Bovine Ska and Rocksteady 10/29/14: Happy Halloween with King Horror!!!

This past week’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady is one of our favorite shows of the year….the Halloween show!!!

The show featured songs with ghoulish, sinister themes and titles ranging from devilish reggae, duppy mento, dracula reggae, and zombie ska. There’s even an entire set of duppy themed reggae and a duppy story weaving through the sets! We started off with a set of “Satan” themed reggae, beginning with a new acquisition here at The Bovine Ska and Rocksteady, “Satan Side” by Keith Hudson and Chuckles which was released on DUKE in 1972 and was produced by Keith Hudson himself.  That opening set ended with a back to back version excursion from The Ethiopians on Matador, “Satan Gal” and “Satan Boy.”

Given that the Bovine Ska and Rocksteady almost always needs a spotlight, this show has a special one from the most terrifying reggae voice of all, King Horror!

King Horror-Frankenstein

This 1969 King Horror cut is pretty spooky!

Much of the fun of the King Horror spotlight comes from the question: Who is King Horror?

The real answer is that we have no idea, but we have a few suspicions. Across all accounts, the most likely answer is that King Horror was Lord Davey, who was produced by Laurel Aitken. Given the involvement of Laurel, there is some confusion surrounding who really performed on the King Horror tracks. On many of the tracks, it is clear that you do not hear Laurel‘s voice, which would confirm that King Horror is actually Lord Davey. But, of course to make the identity more puzzling, it is believed that Laurel Aitken actually did cut a few singles as King Horror, but the rest of the singles were Young Growler, a calypsonian named Errol Naphtah Davy who immigrated to London from Trinidad in 1961.

Given the name similarities, we could guess that Young Growler and Lord Davey are most likely the same person. While multiple sources point to Davy, there is another claim to the King Horror name out there. Joe Mansano, of Brixton’s Joe’s Record Centre, claimed that King Horror was one of his DJs known as Lloydie and Lloyd the Matador, not to be confused with Lloyd the Matador Daley. Lloydie was apparently not the best looking man, and consequently, Joe and his people began to call him King Horror.

Regardless of the identity, all of these King Horror tracks feature eerie sound effects, great screams, and amazing reggae rhythms.

Listen to the spooky edition of the Bovine Ska and Rocksteady HERE.

Enjoy! The archive will be available until 11/11/2014.

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