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History of Reggae Music

When you think of Reggae music, the first name that comes to mind is Bob Marley. Even though we first met Bob Marley in the 70s, the name still lingers to this day, because he was the man who turned Jamaican Reggae music into an international phenomenon, and with the help of a few others along the way established reggae as a worldwide genre of music.Reggae was an evolution of what had been happening in Jamaican music, and was the next evolutionary step up from the other types of Jamaican music that had been enjoyed before it. These styles were Ska, and rock steady. From the classic,  we present you with a very brief outline of Reggae Music:

In the beginning

Reggae music History began with Jazz. As Jazz swept across the globe with the help of radio broadcasts and records in the 1940s, Jamaica was not immune to the fever and bands began to spring up everywhere to entertain the tourists. Names like trombonist Don Drummond, and sax player Tommy McCook began their careers. In the 50s Jazz, Bebop become the new rage and Jazz orchestras began to fade in favor of a new youthful type of music, the rage spread all over the world including to Jamaica.

Jamaica first recording studio started in 1951.Thats when Mento Music was recorded. The first record label started in the 1954 by Ken Khouri with his Federal Records Label.  When there was a lack of R&B releases, Edward Sega, the man who was to become Prime Minister of Jamaica, was first known as the founder of a company called WIRL, or West Indian Records Limited, this company began releasing the work of local artists. Many more recorders began to follow suit, once the pressing plants were established on the island, the Jamaican recording industry was born.

By the 1960s Ska was the first unique style of music developed by the Jamaicans, giving them their own identity. This was a welcome hange for Jamaicans who were finding that their versions of R&B didn’t have the same appeal as the originals.Prince Buster is believed to be the founding father of Ska, when he set up a record production and in one session created 13 songs for his new label Wild Bells. Prince Buster had asked Derrick Morgan to come and sing, and the 13 songs all turned out to be hits. Over the course of the 13-song session, they found something new, by melding the rhythm of traditional Mento music, and adding R&B, they changed Jamaican music history.

The crowds loved the new music, and the new music fitted in with the mood of the times, especially with Jamaica receiving independence. The people were glad to embrace anything that was unique to Jamaica. Ska was made by the working class Jamaicans, and told their stories. The other record makers followed suit, in order to compete with Prince Buster.Ska made a debut in America but was unsuccessful, but it did make an impact on Britain, after the war many Jamaicans had gone to work in Britain to help rebuild it, and brought along Ska. Rude boys made their entrance into the working class Jamaican underground scene in Britain, and they were the generation that changed the music to suit them, the result, rock steady.

Rock Steady Music
The Jamaican people embraced Rock steady music, especially after one particular hot summer. The slowed down form of Ska meant that people didn’t have to exert so much energy, so they could stay on the dance floor for longer. Rock steady also took off in Britain and was embraced by the skinheads of that time.

Reggae is a term that was coined sometime close to 1960. Derived from rege-rege, a Jamaican phrase meaning “rags or ragged clothing,” it is used to denote a raggedy style of music that grew up in Jamaica around that time.

Reggae is a genre of music that has its roots in a number of other musical styles. It incorporates influences from Jamaican music (both traditional Mento and contemporary Ska), as well as American Rhythm & Blues, which was broadcast from high-powered stations in New Orleans and Florida in the early days of radio, and could be easily picked up in Jamaica. Reggae’s closest musical relations are Ska and Rocksteady, popular in Jamaica during the 1950s and early 1960s. Reggae evolved from these other genres, really coming into its own later that decade.

Reggae shares many characteristics with Ska, such as a walking bass line with guitar and piano off-beats, but Ska is faster paced and also tends to incorporates jazz-influenced horn riffs. The genre was lauded by Jamaican youths around the time that the nation gained independence in 1962. Rocksteady slowed the Ska tempo right down. Played by smaller bands, it also used more syncopated bass patterns. This style is very close to Reggae and the dividing line between Rocksteady and early Reggae is not always easily distinguishable.

Reggae music is recognizable thanks to its heavy backbeated rhythm. This means, for example, that the second and fourth beat would be emphasized when playing in 4/4 time. This is very typical of African-based musical genres, though uncommon in traditional forms of Asian or European music. Reggae also tends to use “double skank” guitar strokes on the offbeat, and lyrics often center on more socio-political themes.

