“There exists no more difficult art than living. For other arts and sciences, numerous teachers are to be found everywhere. Even young people believe that they have acquired these in such a way, that they can teach them to others. Throughout the whole of life, one must continue to learn to live and, what will amaze you even more, throughout life one must learn to die.” – SENECA –
Frequently updating themusicologist would be a ‘walk in the park’ if it wasn’t for the narrative that accompanies each cut. I listen to music every day and am constantly turning up incredible slices of top drawer urbanemusicology. 45 years of listening to superb music counts for something and for me the knowledgehustle is what matters. NOT the medium it is on, it’s rarity, economic value or even the artist(s) involved. To be honest I don’t give a f**k about the category/label … do the combined frequencies and harmonies reach out and touch me or not is my ONLY concern. That said I appreciate that such details are important to some of the Cats out there and if that’s your bag…all power to you.
For the next few weeks I’m going to go small on the narrative and BIG on the music to get themusicologist back into the groove and always follow the Louis Armstrong maxim of playing “the good kind” of music.
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.
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’…
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)
moving out of the Wailers at Studio1 into a piece from their period under the guidance of theUpsetter, (for me their most groundbreaking), with the tune that named a whole style…SouL RebeL.
Bearing in mind that Lee Perry had been there since their earliest days it was he who was most responsible, (outside the trio), for turning them into ‘the Wailers’ that went onto to international ‘stardom’. Rumour has it that Bob Marley returned from America in 1969 sought out theUpsetter and asked him for his help to make him a solo ‘star’. Perry convinced Marley that his future lay in reforming the Wailers as their harmony was something almost unique and was the perfect vehicle for creating the ‘Soul Revolution’ sound that would come to dominate Jamaican music over the next few years..
So here is the 1970 Lee Perry produced version of Soul Rebel. Highlighted off the SouL Rebels LP…
BIG Piece of UrbanMusicology from one of the great Jamaican vocal Groups.
the tees below were designed and produced by themusicologist in TRIBUTE to the Cats responsible for delivering some of the most inspirational sounds to ever float out of Jamaica..available EXCLUSIVELY at the home of Authentic tributeteeS …
one of themusicologists favourite early Wailers cuts…a TOP ranking interpretation of Bob Dylan’s ‘Rolling Stone’ from the time when Ska was slowing down and making the transition into the Rocksteady (1965/66)….I’m getting bored of saying “yet another example of the Downbeat sound” but it is…
more Rocksteady from the Downbeat stable but this time featuring themusicologist’s #1 Jamaican vocalist Ken Boothe on lead and the Wailers on back up…DEFINITELY touched by the hand of Lee Perry and Jackie Mitoo….
Sticking with the Early Wailers selection with this piece of Rockin’ Steady social commentary on the Emerging Rude Boy who was beginning to make his presence felt in and around Kingston’s more notorious districts and parishes as the reality of Independence unfolded and the ‘hustle’ became the primary way of earning a living and even more importantly a reputation for the ghetto sufferers.
Yet another example of why Sir Coxsone Downbeat’s Studio 1 was establishing itself as the prime Studio for recording and releasing the authentic sound of independent Jamaica.
been busy…(still am), as I continue crossing the border into the ‘brave new world’ where the ‘immaterial’ is overtaking the ‘material’ and hegemony reigns…
but for me themusicologist has always been the space where I come to let off, connect and communicate with music that speaks so today sees the beginning of a new theme….tUmp (theUrbanMusicologyProject), of which there are, (already), material and immaterial parts.
The first step I took over the brave new threshold was here with themusicologist almost 5 years ago but the actual journey was already well under way. I’m a traveller, (it’s my nature), and I’m always ‘on the road’ with music as my only consistent companion along the way. theUrbanMusicologyProject is who, what and why I am and the next few weeks is the latest movement in the(Urban)musicologist’s symphony.
First up is a cut from the Wailers whose Urbanmusicology I was originally introduced to by my family in the early 1970’s, (‘Catch a Fire’ with the zippo style album cover), and it was there that my Jamaican music lesson began and the ‘SouL RebeL’ sound has remained a BIG part of my narrative ever since.
Today’s unreleased? accoustic cut is from the mid 60’s features the mighty trio at the place where their combined journey began, Sir Coxsone’s mighty Brentford Road musical power-house…Studio 1.
Quick fling down and run today..shame as I enjoy and prefer to take my time over each and every post but today mans is on a hype ting and needs to make hay while the sun shine on this GLORIOUS winters day in Old London Town…
Today’s cut is a (urBan)musicologist favourite credited to Bunny Scott but is in fact the unmistakable sweet sound of vocalist William ‘Bunny Rugs’ Clarke aka ‘Bunny Rugs’ aka ‘Bunny Clarke’ aka Bunny Scott !! who is probably better known as lead singer and songwriter in the Internationally renowned group Third World. This one was recorded by Lee Perry sometime in 1975 at the Black Ark where he voiced some absolute KILLERS for the Upsetter at a time when, (for some reason), no other producer was interested??..for another example, (featured on themusicologist a while back), click on the link below..
Next piece of the Upsetters Jamaican Soul selection with this Classic piece of Black Ark musicology featuring Keith Rowe. One Half of the duo (Keith & Tex), that dropped two Rock Steady Bombs for Derick ‘One Stop’ Harriott back in the late 60’s..’Stop That Train’ and ‘Tonight’ this one was recorded in 1977 during Lee Perry’s ‘Goldfinger’ period at the Ark when he was producing international hits. Rowe had won a trip to Jamaica for a few days after spending the preceeding 5 years in America..
“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.