(Sir Coxson) Downbeat marrow trembler courtesy of the majestic Jackie Mittoo, (the backbone of Studio 1 throughout the golden years), and the brentford road massive aka the Skatalites, the soul brothers, Sound Dimension the Brentford road all stars/disco set at the top of the game. released in 1966, (as the Ska slid into the Rock Steady) on Downbeat’s genre defining Studio 1/Supreme Label.
Regulars on themusicologist know how strongly the ‘Keyboard King’ has been representing over the years due to his credentials as one of the greats of the music that I love. Jackie is/was and will always be the KING of Studio 1 for me
there are rare tunes and there are BOSS tunes..no doubt which category this STANDS in.
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) ..
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 !
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
More Ska from the Wailers, who were first introduced to Studio 1 by percussionist Alvin ‘Seeco’ Patterson and went by the name ‘the Teenagers’. Bob had already recorded a tune for Leslie Kong before arriving at Coxsone’s Brentford Road gate but as a (5 piece), group they were yet to record. Lee Perry was assigned the task of making the ‘Wailers’ the islands #1 group and encouraged them to work at their original material rather than the covers that Coxsone, (who was a fan of the group), was forwarding. This SUPERB piece is one of those original compositions..Jackie Mittoo on the keys leading the Studio 1 band, (formerly known as the Skatalites)
Was unable to spare the time to throw down yesterday..played out last night at a very dear and cherished friend’s birthday bash and spent most of the day preparing the set. Anyway explanations aside and moving on from Don Drummond at the Duke’s Treasure Isle to a cut delivered by one of the other major Ska producers and sound systems of the time; King Edwards, (The Giant). Don’t know hardly anything about the Cat other than he had a major Sound that for a while competed with the players; Sir Tom The Great Sebastian, Duke Reid, (The Trojan), Sir Coxsone Downbeat, Lord Koos, and V-Rocket on top of producing some BOSS Ska.
His main DJ, (not selector), was none other than Sir Lord Comic who went on to record what is considered to be the first ‘DJ’ cut, (Ska-ing West), in 1966 at the dawn of a new era, (Rock Steady), but more about that next week. This week it’s all about the Ska and this piece is a rare, (and I mean rare), treat. 1965 release on the, (English), Rio label. Credited to the Edwards All Stars but better known as the Skatalites.
The time has come to roll out this years Christmas selection..what a difference a year makes !! could never have imagined that my/our whole world would have turned on it’s head but in the words of Lord Creator…Such Is Life or even master Terry Callier, C’est La Vie..(yet to feature but soon come), if I thought 2008 was a hill and gully ride then F**k knows what to call 2009 !! still..we made it through and I’m feeling very positive about the prospects for 2010, (couldn’t get any worse?…hahahahahahahahaha…I gots to laugh), one thing about adversity…you either get through it and emerge stronger or it gets the best of you and f**ks you good and proper. For all the Cats on both sides of this fence…I feel for you..know that musically themusicologist has ‘got your back’ and if you want me to lay one down especially for you then check me and I’ll see what I can do.
First cut is a top ranking slice of the Christmas musicology pie from None other than the Wailin’ Wailers (Peter, Bob and Bunny), with a majestic piece of rip roaring Ska out of the bowels of Sir Coxsone Dodds legendary Studio 1. Originally released in December 1964 as a 45 in JA on Dodd’s Muzik City label as ‘Christmas Is Here’ backed, (of course), by The Skatalites