Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: The 20th Anniversary Of The Bovine Ska! 6-14-16

Keith Tex Gene Lily

Lily and Generoso with Keith and Tex from 2015

Happy Anniversary Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners!

Twenty years ago this week, Generoso arrived to the basement of the Walker Memorial building at MIT and stepped into the studios of WMBR, 88.1FM Cambridge where he filled in for his friend Chris’ radio show, Spiddle, Urine, Phlegm, and Blood by playing two hours of a mix of original Jamaican and Two Tone Ska.  The program director at the time enjoyed his show and offered Generoso a slot on Tuesdays at midnight and the show remained at that time for the next nineteen years.  In 2010, Generoso met Lily and they began doing the show together ever since.  The show remained on the schedule at WMBR until 2015 when Generoso and Lily moved to Los Angeles where the show continues on Mixcloud.

Over the last twenty years The Bovine Ska and Rocksteady has played early Jamaican music from 1955-1975 ( we sometimes go much earlier than that but rarely later) concentrating on the earliest recorded musics in Jamaica, mento, rhythm and blues, ska, rocksteady, and early reggae.  We have also been fortunate to have some of the greatest recording artists in Jamaican music history visit the show from Jimmy Cliff  to Owen Gray,  Prince Buster, Roy and Yvonne, BB Seaton, Lynn Taitt, Eric Monty Morris,  Keith and Tex, Big Youth, Lord Tanamo and Laurel Aitken as well as modern performers like Dave Wakeling of The English Beat, Greg Lee from Hepcat and David Hillyard (who composed our opening theme) and Glen Pine from The Slackers.  This has been a blast these last two decades.

Over the last few weeks, Lily and Generoso have rummaged through the years via piles of old cassette tapes, DATs, CDs and MP3s to create this past week’s twentieth anniversary show,  Included are interviews from the aforementioned artists and live performances from the show, and even a set from the patron saint of The Bovine Ska, Magnus Johnstone, who passed away in 2013, as well as the rare recordings of tracks from the performers that you have come to expect over the last twenty years.

We have no intentions of stopping what we have been doing since 1996 and we would like to thank all of the listeners, artists, and WMBR for their support over the years.

So, celebrate with us by listening to our 20th Anniversary Special:

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Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: Baba Brooks’ Double B Label 5-17-16

Double B Label A

Barbara Jones cut her first tune for Double B!

How’s it going, Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners!

Lily and I were super excited after dancing to a fantastic set of original reggae and ska from David Hillyard and The Rocksteady Seven at La Cita on Friday night that we went home at 1AM and began pulling a massive Bovine Ska and Rocksteady for May 17th! Sure, we were a bit danced out, but we still grabbed some killer tracks for you, beginning with two sets of ska which started with Lee “Scratch” Perry’s anti-Prince Buster tune for the N&D Label in 1963, Don’t Copy!  Our second set of ska began with a version to version of Count Ossie and The Upsetters’ ( the vocal group, not the Lee Perry backing band) Studio One gem, Turn Me On, which was followed by the version from Rolando Alphonso, also on Studio One in 1965, Tall In The Saddle. 

A mento set followed with Percy Dixon and His Merry Boys leading the way with their version of the naughty, Ben o Dict.  We ended the first hour with rocksteady to get you in the mood for the DOUBLE B Label spotlight.  Part of that rocksteady set had a tune  from beautiful voice of Ken Parker, from the DOUBLE D Label which has nothing to do with your spotlight label, DOUBLE B, called The Search Is Over from 1968.  Yes, we did that just to confuse you.  Soon, we were off to do the DOUBLE B Label spotlight! Major props to Lily for doing the research on this one as there is very little known about this small, but vital label.

The Double B label existed from 1972 to 1975, and all of the records were produced in Jamaica and based on the early releases and the name of the label, we have reason to believe that the owner of the label was Baba Brooks.  Baba Brooks produced the debut single for Double D, and then most of the remaining productions were created by vocalist Glen Lee.  We began the label spotlight, with Barbara Jones’s Sad Movies, followed by Sir Harry’s version of the track, both produced by Baba Brooks. Sad Movies is a cover of Sue Thompson’s track of the same name from 1961, which went to #5 on the American Billboard charts. Sad Movies is also Barbara Jones’s debut recording.

As mentioned in the introduction, Glen Lee was both a vocalist and a producer. He recorded as a singer for Double B as he produced other artists. In the early 70s, he would gain further notability as a producer for his work with George Faith. And Glen Lee’s recording studio was not too far from Lee Scratch Perry’s record shop, and this proximity would facilitate the beginning of Lee Scratch Perry’s collaboration with George Faith.  We hope you enjoy the spotlight!

For news on the upcoming spotlights and fun discoveries tied to early Jamaican music, join the group for the Bovine Ska and Rocksteady on Facebook.

XO
Lily and Generoso

Here is the May 17th, 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Radio Show.  Please share!