Early reggae music had lyrics consistent in theme with its predecessor, Rocksteady, with songs often focusing on topics such as love. As the genre found its feet in the 70s though, it evolved in line with the Rastafarian movement that was sweeping Jamaica at the time, and lyrics of Reggae songs quickly developed a more socio-political or religious bent.

Many of the words used in reggae songs are incomprehensible to US and UK English speakers, as they are taken from traditional Jamaican patois or refer to Rastafarian concepts – for example Jah, meaning God. There is heavy use of Jamaican slang, a common example being Ganja, meaning marijuana. Cannabis is smoked as sacrament in the Rastafarian faith, as Rastafarians believe that smoking marijuana allows them to experience a closeness to God. This message in the songs has been open to much misinterpretation, particularly by American youth who have used this as an excuse to “get high.”

Reggae began to rise to international acclaim as the 1970s progressed. A seminal moment for the genre was the release of the 1973 movie The Harder They Come. The film reached a global audience and told the story of a young man making his way in urban Jamaica. Most importantly though, it had a soundtrack that consisted entirely of reggae hits, which helped elevate Reggae music to the mainstream. Of particular influence was the popular song You Can Get It if You Really Want by Jimmy Cliff that was featured on the soundtrack.

Of course, Bob Marley is the world’s best known and loved international Reggae ambassador. Marley’s career spanned more than a decade, beginning in 1963 with Rocksteady band, the Wailers, and culminating in the release of his 1977 solo album, Exodus, which achieved international acclaim. Marley was not only a Reggae singer, but a committed Rastafarian and a political activist. Through his music, his words and his actions, he earned forever a place in Reggae fans hearts around the world. Marley’s music was first popularized in the Wes by Eric Clapton performing a cover of Who Shot the Sheriff.

Since the 60s and 70s, Reggae music has spread and developed in many different ways around the world. This distinctive style was the precursor to modern Jamaican style Dub, as well as British bands, such as UB40, The Reggaskas; American Ska groups, such as Reel big Fish, Sublime and No Doubt; Jambands, such as the String cheese Incident; and even Rap and Hip-Hop. Of course, Reggae is still going strong in its pure form around the world too, with many modern Reggae bands achieving success in the mainstream

Names of some of our fallen soldiers in the Reggae music army

A and B's*

Augustus Pablo — Died May 18, 1999. (Myasthenia Gravis)

Albert ‘Apple Gabriel’ Craig--- an original member of roots reggae trio Israel Vibration 2020
* Alton Black — Died in auto crash early 1990s.
* Alton Ellis — Died on 10 October 2008. (Cancer)
* Alton Irie — Additional information requested.
* Aubrey Adams — Additional information requested.
* Baba Brooks — (Oswald F. Brooks)- Additional information requested.
* Baby Wayne — (Wayne Parkinson) — Died October 28th       2005.(Pneumonia)
* Barry Brown — Died in May 2004. (Heart Attack)
* Banana Man — Additional information requested.
* Billy Boyo — Recently reported that he died from a brain tumor in 2000. (Rumor stated that was shot dead in Kingston late 1980's.)
* Bim Sherman — (Jarrett Tomlinson) — Died November 17th 2000. (Cancer)
* Bingy Bunny — (Eric Lamont) — Died December 31, 1993. (Cancer)
* Bionic Steve — (Steve Townsend) — Died on Jan. 17, 1997. (Stabbed)
* Bob Marley — (Robert Nesta Marley)— Died May 11th 1981. (Cancer)

Bobby Digital, who earned the title of one of the founding fathers of the global dancehall movement, 2020
* Bogle Levy — (Gerald Levy) — Died January 20th, 2005. {fatally Shot}
* Brent Dowe — (the Melodians) — Died January 29, 2006. (Heart Attack)
* Byron Lee — (Byron Lee and the Dragonnaires) — Died November 4, 2008. (Cancer)

Names of deceased reggae artists C and D's
* Carl Ayton — Died December, 23rd 2001.(stroke)
* Carlton Barrett — Died in 1987.(shot)
* Cedella Marley-Booker — (Mother B, Bob Marley Mother) — Died April 8, 2008.(Natural causes)
* Charlie Ace — Died in 1980's. (Shot)
* Chris Stanley — Died 23rd October 1999.(Stroke)
* Clancy Eccles — Died on June 30, 2005. (Stroke)
* Clint O'Neil — Died Oct. 10th 2004. (Cancer)
* Count Machouki — (Winston Cooper) — Died 1995. (more information requested)
* Count Ossie — (Oswald Williams) — Died October 18th 1976. (Car Crash)
* Cynthia Schloss — (Cynthia Schloss-Blake) — Died February 25th 1999. (Heart Attack)
* Culture (joseph Hill) , Died August 19 2006. (more information requested)
* David "Black Rat" Bingham — Died July 20,2002. (shot)
* Deborah Glasgowe — Died January 25th 1994. (Cancer)
* Delroy Wilson — Died on March 6, 1995. (cirrhosis of the liver)

