musicology #0679

aSongforCon #18

Gregory Issacs – It’s True

“Can’t begin to understand,

I look the same but I’m a different man,

And inside I’m hurting So,

Loneliness it just won’t go,

Since you been gone,

Haven’t been myself,

This must be a dream,

Strange as it seems,

I never thought that this could ever be,

My friends don’t come around in sympathy,

But NOTHING they say or do could ease the pain,

Though I’m trying to work it out,  it’s all in vain”

musicology #0659

Earl Sixteen – Changing World

Jumping back into themusicologist saddle with this Top ranking, Augustus Pablo produced Late 70’s piece of social critique, courtesy of the Majestic Earl ’16’ Daley.

I leave it to the man himself to tell his story…

(borrowed from an interview conducted by father ‘Small Axe’…maximum respect is always due)

Link to FULL interview.

“Basically, I started out on the street corner, under the light post, with all the boys, hanging out at night. I started out at Waltham Park Road, where I grew up, in Kingston, Jamaica. At the age of about 13, I started getting into like, Chi-Lites music, ’cause in Jamaica we’ve got a big influence of American music. I kind of started to listen to a lot of soul American stuff, Chat, (Chuck) Jackson (?), James Brown music, and all this and all that. Usually, after like doing my… ’cause you know, I lived with my Auntie at the time. On Saturdays, I used to turn up the radio and do my housework, and listen to the radio, and in the nights, when we get out on the streets, sometimes I’d be singing, “Trash man didn’t get no trash today,” like “People Makes the World Go Round” The guys kind of liked how my voice kind of sounded, ’cause I used to try to sing exactly like the actual records.

In those days, the good old days, everybody was into singing like Dennis Brown. Dennis Brown at that time was like one of the most influential artists, he was really progressive at that time, he was young still. All the school boys and kids who liked music, we used to like always try to pack on Dennis Brown, because he’s like a role model for us. So I kind of started out with that, but I was more like singing falsetto, like Pavoratti kind of stuff. Afterwards, after that, they had Vere Johns, talent contests going on in night clubs around Kingston. There was one at the Turntable Club, there was one at the Vere Johns, and there was one at the Bohemia Club, which was closer to me in Half Way Tree. One of the guys who used to hang out with us, Donald Hossack, he used to teach music like keyboards, piano. He encouraged me to enter one of the talent contests.

During that time I was still going to Church and singing now and again on the choir, and I started doing solo stuff, out from the choir, just singing songs all on my own, because I had this really unique kind of voice and all the people liked my voice. I was in the Church, but I wanted to get involved in some of the Chi-Lites stuff, some of the soul stuff, because the parties were happening, you get the girls and all that. I went to try and get an audition for the talent contest; I was about 14, 15 then, still going to high school. When I went and did the auditions, it turned out that I got picked in the audition, then went to the heats and I reached up to the finals.

In this final, there was like Michael Rose, Junior Moore from the Tamlins, there was myself, there was a girl called Joy White, she’s brilliant, I still love her, and there was another girl, I think it was Sabrina Williams. There was about six of us in the final, that’s a big night. Anyway, I kind of scraped through, I was biting my nails, but I made sure that I did my homework. I practised this tune 24 hours a day, “Peek a Boo,” one by the Chi-Lites, it was a big song in Jamaica so a lot of people knew it. When I did it, I ended up winning the 25 dollars (on) boxing day, I was too small to drink the beers so I had to give them all away (laughs), but after that I started getting the buzz, I started getting addicted to it. I like how the crowd cheers me, so when I left high school, I passed my exams, and I was meant to go to Commercial High School, which is like a college, St. Andrew Technical. I started going there, but I was really involved in the music, I wanted to form a group. I actually had formed a group called the Flaming Phonics. We were doing school barbecues, school fetes, playing in auditoriums around the country, like Calabar, mainly the high schools, Holy Child Girl’s School……”

themusicologist/bloodsweatandtees tribute to Pablo tShirt
themusicologist/bloodsweatandtees tribute to Pablo tShirt

musicology #0653 Perseverance

Tribute to DON Pedro #3

Count Lasher – Perseverance

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.

