Saturday, April 30, 2016

The 26th Week Mix In All Of Its Uninterrupted Glory!

What you're gonna hear in the 26th Week Mix...

1.  Johnny Ringo - Rub A Dub Style
2.  Lui Lepki - Bank Clerk
3.  Brigadier Jerry - Home Guard Take Over
4.  Lee Van Cleef - Bubble Reggae Music
5.  Peter Metro - Calypso Calypso
6.  Lord Sassafrass - ABC
7.  Papa Tullo - Delaware

Day 182 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Papa Tullo - Delaware

Everald Crawford AKA Papa Tullo was another of the early 80s deejay who doesn't have much written about him but was one hell of an artist!  Tullo, like the rest of his contemporaries, spent a lot of time honing his skill in the dance by working with sound systems including Studio Mix and Arrows before making the jump to vinyl.  He recorded a stack of singles for a bunch of producers and different labels before his debut album Tullo At Home was recorded and released on the Negus Roots label in 1982.  His combination album with Purpleman; Purpleman Saves Papa Tullo In A Dancehall, released in '83 on the Vista label is one of the rub-a-dub era's greatest albums and one of the prized possessions in my record collection!  Now it would have been easy for me to just go with one of the tracks on there and call it a day but I figured I'd dig one up that I hadn't heard in a long while... Today's tune and the 181st in the 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge I might add, was produced by the great Junjo Lawes and released in 1982 as a 12" on Greensleeves at the is called "Delaware."  A smooth track by one of the sadly unsung heroes of early dancehall.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Day 181 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Lord Sassafrass - ABC

Prior to picking up the mic, Michael Johnson AKA Lord Sassafrass had dreamed of becoming a jockey and in turn worked in the riding stables at Jamaica's famous Caymans Park race track.  Sassafrass began performing with a handful of sound systems in the early 80s and as a nod to his former career became known as the Horseman which also had a lot to due with his propensity for chatting lyrics about horse racing.  He made the step from sound system to vinyl in 1982 when he recorded his album Horseman Connection backed by the Aggrovators, produced by Bunny Lee, featuring the talents of mixing engineer Prince Jammy and released on the Starlight label.  Today's track "ABC" comes from Sassafrass' 1985 album Pocomania Jump produced by Jack Scorpio and released on the Black Scorpio label and it's a textbook example of the timeliness of the lyrics dropped by the early 80s deejays.  "ABC" is a tribute to Michael Jackson during the height of his popularity and one that I included in the MJ tribute mix I put together nearly seven years ago.  Also riding the Answer riddim like yesterday's Peter Metro tune, this song is a helluva lotta fun!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Day 180 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Peter Metro - Calypso Calypso

Peter Clarke originally performed under the name Ranking Peter but after discovering the moniker had already been chosen by another deejay decided to go with a name that paid homage to his resident sound system Metromedia and hence became Peter Metro.  Renowned for his use of Spanish and often acknowledged as the first multilingual deejay, Peter Metro developed a considerable following in South America.  Today's tune "Calypso Calypso," which also features Metro's deejay spar Zu Zu providing the call and response and riding the timeless Answer riddim, was produced by Jah Thomas and released in Jamaica as a 7" on Midnight Rock and internationally at a 12" on the Greensleeves label in 1983, is one of my favorite Peter Metro tracks!  Check it!   

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Day 179 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Lee Van Cleef - Bubble Reggae Music

Keeping with the deejays... up next is Devon Perkins AKA Lee Van Cleef, obviously taking his name from the western actor actor of the same name, was one of a host of early 80s that made the rounds with countless sound systems during the early dancehall era.  Unfortunately little has been written about Van Cleef and aside from a stack of singles and the two albums; Reggae Sunsplash on the Revolutionary Sounds label which he recorded for Donovan Germain and Rock It To Me Twice for Scientist, I can't find any additional biographical info.  Sadly, like Lui Lepki, he was shot and killed in Brooklyn New York in 1987.  Today's track "Bubble Reggae Music" is taken from a 7" produced by Paul Campbell and Barry Clarke and released on the Afro Eagle label and it's a nice one! 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Day 178 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Brigadier Jerry - Home Guard Take Over

