Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: Sir Mike The Musical Dragon Label 6-21-16

Sir Mike's Label A

The Great Stranger Cole on Sir Mike’s

Hello Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners!

First off,  we just want to thank everyone who gave us love for last week’s 20th Anniversary episode of the Bovine Ska.  It was a tough show to glue together so we are so happy that you all loved it so much.  Here’s to another twenty years!

The June 21st edition of The Bovine Ska and Rocksteady began with a seldom heard rocksteady cut from Lee Scratch Perry called, Run For Cover, which was released on Star in 1967.  We played that in tribute to the endlessly entertaining, live painting event that Scratch put on at Dem Passwords in Chinatown here in Los Angeles on Thursday, June 16, 2016.   We followed with seven more smooth rocksteady cuts including Dion Cameron and The Three Tops gem, Miserable Day, which they cut for WIRL in 1967.

Our weekly mento set began with Miss Goosie from Count Owen’s Rock Steady Calypso LP which came out on Federal in 1968 and ended with Lord Power’s wildly festive, Let’s Do It on Hi Lite in 1956.  We ended the first hour with a rousing set of ska, with our final track being Hortense Ellis disguised as Little Darling and No One, which she recorded for Prince Buster on Voice Of The People in 1965.  We then began our spotlight on Sir Mike The Musical Dragon Label…

From the early soundsystem era, we always hear about Lloyd Daley’s Matador, Duke Reid’s Trojan, Coxsone’s Downbeat, Prince Buster’s Voice of the People, and Vincent and George Edwards (collectively known as King Edwards) The Giant sound systems. Mike Shadeed’s Sir Mike the Musical Dragon Sound System stood in the company of these big names, but we often do not hear of Shadeed’s work.

Sir Mike the Musical Dragon was considered one of the big six sound systems in Jamaica, so much so that Shadeed was invited by the Jamaican government to partake in Independence celebrations and dances in the mid-60s. As a testament to the reputation and popularity of the Sir Mike sound system, King Tubby, in interviews, has even discussed the power of Sir Mike’s, saying that Sir Mike was even stronger than Coxsone Dodd’s Downbeat and Duke Reid’s The Trojan by the time the mid-60s arrived. Sir Mike the Musical Dragon also introduced the music world to Prince Far I, who was a DJ for the sound system before he became a recording artist.

As a record label, Sir Mike the Musical Dragon gave us some excellent ska from some of the best artists at the time. We kicked off this spotlight on the Sir Mike label with a duo of great talent, Stranger & Ken, Stranger Cole and Ken Boothe, who recorded, Hush Baby, for Mike Shadeed in 1963.

Before playing melodica in the 1970s, Joe White recorded primarily as a vocalist in the 1960s. For the Sir Mike the Musical Dragon label, White recorded two beautiful skas. Wanna Go Home, features a simple and gorgeous trumpet line from Baba Brooks playing in tandem with White’s solid voice, and “When You Are Wrong” also features Baba Brooks, but White’s voice shines in the track. We started off the second set of the spotlight with both of these wonderful Joe White recordings.  

XOXO
Lily and Generoso

Here is the June 21st, 2016 Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady:

Advertisements

Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: Pete Weston’s Advance Label 5-10-16

advance label b

Alton Peanuts Davis 1972 Cut On Advance

Howdy Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners,

A lovely week of weather and good eating lead into the festive May 10th, 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady so we decided to do a deep and extended spotlight on Pete Weston’s wonderful, reggaerific ADVANCE LABEL which features top tune from Junior Byles, Alton Ellis, Shorty The President, Ken Boothe and many more. The spotlight, as always, begins in the middle of the show!

