Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: BB Seaton’s Soul Beat Label 11-17-15

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A Great Ken Boothe Cut On Soul Beat!


Hello Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners,

We had a blast with this week’s (11/17/15) episode of Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady which featured a spotlight on BB Seaton’s Soul Beat Label but before we get to that in the second hour, we started the show with two sets of explosive ska, beginning with Ernest Ranglin’s Selected Group and their killer instrumental for Kentone, “Skalvouvia!”  Our second set started with yet another dazzling Kentone cut, “I Am Blue” from Alton Ellis’ singing partner from the Jamaican R&B days, Eddie Perkins.   Our frantic mento set featured a “Round Dance” from the St. Ann Quadrille Band and Count Lasher’s version of the classic “Slide Mongoose.” Our final set for the first hour was of the rocksteady variety and started with a rare instrumental from Skatalites saxophonist, Lester Sterling for the Merritone label called aptly enough “The Lester Sterling Special.”  At the end of this set, we went right into our SOUL BEAT LABEL spotlight…

While we know BB Seaton best as a member of the Gaylads, he was also a producer, songwriter, and A&R representative. Consequently, it is of no surprise that he opened up his own record label, which is still active, Soul Beat. BB Seaton started as a multi-talented musician early in his career. He first arrived at Studio One in early 1960 as a solo artist, recording the first track he wrote, “Only You,” as Harris Seaton. Before recording further as a soloist, BB met Delano Stewart, and together, they recorded as the Diamond Twins and Winston & Bibby for Coxsone. Inspired by The Impressions, Winston and BB added Maurice Roberts to the duo, thus becoming the Gaylads. The group would stick exclusively to recording for Studio One from 1964 to 1967, with BB producing, writing, and even auditioning everyone from Pat Kelly to the Kingstonians for Studio One.

However, after a couple of disputes tied to royalties and the decision to take Alton Ellis and Ken Boothe to England for a tour rather than The Gaylads, who had been completely loyal in their recordings to Coxsone Dodd, the group left Studio One and went over to Sonia Pottinger and her Tip Top label. While at Tip Top, Delano left the group to move to America, so when the group next went to Leslie Kong’s Beverley’s label, BB and Maurice would recruit an extra member. After experiences recording for other producers and labels, BB opened up Soul Beat, which began releasing original recordings in Jamaica in 1971. Soul Beat also had a branch in the UK, and as a result, both released productions of each other in their respective countries. Consequently, some productions have BB Seaton at the producer helm, and others do not.  We appropriately kicked off this spotlight on the Soul Beat label with a track from The Gaylads.

For the original Soul Beat recordings, the Conscious Minds performed as the house band. The Conscious minds were: Arnold Brackenridge on trumpet, Derrick Hinds on trombone, Derrick Stewart on drums, Joe White on piano and vocals, BB Seaton, Ken Boothe, and Maurice Roberts on vocals as well.

Again, can listen to our full show from November 17, 2015 HERE. Subscribe to our show on Mixcloud, it’s FREE and you’ll get an email every Tuesday when our new show goes up.

Happy Halloween!!! Please help us and spread the word and repost if you liked the show! Repost anywhere you see fit.

Join the group for the Bovine Ska and Rocksteady on Facebook.

Love,

Generoso and Lily

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Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: Ken Khouri’s Kentone Label 11-10-15

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A Top Instrumental By Byron On Kentone

 

Welcome Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners,

After two weeks where Lily and I covered both Comikaze and the amazing films of AFI Fest for Forces of Geek, we had a blast playing programming tunes we love on the radio show!  Thanks for listening in…If you missed it, check out the November 10th Bovine Ska and Rocksteady on Mixcloud!