Brigadier Jerry, born Robert Russell, originally linked-up with U-Roy's King Stur-Gav Hi-Fi and got his first turn at the mic as, if you can believe this, a stand-up comedian.  He switched gears by deejaying with a couple sound systems before becoming a member of the 12 Tribes of Israel in 1978 and performing with Jah Love Muzik.  Unlike a lot of deejays from the era, Briggy's fame wasn't earned on vinyl, his cultural lyrics and ability to skillfully ride any riddim made him one of the most in-demand performers in Jamaica.  He cut his first tracks at Studio One in the early 80s and had his first big hit "Pain" on Delroy Stansbury's Jwyanza label in 1982.  Today's tune "Home Guard Take Over" recorded at Channel One and mixed at King Tubby's was also released in 1982 on the Isis label.  Dig it!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Day 177 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Lui Lepki - Bank Clerk

Lui Lepki, sometimes spelled Louie, Loui, Lue, Luie, etc. is one of those artists with so many variations on the spelling of his name it makes it hard to locate his records when doing searches online.  When I'm looking for a tune by Mr. Lepki (or is it Lepke or Lepkey) it takes some creativity in finding what I'm seeking.  But regardless, Lui Lepki was one of those early 80s deejays who today is sadly underrated or appreciated.  Aside from a multitude of singles for a multitude of producers during that time, his two albums Late Night Movie for Joe Gibbs and Willie Red for Channel One, remain in my opinion two top-notch records!  But not only did Lui Lepki put some quality tracks to vinyl, he remained busy during the advent of the dancehall era by performing with a heap of soundsystems including King Gemini, Sturgav and Volcano.  Sadly, Lepki died in 1987 when he was shot and killed outside of a nightclub in New York.  Today's track, the 176th in the 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge is "Bank Clerk" which comes from the aforementioned 1982 album Willie Red.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Day 176 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Johnny Ringo - Rub A Dub Style

Up next in the 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge is a nice tune by Bradley Miller AKA Johnny Ringo called "Rub A Dub Style" and it comes from a 12" on the Observers label... and it's the perfect track to start off an entire week of deejay tunes from the rub a dub era!  Johnny Ringo was working in a record shop in the late 70's where he met Welton Irie, another DJ breaking into the scene around the same time, and the two formed an association that carried them throughout the heyday of the rub-a-dub era. Both Ringo and Irie were heavily influenced by the style of the often under appreciated Ranking Trevor and they modeled some of their styles of phrasing and delivery after him.
Ringo was the operator for two sound systems Soul Express and Rippa-Tone, and eventually made the leap to vinyl in 1979 with the song "Trouble Never Set Like Rain" backed by the Revolutionaries and released on the Reggae Vibes label.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The 25th Week Mix In All Of Its Uninterrupted Glory!

Here it is... the 25th Week Mix, complete and uninterrupted for your listening pleasure.  What you're gonna hear...

1.  Linton Kwesi Johnson - More Time
2.  The Bluebells - Come Along
3.  Barry Isaac - Mi Callie Tree
4.  Rita Marley - One Draw
5.  Rapper Roberts & Jim Brown - Minister For Ganja
6.  Sister Nancy - Chalice
7.  Yellowman - Sensemilla

Day 175 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Yellowman - Sensemilla