The show began with two sets of ska, beginning with Eric Monty Morris’s forthright tune for Duke Reid from 1964, Drop Your Sword!  Prince Buster and Hazel followed with World Peace, a top cut on Buster’s own Voice Of The People label from 1963.   Sammy and the Drumbago Band was next with You’ve Been Drunk which was originally released on Count John The Lion in 1963 and we ended that first set with the Spanishtown Ska Beats and King Solomon from 1964.   The mento set started with a track never before played on The Bovine Ska, a mento from the Chin’s label entitled, Not Guilty, which is amazing considering we have been doing a mento set for almost fifteen years!  A long rocksteady set was next and that began with a cool one from the vocal group, The Lyrics on Coxsone’s Studio One, called A Get It from 1966.  That set ended with a Tommy McCook instrumental released on Sure Shot in 1967, Soul For Sale.  We then got into the special one hour spotlight on the ADVANCE LABEL.

We do not know a ton about the Advance label, but we do know that it was a subsidiary of Micron Music, which was owned by Michael Johnston, Ronnie Burke, and Pete Weston. Michael Johnston and Ronnie Burke were roommates at Jamaica College who loved jazz, and the two founded Micron Music together. They soon brought Pete Weston on board, with Pete adding his production gift to Johnston and Burke’s distribution and promotion sensibilities. Pete Weston entered the world of production when he approached Herman Chin Loy. At the time, Pete wanted to leave his work in the insurance industry to become a producer, and Herman Chin Loy took him in, allowing him to work on Chin Loy’s projects. Quickly, Weston established himself as a strong producer, and he headed over to Micron Music. It is unclear when the Advance imprint opened up, but it must have been shortly after the creation of Micron and Pete Weston’s arrival because Weston’s productions dominate the releases. However, the label had some flexibility with production, and as a result, a variety of artists and producers released a handful of tracks for the imprint.

Scouty Whyte was one of these producers, recording one of Advance’s earliest releases in 1971, Ken Boothe’s Make Me Feel Alright, which is the track that kicked off the spotlight. As a producer, Pete Weston attracted quite a bit of talent to Advance, and one of the major artists was Lee Scratch Perry. Their collaboration was solidified in 1975, and Scratch would distribute records through Micron, and he would also collaborate with Pete as a producer and as an engineer on the Advance label.

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 10th, 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Radio Show.  Please share!

Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: The 20th Annual Anti-Valentine’s Day Show! 2-9-16

daltons kiss

Well Daltons, Don’t Do It Then!

Hello Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners!

A prized tradition during the almost twenty year run of Generoso And Lily’s Bovine Ska And Rocksteady from when it was started was the Annual Anti-Valentine’s Day. This is where I, Generoso, would play two hours of songs featuring sets dedicated to many maladies associated with love like the pain breaking up, revenge, sadness, rejection…Yep, you get the picture.  These sets would be combined with dire facts relating to love like the current divorce rate and the costs of such splits and stories, many sent in by listeners, that regale accounts of tragic relationships from blind dates to the end of thirty year marriages. Fun!

Why would I do this, a now happily married man take such an assault on the saccharin, greeting card created holiday that ruins couplings both young and old?  Well, you got part of the answer there but the other part consists of feelings held by the long term committed bachelor that I was prior to meeting my lifelong cohost Lily.  You see, I had seven relationships in my past life as a single end between the first and fourteenth of February with three ending on the very saint’s feast day. Coincidence, no I don’t think so as this “holiday” puts an unneeded pressure on relationships as the kind of gift/evening is contingent on the current duration/affection amount of the union.  For example, let’s say that you have been dating for two weeks when the dreaded Cupid Day occurs…What amount of buy in are you supposed to have? If you do too much, it may make a more sensible partner run from level jumping and not enough pageantry might convince the more romantic partner that they are not the intended apple of your eye.

Hence, Valentine’s Day is the giant foot stamping on the flower of budding romance.