Delroy Washington, a giant of British reggae 2020
* Dennis Brown — (Dennis Emmanuel Brown) — Died on July 1, 1999. (respiratory failure)

Derrick Lara,--- of reggae group The Tamlins,  2020
* Dennis Harris (DIP Records UK) -- Died 1990's. (heart attack) more information requested
* Desmond Dekker — (Desmond Adolphus Dacres) — Died May 24, 2006. (Heart attack)
* Devon Russell — Died 18th June 1997. (Cancer)
* Dhaima — (Sandra Matthews) — Died May 9th 2000. (Drown)
* Dirtsman — (Patrick Thompson) — Died Dec 21, 1993. (shot)
* DJ Village — (Horace Pinnock) — Died November 20th 2001. (Shot)

Dobby Dobson the Loving Pauper who gave Jamaica That Wonderful Sound
* Don Drummond — Died May 6th 1969. (Natural causes)
* Don Taylor — Died Novenber 1st, 1999.(Heart attack)
* Drumbago — (Arkland Parks) — Died 1970's. (Natura1 causes) more information requested
* Duke Reid — (Arthur Reid) — Died in 1975. (Cancer)
* Dwayne Haughton — (Bobby Genius) — Died in 2011 (shot)

Names of deceased reggae artists E and F's
* Earl Belcher — (Founder of Jah Love Music Sound System) Died June 11th 1999. (stroke)
* Early B — (Earlando Neil) — The Doctor, Died September 11th 1994. (shot)
* Eddie Lovette — Died May 1998. (more information requested)
* Eggie Evans — (Egbert Evans) — Died July 2, 2009. (Heart Attack)

Eddie Parkins --- one half of the duo Alton (Ellis) and Eddie 2020
* Errol Scorcher — (Errol Archer) — Died in 1982. (shot)
* Errol "ET" Thompson — Died in 1983.(more information requested)
* Everton DaSilva — Died in 1979. (shot)
* Fathead — (Vernon Rainford) — (more information requested)

Frederick Nathaniel ‘Toots’ Hibbert  2020
* Freddie McKay — Died in 1987. (Heart attack)
* Free I — (Jeff Dixon) — Died Sep 11, 1987. (Shot)
* Fuzzy Jones — (Alty Salmon) — (more information requested)

deceased reggae artists G and H's
* Garnett Silk — (Garnett Smith) — Died on Dec. 10, 1994. (Killed by Fire).
* Gene Rondo — (Winston Lara) — Died in 1994. (Heart attack)
* Gregory Anthony Issacs — Died in 2010. (lung cancer)
* General Echo — (Errol Robinson) — Died November 22nd 1980.(shot)

Gil Bailey, a champion of West Indian radio in New York known as the godfather of reggae radio 2020

  • Glen Adams — (Capo aka the hippy boys /The Upsetters)  Died on Dec. 17, 2010— (Kidney failure).
    * Gregory Peck — (Gregory Williams) — more information requested.
    * Gurney Man — (Thomas Heath) — Died in May 2001. (more info requested)
    * Hortense Ellis — Died October 18, 2000. (Respiratory complications)
  • Hubert Lee ---, a singer who had a stint with The Clarendonians 2020
    * Hugh Mundell — more information requested
    * I-Roy — (Roy Reid) — Died Nov 30, 1999. (Heart attack)
    * Jack Ruby — (Lawrence Lindo) — Died in 1989. (Heart attack)
    * Jackie Edwards — Died August 15th 1992. (Heart attack)
    * Jackie Mittoo — Died December 16, 1990. (Cancer)
    * Jackie Opel — (Dalton Sinclair-Bishop) — (Car crash) more information requested
    * Jacob Miller — aka Killer Miller - Died Mar. 23, 1980. (Car crash)
    * Jah Jerry — (Jerome Hines/Haynes) — Died August 13, 2007. (more information requested)
    * Jah Lloyd — (Pat Francis) — Died in 1999. (Shot)
    * Jennifer Lara — Died June 11, 2005. (Brain hemorrhage)
    * Joe Gibbs — (Joel A. Gibson) — Joe Gibbs, Died 21st February 2008. (Heart attack)
    * Joe Higgs — Died December 18, 1999. (Heart attack)
    * John Jones — Died October 23, 2000.(Heart attack)
    * Johnny 'Dizzy' Moore — (John Arlington 'Dizzy' Moore) —Died August 16 2008. (Cancer)
  • Johnny Golding --- whose Swing Magazine covered the Jamaican entertainment scene for over 10 years, 2020
    * Judge Dread — (Alex Hughes) — Died in 1994. (Heart attack)
    * Jungo Lawes — (Henry Lawes) — Died June 13th 1999.(Shot)-(Founder of the Volcano label)
    * Junior Braithwaite — (the Wailers) — Died June 2, 1999. (Shot)
    * Junior Delgado — (Oscar Hibbert) — Died on April 10, 2005.(Natural Causes)
    * Justin Hinds — Died March 16th 2005.(Cancer)
    * Justin Yap — Died December 1999. (Natural Causes)