We're gonna wrap up the week by giving King Yellowman his turn to drop some ganja lyrics on the Full Up riddim.  This one is called "Sensemilla" and was produced by Gussie Clarke and released in 1982 on his Gussie's 80's label.  It's quiet obvious in '82 there was a huge surge in recordings of ganja tunes and the majority of them were riding Full Up... it probably had a lot to do with the success of the Mighty Diamonds "Pass The Kouchie" recorded and released in 1981 and eventually culminated in the sanitized pop hit "Pass The Dutchie" by the group Musical Youth the following year.  The way I see it, the Jamaican music industry was still desperately seeing to find an inroad to international pop success and they wanted to ride the coattails of a charted reggae hit by repackaging Full Up as quick as they could.  I have even read that Gussie Clarke's "Gussie's 80's" label attempted to come off slicker and more professional than other Jamaican exports at the time in an effort to appeal to international tastes at the time.  Unfortunately I don't think the world quite "got" the Jamaican tradition of reusing riddims and the heap of weed-centric deejay takes produced in hopes of capturing the fickle pop listeners never got traction... oh well, their loss.  I love the introduction to the tune with the faux breaking news report and the keeping with the journalistic theme when some typewriter effects are throw in throughout, most notably when the version starts to roll!  A massive Yellowman classic from the early days of his reign as DJ King!  Dig it!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Day 174 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Sister Nancy - Chalice

Sticking with the Full Up for another ganja tune but unlike yesterday's Studio One original take we're going with the Roots Radics reinterpretation coupled with some smooth lyrics by one of my favorites!  This one is called "Chalice" by the greatest of all female deejays Sister Nancy and it comes from a 12" produced by Henry "Junjo" Lawes and released on the beloved Jah Guidance label.  Nancy, born Ophlin Russell, was one of fifteen siblings and the younger sister to Robert Russell AKA Brigadier Jerry.  She got into music by performing with the Jah Love Muzik sound system and by logging time with Stereophonic with General Echo.  Sister Nancy got into the studio in 1980 and recorded "Papa Dean" for Winston Riley's Techniques label and went on to become the first female deejay to ever perform at Reggae Sunsplash and the first female deejay to ever tour internationally!  In the early 80's after a handful of successful singles and her first solo LP,  she started to work with Junjo and today's track is one of those... an absolute classic... ganja or not! 
NOTE - This is the live version from the Heartbeat album A Dee-Jay Explosion Inna Dance Hall Style and it is pretty badass!  The Jah Guidance 12" studio version will be included in the weekly mix.  I'm amazed that no one has uploaded it to Youtube before!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Day 173 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Rapper Roberts & Jim Brown - Minister For Ganja

Stepping back over to Brentford Road and Studio One for the next tune and also keeping with the ganja-centric vibes, we've got deejays Rapper Roberts and Jim Brown with a little number called "Minister For Ganja" riding the "Full Up" riddim.  Originally released as a 7" on the Studio One label circa 1985, in my opinion it's one of the smoothest combination-style deejay tracks ever.  It's interesting to note that in the early days of Jamaican music, the Rastafari faith and its association with marijuana were generally frowned upon, but Coxsone Dodd was one of the only producers who accepted the culture and provided these artists with a safe haven.  And as history has proven, Dodd in turn reaped the rewards by doing so but recording an extensive catalog of timeless music that sounds as good today as the day it was recorded.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Day 172 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Rita Marley - One Draw

Do I wish those who celebrate today with the consumption of mass quantities of cannabis a "Happy 420" or is a "Merry 420" the preferred salutation?  You know, I actually have to laugh because I have become that square guy fruitlessly trying to sound "in the know" with Herbalist speak even though I wouldn't know Lamb's Bread from King's Hawaiian Bread... Let me put it to you this way, everything I've know about marijuana I learned from reggae music.  But enough about that... let's get to today's tune.  The 171st track in the 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge is one of my favorite ganja tunes; Rita Marley's "One Draw."  Recorded at Tuff Gong and released in 1981 as a 12" on the Shanachie label and featuring a near dizzying array of musicians and personnel behind the scenes, it's a fun song with an upbeat rhythm that doesn't quit and for today, the lyrics couldn't be any more appropriate.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Day 171 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Barry Isaac - Mi Callie Tree

