Treasure Isle 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. Duke Reid's productions were to be released on a new label Trojan, named after his truck which was used to transport his sound system equipment around Jamaica. The Trojan label was phased out after about twelve releases. They then started Treasure Isle records taken from the label of the same name in Jamaica. It ran from 1967 until 1973. Duke Reid passed away in 1974. Trojan records was relaunched and became a commercial success up until 1974.

Alton Ellis was born in 1938 in Kingston, Jamaica. Original recorded for Coxsone Dodd at Studio One. He also recorded with his younger sister Hortense. By the mid 60s, ska was moving on and the beat was slowing down to rock steady beat. His hits included Don't Trouble People, Dance Crasher, and Cry Tough. Girl I've Got a Date, issued on Treasure Isle, recorded with Gladstone Anderson on piano, Paul Douglas on drums, Hux Brown on rhythm guitar, Lynn Taitt on guitar, and Jackie Jackson on bass is considered one of the foundational songs of the rock steady genre. The release of Rock Steady (1967) backed by Tommy McCook and the Supersonics, the first song to refer to the name of the new genre, heralded the new direction Jamaican popular music was taking. Alton Ellis continued to have hits for Treasure Isle. Alton Ellis toured the United Kingdom in the 1967 with Ken Boothe and Studio One session band the Soul Vendors and on his return to Jamaica he worked again for Coxone Dodd. Alton Ellis was awarded the Order of Distinction by the Jamaican government in recognition of his achievements in 2004. Alton Ellis died of cancer on 10 October 2008 at Hammersmith Hospital, London.


Justin Hinds and the Dominos. Justin Hinds was born in Steertown, Saint Ann Parish, Jamaica in 1942. He started his musical career singing in bars and on the beach in Ochos Rios. Justin Hinds moved to Kingston, Jamaica where he became influenced by Rastafari. He was turned down as a singer by Coxsone Dodd, but signed with Treasure Isle Records. By this stage, the Dominoes consisting of Dennis Sinclair and Junior Dixon had become his backing vocalists. His first recording with Duke Reid was Carry Go Bring Come, made in late 1963. It became a big hit topping the Jamaican chart for two months. Over the next couple of years, he would release singles including King Samuel, Jump Out of the Frying Pan, The Ark and Rub Up Push Up. In 1966, he became active in rock steady. several more hits in Jamaica including The Higher the Monkey Climbs,  No Good Rudie", On a Saturday Night, Here I Stand. Justin Hinds was a great example for his younger cousin, Horace Andy, who would become a reggae artist. Justin Hinds worked with producer Sonia Pottinger in the 1970's. Justin Hind died in March 2005, at the age of 62.

Tommy McCook was born in 1927 in Havana, Cuba and moved to Jamaica in 1933. He took up the tenor saxophone at the age of eleven, (he also learned to play the flute) when he was a pupil at the Alpha School, and eventually joined Eric Dean’s Orchestra. His first ska recording was Exodus, recorded in November 1963 with musicians who would soon make up the Skatalites.  He was a founder member of the Skatalites. His Ska hits included, Freedom Sounds, Latin Goes Ska, Ska Ba, Goldfinger, Peanut Vendor.  When they disbanded in 1965 he later formed the Supersonics, including bassist Jackie Jackson and drummer Paul Douglas and joined Duke Reid at Treasure Isle Studios to be the musical director. It was his brass horn sound that made Duke Reid's Rock Steady sound so distinctive. He had many instrumental hits on Treasure Isle such as Down On Bond Street, Real Cool, Soul For Sale, Our Man Flint, and Black Power. Tommy McCook died, on 5 May 1998 he was aged 71.

The Paragons were originally Garth Tyrone Evans, songwriter Bob Andy, Junior Menz, and Leroy Stamp. In 1964 Stamp was replaced by singer and songwriter John Holt, and Howard Barrett replaced Menz. Beginning in 1964, they recorded on the Treasure Isle record label with record producer Duke Reid, songs such as Memories By The Score, "On The Beach", Only A Smile" and "Wear You To The Ball, which were later covered by UB40. In 1967 they recorded The Tide Is High, later covered and taken to the top of the UK and US charts by Blondie in 1980. After John Holt left the group they reformed in the late 1970s and released further albums in the late 1970s and early 1980s. John Holt died in October 2014. Gareth Evans died in 2000, and Bob Andy died in 2020.


Judge Sympathy – The Birth Of Trojan (2008)

11 x 7” Vinyl 7” Box Set. Trojan Records TJLBX376.

Singles box set from Trojan featuring replicas of all eleven singles that originally appeared on the label back in 1967, featuring classic Rock Steady produced by the legendary Duke Reid. The Trojan label was originally formed to issue Duke Reid’s productions in the UK, but later changed to Treasure Isle.

Single 1:

A. Judge Sympathy – Duke Reid’s All Stars

B. Never To Be Mine (O Solo Mio) – Roland Alphonso & The Supersonics

Single 2:

A. Folk Song – Tony & Dennis

B. Starry Night – Tommy McCook & The Supersonics

Single 3:

A. It’s Raining – The Three Tops

B. The Sound Of Music – The Three Tops

Single 4:

A. Ain’t That Lovin’ You – Alton Ellis

B. Comet Rock Steady – Tommy McCook & The Supersonics

Single 5:

A. I Want To Be Loved (I Need You) – Boris Gardener & The Diamonds

B. Tulips (From Heaven) – Boris Gardiner & Phyllis Dillon  

Single 6:

A. This Is A Lovely Way To Spend An Evening – Phyllis Dillon

B. Thing Of The Past – Phyllis Dillon

Single 7:

A. Dedicate My Song To You (aka Dedicated To You) – The Jamaicans

B. How Can I Unlove (aka Things I Said To You) – The Jamaicans

Single 8:

A. Why Birds Follow Spring – Alton Ellis & The Flames

B. Soul Rock – Tommy McCook & The Supersonics

Single 9:

A. Love Is A Treasure – Freddie McKay

B. Zazuka – Tommy McCook & The Supersonics

Single 10:

A. (I’m A) Loving Pauper – Dobby Dobson

B. Sir Don (aka Yeh Yeh) – Tommy McCook & The Supersonics

Single 11:

A. Make Me Yours – Phyllis Dillon

B. Leave It In The Hands Of Love – Phyllis Dillon

There are many collectors items including: The Techniques / You Don't Care. Tommy McCook And The Supersonics Band / Down On Bond Street, Real Cool, Soul For Sale, Our Man Flint, Black Power. The Jamaicans / Baba Boom. Justin Hinds And The Dominoes / Here I Stand, Carry Go Bring Come, Alton Ellis And The Flames / Rock Steady, Ain't That Loving You. The Moving Brothers / Darling I Love You. The Techniques / Queen Majesty. The Melodians / The Last Train To Expo '67, Come On Little Girl Come On. The Techniques / Love Is A Gamble. The Silvertones / Midnight Hour. Lloyd Williams  / Funky Beat. The Conquerors / Lonely Street. Boris Gardner / Hooked On A Feeling. The Melodians And Hugh Roy / Everybody Bawling. Phyllis Dillon / Midnight Confession. Ken Parker / Help Me Make It Through The Night