musicology #521


Jamaica #1

(Delroy Wilson – Joe Liges)

Right…been waiting, (impatiently), for inspiration regarding the next theme and I’m pleased to announce that it has arrived. Random cuts are all well and good but they have no direction which is something the butterfly mind is prone to suffer from in all honesty. I say suffer because direction is, at least for me, essential when travelling down satisfaction’s long and winding road.

So what is the theme I hear you ask? Obviously the title should  give you a clue…Jamaica and it’s RICH musical heritage. In fact I would go so far as to say that contemporary music owes a HUGE debt disproportionate  to the Country’s size and population. How was it that such a small and as far as many people are concerned, (me most definately NOT being one of them), insignificent island produced such a treasure trove of musicology? I’m not planning on transcribing Jamaica’s history as I don’t know enough about it but at the risk of sounding like I’m blowing my own trumpet…I do know about the islands musical historicity. A genuine love affair that stretches back to some of my earliest musical memories starting in the early 70’s and, (along with Soul), stretching up to today. Fact is I truly LOVE Jamaican music with a passion. So much it has given me that I would like to try and repay the debt in the only way I know how and that is by sharing it with youse Cats and Kittens.

For the officionados among you I doubt there will be anything you havent already heard but themusicologist is not in the business of unearthing cuts that nobody has heard rather I’m in the business of playing what I consider to be cuts from the top of the tree and lets face it those are sometimes the best known. That said you won’t be hearing the internationally known ‘popular’ tunes during this theme purely because they are not the ones that I know and love.

I have been listening to and collecting Reggae since the early 80’s from I was a teenager whereas before that it was only what I was introduced to by family members. Just like to give an extra nod to one of my Uncles whose debt I will always be in for introducing me to such profound musicology..

Before we begin I would just like to lay me cards on the table and confess my alliegance to what I consider to be the premier studio and sound system to hail from the land of wood and water none other than Sir Coxsone ‘Downbeat The Ruler’ Dodd’s CHAMPION sound..Studio 1. Above all others it’s the Coxsone sound that has hit me hardest but there have been far too many TOP RANKING artists and producers along the way to namecheck, rest assured I will do my best to represent as many as I can as the theme unfolds over the coming days and weeks.

The format will be linear starting not at the dawn, (the late 50’s), of the Island’s musicology but rather when Jamaican music found it’s own unique ‘voice’ after Independence in 1962. The sound was named ‘Ska’ a term many are already familiar with so I’m not going to get caught up in the why’s, who’s and wherefores of the terminology as I would rather let the music speak. Of course this is only one persons subjective evaluation of the music and I’m sure that others will have their own ‘favourites’ but that’s part of what makes ‘Reggae’ so special…’Every Man Does His Thing A Little Way Different’

Finally..before I begin the sessions proceedings I would just like to add that I may ‘double up’ on some of the cuts that I have already thrown over the preceding 3 years so forgive me if I do…

First up is a cut from 1963..featuring the 13 year old Delroy Wilson singing a piece written by Dodd employee and all round musicologist Lee Perry concerning former Coxsone Sound Man, Enforcer and ‘dance crasher’ Prince Buster who, (thank the stars for us music lovers), decided to step to his own beat…

45 released in England on the pioneering R&B Label.

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15 thoughts on “musicology #521

  1. JOY!…..I have liked reggae music since I first heard the exotic sound O Carolina back in the early sixties…enjoyed so many of the different groups and artists from this rich genre and been
    lucky to see a couple of em perform live..the most memorable Bob Marley singing ‘Exodus’ which
    I hadn’t heard until that concert, the memory
    still sends shivers down my backbone…this fabulous track by Delroy Wilson had me up and doing the ‘block’ the perfect beat for that dance..great theme and well worth the wait!

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  2. If it was what I said in my last comment has inspired this theme then I am well pleased, and also glad that the cat has let go of your tongue !

    Heck, I feel like this theme is especially for me. OK, I’m delusional (story of my life) but I know I am going to hear and learn about a lot of music that previously would have gone in one ear and out the other. This time I an going to LISTEN, and it is going to stay with me.

    Time I climbed out of the “rock” rut that I have been in for years. I’m booking my flight to Jamaica right now.

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  3. I’m flying with “themusicologist airways” and I hope you are already on board because you are the pilot !

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    1. hahahahahahahaha…good. we may experience some turbulence along the way but rest assured I have clocked up MANY hours in the cockpit.

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  4. Splashed out the nellie s for the Wilson boarded the big bird and well and truly up for this flight, traveled this particular road with you all the way on this one son,
    loving this theme……I may just have to score me some new bins to do this true justice

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    1. nelsons on the wilson…like your duke…
      you have indeed traversed this long and winding frog ‘bird’ and to say I miss you by my side is the understatement of all understatements..
      Bins? I would advise it…
      Hold Tight

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  5. Having checked your flight logs from the past few years I can see you have excellent navigation skills. Turbulence maybe, but I am expecting an entertaining flight.

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  6. Right time, right theme… free for take-off!!!!!!!

    Strange (or perhaps not) but I’ve been on a bit of a mission recently, digging around the web for info on Jamaica’s best export; it’s music.

    I’m beginning to “get” the differences but one question still needs putting to bed.

    Q. Bluebeat: was it a genre?

    I ask because I remember dancing to “Bluebeat”.

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    1. Bluebeat was a Record Label. In London, (as far as I know), amongst mod/ernists it was another name for ‘Ska’

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      1. In the mid-sixties, Ska and Bluebeat were interchangeable terms in Brighton too. But then Brighton isn’t too far away from London…

        Anonymous is me. My PC threw a wobbly as I submitted the post

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  7. “Bluebeat was a Record Label. In London, (as far as I know), amongst mod/ernists it was another name for ‘Ska’”

    Nearly right……..
    First – anonymously – came the sound i.e. O Carolina, Guns of Navronne, Al Capone et al.
    Then – spontaneously – came the dance to the sound i.e. The Block.
    Then – lazily – came the ‘moniker’ to the sound i.e. Bluebeat (as far we London Mods were concerned).
    Then – stealthily – came the ‘message’ to the sound i.e. sullen, non-violent(ish) rebellion.
    Then, once the sound became ‘music’ and had ‘established’ itself, came the ‘genre’ i.e. Ska!

    Know what…. it’s only now, almost 50 years on, I’m beginning to grasp the pivotal role the music of Jamaica played in the cultural revolution (yep, I know that’s a big statement).

    Bearing in mind the utter hypocrisy and censorship prevalent in all walks of life back then, it’s amazing that a sound – without fanfare, stars or media introduction and encouragement – could explode on ‘the scene’ like what was to finally end up as Reggae did…..

    I could wax well lyrical of the sullen ‘Bluebeat” (as in hat) Mod rebellion around, outside and inside West End Central police station instigated by the club “sweeps” of Harry Challoner and his infamous Vice Squad (not to mention the assistance offered – and meted out – by their muckers in the Flying Squad).

    Ah, those were the days!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  8. Oh, and by the way, Bob Marley…. Yes, Rainbow. I was there too. He blew the roof off. I’ll never forget that night.

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