We're a day away from 4/20 and while I'm not one to partake in the herb I would be completely remiss in not acknowledging what so many of the unenlightened masses unfortunately think is absolutely synonymous with reggae music.  And while there are a large catalog of tunes devoted to ganja, I have always intentionally avoided doing a straight-up mix of these to not feed into the stereotype but today, mainly because I've got 195 days left in the 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge, I'll give 'em some attention.  We start off with Barry Isaac and his tune called "Mi Callie Tree" which comes from his album One Of The Emperor Sons released on the Twinkle Music label in 2003.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Day 170 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - The Blue Bells - Come Along

Hector Wright and Raphael Martin were the Blue Bells and today's tune "Come Along," which they recorded at Lee Perry's Black Ark and released in 1976 is an all-time classic.  One of my favorite of all Black Ark recordings and one that always puts a smile on my face.  Simply one of the greatest records from the era!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Day 169 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Linton Kwesi Johnson - More Time

Keeping it short today because I've been slacking when it comes to getting together tunes for my gig later this afternoon... Day 168 of 365 and it's the perfect sentiment for a Sunday as we stare down yet another work week... this one is by the great Linton Kwesi Johnson and is the title track from his 1998 album More Time.  

Saturday, April 16, 2016

The 24th Week Mix In All Of Its Uninterrupted Glory! Dig it!

Here it is... the 24th Week Mix, complete and uninterrupted for your listening pleasure.  What you're gonna hear...

1.  The Wailers - Go Jimmy Go
2.  Justin Hinds & The Dominoes - Carry Go Bring Come
3.  Shenley Duffus - Digging A Ditch
4.  Prince Buster - High Blood Pressure
5.  Frank Anderson & The Skatalites - Musical Storeroom
6.  Laurel Aitken - (Hey) Bartender
7.  Ferdie Nelson & Ivan Yap - Ska Down Jamaica Way

Day 168 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Ferdie Nelson & Ivan Yap - Ska Down Jamaica Way (South Of The Border)

The producer of today's record, Phillip "Justin" Yap, was a true class-act in the heyday of unscrupulous and shady dealings behind the scenes of the Jamaican recording business.  Justin Yap was committed to paying musicians a fair price for their services and his legendary 18-hour recording session with the Skatalites in 1964, who he had paid more than double their usual going rate, resulted in Ska-Boo-Da-Ba which some consider to be the greatest ska album ever recorded.  Today we're going with one of Yap's productions and we're also gonna go with another "cover" or perhaps it would be more accurate to call it a "reinterpretation."  "Ska Down Jamaica Way" was recorded by Ferdie Nelson and Ivan Yap circa 1965, with who I am assuming are the Skatalites doing the backing, and made available on a repressed 7" on the Top Deck label about 10 years ago. "South of the Border" was written in 1939 by Jimmy Kennedy and Michael Carr as a vehicle for famous singing cowboy Gene Autry for the film of the same name.  It was famously covered later by Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby but instead of going "down Mexico way," Ferdie Nelson decided to bring us "Out of Jamaica down Kingston way - where the ska first began to play" and the results are glorious.  A nice upbeat number to wrap-up the week of ska here... enjoy!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Day 167 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Laurel Aitken - (Hey) Bartender

Short and sweet for Friday... "(Hey) Bartender" was originally written and recorded by American R&B singer and pianist Floyd Dixon in 1954 and re-recorded by Laurel Aitken in 1961.  In keeping with the ska tunes this week and also the day of the week, nothing could be more appropriate!  Aitken's take was first pressed on Blue Beat as "Bar Tender" and it contains all the soul and feel of the original but with a shufflin' ska beat on the refrain.  One of the greatest drinking songs of all time in my honest opinion!  Dig it folks and while you're at it, pour me another! 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Day 166 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Frank Anderson & The Skatalites - Musical Storeroom

Hopping over to Duke Reid's for the 165th track in the 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge and it is yet another premium slice of ska goodness.  "Musical Storeroom," originally credited to Roland Alphonso and Frank Anderson due to their masterfully smooth saxophone and trumpet solos respectively, was originally released as the b-side to Stranger Cole's "He Who Feels It Knows It" in 1964 on Treasure Isle.  This is one of those feel-good ska instrumentals that originally attracted me to the music many years ago.  Ska is usually upbeat, uptempo and what some new listeners would even classify as frantic but in "Musical Storeroom" the Skatalites were able to keep the beat up while capturing all the melodic laid-back feel of a smooth jazz number... pure niceness!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Day 165 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Prince Buster - High Blood Pressure

