Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: Dada Tewari’s Down Beat Label 7-5-16

down beat label B

The Godfather Of Ska on Down Beat

Hello Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners!

The July 5th, 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady began with a version to version excursion with Shark Wilson & the Basement Heaters 1971 cut for Moodisc, Make It Reggae.  We actually played two sets of early reggae to start the show ending with another version to version with Barbara Jones cover of the Patti Page classic, Changing Partners which Jones recorded for GGs in 1974.   Our weekly mento set contained a gem from The Wrigglers Sing Again LP which was released by Kalypso in 1958, the suggestive tune, Biggest Maracas.  The final set of the first hour, a ska set in fact, started with a Stranger Cole tune that has never been played on the show before,  a 1963 cut entitled Morning Star for the Dutchess label,  We ended the first hour with Lee Perry’s Trial and Crosses which he recorded for Coxsone Dodd’s Worldisc in 1964.  We then began our spotlight of the Down Beat Label.

Deonaire ‘Dada’ Tewari started out as a businessman. His family had a growing dry goods business, and in addition, they owned the Tivoli Theater, which would later become the Queen’s Theater. Tewari worked primarily in his family’s businesses until 1953, when he opened the Caribbean Recording Company, one of the earliest recording facilities to be opened in Jamaica, opened only after the recording studios of Ken Khouri and Stanley Motta. Two labels existed to distribute the music recorded at the Caribbean Recording Company: Caribou and Down Beat. You’ve heard selections from Caribou during our weekly mento sets, but we have yet to share a mass of tracks from Down Beat. Consequently, Down Beat was our label spotlight.

We started the second hour with Laurel Aitken, an artist who got his start with Tewari. After getting spotted at the V-Rocket sound system, Laurel was introduced to Dada Tewari. He recorded many tracks for Tewari, including the early hit  “Roll Jordan Roll” for the Caribou label, and “Boogie Rock” for the Down Beat label, the track which will start this spotlight.  A student of the Alpha Boys School, Lester Sterling began playing trumpet before switching over to alto sax. He performed as a member of the Jamaica Military Band before entering the recording industry. Throughout his career, Sterling worked extensively with Coxsone Dodd, and this next track “Pipe Dream” is one product of their collaborations. Though Tewari did produce many recordings on Down Beat, some of the tracks released on the label were also produced by Coxsone Dodd. Tewari’s Caribbean Recording Company, located on Torrington Road, was highly productive throughout the fifties and early sixties. Unfortunately, we don’t hear any recordings from Tewari after the ska rhythm because the facilities experienced a fire, and Tewari did not return to the music industry.

We hope you enjoy the July 5th, 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady:

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