(The Voiceroys – Love & Unity)
Today’s slice of the J.A vocal group pie is yet another from the ‘Golden Age’ of the Vocal Group, the 1960’s. In fact, thinking about it, by the mid 1980’s the group sound had almost disapeared to be replaced by the single artist and ‘DJ’. Not sure exactly why? but it would probably have something to do with economics..the least people involved, the less money would have to be paid out. Producers are generally the people who earn the lions share of the ‘reddies’ leaving the artist, (especially in Jamaica), with very little. It’s a sad state of affairs that hopefully we are seeing change as the internet could and should reverse such injustice…let’s hope so.
This one is a Coxsone Dodd, (Studio 1), production from 1967 led by Wesley Tinglin, backed up, (probably) by Linval Williams and/or Daniel Bernard..
(The Uniques – Hooray, (One Fine Day)
Seeing this theme through until the end of the week and then I’ll be rolling out something fresh on Monday. Just like to thank all you Cats for the visits and comments on the Wailers cut, (and tee), most apprecited. Following a marrow trembler like that is nigh on impossible..one of them cuts that has left me ‘chewing canvas’ to use an old boxing colloquilism…you know the score, hanging on to the opponent for dear life hoping that the bell tolls for the end of the round..so without further delay hold this cut from one of Jamaica’s finest vocal groups The Uniques featuring one of the greatest vocalists to ever grace the M.I.C…Keith ‘Slim’ Smith, alongside Jimmy Riley and Lloyd ‘Charmers’ Tyrel with a first outing on themusicologist. A 1967 Bunny ‘Striker’ Lee production that sounds like it was recorded at the Dukes ‘Treasure Isle’ studio…the home of Rocksteady.
(Mighty Diamonds – Have A Little Mercy)
Penultimate cut of the Jamaican Vocal Group selection…listening back over the proceedings I can’t help noticing that it has been heavily weighted in favour of the 60’s and with hindsight perhaps I should have called it ‘Sixties Jamaican Vocal Group Action’…still, hindsight is not all it’s cracked up to be as “too much thought spoils the action” in my opinion so even though there’s only two cuts from outside of the ’60’s, (make that 3 with todays), I hope this hasn’t dulled your enjoyment over the last couple of weeks.
Today’s outing on themusicologist is one from the Channel One stable which ruled the dancehalls, turntables and airwaves back in the mid 70’s after Coxsone lost the crown following major departures such as Jackie Mittoo, Leroy Sibbles and most of his big selling artists in search of a fairer deal. Channel One was set up by the Hookim Brothers and had the premier ‘Lab’ on the Island as well as the hottest young engineers and musicians such as Leroy ‘Horsemouth’ Wallace, Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespere and Don D Junior as well as stalwarts such as ‘Marquis’, Sticky and Tommy Mc Cook.
This cut features the vocal abilities of Donald ‘Tabby’ Shaw, Fitzroy ‘Bunny’ Simpson and Lloyd ‘Judge’ Ferguson known collectivley as ‘The Mighty Diamonds’ making a heartfelt plea to the establishment to ‘Have A Little Mercy’
(The Melodians – Swing & Dine)
Apologies for not posting yesterday’s Three Tops cut on the Audio Widget until this morning !! … Been grafting like a dog, especially over the last few weeks, in preparation for phase two of ‘the project’ which is almost ready for exposure. As a result themusicologist had to take a back seat. From my point of view the quality hasn’t suffered, (and never will),but the quantity is a piece erratic so hopefully youse Cats will continue to cut me some slack whilst I adjust.
Today’s piece of Vocal Group Action is a solid gold late Rock Steady, Early Reggae classic from one of the Island’s most loved trios….The Melodians, featuring the sublime talents of Tony Brevett, Brent Dowe, Trevor McNaughton? and Renford Cogle. A group known globally for their influential ‘Rivers Of Babylon’, tune which certainly helped the music of Jamaica to gain more exposure and then acceptance outside of the few places that knew and raved about it. This slice is well known to the reggae community but maybe not so well outside of it. A 1968 Sonia Pottinger production for her Gayfeet label that, at least as far as I’m concerned, climbs and reaches the highest heights.
(Dion Cameron & The Three Tops – Get Ready)
Today’s 1966 cut is one from themusicologist’s Ska box courtesy of the almost unknown Dion Cameron & The Three Tops who are perhaps better known for the few slices released on Duke Reid’s Treasure Isle label, This one is An ‘Olive Branch’? production released in the UK on the Rio label. Can’t tell you much more about it other than it was one of my earliest purchases back in the early 80’s.. Ranking Saxaphone break on this one.
(The Bassies – River Jordan)
Continuing this week with the JA selection. Originally it was only going to be a one week special but over the last few weeks I have been working like a Trojan to bring ‘the project’ into the next phase resulting in my not being able to dedicate as much time to themusicologist as I would have liked….(All will be revealed by the end of the week !!), Not only that but while perusing my Jamaica musical vaults it was obvious that 1 week would be nowhere near enough space for such a rich theme so it has to be extended.
On with the music…today’s slice of the Jamaican vocalist pie is one more from Coxsone Dodd’s mighty Studio 1 stable courtesy of a group known as The Bassies, featuring a young cat by the name of Fred Locks Rocking Steady as the sound was making the transition into what became known and loved the world over as Reggae.
(Kingstonians – Singer Man)
Going back to what I wrote on day one of the theme about the sweet sounds of Jamaica being inspirational and lifting my sometimes troubled Soul. This cut produced by one of my favourite producers and foundation Jamaican musicologists Derrick ‘One Stop’ Harriott ranks high for themusicologist. Quality piece of late Sixties Reggae that many a young suedehead of all colours and flavours has and does skank to.