Cecil Bustamente Campbell AKA Prince Buster, was born in Kingston in 1938 but was sent to rural Jamaica to live with his grandmother to better embrace his families strong Christian faith.  When he returned to the city just a few years later, he began singing rock n' roll a few times a week at a teenage social club called the Glass Bucket Club, which was the thing at the time in the 1950s.  Once he graduated, Buster linked up with Tom the Great Sebastien, an early sound system that specialized in American rhythm and blues.  But he didn't get into the behind-the-scenes operation of a sound system until he met Coxsone Dodd where he handled security, identified and located records and even collecting tickets, before eventually moving up to becoming Dodd's selector.  But instead of sticking with Dodd he started his own Voice of the People sound system with financial backing from his family and a radio shop owner.  Voice of the People quickly became a rival with the Island's two biggest sounds Coxsone and Duke Reid's and in order to compete he applied to become a seasonal farm laborer in the U.S. where he intended to spend his down-time seeking out new records for his sound system.  But when his request was denied and he came to the realization that it was going to be virtually impossible for him to get music from the United States he decided to start recording his own.  By the time the 60s rolled around Prince Buster had established himself as a well-rounded singer, producer, songwriter and arranger and when he established a deal with the UK-based Blue Beat label he quickly found an international following.  What week of ska would be complete without a little Prince Buster?  Today's tune "High Blood Pressure" recorded and released in 1965 on Buster's own Islam label and also sold to the UK market on Blue Beat, is yet another ska vocal classic.  The video features the original vinyl, my track in the weekly mix comes from a 2003 CD compilation called Rock A Shacka Vol. 2 from Drum & Bass Records in Japan.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Day 164 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Shenley Duffus - Digging A Ditch

Shenley Duffus got into music in 1958, recording for Federal Studios but never had anything released until 1961.  The following year he scored a hit as part of the duo Shenley and Annette with the Blue Beat 7" "The First Time We Met/Million Dollar Baby"; the tunes gained popularity in Jamaica, in the UK and even to a lesser extent in the U.S.  The same year he moved to Studio One and after addressing the feuds between rival producers which occupied much of his output during the time, he went to Vincent "King" Edwards.  Duffus' recording career lasted through the ska era, through rocksteady and he even cut some early reggae stuff for Lee Perry in the early 70s, but he abandoned the studio to pursue his love of performing onstage and continued to do so right up until his death in 2002.  Today's track was produced by King Edwards and originally released in 1963 simultaneously on the Giant label in Jamaica and the Black Swan label in the UK, "Digging A Ditch" is a sweet tune!  I acquired this one from a 1989 various artists LP on the King Edwards label called Ska Ba Dip - The Essential King Edwards, that I can't recommend highly enough. Enjoy!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Day 163 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Justin Hinds & The Dominoes - Carry Go Bring Come

Another ska scorcher!  This one is the absolutely killer "Carry Go Bring Come" by Justin Hinds and the Dominoes and in all seriousness I rank it right up there as one of the best songs ever recorded regardless of genre!  The driving horns, not to mention Don Drummond's wicked solo midway through, that absolutely badass deeeeeep bass courtesy of Lloyd Brevett and the masterful cymbal-heavy drumming of Drumbago Parks single handedly define the joy that is ska and that's just speaking of the musical accompaniment... lyrically powerful, beautifully sung and legendarily cut at Duke Reid's in just one take in 1963, it is a truly amazing song!  The fact that it still makes my feet want to move nearly 30 years after I heard it for the first time has a lot to say about its timelessness!  Pure unadulterated joy! 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Day 162 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - The Wailers - Go Jimmy Go