Step up Count Lasher for my man Don Pedro…

musicology #588

Flow #7

(Desmond Dekker & The Aces – Young Generation)

Out of yesterdays, (at least for me), Inspirational slice of the Black Ark pie and straight into this sublime piece of Rocksteady from Desmond Dekker and The Aces..

LIsten Tune..

musicology #0581

mOareEssentials #4

(Cedric Im Brooks – Mun Dun Gu)

Been a long time coming but I feel the fog is clearing. Troubled mind can be a living hell. In my world change happens, isn’t forced so I find myself riding the downs same way as the ups…for all their worth. Too often over the past few years I’ve been hanging on by my shredded and torn fingertips, knuckles white as winter snow. Bwoyyyyyy it’s been a long dance but the music’s changed and it’s time to step to a new beat.

Hold this next entry courtesy of the MAJESTIC Cedric ‘Im’ Brooks. Studio 1 in all it’s glory..Second time round on themusicologist having featured it when I laid it down on the BBC back in the day. Slipped it into my set at the me it communicates a message of a new day dawning..

musicology #571

EssentialCuts #1

(Justin Hinds – Say Me Say)

Stop, start, start stop…themusicologist has writers know it’s like that when the words don’t come easy but on the other hand it should come as no surprise to me as, (at least for the last few days/weeks/months), words are, (in my opinion), devoid of universal meaning so don’t really have much value? Where am I going with this? F**k knows so I’ll leave it there and just hitch a ride on the musicology train before I disappear into a semantic void.

First up is this Essential slice of the RockSteady pie from the Great Justin Hinds…

musicology #562

Tales From The Underground #4

Baba Brooks Band – Hard Time

Slipping and sliding into an appropriate slice of Jamaican musicology from Trumpet maestro and Band leader Oswald ‘Baba’ Brooks featuring vocalist Count Alert as well as the majestic Lynn Tait plucking strings.

musicology #546

Jamaica #26

(U Roy/Hopeton Lewis – Tom Drunk)

How does it go?…. ..”I’ve started…so I’ll finish”.

Up until the early 70’s, (in Jamaica), there were really no more than a handful of producers and musical styles to contend with, as far as the musicology is concerned), but as the 60’s rolled into the seventies wide ranging changes both musically and socially changed the game. First there was the music made for export to satisfy the English popular market, (loosely termed ‘Skinhead’), headed by, (among others), producers such as Lee Perry, Bunny Lee, Leslie Kong, Joe Gibbs, Rupie Edwards and then there was the Indigenous market that was at first dominated by the Sound System operators. It was in this arena that innovation flourished. That’s not to say that some of the producers mentioned, (especially Lee Perry and Bunny Lee), were not active in both arenas and let’s face it everyone wanted to make money but in truth it didn’t take long for the artists to realise that no matter how ‘popular’ their music was ‘up a foreign’ they still found themselves in the same position financially…..skint..(or for those among us whose dialects don’t recognise such terminology)..poor.

It was into this cauldron that the DeeJay took centre stage in tandem with the version or ‘Dub’, (both hugely influential on all urban music that followed), and the figure that stood tallest at the birth was none other than Ewart Beckford aka Hugh Roy. NO history of Jamaican music would be complete without him. Not the first or even, (in my opinion), the most eloquent but certainly the most important. Today’s cut is from 1971..produced by Duke Reid..Vocal by Hopeton Lewis.

musicology #543

Jamaica #23

(Dennis Brown – No More Will I Roam)

Looking back over the past week on themusicologist I couldn’t help but notice my truth the weather was too nice and I had much street walking, hustling, networking, planning and dreaming to do and themusicologist had to take a back seat but the weather is still scorching so I’ll have to come up with a new plan for this week…ahh got it…more music less scribbles, (it’s the scribbling that takes ALL my time)

So with that in mind….forward up with the sweet sounds of JA.

Ranking piece from the ‘Crown Prince’ Dennis Emmanuel Brown produced by Winston ‘Niney the Observer’ Holness for his Obsever label in 1974.

