Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: 12/10/14: Winston Samuels

Winston Samuels-Be Prepared

Winston Samuel’s Biggest Hit on Lyndon Pottinger’s “SEP” Label

We started off this past week’s very mysterious Bovine Ska and Rocksteady, with the enigmatic, “Prince of Darkness” who tossed down the incredibly danceable sounds of “Burial of Longshot,” for Dandy Livingstone on the Downtown label in 1969.   The track is a response to the classic cut “Longshot” by The Pioneers.  We then burned through two sets of reggae, a very fast mento set and a set of ska to get you in the mood for the ska sounds of Winston Samuels.

Winston Samuels, after much research and reaching out to scholars and Jamaican legend, remains somewhat of a mystery. What we can gather about this magnificent singer is that with the exception of his hit, “Be Prepared,” there is very little known about Winston’s personal history and his career beginnings. According to Studio One artist and Bovine Ska and Rocksteady friend, Dudley Sibley, we know that Winston Samuels first recorded for Coxone in the early 1960s , and other sources indicate that his first release on Coxsone’s All Star imprint was a single with two sides with conflicting names and themes: “Paradise” and “In Jail.” We started off the spotlight on mighty vocalist Winston Samuels, with “In Jail” and with that you got a preview of the amazing voice that he would hone and perfect throughout his career.  One of the real surprises was the magnificent quality of the tracks Winston would do curing the rocksteady period for Prince Buster.  His voice may be at it’s best here.

There are some rumors that he was a member of The Four Aces, but we were not able to confirm this, but what could be verified was that Winston Samuels was a prolific song writer who penned two festival song winners for Eric Donaldson: “Sweet Jamaica” and “Land of My Birth,” in 1977 and 1978, respectively. Then, after spending quite some time in the music industry, Winston Samuels moved to America, but his whereabouts since have been pretty mysterious.

Listen to the spotlight and the full show HERE.

Enjoy! The archived file will be available until 12/23/2014.

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