The 2016 year’s Anti-Valentine’s Day Show selected sets based on the following moments of a doomed relationship in a chronological breakup order…The FOOL set which normally occurs during the Valentine’s Day preparation that leads to failure, the set that highlights the moments when you let that love GO, the music assembled for the times when you realize that they are GONE. The subsequent set of songs about HEARTACHES when you start to notice that your love is no longer sitting with you on the couch.  As you stare at the empty couch, you begin to feel SORRY for messing it all up which forces you to sadly REMEMBER all of the good times you had as opposed to moments like when she opened up your Valentine’s Day present and called you an asshole for getting her a set of car air fresheners because you thought that it would be funny to remind her that her car smell like an old man’s armpit (I thought she would think it was funny).

So, you can now profit from my years of pain and listen to a superbly curated Anti Valentine’s Day Radio Show that features top ska, rocksteady, and reggae by such artists as The Heptones, Alton Ellis, Bob Andy and many more in the comfort and safety of your own home via Mixcloud.

Please share the show on Facebook and Mixcloud.

Enjoy and screw Valentine’s Day

Love,
Generoso and Lily

 

 

 

Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady: Phil Pratt’s Jontom Label 1-19-16

jontom label b

Tommy McCook’s Killer Ska On Jontom

Hello Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners,

After last week’s reggae-heavy spotlight on Willie Francis’ LITTLE WILLIE LABEL, we decided to take this week’s spotlight on the Bovine Ska back to the ska and rocksteady with the JONTOM LABEL, which features tracks from one of our favorite producers, Phil Pratt. That spotlight begins about halfway through the program, so before that, you will hear some reggae, mento, and ska.

To start off the show, we presented a reggae version to version, with the original “Afrikaan Beat” from Lester Sterling and its version, “To The Fields,” from Herman Chin-Loy. In the second set of reggae, we had another version to version matchup with The Bassies “Things A Come Up To Bump” and Sound Dimension’s take on the track, “Black Onion.”

For the mento set 30 minutes into the program, we played one of our favorites, Zach Matalon and the Sonny Bradshaw Quartet’s “Cordelia Brown,” a production from Stanely Motta and his MRS label in 1954. Then, to prepare for the Jontom spotlight, we prepared an extended set of ska showcasing the School Girls’ “Last Time,” Owen & Leon’s “How Many Times,” and Jackie Opel’s triumphant take on the gospel traditional, “Sit Down Servant.”

At the second hour mark, we were happy to finally present an eleven track spotlight on Phil Pratt’s Jontom label.

While we love Phil Pratt for much of his production work in reggae, he got his start as a producer during rocksteady for his own label, Jontom, the subject of our spotlight in this week’s edition of the Bovine Ska and Rocksteady. Born as George Phillips, Pratt moved to England as a teenager to live with his father but returned to Jamaica five years later. Upon his return, he tried to record first for Coxsone Dodd but without success, and when he met Ken Lack, who gave Pratt his stage name when he could not recall his real last name, the two hit it off. Pratt started as a singer for Caltone, and Lack decided to give Pratt his own label to release his own productions, jumpstarting Phil Pratt’s career as a producer. We started off this spotlight with a soul cut from The Uniques titled, “Do Me Good.”

Ken Boothe, who recorded “The One I Love” for Jontom, has an integral role in the creation of Phil Pratt and Ken Lack’s collaboration at Caltone and eventually Jontom. When Phil was trying to work with Coxsone, he met Ken Boothe. Ken introduced him to Roy Shirley, who introduced him to Bunny Lee, and Bunny Lee introduced Pratt to Ken Lack.

To close the show, we had a smooth set of rocksteady that included the ever-so-pretty “Mother Pepper” from Desmond Dekker, “Home, Home, Home” from Derrick Harriott, and “What To Do” from Roy Shirley.

You can listen to our full Bovine Ska and Rocksteady from January 19, 2016 HERE. Subscribe to our show on Mixcloud; it’s FREE, and you’ll get an email every Tuesday when we post a new show.

For all of our listeners on the east coast, we hope this show keeps you warm!!! Please help us and spread the word and repost if you liked the show!

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.

Have a great week!

Lily and Generoso

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

soul beat A

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