Listen Tune..

musicology #524

Jamaica #4

(Don Drummond – Treasure Isle)

Looking to catch the earlier train with today’s cut otherwise I find myself too far behind the 8 Ball which is no place to be for the I. That and having too many plates up there spinning take too much of my time and energy which I haven’t got to spare. I would rather spend it with my children, listening to, finding and curating music or with my spars.

So on with the four of the Jamaican Musical History excursion and so far we have heard from two of the foremost producers of the period Downbeat the Ruler  and Prince Buster so today it’s the turn of Duke Reid aka The Trojan whose Soundclashes with Coxsone are the stuff of myth and legend. Of all the islands sound systems It was these two who contested with the most ferocity and passion both musically and physically leading to heated battles between them and their respective followers both in and out of the dance. Pitched battles were fought in an attempt to intimidate and lock off the opposing sound and in part it was out of this culture that the Rude Boy emerged. Combined with Jamaica’s violent and rebellious history as well as the abject poverty and general lawlessness especially in the ghettos of Kingston the ingredients were all there to light the fuse that would eventually blow up in all out political warfare in the 70’s but I’ll get to that later on in the theme when the right time come.

Back to the Ska and Duke Reid..for me what has always distinguished The Trojan’s Treasure Isle sound is it’s sweetness and light. As far as I know Reid never allowed Ganja to be smoked in the studio or entertained any kind of Rasta ideology whereas Coxsone turned a blind eye knowing that not only did it stir the creative juices, (which it does), but that Rasta was beginning to have a major impact in Jamaican ghetto life..Duke Reid was a traditionalist and considerably older than the young and visionary Coxsone but the music produced in his studio, (and he had a speaker wired up in his Liquor store so that he could hear what was being recorded), was as good as anything produced. It was with the Rocksteady that Duke Reid truly came into his own but he was also responsible for producing some BOSS Ska as witnessed with this piece courtesy of the legendary Don Drummond..Original Skatalite, Trombonist supreme and leading light in Jamaican musical history. No one rocked the instrument like the Don and although his story ended in violence and mental illness his music will forever stand as his legacy. Quite Simply..this is Ska


musicology #517

Duets2 #7

(Earth & Stone – Jailhouse Set Me Free)

Final cut on Round 2 of the duets theme and i’m finishing up with this mighty slice from sublime Jamaican duo Albert Bailey and Clifton Howell otherwise known as Earth & Stone. The pair first cut their musical teeth with Coxsone but quickly moved onto the Hookim brothers legendary Channel 1 in 1973 and for 5 years they recorded some of the finest ‘Rockers’ known to man.

Not 100% sure but I’m guessing that the top ranking rhythm track is courtesy of the majestic Skin, Flesh & Bones, (Lloyd Parks, Charles ‘Sly’ Dunbar and Ansel Collins), who were the backbone responsible for creating what became known as the revolutionary sound.

musicology #507

CoversWeek2 #4

(Cornell Campbell – Ten To One)

Slipping back into the sweet sounds of Jamaica for today’s cut with a piece by one of the islands great artists the MAJESTIC and pioneering Cornell Campbell . A Cat who begun his recording career at the tender age of 11 in the mid 1950’s for Coxsone, moved on to record with King Edwards in the mid 60’s, harmonised within ‘The Sensations’ for Duke Reid’s Treasure Isle, returned triumphantly to Studio 1 with ‘The Eternals’ and then begun a long solo career that continues HALF A CENTURY later to this day.

Here heard cutting his teeth on a Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions soul classic. As far as I’m concerned an absolute marrow trembler from start to finish and yet another musical diamond mined from the Studio1 archives. One listen should leave us in no doubt as to the influence both Curtis Mayfield and Coxsone Dodd had on Jamaican musicology….LISTEN TUNE.

musicology #467

2LegendsClash II #3

(Billie Holiday – Pennies From Heaven)

Apologies for yesterday’s absence. Truth is I am feeling low and was unable to find whatever it is in me that makes themusicologist happen. For a few reasons life is on me like a concrete suit at the moment and even though I tried most of the day to post a cut both the words and the music eluded me so today I’m just going to lay a slice down, try not to get too wrapped up in the language of my solitude and let the two legends speak. But before Billie steps up for today’s piece of musicology hold this quote from nightclub owner Barney Josephson who was quoted to have said about her

”She never had a really big voice-it was small… a bell that rang and went a mile..”