deceased reggae artists K-N

Keith ‘Bob Andy’ Anderson ---  answered a higher calling in March 2020
* Keith Hudson — Died in 1984.(Cancer)
* Ken Khouri — (Kenneth Khouri) — Died Sept. 20th, 2003. (Natural Causes)
* King Tubby — (Osbourne Ruddock) — Died in 1989. (Shot)

Labba Labba  Dancing legend passed away at the age of 75  2020
* Lacksley Castell — more information requested

Larry Marshal -- Died Sept 2017
* Lee Copthall — Died May 29th 1997. (more informationn requested)
* Lee Van Cliff — more information requested.
* Lennie Hibbert — Died mid 1980's. (more information requested)
* Leslie Kong — Died in 1971. (Heart attack)
* Lloyd Campbell — (Blues Busters) — Died January 1992.
* Louise Fraser-Bennett — Died Oct. 12th 2003.
* Lucky Dube — (Ermelo Dube) — Died October 18, 2007. (Shot)
* Lui Lepke — more information requested.
* Major Worries — Died in 1987. (Shot)
* Margurita — Died Jan 2, 1965. (murdered by Don Drummond)- (Stabbed)
* Mao Chung — (Geoffery Chung) — Died November 1995. (kidney failure)
* Michael Smith — Died in 1980. (Stoned to Death)
* Michael Leopold Williams — (Zap Pow) — Died August 9, 2005. (natural causes)
* Mikey Dread — (Michael George Campbell) — Died March 15, 2008.(Cancer)
* Mickey Simpson — more information requested.
* Mikey Wallace — Died July 6, 1999. (Shot)

Millie Small --- made headlines across the world  2020
* Nicky Thomas — more information requested.
* Nicodemus — (Cecil Wellington) — Died Aug 26, 1996.(Natural Causes)
* Nitty Gritty — Died in 1991. (shot)

deceased reggae artists O-R
* Oneil Edwards- Died May 26, 2010. (shot)
* Oral Desulme — Died July 11, 2002. (shot)
* Pablo Stewart — (Paul Stewart) — Died July 2002. (Cancer)
* Pan Head — October, 1993. (Shot)
* Papa Pilgrim — Died Oct. 5th 2003. (Stroke)
* Paul Tyrell — Died Febuary. 24th 2004. (Shot)
* Peter Tosh — (Peter McIntosh) — Died Sep 11, 1987. (Shot)

  • Phillip James — (Blues Busters) — Died in New York 1989. more information requested
    * Phillip Linton — Died March 4, 2004. (Shot)
    * Phyllis Dillon — Died April 15th 2004. (Cancer)
    * Pops Laing — Denzil (Keith) Laing — Died August 4th, 1989.
    * Prince Far I — Died September 15, 1983. (Shot)
    * Puma Jones — (Sandra Jones) — Died Jan 28, 1990. (Cancer)
  • Purpleman, who found fame in the 1980s, died in August 2020
    * Raleigh Gordon — (the Maytals) — Died Dec 1994.
    * Ras Pidow — Died March 2001.
    * Roland Alphonso — Died November 20, 1998.(medical complications)
    * Roman Stewart — Died 25 January 2004. (Heart attack)
    * Roy Shirley — (Ainsworth Roy Rushton) — Died July 17, 2008.
    * Ruddy Thomas — Died June 10, 2006. (Heart attack)

