Out of the Rhythm & Blues and into the Rocksteady with this majestic cover of the Impressions cut. Rarely does a cover do justice to the original for me but this one is an exception to the rule..
Written by Master Curtis Mayfield and originally recorded by the Impressions for the 1966 Ridin’ High LP the Sensations recorded this version in 1967. Released in the UK on Graeme Goodall’s Doctor Bird label this is a BiG piece from the Sensations, a group originally formed by Jimmy Riley and Cornel Campbell that featured, (along the way), Buster Riley, Aaron ‘Bobby’ Davis, Johnny Osbourne and Jackie Parris, who the lead is on todays fine piece im not sure but i’m guessing its Jackie Parris rather than Jimmy who had moved onto one of Jamaica’s greatest vocal groups the Uniques by 1967 but it could even be Cornel Campbell?
one thing IS for SURE…the tune is a top ranking, nailed on marrow trembler and one that I’m sure Don Pedro will appreciate as the surf hits the shore on another day in paradise and he watches the sun sink over the pacific as the Don is world renowned for ALWAYS being ‘Right On Time’.
Don Pedro is a lover of the fine things in life…a purveyor of quality and style. Be it women, vehicles, garments, food, ‘kettles’, ‘Tom’ and anything else that catches his attention. Anyone who knows the Don will clarify that the Cats antenna is finely tuned. That’s not to say that he can’t or doesn’t know how to get down with all manner of people as the Don posseses that rare quality of being comfortable in his own skin and therefore non judgemental of others regardless of how they ‘hang’. A proper ‘man of the world’ the DON has seen and lived more on his travels through life than most. I wax lyrical about the man because those of us who have shared some of them travels can say that they have lived too. The Don asks for for little but gives plenty.
Anyway before i digress and get lost, (im on a TIGHT schedule on this fine sunny morning in London Town), …hold this rip roaring piece of Jamaican Ska from led by one its greatest protagonists the mighty Oswald ‘Baba’ Brooks featuring the cream of Jamaica’s musical fraternity. Recorded for Duke Reid and released on his Treasure Isle label in, (what sounds to me like 1965) ..
Big piece of Mento from Jamaican musicologist and knowledgehustler supreme the great Terence Parkins aka Count Lasher whose lyricosity and verbal dexterity is as good as it gets… 1954 Release on the Caribou Label.
cracking on with a new selection in tribute to a genuine living legend who i call Don Pedro, a KING amongst pawns who is an inspiration. Before i kick off though allow me to talk a while.
Hopefully everyone knows a ‘Don Pedro’ one of them Cats whose actions speak MUCH louder than their words. Trailblazers who lead, Shepherds not sheep who ‘Walk the Walk’ rather than ‘Talk the Talk’. I first met Don Pedro in my late teens, the man was sharp like PAPER. Never settling for anything less than the best that life was offering. International traveller with a taste for the fine things. Don Pedro hustled with the best and could sell snow to eskimos. The best hustlers are the ones that present opportunities rather than try to take you for what you’ve got and Don Pedro was right up there with the champions. Life was/is NEVER dull when you are rolling with the Don. Memories are made of these connections and relationships like these are rare and full of life. Pedro lives life to the FULL and this selection is in his honour. Enough with the words and on with the music. STRICTLY boss tunes for the Don from across the musical spectrum
Roll on DON Pedro you touch and continue to inspire everyone who has the fortune to call you friend…
First up is a slice from one of the Rhythm and Blues pioneers whose Tympany 5 was instrumental in changing the direction of urbanmusicology from Big Band Swing to Small Band Rhythm & Blues and in the process inspired a new genre. a GENUINE legend Louis Jordan and Don Pedro speak the same language, sing from the same hymn sheet, blow the same horn and would have rolled together in the 1940′s. NO doubt.
Fitting start to the selection as Don Pedro ALWAYS made sure to ‘Let The Good Times Roll’
themusicologist is back in the saddle today with a remix of the Johnny Osbourne Downbeat Roots Classic ‘Truth & Rights’. Recorded in the late 70′s at Sir Coxsons Studio 1, although in truth it was, like much of Coxsons later output an overdub recorded over an early 70′s ‘golden age’ Studio 1 rhythm, a practice originated by Sugar Minott a few years earlier.