Recorded for Brunswick in New York on November 1936 featuring Teddy Wilson & Orchestra; (Jonah Jones, Benny Goodman, Ben Webster, Allan Reuss, John Kirby and Cozy Cole)

musicology #298

JamaicanVocalGroupAction #9

(Justin Hinds & The Dominoes – Save A Bread)

TOP RANKING 1967 slice of the Rock Steady pie for all the Financial Crisis sufferers out there. Recorded and released at and for Duke Reid’s Treasure Isle label, (backed by Tommy Mc Cook and the Supersonics)

Not that, (if you live in good old ‘Blighty’), savings are going to get you out of the egg ‘n’ bubble as the Interest rates tumbling to 0% doesn’t make it an attractive proposition at the moment, resulting in all of us taking the proverbial ‘kick in the bollocks’ while the value of everything crash and burn…I think it’s called ‘The PolitRicKs Of Fear‘…

Looks to me like the new age is apoun us and the strategy is “if you can’t swim then you’re going to sink”. Employment as we have known it is in it’s death throes and now a larger percentage of people have something to lose, (property for example), an updated form of, (wage), slavery is rearing it’s ugly head. I have no answers other than to let the music, (and your community), be your guide…so in the words of foundation Jamaican musicologist Justin Hinds

“Today can be gladness mister, (you don’t know),
tomorrow can be sadness sister, (you don’t know),
what makes the world go around, (round and round),
you’ll never know, (you don’t know),
so save a bread mister, (save it for the future),
save a bread sister, (’cause things will be better),
you know not the minute nor the hour, (man shall come),
you know not the minute nor the hour, (for the time is now),

what you know you know, (what you don’t know you don’t know),
greatest thing is to know, (what you don’t know you don’t know),
anywhere you go, (what you don’t know you don’t know),

Today can be gladness mister, (you don’t know),
tomorrow can be sadness sister, (you don’t know),
what makes the world go around, (round and round),
you’ll never know, (you don’t know),
so save a bread mister, (save it for the future),
save a bread sister, (’cause things will be better),
you know not the minute nor the hour, (man shall come),
you know not the minute nor the hour, (for the time is now),

what you know you know, (what you don’t know you don’t know),
greatest thing is to know, (what you don’t know you don’t know),
anywhere you go, (what you don’t know you don’t know),

musicology #253

sleighbellsring #1

(The Maytals – Christmas Feeling)

Day one of the Christmas selection. I’m just going to lay them down without much ‘commentary’. First up is a slice from Jamaica..proof, if needed, that it doesn’t require snow, reindeer or Jack Frost nipping at yer nose to generate the Christmas spirit. Early sixties cut from the Legendary Maytals.

musicology #184

soulsearching #6

(Sugar Minott – The More We Are Together)

the final cut of the soulsearching has found it’s way on to themusicologist’s, (endless), playlist at just the right time after five days spent alone. the synchronicity of music NEVER ceases to amaze me and I’m hoping that as time passes and runs I can look back on this tune as the one that inspired a new start.

majestic, top ranking piece of Jamaican musicology from the legendary Lincoln ‘Sugar’ Minott one of the island’s most inspirational singers, songwriters and producers as well as a man of great integrity and belief.


a look in a yourself jah man,
a look in a yourself yout’ man,
a look in a yourself jah man,
oh well, woohhh well,

the more we are together, the happier we shall be,
the more we are together, that’s the only way, we can be free,
thats the only way, for you and for me,

the more we love one another, the more we’ll see jah light,
the more we love our brothers thats the only way, for you and for me,
that’s the only way, ohh we can be free,

so look inna yourself yout’ man,
look inna yourself jah man,
the time you take linger,
pull trigger with your finger,
and shoot down your brother,
just fight ‘gainst your sister,
that no right unto jah, jah,
oh oh no, ohh no,

the more we are together, the happier we shall be,
the more we are together, that’s the only way,
oh, oh, we can be free,
thats the only way, oh for you and for me,

truth and right you cannot fight,
and if you keep doing wrong you no give me respect,