We're gonna mix it up a bit this week and do some ska... hopefully you can forgive me for the abrupt segue from last week's mid-70s vibes.  We're gonna start the week off with one of the best vocal ska tunes ever recorded at Studio One, in my opinion, The Wailers' "Go Jimmy Go!"  Recorded in 1964 and released by Coxsone Dodd as a blank labeled 7" that year and eventually making its way on countless releases throughout the last fifty years, it has all the pep and energy that makes ska so much fun to begin with.  Supposedly "Go Jimmy Go" was inspired by American singer Jimmy Clanton's 1959 record of the same name, but to me it's blatantly obvious that the Skatalites and the Wailers mercilessly kicked-the-ass of poor Jimmy's original so hard it's not even funny.  Throw on your dancing shoes for this number!

Saturday, April 09, 2016

The 23rd Week Mix In All Of Its Uninterrupted Glory!

Here it is in all its uninterrupted glory... the 23rd Week Mix, uploaded for your downloading, listening and dancing pleasure.  Be sure to stay tuned for the 24th week starting tomorrow!!  Here's what you're gonna hear...

1.  Anthony Johnson - Africa
2.  Cornell Campbell - Turn Your Eyes On Me
3.  Dillinger - Out De Light
4.  Tapper Zukie - M.P.L.A.
5.  Mighty Diamonds - I Need A Roof
6.  Earl Zero - Get Happy
7.  Israel Vibration - Give I Grace

Day 161 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Israel Vibration - Give I Grace

Hopping into another vocal harmony group and yet another that I have been remiss in taking this long to feature this far into this little project... I'm talking about Israel Vibration.  Lascelle "Wiss" Bulgin, Albert "Apple Gabriel" Craig, and Cecil "Skelly" Spence, all afflicted with polio during an epidemic in Jamaica in the 1950s when they were children and who initially met at the Mona Rehabilitation Center in Kingston.  The formed the group years later, originally calling themselves Israel Vibration Israel Vibrates, and during their early days survived only on money they made by singing on the streets.  In 1975 they headed over to Channel One to record the track "Bad Intention" which unfortunately never saw the light of day.  Funding for their first release came from a grant from the Twelve Tribes of Israel branch of Rastafari after one of the members heard them singing in a wooded area outside of Kingston in which they had been using as a home.  Their 1976 single "Why Worry" was recorded at Treasure Isle and released on the Twelve Tribes label and because it was/is a beautiful song with a powerful message, they met with some success by appearing on the bill alongside Inner Circle, Dennis Brown and even this guy that nobody has probably ever heard of named Bob Marley.  The following year they worked with Tommy Cowan and produced their debut album The Same Song, backed by Inner Circle and released on the Top Ranking label.  The Same Song and its accompanying dub version LP garnered international acclaim and they followed it up with the album Unconquered People the following year.  For their third album Why You So Craven they worked with Henry "Junjo" Lawes and due to disagreements between them and the producer they left the album uncompleted...and here's where we get into something I never knew before, Lawes had The Tamlins complete the project.  I have owned this album for years and never realized this!  But anyway, this is starting to run long so let's get to today's track... "Give I Grace" comes off the aforementioned Unconquered People album and it is a powerful song of faith and perseverance that one that just makes you feel good!  Dig it!

Friday, April 08, 2016

Day 160 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Earl Zero - Get Happy

Earl Anthony Johnson AKA Earl Zero was originally a member of a band called Rush-It with childhood friend friend Earl "Chinna" Smith and was given the Zero name by Bunny Lee to help differentiate him from Smith.  Aside from "None Shall Escape The Judgement" which he wrote and became a hit for Johnny Clarke, he achieved some minor success with "Righteous Works," a single produced by Al Campbell and released in 1975 on the Addis Ababa label.  His recordings for producers Don Mais and Tommy Cowan yielded a few more great roots tunes and the following year he recorded for Bertram Brown which resulted in today's track "Get Happy," originally pressed as a 7" on Freedom Sounds and which made its way on to his debut album In The Right Way in 1979That same year Earl Zero relocated to Northern California and still records sporadically today.  I picked today's song simply because it's the perfect sentiment to begin the weekend and also because it's just a nice record!

