my hands.  All I can do is show her my support and my unyielding love and this is the best way I know how to express it to her.  

So please… if you're the praying type please say a prayer for Patti and if you're not, good vibes are always appreciated.

We start things off this week with one of those tunes that really pulls-at-the-heartstrings.  John Holt's reggae rendition of a song originally written and performed by the American doo-wop group Shep and the Limelites, "Stick By Me" circa 1970/71 produced by the great Bunny Lee. 

I love you darling and that's no lie
Oh oh, stick by me, I'll stick by you
When you cry, I cry, too
Oh oh, stick by me and I'll stick by you
Remember my heart and my love belong to you
Oh oh, stick by me, I'll stick by you

Saturday, November 28, 2015

The 4nd Week Mix! Available For Your Uninterrupted Listening Pleasure!

 What you're gonna hear in this fourth installment…

1.  Big Joe - Fisherman Skank
2.  Prince Jazzbo - Donkey Blind
3.  King Tubby - Homeward Dub
4.  Jackie Mittoo - Be Thankful
5.  The Wailers - Thank You Lord
6.  Upsetters - Dollar In The Teeth
7.  Mutabaruka - Postpone Christmas

Be sure to stop back tomorrow for the start of week 5!

Day 28 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Mutabaruka - Postpone Christmas

Now with Thanksgiving in the rear-view we can hop into this Christmas mayhem with both feet but I'm not willing or prepared to jump.  From 1983 and lifted from a 7" on the High Times label, Mutabaruka gives us today's tune appropriately titled, "Postpone Christmas."  The perfect bitter antidote to the premature start of the Christmas season.  You tell 'em Muta!

Mek we postpone Christmas this year
Mek we postpone Christmas this year
De people dem nuh still have noting fi wear
Postpone Christmas this year.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Day 27 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - The Upsetters - Dollar In The Teeth

Line up at the Walmart and have your credit cards at the ready, it's Black Friday.  And that means one thing… spend until it hurts.... at least that's what the retailers want you to do.  Today marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season and the dreaded march to Christmas.  Don't get me wrong, I'm fine with Christmas itself and I do enjoy the seasonal festivities but it's shoved down our throats sooner and sooner each year and it has made me a bit of a Scrooge as December rapidly approaches.  But enough about that…

In the spirit of the gaudy outlay of cash that have the fat cats drooling in anticipation, I have decided to go with the Upsetters "Dollar In The Teeth,"  originally released as a single on the Upsetter label in 1969 and eventually on their LP Eastwood Rides Again in 1970.  Now get out there and empty your wallets!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Day 26 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - The Wailers - Thank You Lord - Happy Thanksgiving!

Yes, it is time for yet another tune in the 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge.  I had absolutely no trouble in picking this one, an absolute classic!  "Thank You Lord" by the Wailers from 1967 has become a holiday staple for me over the last 25 years and while everyone else is enjoying the time with their friends and family I'll be spending the day at work... again!  And no I'm not talking about a couple years here and there, this is my 19th consecutive Thanksgiving worked!  It's absolutely infuriating and has now gone on for so long that it's completely ridiculous.  But I'm not going to dwell on the negative... 

I am thankful for the family and friends who make my life worth living… the people who I unconditionally love and who unconditionally love me right back. I may not be rich, handsome, cultured, Ward Cleaver or Albert Einstein but I am that I am and it feels good that there are people who accept me as I am regardless of my warts, foul mouth, unconventional outlook on life and propensity for wasting money on booze, horror movies and reggae records.  I am thankful for the life I lead and for all those daily little things that make life worth living!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Day 25 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Jackie Mittoo - Be Thankful

Sticking with thankful tunes and providing you with something super laid back to soothe you after battling the atrocious holiday traffic... this one "Be Thankful" comes from the great Jackie Mittoo and his album Now produced by Coxsone Dodd and released on Studio One in 1970.  "Be Thankful" wasn't originally included on the vinyl release but thankfully it was included on the CD release years later.  So pour yourself the beverage of your choice, put your feet up and relax while Jackie takes you on a musical ride to Mellowland... a land where all days are sunny, the commutes are always easy, the kids go to bed early and the turkey is served with homemade cranberry sauce instead of that crimson gelatinous blob that still retains the can marks when squeezed out on the plate.