By the late 70′s Jamaica was on the edge and Kingston was to all intents and purposes a battlefield. The economy had collapsed due, (in part), to outside influence as well as infighting between the opposing forces of the JLP and the PNP. Without going into too long a narrative Jamaica, (and the Caribbean) was on the frontline of the Cold War. Manley was a ‘Socialist’ and Seaga was a ‘Capitalist’ and the war that erupted was instigated by outside pressure to destabilise the situation. The age of ‘Roots & Culture’, One Love and ‘Ites was almost over and the ‘Gunman’ style was on the march. Studio 1, (as a creative force), was too all intents and purposes finished and Sir Coxson was relocating to the relative peace and safety !!! of Brooklyn signalling the end of the mightiest of Jamaica’s Musical powerhouses…
The rhythm for this tune was originally recorded at Studio 1 in the early part of the 70′s and released as ‘Take a Ride’ (miscredited to Al Campbell). Johnny Osbourne’s Truth and Rights was, (to the best of my knowledge), never released as a 7 Inch and was only available on the LP, (along with other ‘golden age’ overdubs), anyway…before i digress here is my tribute version to one of the mightiest of the Studio 1 roots cuts…
Selected by themusicologist in tribute to Jamaica’s Soundsystem and Recording Studio HEAVYWEiGHT Sir Coxsone Downbeat the Ruler Dodd and FULL Brentford Road Crew.
I have waxed lyrical MANY times, (and dropped the needle on a number of supreme cuts), over the years here about the greatness of Studio 1 and some of its chief protagonists ..cats like Jackie Mittoo, Leroy Sibbles, Joe Higgs, Ken Boothe, the Skatalites, (to name a few), and how they carried the swing throughout the early days of Ska, Rocksteady and into Reggae. In fact I LOVE Studio 1 so much it led me to design and produce the tribute tShirt in Sir Coxsone’s honour which in turn inspired the formation and formulation of bloodSweatandteeS. Of course there were plenty of other producers along the way like Duke Reid, Justin Yap, Prince Buster, Lee Perry, Bunny Lee, King Tubby and the Hookim family but, at least as far as i am concerned, Downbeat was and will always remain the ruling sound. themusicologist IS a journey and as such the most effective way to illustrate what music means to me and how much it has informed my life is to lay down ‘SouLRebeLSymphonies’ rather than the the ’1Shot’ that has dominated themusicologist for the past 4/5 years. I have played and listen to music this way for almost 30 years so it is also part of my narrative and authenticity so I hope you will allow me to indulge this part of my self as well as do me the favour of listening to it this way? The works of art on this mix were recorded and released from the late 60′s through to the mid 70′s, (with a few later cuts sprinkled in), when the Downbeat sound dominated. Before that the main rivalry, (especially record wise), was between Downbeat and the Trojan and even though there were some great producers throughout the age Studio 1 was the Home of Reggae and recording for Coxsone was the goal for almost all of the artists throughout the 60′s and early 70′s…..
to conclude todays monologue..I STRONGLY believe that music is for sharing and playing in your own environment so the mix is available to download and if you like Reggae and especially Studio 1 then i implore you to ‘fill your boots’ (and if you like it feel free to share it with your community.)
the bloodSweatandteeS ‘Sir Coxsone Downbeat’ tribute tShirts, (below the soundcloud player), are available in various colours and there are still some sizes left so if you are looking to represent now’s the time as some of the combinations will not be repeated due to my desire to innovate continuously !
themusicologist is evolving into a new phase..out of the ’1 tune’ and into ‘the mix’. Less ‘talking’ and more ‘walking’ with the added bonus of, (for a limited time), being downloadable for themusicologist family, friends, shipmates, and FULL crew.
FiRST up is a tribute to Osbourne ‘KiNG TUBBY’ Ruddock. the Heavyweight Champion of DUB who is pivotal in the development of not only Jamaican Music but almost every kind of ‘Dance’ Music that followed. Hip Hop, House, Dubstep, Jungle, Drum & Bass..EVERYone of them owes a debt to the KiNG.. So without further delay hold/download this mix and blend of KiLLER DubWise cuts from the KiNGS Studio.
p.s I’m not sure how Long this set will be available for Download as Soundcloud charges a monthly fee, (which I pay), but the package I am on is limited so if you like the set then don’t delay..download today. All I ask is that if you like it then please click the ‘Heart’ to show some love and if you FEELING it strong then a comment would be greatly appreciated.