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Day 159 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Mighty Diamonds - I Need A Roof

I can't believe it has taken me 158 days before I got around to featuring a track by the Mighty Diamonds but here it is and it's an absolute classic!  "I Need A Roof" was originally released on their 1976 debut album Right Time produced by Joseph Hoo Kim and Ossie Hibbert on the Well Charge label.  The vocal trio of Donald "Tabby" Shaw, Fitzroy "Bunny" Simpson and Lloyd "Judge" Ferguson got together in Trenchtown in 1969 and originally called themselves The Limelight, and modeled their singing and on-stage choreography on Motown groups at the time.  They became the Mighty Diamonds when Shaw's mother began calling them The Diamonds.  In their early years they cut a heap of tracks for a host of producers and scored their first real hit in 1973 with the tune "Shame And Pride" for producer Pat Francis.  But it was the Mighty Diamonds work at Channel One that really catapulted them to superstar status worldwide and today's track is a clear example of why... great harmonies, a great message, some sweet sax add up to an all-around awesome tune!

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Day 158 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Tapper Zukie - M.P.L.A.

Sticking with another DJ tune for the 157th song in the 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge... today's track "M.P.L.A." is by the man Tapper Zukie (born David Sinclair) and is the title track of his 1976 album on the Klik label.  Zukie had a tendency to get into trouble as a youth and was sent to England by his mother in 1973 to live with his relatives.  UK producer Larry Lawrence was financed by Bunny Lee to hold some recording sessions with "local" talent resulting in his first single "Jump And Twist" the same year.  In 1976 when Zukie returned to Jamaica and after an altercation with Bunny Lee that resulted in the police being called, Lee made amends by providing Tapper Zukie with a few riddims for him to toast over.  Eventually he also accumulated a couple more tracks from Joseph Hoo Kim and armed with these master tapes he dropped by King Tubby's which resulted in his debut album M.P.L.A.  The crossover success of the album subsequently released in the UK on Virgin Records allowed him to move into the producer's chair and establish his Stars label the following year.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Day 157 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Dillinger - Out De Light

Lester Bullock AKA Dillinger was originally influenced by Dennis Alcapone, U Roy and Big Youth and started performing as Dennis Alcapone Jr. on the Prince Jackie and El Paso sound systems in the early 70s.  When he got in the studio with Lee Perry, it was Scratch who suggested he change his name to Dillinger, after notorious gangster John Dillinger.  In 1974 Dillinger recorded the absolute killer classic "Freshly" for Yabby You and the year after branched out by jumping in the studio with Augustus Pablo, Joseph Hoo Kim and Coxsone Dodd and releasing a slew of tunes and albums.  Today's tune "Out De Light" comes from a 1978 7" on the Jamaica Sound label produced by Joe Gibbs and it is pretty damn sweet!

Monday, April 04, 2016

Day 156 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Cornell Campbell - Turn Your Eyes On Me

I have always been a huge Cornell Campbell fan and today's song has been floating around my top ten chart of his tunes for quite a while... this one is called "Turn Your Eyes On Me."  Produced by Denzel Bowford, released on the Jam Rock label circa 1984, "Turn Your Eyes On Me" is a great lovers rock song and rides a nice version of the Lecturer riddim, yet remains one of those records that obviously slipped through the cracks and either remains unknown or under-appreciated by most reggae fans.  In all honesty, it's one of the best tunes I ever bought for under $5.00!  

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Day 155 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Anthony Johnson - Africa

Happy Sunday!  Time for the 154th tune in the 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge!  Keeping it short and sweet today... this one is by Anthony Johnson, produced by Linval Thompson and originally released on his Strong Like Sampson label in 1979... and recently re-released on the Hot Milk.  Born in Kingston, Anthony Johnson got his start singing with Irving Ellis (Alton Ellis' younger brother) and his steel band which performed at local hotels in Montego Bay.  When he moved back to Kingston he recorded for Bunny Lee, Channel One and of course Linval Thompson... this is a good one!