whether you a top rank, or you have ’nuff money in the bank,
jah no partial oh no, jah no partial oh no,

said the more we are together, the happier we shall be,
the more we love one another, that’s the only way, for you and for me,
thats the only way, ohhh we can be free,

a truth and right we a deal with now,
truth and right we a deal with now,

the more, we are, together

musicology #132

instrumentalsweek #5

(Rupie Edwards All Stars – Your New Love)

penultimate cut on the players selection and it’s another pearl from Jamaica. a Winston Wright organ led version of one of themusicologists favourite pieces of early Reggae, singer Dobby Dobson’s top ranking song ‘Your New Love’

although a singer of some fine songs Rupie Edwards was and is better known for his skills as a producer, having worked with such luminaries as Johnny Clarke, The Heptones, Gregory Issacs, the great Joe Higgs and foundation DJ’s U Roy and I Roy, (to name a few), and his contribution to the development of ‘Dub’ is sometimes overlooked. before the ‘version’ became the standard B-Side to every Jamaican 45, Rupie Edwards was experimenting with the instrumental and this one is an example of his capabilities.

(Probable Session Line Up)

Saxophone – Tommy McCook
Trombone – Vin Gordon
Drums – Carlton ‘Santa’ Davis
Guitar – Hux Brown
Piano – Gladstone ‘Gladdy’ Anderson
Bass – Clifton ‘Jackie’ Jackson
Organ – Winston Wright

musicology #130

instrumentalsweek #3

(Roland Alphonso – Jazz Ska)

this prime slice of Jamaican musicology comes from the King Edwards stable and features many of the best proponents of the Ska style. Baba Brooks, Arkland ‘Drumbago’ Parks, Lester Sterling and tenor sax king, Roland Alphonso.

Recorded and released on the King Edwards label in 1965 at the height of the genres popularity, (it would only be a year before Rock Steady became the ‘in thing’), this is Ska at it’s finest.

musicology #120

jamboree #7

(Derrick Harriott – No Man Is An Island)

tasty slice of the Jamboree pie from Mr ‘One Stop’. Vocalist, producer and ‘Reggae’ pioneer whose contribution to the development of Jamaican musicology from the earliest days, (with the Jiving Juniors 1958-62), right through the Ska and Rocksteady periods and into the sound we know and love today deserves honouring.

from the 1976 LP.. Music For Midnight Lovers

“No man is an island, no man stands alone,
treat each man as your brother and remember that each man’s dream is your own”

musicology #111

sixartist, sixtune, sixweekspecial #34

(Karl Bryan & The Afrokats – Money Generator)

no post yesterday…got caught up in too much ‘he say she say’ which took the wind out of themusicologists sails so couldn’t find the enthusiasm and motivation to invest the time, emotion and energy required for posting so thought it best to let yesterday go.

it’s a hard life and no mistake when you have to fight every inch of the way…it’s relentless and you can’t let your guard down for a minute and when you do there’s always someone ready with a metaphorical, (or if you’re really unlucky a physical), snaking jab, right hook, ‘glasgow kiss’ or a good old kick in the bollocks to remind you of the ‘struggle’.

anyway enough of that…just wanted to let youse know where themusicologist is ‘at’ and why I left you ‘swinging’ yesterday. Todays cut finds Jackie Mittoo keeping not only keeping time with his organ playing but also supervising, arranging and maybe even writing the music for this session.

for themusicologist this period of Studio1 musicology is beyond compare…the Golden Age where everyone involved at Brentford Road was at the top of their ‘game’.

One of the reasons Studio1 became such a mecca for the islands musicologists is that Coxsone would let the cats smoke the collie at the Studio, (something that no other recording studio allowed at the time), helping create the vibes that allowed such innovative and emotional music to flow.

We all know that many a musician has leaned on the ‘green crutch’ throughout history and Jamaica is no exception…no doubt it enhances creativity, supresses hunger and ‘packs up your troubles in the old kit bag’ while under the influence and Coxsone who didn’t encourage it, but was smart enough to know it’s positive qualities, turned a blind eye.

love this haunting, melancholic, emotion charged slice of musicology and for me the title nails it it two words.