For the 20th straight year we are celebrating Halloween here on The Bovine Ska and Rocksteady the best way we know how…By playing some of the creepiest and spookiest reggae and ska ever produced in Jamaica. Mixed into our witches brew, we tossed in scary sounds and clips from B and even C level horror films of the past. Bizarre and crafty cuts from Lee Scratch Perry, King Horror, The Crystalites, I-Roy, and many others will be thrown into the cauldron. Check it out and Happy Reggae Halloween everyone!
Hello Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners!
We spent the bread that we would’ve used to buy food to get records for the August 9th, 2016 Generoso and Lily’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Radio Show, but please don’t let the guilt that you should feel influence you in any way to listen to the this week’s show! Midway through the show, we have a spotlight on Lee “Scratch” Perry’s Wizz-dom label (1972-1973) which is so good that we have almost forgotten how satisfying a square meal feels like when you get to eat one. Amazing cuts from The Heptones, Melodians, Junior Byles and of course, The Upsetters! As the Wizz-dom label is so thick with the reggae, we decided to start off this show the ska, beginning with Joe White’s festive 1965 cut for Duke Reid’s Treasure Isle label, Irene. Our mento set featured the title cut from Percy Dixon’s Scandal In Montego Bay LP which was released on Sue in 1964. After that set, we launched into a long set of rocksteady with a real rarity being The Minstrels 1968 tune for Coxsone on Studio One, Giving Up On Love. We then went right into the Wizz-dom label spotlight.
We are thrilled to present a spotlight on a label from one of the most inventive producers, engineers, and all-around performers tonight….Lee Scratch Perry. Over the course of his career, Perry founded many labels. Upsetters, Goodies, and Justice League are just a few, but this week we decided to focus in on the Wizz-dom label. Believed to be born in Kendal as Rainford Hugh Perry, Scratch got his recording first name from his mom’s nickname for him, Leeburn. Perry’s path to music began in Negril. On moving to Negril from Clarendon, where Lee had built up a reputation as a great dancer, Lee worked on construction as a part of Jamaica’s development of the region as a tourist site. During his days spent moving rocks on construction sites, the sounds of the shifting and the clashing of stones spoke to Lee and pointed him toward Kingston to make music. In the Kingston music scene, Lee wore many hats for Coxsone Dodd and Studio One writing and arranging songs and appearing in front of the microphone as a recording artist. After spending a lot of time with Coxsone, Perry moved over to Joe Gibbs before eventually venturing out and creating his iconic Upsetter label, giving him his own avenue to flourish as a producer and arranger.
At Wizz-dom, we see Scratch as the mastermind for all goings-on for the music being recorded and the distribution of his recordings. In the early days of Wizz-dom, Pat Francis approached Scratch with “King of Kings,” and after recording it, Scratch felt that Francis would be a good salesman for Wizz-dom and the other labels he had, so Francis became a salesman for Scratch, a position he held for three years. We kicked off the spotlight with this track that started the Pat Francis and Scratch business relationship, King of Kings, a majestic track that set the tone for this Wizz-dom spotlight.
The Upsetters, the house band for Lee Scratch Perry productions, had three distinct line ups. By 1972, when the Wizz-dom label was launched, the Upsetters had a fluctuating lineup, but Perry would always insist on using the best musicians he could find for each recording. By 1974, the band membership became more stable with Boris Gardiner on bass, Earl “Chinna” Smith on guitar, Winston Wright & Keith Sterling on keyboards, and Sly Dunbar or Benbow Creary on drums.
Enjoy the August 9th, 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady
Howdy Bovine Ska and Rocksteady Listeners,
The May 31st, 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady began with a never before played on the show ska single from Justin Hinds and The Dominoes which was released on Treasure Isle in 1965, Zion Higher. In fact the first two sets of the show were of the ska variety ending with Trial and Crosses from a very young, Lee “Scratch” Perry which was released on Coxsone’s Worldisc label in 1964. In honor of Memorial Day, we began our weekly mento set with a 1956 MRS recording entitled, Soldier Man, from the seldom played Arthur Knibbs. I say seldom as even though he was as prolific an artist that existed during mento, finding his recordings has been a real chore but as always we continue to search the racks. We started the final set of the hour with the Bassies, too pretty for words rocksteady cut on Coxsone in 1967, River Jordan. When that set ended, with the end of the first hour. we launched right into our spotlight of Enid Barrett’s DELTONE LABEL.
One of the most interesting things about Deltone is the names of two women attached to it. There is solid evidence to believe that Dorothy Barnett owned the label. Meanwhile, there are other claims that Enid Barnett owned the label, which most likely comes from the fact that Enid is credited as the producer of many records on Deltone. From what we can tell, Enid is a relative of Dorothy’s or Dorothy’s producer name, if anyone listening has any thoughts on this, we’d love to hear from you. We do know that Dorothy Barnett had some solid experience in the record industry before she ventured out to create her own label and record shop. She worked as Coxsone Dodd’s secretary, and from her observations of the ins and outs of the record business, she opened up Deltone, the shop and label. The shop, like other legendary ones, had its storefront on Orange street, and as a result, Barnett’s record label had the ability to attract much talent, including Lee Scratch Perry, who would engineer plenty of tracks for Deltone. We kicked off this spotlight in the rocksteady with Some of Them A Bawl from The Pioneers.
Deltone was somewhat of a family business. One of the musicians who saw the greatest success at Deltone was Keeling Beckford, who was Dorothy’s cousin. Also, as a result of Keeling’s presence at the label, Theo Beckford, Keeling’s uncle, would play piano on multiple Deltone tracks. The Versatiles had worked consistently with Joe Gibbs, but they decided to venture out and went over to Deltone. Teardrops Falling, Someone to Love, and Children of Today were engineered by Scratch for Deltone!
XOXO Generoso and Lily
Here is the May 31st, 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady for your listening pleasure….