Saturday, April 02, 2016

The 22nd Week Mix In All Of Its Uninterrupted Glory!

Here it is... week 22 of 52, in all of its uninterrupted glory!  What you're gonna hear!

1.  Michigan & Smiley - Arise
2.  Carlton Livingston - 100 Weight of Collie Weed
3.  Eek A Mouse - Heroes Dead And Gone
4.  Barrington Levy - Jumpy Girl
5.  Jah Thomas - Night Life
6.  Wailing Souls - A Fool Will Fall
7.  Michael Black & Ranking Joe - Natty Contractor/Drunken Master

Day 154 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Michael Black & Ranking Joe - Natty Contractor/Drunken Master

Hope your ears are recovering from yesterday's track by Malevolent Creation.  I have been meaning to attempt an April Fools prank on the blog for years but never got around to actually doing so but being involved on a daily basis with the blog every day during this 365 Day Challenge has finally given me the opportunity to give it a go.  I hope I was able to give at least one person out there a "WTF?!" moment.  But enough of that "foolishness" let's get back to my beloved reggae and on with the good non-Satanic vibes.  Today's tune "Natty Contractor/Drunken Master" by Michael Black and Ranking Joe was discovered about a year ago on an excellent CD compilation of Joe Gibbs produced twelve inches from the late 70s and early 80s called Joe Gibbs Reggae Discomix Showcase Vol. 1... now I had heard Ranking Joe's "Drunken Master" a long time before and it was one of those records that had remained in the middle of the dusty pages of my extensive Wants List.  I had searched for a copy of the 7" on the Joe Gibbs label unsuccessfully for a couple years and in January I finally found one available in good condition and with a price that didn't burn a hole through my bank account but now I was torn.  Since I had heard the 12" Discomix on CD I had really taken a liking to Michael Black's "Natty Contractor" portion of the production... well to make a long story short, I switched tactics and set out to find the original 12" which included both heaping portions and here it is... ripped directly from good old-fashioned Joe Gibbs pressed vinyl.  I've got to hand it to VP... this whole series of Discomix compilations has really awakened my love for Joe Gibbs' productions!  Just straight-up feel-good vibes!!

Friday, April 01, 2016

Day 153 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Wailing Souls - A Fool Will Fall

April Fools!  I know that 98% of the people that visit this blog and who have come to know me through my rambling writings and musical selections would never believe that I had suddenly gotten bitten by the Death Metal bug but it was worth a try!  No, Distinctly Jamaican Sounds isn't being converted to Satan's Death Metal Dungeon and I'll put things right with the page's title graphic as soon as I get around to it but it was fun while it lasted!  With that being said, we can get back to the subject at hand; Day 152 of the 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge!  And we're gonna stick with the April Fools Day theme with the tune "A Fool Will Fall" by the Wailing Souls and taken from their 1981 album Fire House Rock on the Greensleeves label.  Produced by Junjo Lawes and of course featuring the always stellar backing of the Roots Radics and engineering by the great Scientist, this is one of my favorite albums from the early 80s!

Enough With The Reggae! Let Malevolent Creation Kick Your Ass With "Blood Of The Fallen"

I have to make a confession... I have been living a lie for the last eleven long years.  Today I have decided to throw in the towel with the lame-ass Jamaican music... I can only take so much of that shit with its melodies and themes of love, peace and equality and I really think I gave it a good run... even though every minute was like nails on a chalkboard for me!  With that said, what you're gonna get today is the real me!  Let's get into some serious heavy shit that I really love and that is some fuckin' Satan-praising Death Metal!  Crank up the volume until your ears bleed and bang your head when you hear the tasty licks on this hot track from Malevolent Creation's 2015 album Dead Man's Path called "Blood Of The Fallen."  There are gonna be a lot of changes around here, so say goodbye to Distinctly Jamaican Sounds and say hello to Satan's Death Metal Dungeon!!