Back Tracking Ska

This was Easter 1966 with two all nighters at the club and a good live line up for the long holiday weekend. Jimmy Cliff, Owen Gray and Jackie Edwards + Soul singer Don Covey. During this time the Club had become very popular with the 'In Crowd' which allowed such high profile gigs. You note the mix of Jamaican and USA Soul music.

Dandy Livingston was an important singer in London having made his name in Jamaica. He recorded with Sugar Simone as Sugar & Dandy. A popular hit was "A Message To You Rudy" issued 1967 on the Ska Beat label.

Justin Yap the Chinese-Jamaican record producer and owner of the Top Deck record label. Underrated for the brilliant music he produced by the Skatalites in an all nighter session at Studio One in November 1964. Some say the best Ska instrumentals ever made! Chinatown, Ghost Town, Marcus Junior, Ringo, Confucius, The Reburial, Yogi Man and Smiling. Most were written by Don Drummond.

Advert announcing the first release of two singles on the new EMI Columbia record label in 1967.

This album cover is one of many by Jackie Edwards that appeared on Island records in the mid 60's. Come On Home, By Demand, Best Of Jackie Edwards, Premature Golden Sands (pink label) and The Most Of Wilfred Edwards. He was without a doubt a superb Jamicain singer and song writer. How many know that he wrote "Keep On Runing"by Spencer Davis Group? amounst many others.

The Count Dale Savoy Sound played at the Penthouse Club in Bromley as did Count Lee. The King Alfred (since demolished) was a large hall at the back of the pub. Two white guys played the CDSS sound system and they had more Soul records in their box than Ska. They first played "Fife Piper" by the Dynatones blasting out that suburb bass and flute! They had all the latest USA 45's Stax, Fame, Goldwax, Atlantic, Motown, Okeh, Hi ...The flyer is from 1966.

Prince Buster having been a boxer it's not surprising that he supported Cassius Clay. This is probably a rare photograph of the two of them. Prince Buster used the themes of fighting in many of his records, in particular on Linger On, Big Fight (2 records with the same title issued 1965/6) and Ali Shuffle.

This flyer from 1968 and Duke Reid sound system still going strong!

This is a photograph of a home made sound system from around 1966. It had a single record deck (Garrard) and is typical of those used around this time. Note the LP It's Dance Time by Willie Mitchell standing by the turn table.

When Soul City records moved uptown in 1967 Musicland opened in its place. It was here that I first heard Nina Simon's My Baby Just Cares For Me, which was, way back then, a rare record. Remarkable that this track was recorded on her first recording session in 1957, when the song was in fact written back in 1928! The track was issued on her first album, Little Girl Blue on Bethlehem BCP6028 USA 1959. It was a favourite in those days in the West Indian scene and went on to be a hit in 1987 reaching No. 5 in the charts, and adopted as the theme for a British television advert for Channel No 5 perfume. However, fate had conspired against Nina, as many years earlier she had sold the rights of her recordings to her record company for a (meagre) few thousand dollars.