Bunny Lee was a Jamaican record producer and one of the major forces in the Jamaican music industry, producing hits throughout his long career.
His song “Wet Dream”, interpreted by Max Romeo, became popular in 1968 despite being banned on the BBC; and Eric Donaldson’s “Cherry Oh Baby” would be covered by the Rolling Stones.
Lee also produced the perennial riddim “My Conversation”.
‘If Deejay Was Your Trade’ (1994)
The compilation ‘If Deejay Was Your Trade’ (1994), which was the debut release of the reggae compilation label Blood and Fire, consists of a selection of his productions from the period 1974-1977.
The documentary ‘I Am The Gorgon – Bunny ‘Striker’ Lee and the Roots of Reggae’ is in full on YouTube.
“Funky Kingston” (1972)
Toots Hibbert was a Jamaican singer and songwriter, leader for the band Toots & the Maytals. He is best-known for such songs as “54-46 That’s My Number” (1968), “Pressure Drop” (1970) and “Funky Kingston” (1972).
Hibbert was one of the first artists to use the word “reggae” in 1968’s “Do the Reggay”.
Dobby Dobson was a Jamaican reggae singer and record producer.
His signature song was “
Loving Pauper” (c. 1970)
Millie Small was the singer of “ My Boy Lollipop” (1964), her only hit.
She was the first Jamaican artist to break through to an international audience.
Did this mean international recognition for ska and reggae?
Well, not exactly, “My Boy Lollipop” was considered a novelty song rather than ska or reggae.
Thus reggae’s invasion into the mainstream actually only began that same year in the United Kingdom with songs such as “Al Capone” (1964) and “Guns of Navarone” (1964).
But in the United States, the wait was for 1969 with “The Israelites” (1968) to give reggae international repute and recognition.
Bob Andy was a Jamaican singer-songwriter famous for compositions like “Feel Like Jumping” (1968) and “Life” (1972).
“Feel Like Jumping” (1968)
“Life” is compiled on
Nova Classics volume 1.
Glen Brown was a Jamaican musician known for his work in dub music.
Glen Brown & King Tubby’s “Black Dub” (1977), actually the dub recording of Glen Brown’s rendition of Isaac Hayes’s “ Do Your Thing” (1971).
Keith Flint was an English vocalist and dancer associated with the electronic dance act The Prodigy.
He contributed to “
Out of Space” (1992) which sampled the classic reggae track “ Chase the Devil” (1976) by Max Romeo, which was produced by Lee Scratch Perry.
That track featured the Afrofuturist lines “I’m gonna send him to outa space, to find another race.”
Lonnie Simmons, American record producer (“ Don’t Stop the Music“).
“ Don’t Stop the Music” (1981)
Lonnie Simmons was an American record producer best-known for co-writing “ Don’t Stop the Music” (1978).
In 1981, the song was successfully covered by Bits & Pieces [above].
Style Scott, Jamaican drummer, famous for playing in the Roots Radics and, later, with Dub Syndicate.
(the cover and concept is an example of Scientist Meets the Space Invaders black science fiction).
The number of reggae musicians who have died of crime violence is high (think
King Tubby and Henry “Junjo” Lawes).
It has parallels with the violence in hip hop (think
2Pac, think The Notorious B.I.G.).
Both are fueled by
machismo and have homophobia and misogyny as side effect (see homophobia and black music and misogyny in hip hop culture).
Prince Jazzbo toasting on “ Croaking Lizard “
Linval Roy Carter (3 September 1951–11 September 2013), better known as Prince Jazzbo , was a Jamaican reggae and dancehall deejay and producer .
Croaking Lizard” is a musical composition by Lee Perry, published on the 1976 album. Super Ape
On this recording, Prince Jazzbo is heard chanting (toasting is what the Jamaicans call it) over the “
Chase the Devil” riddim. The lyrics are largely nonsensical. Shards of texts I recognize are “on the river bank” and what I believe is “it’s slippery out there.”
Super Ape is a seminal recording in the history of 20th century music.