Happy New Year Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners!
Another tradition fulfilled this week as we on The Bovine Ska have produced our nineteenth New Years show where we play the first recordings of many of your favorite Jamaican artists. In some cases, the artist was part of a vocal group and we noted this when we backtracked each cut. Here are some of the tracks we played during this show.
- Alton Ellis – Alton and Eddy – Muriel
- Alton teamed up with Eddy Parkins after winning a few contests to record for Coxone Dodd. Muriel is believed to be one of Coxone’s first recordings aimed at commercial, rather than sound system release. Beyond Alton’s debut, this was a special track because it was written by Alton himself while he was worker as a laborer on a construction site.
- Eric Monty Morris – My Nights Are Lonely
- After seeing some success with his performances at Vere John’s talent shows, Eric Monty Morris teamed up with his neighborhood friend Derrick Morgan to record for Simeon Smith.
- Winston Samuels – In Jail
- The exact history of Winston Samuels is unclear, but we do know that his first single, released on Coxone’s All Stars label was a single that had opposite but connected titles: Paradise and In Jail
- John Holt – I Cried A Tear
- Before John Holt ever entered a studio, lots of folks were already talking about him. Beginning at the age of 12, Holt performed at talent shows, including the Vere John’s Opportunity Knocks Talent Show, and in total, during his competition years, won 28 awards. Given this success, it is no surprise that Holt caught the eye of Leslie Kong, who would record and release his first song, I Cried a Tear, for the Beverley’s label in 1962
- Bob Marley – Judge Not
- After moving to Trenchtown and gaining more experience with the growing Kingston music scene, Bob met Jimmy Cliff and Derrick Morgan, who together in 1962 would introduce the 17 year old Marley to Leslie Kong. Kong would record and release Marley’s first song, Judge Not, with Bob under the pseudonym Bobby Martell, a stage name given to Marley by Jimmy Cliff.
- Desmond Dekker – Honor Your Mother and Father
- As a young man, Desmond Dekker was a welder in Kingston. Here, he would sing with his co-workers and eventually, given his voice and talent, his co-workers convinced him to pursue a career in the recording industry. Dekker auditioned for Coxone Dodd first without success, and then traveled over to Leslie Kong, who signed him to a record deal. In 1962, Dekker’s first recording, Honor Your Mother and Father, a song Dekker wrote himself and was the one he auditioned with for Kong, was released on the Beverley’s label.
- Jimmy Cliff – I’m Sorry
- Cut as a dub plate for Sir Cavalier’s sound system, Jimmy Cliff recorded I’m Sorry a little before his formative years at Leslie Kong’s Beverley’s label.
- Hopeton Lewis – The Regals – Shammy Back
- As a young man, Hopeton Lewis sang at the Burnt Savannah Holiness Church, which nurtured and encouraged his talent and passion for music. Upon entering the music industry, Hopeton Lewis joined the vocal group, The Regals, who first recorded for Coxone Dodd and his Wincox label.
- Junior Soul – Miss Kushie
- Junior Soul, born Murvin Junior Smith, learned how to sing from the phenomenally talented Eric Monty Morris and Derrick Harriot and gained his stage name when he would perform for people with Jackson Jones. When he first decided to record, he went over to Sonia Pottinger’s Gayfeet label to record Miss Kushie in 1966.
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Happy New Year!
Lily and Generoso