Bovine Ska and Rocksteady 4/1/2015: Early Clancy Eccles

For the 1001 episode of the Bovine Ska and Rocksteady, we kicked off the show with an amazing version-to-version-to-version-to-version excursion with the Satta Massa Ganna rhythm, beginning with the original recording of “Satta Massa Ganna” by The Abyssianians.

After that trip down version road, we presented some more reggae, including the chilling and stunning “Devil in Bed” from Cornell Campbell.

After those first two reggae sets, we played the mento set of the week, which included a beautiful one from Laurel Aitken entitled, “Nightfall in Zion.”

Then, in order to glide into the spotlight on Clancy Eccles’s early recordings, we shared a set of Jamaican rhythm and blues, which included “Since Lately,” a very early track from Jimmy Cliff, long before his days in “The Harder They Come.”

Clancy Eccles's Baby Please - Released in England on Island and in Jamaica on Moo's

Clancy Eccles’s Baby Please – Released in England on Island and in Jamaica on Moo’s

So, you may ask, why only the early Clancy Eccles tracks? In 1965, Clancy left the music industry as a performer and became a tailor and additionally a stage wear designer for Kes Chin, The Mighty Vikings, Byron Lee and the Dragonaires, Carlos Malcolm and The Blues Busters

Consequently, in the spotlight, you will only hear the songs he recorded before he took his two year hiatus from recording and before he returned to the music industry in 1967 when he would record again and produce other artists.

Born in Saint Mary parish in 1940 to a tailor and builder, Clancy Eccles began his love for music in the church. Particularly inspired by his uncle who was a spiritual revivalist, Eccles began singing at church as a boy. As a teenager, he moved to secular music, singing to tourists in the hotel circuit on the Northern Coast of Jamaica. Then, as a young man, he moved to Ocho Rios and performed in nighttime shows where he shared stages with the Blues Busters, Higgs & Wilson, and Buster Brown.

After working the live performance circuit for a few years, Clancy decided to move to Kingston in 1959 where the recording industry was beginning to rise, and eventually, he began working with Coxone Dodd. He first recorded Freedom for Coxone, which was a single played on his sound system before it was pressed for distribution. As a political song discussing repatriation to Africa, Freedom was actually one of the earliest songs to be used in a political campaign; Alexander Bustamente used it in his battle against the Federation of the West Indies in 1960.

You’ll hear Freedom to kick off the spotlight on Clancy Eccles’ early recordings.

By 1962, Clancy began running his own talent shows and producing live shows for artists such as The Clarendonians and The Wailers. The next year, Clancy began working with other producers including Charlie Moo and Lyndon Pottinger. You’ll hear his work from these producers in the second part of the spotlight.

Happy April! Hope you enjoy the show!

Listen to this episode HERE

The archive link will be available until 4/14/2015.


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