studio one record label
Chris Blackwell having had success with Island and Black Swan labels, found the need for a record distribution company. It was no longer viable for him to delivery records himself by van around London. Lee Gopthal with the help of four friends set up B&C (Beat & Commercial), as the business grew they moved to a warehouse in Neasdon, London. They launched a further six record labels one of which was Coxsone records in 1967. The Same year in May they launched Studio One. This label was exclusively for the record producer Clemont 'Coxsone' Dodd. The label colour was red and white and went on to have 84 record releases in the UK up to 1969. Studio One is the label for some fabulous Rock Steady records, some of the FINEST to come out of Jamaica.
Joseph Benjamin Higgs was born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1940. Joe Higgs started out in a singing partnership with Roy Wilson as Higgs and Wilson. This lasted up until 1964. They recorded There's A Reward on Wincox records with the Mighty Vikings. He then concentrated on a solo career and also worked with Carlos Malcolm and the Afro-Jamaican Rhythms, before joining The Soul Brothers as lead vocalist. Change Of Plan was issued on Studio One in the UK in 1967. It was the B side of the Soul Vendors instrumental Rocking Sweet Pea. Joe Higgs worked with Bob Marley and introduced the Wailers to Clemont 'Coxsone' Dodd in the early Sixties. Made many recordings in the seventies and later moved to Los Angeles, California where he died in 1999, he was 59 years old
Ernest Wilson born Fitzroy Wilson in Clarendon Parish, Jamaica, is a reggae singer who found fame as a member of the Clarendonians before working as a solo artist. Wilson formed the Clarendonians in 1963 with Peter Austin, the duo going on to become one of the most popular groups of the ska and rocksteady era, and having several Jamaican number one hits. Ernest Wilson embarked on a solo career in 1967, releasing the Money Worries single on Studio One. Further singles followed, with Undying Love and If I Were a Carpenter in 1968 all produced by Coxsone Dodd. He also recorded Private Number for Joe Gibbs, and Freedom Train for Lee "Scratch" Perry - one of the first Jamaican singles ever to be released in stereo in 1969. Wilson has continued to record as a solo artist to this day.
Ken Boothe was born in Denham Town, Kingston in 1948. Sang in the duo Stranger & Ken, with the first track released by them being Hush Baby with Stranger Cole on Island Records. Boothe also recorded as a duo with Roy Shirley (as Roy & Ken), which resulted in the release of the single Paradise in 1966. Having signed with Studio One and Clement 'Coxsone' Dodd in 1966. The rock steady classic Moving Away was released on Studio One in 1968. Boothe continued to record for Dodd until 1970, when he switched to producer Leslie Kong's Beverley's Records and reggae, where his success continued with hits such as Freedom Street and Why Baby Why. With record producer Lloyd Charmers, Boothe released Everything I Own on Trojan Records, which reached Number One in the UK Singles Chart in 1974. Boothe had one more hit in the UK Singles Chart during the 1970s, Crying Over You, which made No. 11, when Trojan Records collapse he split with Lloyd Charmers. Boothe recorded a reggae version of the standard When I Fall In Love which was released in 1974 on the Studio One label. Ken Boothe was awarded the Order of Distinction for his contribution to Jamaican music by the Jamaican government in 2003.
The Minstrels version of the Impressions People Get Ready is an accomplished rock steady track. The three young singers were Geoffrey Chung and his brother Mikey and Lenox Robinson. They recorded maybe five tracks for Studio One but only two were released the other being Yours Until Tomorrow.
The LP Rock Steady - Various Artists SOL 9000 is the only Studio One LP not to have been reissued or been put onto CD. It is highly collectable and recently sold for £400
There are many collectors items including: Soul Vendors / Rocking Sweet Pea, Cool Shade, Just A Bit Of Soul, Psychadelic Rock, Happy Organ, Drum Song, Joe Higgs / Change Of Plan, Norma Frazer / Come By Here, Ernest Wilson / Money Worries, If I Were A Carpenter, Dawn Penn / You Don't Love Me, The Minstrels / People Get Ready, Yours Until Tomorrow, Ken Boothe / Moving Away, Dobby Dobson / Walking In The Footsteps, Heptones / Mama, Party Time, Delroy Wilson / Never Conqueor, Jeff Dixon / Tickle Me, Jackie Mittoo / Race Track, Hi Jack, Keith Balfour / Tired Of Waiting, The Viceroys / Last Night, Carlton And His Shoes / You And Me, Cables / Baby Why, Bases / I Don't Mind, Bob Andy / Experience