We have moved to SOUNDCLOUD at: soundcloud.com/jaway-665380859
Jamaica Way Podcast: We feature Reggae, Ska, Mento, Rocksteady, Kaiso, Dancehall, and Roots music. This is the podcast version on a radio program from WRUW called "Night of the Living Dread."
Check out the weekly radio program at WRUW.org (search for "Night of the living Dread" on Friday & download it!)
Also see the many YouTube video interviews at YouTube under the channel: Jamaica809
-You Won't be disappointed!
Lloyd Mason - Pre Ska Jamaican Bassist -
Lloyd Mason – Jamaican Pre-Ska - Bass, Flute, Oboe, Piccolo
The Val Bennett orchestra was playing dance music at a house party on Lloyd Mason’s street (7th Street in Greenwich Town) and a five year old Lloyd snuck out of the house to listen to the orchestra and he stayed there all night long. “Thats where I belong and I believe that’s where my music started – right there.”
In 1945 at age ten, Lloyd was living with his mother and became unruly. Soon, his father came to get him and brought him to Stony Hill School. Lloyd’s father served in the Jamaican Army with the bandmaster and arranged for this move in order to teach Lloyd a trade or to learn music. Lloyd was not put into music immediately. He was taken to learn shoe-making. Six months later, the bandmaster came to speak with him and examined Lloyd’s fingers and his mouth, handed him a six-hole fife and said, “You’re going to learn this.” Bass player, Cluett Johnson’s brother was also a youth at Stony Hill School and he played the piccolo. Cluett’s brother taught Lloyd the fife. Roland Alphonso was also at Stony Hill and was playing the slide drum.
Despoite his young age, Lloyd became accomplished at the flute in playing with Stony Hill Boy’s Band.
Over at the Jamaican Military Band, a man named Spud Murphy was the drum major and the flute and piccolo player. As it came time for Spud Murphy to retire, The Military Band was challenged as it had no trained members to play the fife. None could read, write, or play the fife. To address this need, the Bandmaster for the Military Band spoke with the bandmaster at Stony Hill about Lloyd’s move to the Military Band. There was no audition for Lloyd Mason after Spud Murphy left. It was obvious who had the ability to fit the role. The fellow band members began to call him “Spuddy” or “Boy Mason.” Lloyd was the youngest person in the Jamaican Military Band and was a “young hand.”
Marjorie Whylie (well known educator and Musical Director of The Jamaican National Dance Theatre Company) commented on the work of Mr. Mason, “Lloyd Mason is a well known bass player who can read music very well and is an absolute asset for musicians in his company.”
Off the “I Cover the Water Front” LP
Port-O-Jam Records, Recorded at Federal Studios
Featuring Cecil Lloyd (Piano), Lloyd Mason (Bass), Roland Alphonso (Tenor Saxophone), Lowell Morris (Drums), Don Drummond (Trombone)
“Sometimes I Am Happy”
“Loafers and Wristless”
“Grooving With The Beat”
Off the “Jazz Jamaica” LP,
Studio One Records, Recorded at Federal Studios
Featuring Don Drummond (Trombone), Ernest Ranglin (Guitar), Cecil Lloyd (Piano), Carl McLeod (Drums), Billy Cooke (Trumpet), Tommy McCook (Tenor Saxaphone), Roland Alphonso (Tenor Saxophone), Lloyd Mason (Bass).
“Serenade In Sound” (Featuring Don Drummond) b
“The Answer” (Featuring Tommy McCook)
John Holt - Jamaica Way Reggae Podcast
Jamaican music singer John Holt recently passed away. What a great singer. John Holt has a number of very significant qualities that will last over time: Holt was the lead singer for a classic Jamaican harmony group, The Paragons. Holt scored iconic hits with The Paragons like “On The Beach” and “Tide Is High” which was an early crossover hit. Holt then continued with a solo career and again created smash hits with “Ali Baba,” “Stealing, Stealing,” “Police In Helicopter, and “Up Park Camp.” Holt sang the original of “A Love I Can Feel” which became one of the most prominent versioned Reggae songs in history. Holt also sang many of the classic Reggae songs and placed his original touch – marking them as Holt classics: “Only A Smile,” “Before The Next Teardrop,” Tribal War,” and “Can I Change My Mind.”