We started this week off with a massive version to version to version to version excursion that we always send out to our dear departed friend Magnus.  We versioned the 1971 hit by Count Prince Miller, “Mule Train” with covers from Roland Alphonso, Dennis Alcapone, and Derrick Morgan!  Our second set began with The Bassies on Studio One in 1969 with “Things A Come Up To Bump” and the version, on Coxsone in 1969, “More Scorcha” from Count Machuki and Sound Dimension.  We then gave you our weekly mento set and to get you ready for the Kentone Label spotlight, we began a long set of rare ska with the Federal Singers and their 1965 cut for Khouri’s Federal label, “My Love.”  We ended that ska set with Bongo Man Byfield doing a borderline nonsensical cover of Sam Cooke’s pop hit “History” that he called “Bongo Man” which was good fun.  We then immediately went into the Kentone spotlight…


Kentone comes from a major lineage in Jamaican music history. Owned by Ken Khouri, it is an example of Khouri’s own evolution of the record industry in Jamaica. 
Born in Kingston, Khouri’s father owned dry goods and furniture shops in Kingston. A family friend also owned a dry goods store, and, after the sons inherited the shop, Ken would work for them. This family owned jukeboxes that were placed across Jamaica, igniting Ken’s interesting in the record business. Consequently, when he found a disc recorder in Miami, he purchased it and brought it back to Jamaica and started to record mento. With the recorder, Khouri would send tapes to London, and they would send back 78s. After working with this method for some time, Khouri realized that it would be helpful to have his own pressing plant, so he purchased the equipment from California and setup a recording studio and pressing plant to his studio, Records Limited, in the late 40s. And with this record pressing plant and recording studio in place, he started Time Records, his first label that was distributed by Alec Durie’s Times Variety Store.

By the mid 50s, Khouri created Pioneer Company, which pressed Jamaican recordings and distributed foreign records as well. When the Pioneer Company moved to the Industrial Estate at Marcus Garvey Drive in the late 50s, Pioneer became a subsidiary of the mighty Federal Records. At Federal Records, plenty of the major soundsystem operators and producers used the studio to record tracks for their labels. Khouri also used his studio for his own record label, Kentone, where Byron Lee and the Dragonaires produced many recordings and also served as the house backing band. We kicked off the spotlight with one of the earliest Kentone releases from The Techniques, “No One,” which was originally recorded for Curtis Mayfield for Columbia Records and only released in the UK. It is unclear if the Kentone release is a Jamaican distribution of that Columbia track, or if The Techniques re-recorded the track for Khouri. A clue could be that the Byron Lee and the Dragonaires were listed as the backing band on the Kentone release, but the answer is not clear.  

As stated earlier,  many of the Kentone releases featured Byron Lee and the Dragonaires.  Circa 1963-1965, the members were Ken Lazarus on Guitar, Byron Lee on Bass, Tommy Ismay on Saxophone, Chester Power on Trumpet, Barry Lloyd on Drums, Victor Chung on Bongos and Percussion, Carl Brady on Bongos and Percussion, Leslie Butler on Organ, Vernon Muller on Trombone, Frank Anderson on Trumpet.

Again, can hear our full show from November 10, 2015 HERE. Subscribe to our show on Mixcloud, it’s FREE and you’ll get an email every Tuesday when our new show goes up.

Happy Halloween!!! Please help us and spread the word and repost if you liked the show! Repost anywhere you see fit.

Join the group for the Bovine Ska and Rocksteady on Facebook.

Love,

Generoso and Lily

Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: Rupie Edwards Success Label 11-3-15

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Excellent Cut On Success By The Concords

Hello Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners,

Thanks to you all for the kind words and listens to our Jamaican Halloween show last week.  It was super fun, and has inspired Lily and I to some more investigations into the different kinds of floating specters!

This week was a less spooky Bovine Ska and Rocksteady as we did a spotlight on Rupie Edwards’ Success Label. That spotlight starts in the middle of the show.  We started off with two sets of rare ska, featuring “You Made Me Warm” a punchy ska from a seldom recorded band known as The Sharks which came out on Kentone in 1965.  “What To Do” fr0m The Federal Singers was another rare ska from 1965 which began the second set.  That one was recorded at the Federal label of course. We started our mento set with a slow and lovely bamboo sax led cut from the king of the bamboo sax, Sugar Belly!  You heard the classic mento of “Land Of Sea and Sun”  After the three song mento set, we played a long set of rocksteady that began with a version to version excursion using Buster’s “Judge Dread” rhythm..”Musical College” and “Barrister’s Pardon.”  We ended with a pretty cut Merritone as The Merritone Singers sang “House Upon The Hill” which was released in 1967.  It was then the second hour and the spotlight on Rupie Edwards’ SUCCESS LABEL.