LiMITED EDiTiON ‘TUBBYs HoMEToWN HiFi’TributeTeeS designed and produced by themusicologist , (as a ‘momento of the experience’). Available EXCLUSiVELY at
Augustus Pablo produced TOP Drawer, HEAVYweight 1976 roots classic from 16 year old vocalist Hugh Mundell..featuring, (among others), Jamaican drummer supreme Leroy ‘Horsemouth’ Wallace on Drums and the mighty EarL ‘Chinna’ Smith on Guitar…selected from the ‘Africa Must Be Free By 1983′ LP
I remember the days when themusicologist’s only piece of online communication was here…bwooooooooooooyyyyyyyyy them days are LONG gone. Now it’s Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Soundcloud, Mixcloud, Tumblr, Twitter and Pintrest which are all branches of the #tUmp tree. Of course that’s the way of an Organic, Natural evolving project. The seed is planted and the tree begins it’s journey. Not that I’m complaining, for me, the authentic life is like that. Music was, is and will always be the air I breathe and I believe that theUrbanMusicologyProject is my lifes ‘work’ and I am happy to give it all I have….anyway enough about me and back to the music.
second up in the A.P Special theme is this cut the instrumental version of Alton Ellis’s (previously featured), KILLER: ‘Too Late To Turn Back Now’…
New theme starting today and it’s all about the man Horace Swaby aka Augustus Pablo. I’ll keep the narrative brief as it seems to restrict the frequency of my posts and after all themusicologist is primarily about the music..so without further script hold this top drawer cut featuring Augustus Pablo, Jacob Miller and the Rockers crew..
what more can I say about the ‘Wailing Wailers’…the trio who went on to internationalise the music of Jamaica that has since had such a BIG impact on contemporary music especially ‘Hip Hop’ and ‘House’ both of which owe a great debt to the artists, producers and engineers who were always innovating and showing what was possible with limited technology. EVERY 21st ‘bedroom producer’, whether consciously or unconsciously, takes inspiration from Jamaican Urbanmusicology.
From the early 1950′s the Sound System pioneers helped to blaze the trail for what was to follow, chatting on the mic, selecting in the dance etc but it was in the 1960′s and particularly with Sir Coxsone Downbeat’s Brentford Road powerhouse, appropriately named ‘Studio 1′ that the music really took shape. Of course there were other BIG and influential producers at the time notably Duke Reid, Leslie Kong, Justin Yap, King Edwards, Prince Buster but Coxsone was the one who truly moved the focus out of the dance and into the Studio with artists such as the Wailers. Coxsone was a businessman but also a vanguard AND music lover who knew how to pick a winner and without him the musical landscape of not only Jamaica but, (in my opinion) the world would be a different place.
DOWNBEAT THE RULER will ALWAYS be the CHAMPION sound for me.
Wailing Wailers TributeTees designed and produced by themusicologist available EXCLUSIVELY at
“There is nothing left to protect us from the scene of the real. Nothing left to protect us from the obscenity of the virtual, (of information, transparency etc). We are no longer the actors of the real but the double agents of the virtual”
Baudrillard, (among others), spoke of the ‘Hyper – Real’. Which, as I have understood/interpreted it, is the place where reality, (of human contact, emotion, character and such things that used to define being human), is replaced by the virtual, (particularly visual media). Almost everything in the virtual is created, faked or at least edited to present and maintain the illusion of progress..politics and the news are clear examples…both offer but deliver nothing real.
Society is rotten at the core, (maybe it has always been?), and to cover that truth/reality the hyper – real was created to take our ‘eye off the game’. Look at the growth in so called social networking, (or to put it another way the network economy), which is clearly the brave new world of the hyper real…
almost everyone I know, (rebels..hold firm), is on facebook..my children included. It seems to be the place where people choose to ‘communicate’ to their ‘friends’ and more importantly colleagues on the banality that fills the post modern desert that has been created for and forced on us. Do a search and see for yourself what the champions of the hyper-real are trading in. My guess is that it’s value-less mediocrity or in the case of politricks….tomorrow. the day that never comes.
Anyway…enough of the social comentary and on with the musicology…Today’s cut is from the enigmatic Junior Byles..well known slice of the Channel 1 pie that has trembled my marrow for at least 25 years…Seems like the right time has come to throw it down.
“The advantage of being happy is that one is rid of the question of happiness. The advantage of being free is that one is rid of the question of freedom.
It is at this point that everything begins: when the concepts which existed only as questions appear as answers. It is the end of the cycle and the beginning of a new turning point: how can we rediscover the question behind the answer – how can we rediscover, behind happiness, the idea of happiness?”
Today’s slice of the musicology pie is a majestic piece of gospel courtesy of a vocal group that go by the appropriate name of ‘The Stars Of Harmony’…enough said.