John Holt was a Jamaican super star from a young age and his career spanned decades of music, from Ska, to Rocksteady, to Reggae, and in to modern day Dancehall.
Take a listen to many of his great and more obscure tunes which are featured in this podcast.
John Holt selections:
(Nov 2014, R. Lowe)
1. You Must Believe Me, Super Star, Weed Beat, 1976 Dynamic Sounds
2. I’ve Got To Go Back Home, (same as above)
3. Since I Met You Baby
4. Last Thing On My Mind, Slow Dancing, Moodies (NYC), Recorded at HC&F (Phillip Smart)
5. Why Did You Leave (Written by Leroy Sibbles), (same as above)
6. Body Language (with Gregory Isaacs), Digital B 7”
7. Youth Pon De Corner (alt to Police in Helicopter), Jah Guidance 7”, Produced by Junjo Lawes
8. My Best Girl (with Bounty Killer), Tad’s 7”,
9. Stick By Me -
10. Forever I’ll Stay (Featuring Dennis Sindrey on guitar) –
11. I Cried All My Tears (as John Holt and The Vagabonds), (With Dennis Sindrey on guitar)
12. John Holt and The Paragons, Darling I Need Your Loving, Studio One For Lovers CD
13. Reggae From The Ghetto, Trojan Carnival CD
14. Ghetto Girl, The Trojan Story Volume Two
15. I Can’t get You Off My Mind – Hutch Music 7”, 1990, NYC
16. Give Me Some Loving (With Wolfman), (same as above)
18. Stealing – Black Scorpio 7” (Scorpio Treatment) , 1980
19. Tribal War – Toro 7”, 1978, produced by McKenzie
20. Carpenter – Jammy$, 1989
21. Up Park Camp – Jammy$, 1990
Elephant Man Special - Jamaica Way
Elephant Man’s music is fun. Not only is the music enjoyable to listen to, but Elephant Man has fun with his music. Usually not too serious, it has some form of gimmick, and it’s packed with energy. Then add a live performance and the formula is complete. As a modern day Dancehall artist, Elephant Man has used this formula to bridge his work from the late 90’s and has continued to make himself viable.
In the arena of gimmickry, Elephant Man is a force. He walked onto the scene with red and orange colored hair alongside Harry Toddler, Nitty Kutchie, Boom Dandimite as The Scare Dem Crew. Elephant developed catch phrases like “Good To Go,” “Shizzle Mi Nizzle,” "Bomb A Drop," and was known by the nickname of Energy God. The nickname relates to Elephant’s well known stage performances. Elephant comments, “Mi is a man, so ya see me ya see energy. Mi nah put on. Is just me dat. From mi a lickle yout it just deh ya in mi. The fans, they give me the name Energy god. They see mi climb pon de box, mi go up pon the speaker, mi go up pon the iron, mi jump in a de crowd, mi up pon de wire, up pon de fence. Sugar Minott, and Ken Boothe. Ken Boothe say, “Elephant, you a the ungo dj mi see who used to go like me in my time. Fit and physical” Tiger and Lieutenant Stitchie used to jump too. We ah the young generation, so we take it pon the next level. It jus’ the vibe of the people, them enjoy themselves."
Elephant can also chat slackness and was involved in the August 2001 SumFest event where the Jamaican government shutdown artists chatting slackness, while the artists were performing on stage. Elephant comments, “Jamaica the land of bad word y’know. Some people them ah try use we now fe make an example a what dem do wrong. Artists clash. When dem clash, bottle fling, people get lick. Then the promoter turn it over pon we an’ lef we inna everyting. I didn’t make no clash start. I jus’ curse one bad word, yes. Memba, a beer elder there inna a de show. It depends on how I cuss the badword, because I was just expressing my feeling when I was saying that Malcolm shouldn’t dead. Mi just a vex that Malcolm was dead an’ curse the badword. They just come up pon this profanity thing and everybody try to use the entertainer for bad example. “
Phillip Smart - "Smart Reggae" Programme 1985
This is a radio program in original form that Phillip Smart distributed in approximately 1985. The intention was to syndicate the program and it is not know if the program continued or not. Mr. Smart also operated a program from New York University's WNYU radio station called "Get Smart" during the years 1979 to 2004. Surely what is aired here was inspired and fueled though the work at WNYU.
