Bovine Ska and Rocksteady 4/8/2015: Horace Faith

For this past week’s show, we began with two sets of mid-tempo ska, beginning with a spectacular one from Henry Buckley himself on his own Merritone label entitled, “Reap What You Sew.” Afterwards, in the second set of ska, we presented the amazing “Run Rudies Run” from Lee Perry and the Gaylads.

After the first two sets, we jumped into the mento with “Tongue Tied Mopsie” from The Wrigglers on the Kalypso label. And then to transition into the spotlight on Horace Faith, we shared an extended set of rocksteady, beginning with a too cool Prince Buster track named “Sweet Beat.”

Cover for 7″ of Black Pearl

To start the second half of the show, we featured a memorial spotlight on Horace Faith, who passed away on March 8, 2015.

Unfortunately, we don’t know too much about Horace’s bio. We do know he was born as Horace Smith in Jamaica, but given his extensive recording for English labels and a small tidbit shared with us on an annotated episode of Top of the Pops, we know that he immigrated to England as a young man and spent a good chunk of his music career there.

Faith’s career is an interesting one; he recorded lots and lots of covers in reggae and soul but with very lush arrangements. We presented all of his best work in this memorial retrospective on Faith, including his major hit, “Black Pearl.”

“Black Pearl” is a cover of the song with the same title by Sonny & The Checkmates, and with this cover, Horace Faith gained quite a bit of popularity. It reached #13 on the U.S. Billboard top 100 and #13 on the UK singles chart as well.

The spotlight included both reggae and soul cuts from Horace Faith, all of which had beautiful and lavish compositions.

Listen to the spotlight and the full program HERE.

Enjoy! The archive will be available until 4/21/2015.

2 thoughts on “Bovine Ska and Rocksteady 4/8/2015: Horace Faith

  1. I knew Horace when he lived in Cambridge MA in the early 80’s. We had a band called Prevailing Wind, which played on Boston Commons and at the Western Front but never recorded commercially. I often went to his house in Cambridgeport and we would talk for hours and just enjoy ourselves. Later after I moved to NY and he moved back to Jamaica, we would call each other every now and then. But I hadn’t heard of passing until reading this. So sorry. He was a wonderful man.


    • Hello Dave,

      Thank you for sharing these memories and I am so sorry that you had to hear about Horace’s passing by reading my post. There was so little information about him as Lily and I only found a short two paragraph obituary after he died that informed us on his life for the radio program that we did back in April. He was a talented vocalist and I am sorry for the loss of your friend. I arrived in Boston in the mid 1980s, and unfortunately never got to see Prevailing Wind. I’m so glad that you had that experience with Horace.

      Thank you again for sharing this information.


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