Known for many roles in the music industry, including being the co-songwriter of Judge Dread’s Big 7, Rupie Edwards began his career in music as a singer, recording his first single, “Guilty Convict” in 1962 at the age of 17. After recording further as a soloist, he created The Virtues with Junior Menz, Lloyd Robinson, Basil Gabbidon, Eric Frater and Dobby Dobson. After working extensively as a recording artist since 1962, by 1968, Edwards began to dedicate more time as a producer of his own label, most likely first working on his own track with The Virtues, “Falling in Love” and with Karl Bryan, also known as Cannonball Bryan on the track, “Sweet Nanny.” In Jamaica, Rupie was releasing his productions on his own imprint, and in England, he gained the interest of the gargantuan Pama label, which distributed his productions with a Success UK imprint. Success label engineers were Syd Bucknor and Lynford ‘Andy Capp’ Anderson, and together with Rupie, the team created a distinctive sound and rhythm for the label, one that we are thrilled to have shared with you, beginning with the earliest known Success recording from Rupie Edwards himself. Here’s “Falling In Love.”

We played more than a few instrumentals and backing all of the vocal artists are The Rupie Edwards All Stars which featured: on san, Tommy McCook,  trombone Vin Gordon,  drums: Carlton ‘Santa’ Davis, guitar: Hux Brown, piano: Gladstone Anderson, bass: Clifton ‘Jackie’ Jackson and on organ: Winston Wright.

You can hear our full show from November 3, 2015 HERE. Subscribe to our show on Mixcloud, it’s free and you’ll get an email every Tuesday when our new show goes up.

Happy Halloween!!! Please help us and spread the word and repost if you liked the show! Repost anywhere you see fit.

Join the group for the Bovine Ska and Rocksteady on Facebook.

Love,
Generoso and Lily

 

Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: Jamaican Halloween Reggae And Ska 10-27-15

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Halloween Without King Horror? Never!

 

Happy Halloween Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners!

Truthfully, back in 1996 when I put together my first Jamaican Halloween radio show at WMBR, I couldn’t find more than a couple of sets  spooky reggae and ska from 1955 to 1975 but year by year just like the lost souls rising from the beyond, we have found a coven of rare Jamaican cuts to make a two hour show of eerie sounding reggae, ska, mento, and rocksteady happen!  This year’s show was a blast as we mixed those cuts that feature horrifying screams, corpses rising out of graves, and heavy rhythms with some haunting sounds of our own, and Lily’s explanations of the different types of undead apparitions which was pretty mind-blowing!   In years past we always did a half-hour spotlight of the enigmatic vocalist known as King Horror but being that Mixcloud does not allow so many tracks glued together from one artist, we played a greater variety of Halloween reggae and ska than ever before!

Of course, we did start the show with King Horror with what could be the most bizarre organ intro of any track we will play this evening…The Joe Mansano produced 1969 classic, “Dracula Prince Of Darkness!”  In fact, the first set of four songs was a tribute to the former Vlad The Impaler and his urban counterpart, Blacula!  We followed  King Horror with a creepy one from the Crystal label house band, The Crystalites with “Blacula” from 1973, The Vulcans 1973 cut for Trojan, “Dracula,” and The Upsetters ending that set with their homage to our fanged friend, “Dracula” from 1970.  We had a mento set that began with an appropriate selection from Chin’s Calypso Sextet, “Woman Ghost Fool Man” and ending with the classic “Zombie Jamboree” performed by Lord Jellicoe in 1966.  We ended the first hour with a ska set that included such holiday wonders as Byron Lee and The Dragonaires “Frankenstein Ska” from 1964, and our favorite dark ska cut, Lloyd Clarke’s “Living Among The Dead” which Lloyd recorded in 1964 at Federal.

The second hour featured a six reggae tribute to satan with a highlight being “Dr. Satan’s Echo Chamber” by Rupie Edwards from 1974, and a nine song version to version laden set of “duppy” (Jamaican for ghost) including four versions of Bob Marley and The Wailers Duppy Conqueror performed by The Wailers, Dennis Alcapone, and The Joe Gibbs All Stars.

You can hear our full show from October 27th, 2015 HERE. Subscribe to our show on Mixcloud, it’s free and you’ll get an email every Tuesday when our new show goes up.

Happy Halloween!!! Please help us and spread the word and repost if you liked the show! Repost anywhere you see fit.

Join the group for the radio show on Facebook.

Love,
Generoso and Lily