Phillip Smart was a recording studio owner, recording engineer, producer, radio host and one that must be remembered when it comes to Jamaican music history. Mr. Smart worked with King Tubby as an apprentice until a move to New York City in 1976. In New York City Mr. Smart started the HC&F recording studio.
Enjoy this vintage radio program. It will make you smarter.
Bunny Rugs TRIBUTE - Jamaica Way
Bunny Rugs was an early member of Inner Circle, worked as an earlier duo member with “Bunny & Ricky” and recorded "Freedom Fighter" and "Bushweed Corntrash," but he is best known as the front man for Third World. Bunny had a magnificent voice that he maintained throughout his career. His voice was strong, powerful, and commanding. It’s hard to separate Bunny Rugs from Third World as the image is strong and cohesive.
When William Clark – Bunny Rugs passed away, we played two hours of his music in tribute. Our selections included two solo albums “Talking To You” on Shanachie and “Time” which was release in 2012. More treasures are contained in the Third World recordings. Dozens and dozens of releases to choose from and we built a “top ten” on the spot which was based on listener calls and requests.
Bunny Rugs joined Third World after Milton Hamilton left in 1976. In the following decades the core group of Third World consisted of Bunny Rugs, Irvin “Carrot” Jarrett, Michael “Ibo” Cooper, Stephen “Cat” Coore, Richie Daley, and Willie Stewart. Third World recorded for the Island/Mango label and allowed for high quality recordings to accompany the skilled instrumentalists that are Third World. Most members of Third World are unique in their formal musical training. As part of their performances, Cat Coore would bring out his cello and play a reggae laced song with that rich classical feel that the cello provides.
Third World stood out in what might be called a “golden era” of reggae bands of the 70s-80’s in Jamaica. Third World’s style is what set them apart – they were crossing over into American Soul with songs like “Now That We Found Love” and Try Jah Love.” Listening back now, the music is deep and soulful with a smooth groove, very different from today’s sound.
Third World’s legacy is strong in lyrical content. Rastafari, culture and social issues were always a focus. A focus which was not altered. Tracks like “Cold Sweat,” “Jah Glory,” “African Woman,” and “Shine Like A Blazing Fire” convey this reliable, rootsical message.
The uptown Third World bridged the message from the heart of Jamaica and worked alongside the greats in reggae music history as partners. Bunny Rugs was a great singer, as a group Third World is great in the studio and on vinyl and when performing live, they are a joy.
Jamaica Way - Luciano – The Messenger
Jamaica Way - Luciano – The Messenger
We spoke with Luciano and he reasoned on Rastafari and his visit to Africa. This podcast features that commentary along with a series of ”mutant singles” by Luciano. Mutant in the sense that they are all 7” releases not thought to be widely distributed (not on albums or major labels). In the late 80’s – early 90’s, Luciano recorded dubplates for neighborhood sounds until he and Ricky Trooper crossed paths. Trooper recognized Luciano’s singing ability and took him to the Aquarius recording studio in Half Way Tree Square.
Fatis Burrell of Exterminator Productions managed Luciano along with Sizzla and Turbulance at a time of dramatic growth of the Bobo Dread movement. Over time Luciano expanded his recording limitlessly, recording on singles, albums and under contract with International labels. Luciano clearly does not believe in overexposure. In the early 1980’s when Yellowman and singer Don Carlos released volumes of singles and albums, some felt that recording and releasing too much would be harmful to an artist. Overexposure appears to be a thing of the past as the baritone voice of Luciano has benefitted from recording widely, now with over 40 albums in his wake.
*Thanks to the Central Village Crew from Cleveland – Survivalist, Sparticus, Willpower, and Tan Tan.
(Original tracks – songs not played to full length, but plenty for you to enjoy. The intention is to encourage you to buy Luciano music and support the artists and producers. Visit your local music shop or www.ebreggae .com or even www.Amazon.com to get hold of some great Reggae music.
World Peace – John John – Lloyd James Junior – 7”
Hail Rastafari – Reggae central – 2006 – 7”
Good Times – Mac Dada – 7”
All Fruits Ripe – Junk Yard – Scarkmooch – 7”
World Leaders – Roots Rockers Music – 7”
Rock and Come In – Thompson Sound – Kevan Thompson – 7”
Fire and Ice – Main Frame Records – 7”
What Is Man – South Block – Michael Sterling – 7”
When Will Things Change (with Tony Rebel) – Big League – 7”