deceased reggae artists S-W
* Sidney Wolfe — Died in 1998. (more information requested)
* Simpleton — (Christopher Harrison) — Died November 14th 2004.
* Sir Coxone Dodd — (Clement Dodd) — Died May 4th 2004. (Heart attack)
* Sonia Pottinger - Died in 2010 (Alzheimer's disease)
* Sir J.J. — (Carl Johnson) — Died in 1971. (Shot)
* Slim Smith — (Keith Smith) — Died in 1972. (Unknown cause of death)
* Stephen Taylor — (the Ethiopians) — Died in 1975. (Car crash)
* Sugar Minott - Died 10 July 2010. (Heart complications)
* Tennessee Brown — (Clinton Brown) — Died March 1999. (Heart attack)
* Tenor Saw — (Clive Bright) — Died August 1988. (killed by a speeding car in Houston)
* Theophilus Beckford — Died February 19, 2001. (Chopped)
* Tommy McCook — Died May 4, 1998. (Heart attack)
* Toyan — more information requested.
* Trevor Sparks — Died March 25 2004. (Stroke)
* Tyrone Evans — (the Paragons) — Died October 19, 2000. (more information requested)
* Tyrone Taylor — Died December 1, 2007. (Cancer)
* Victor Cross — Died September 2000. (Car crash)
* Winston Grennan — Died October 27th 2000. (Cancer)
* Winston Wright — Died in 1994. (Heart attack)
* Yabby You - Died March 2010. (stroke)


Some of these deceased reggae artists did not get much recognition for the work they did during there time.

Reggae-Music Pioneer Leaves A Legacy Of Greatness
Published:Monday | December 20, 2010 | 12:00 AM 
Glen Adams 1945-2010 - File
Howard Campbell, Gleaner Writer

Reggae music lost one of its pioneers last Friday with the death of keyboardist Glen Adams, who died at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI). He was 65 years old.Adams' wife of 18 years, Judy, told The Gleaner that he was admitted to the UHWI one week earlier, but she did not give a cause of death. He had lived in Brooklyn, New York, for more than 30 years and was visiting Jamaica when he became ill.Known as 'Capo', Adams was most active as a musician and performer during the mid- and late 1960s when he was a member of the Hippy Boys and the Upsetters, two of the most influential bands in reggae history.The latter backed The Wailers on Duppy Conqueror and Mr Brown, which were produced by Lee 'Scratch' Perry. Adams wrote Mr Brown, an eerie song about a three-wheeled coffin prowling the streets of Kingston.Mr Brown, which features a memorable organ intro by Adams, is rated by critics as one of The Wailers' most creative.The Hippy Boys and the Upsetters also included the Barrett brothers, Aston and Carlton on bass and drums, respectively; and Alva 'Reggie' Lewis on guitar. They played on numerous hit songs, including Stick By Me by John Holt, and Delroy Wilson's Better Must Come and Cool Operator.Those songs were produced by Bunny Lee in the early 1970s. Most of Adams' recording sessions were done with Lee, a former auto-parts salesman who entered the music business as a producer in the mid-1960s."Glen was the man who brought that great organ shuffle to reggae, he was a force to be reckoned with but never really got his due," Lee told The Gleaner.Adams was born in Jones Town, the son of a Jamaican mother and father who hailed from St Vincent. He started his music career as a singer with The Heptones and once formed a duo with another young singer from Denham Town named Ken Boothe.After relative success as a solo act, Adams began playing keyboards for producer Arthur 'Duke' Reid. Moving to work with Lee, Adams had instant success, appearing on saxophonist Lester Sterling's monster hit song Bangarang (featuring Stranger Cole and Lloyd Charmers) and Everybody Needs Love by singer Slim Smith.Adams, however, is best known for his years with the inspirational Perry.

With the Barrett brothers and Lewis, he played on Return of Django, a 1969 hit for Perry in Britain.In addition to Holt and Wilson, the quartet were also behind hits from singer Max Romeo. At the height of their success with Perry, the Barretts left to join The Wailers and became a cornerstone of Bob Marley's band in the 1970s.Adams moved to New York where he continued recording. In recent years, he worked with hip hop artistes for his Capo label and made guest appearances during shows by American reggae bands such as The Slackers.

Glen Adams is survived by his wife , a son , and a loving family. ( My uncle)


(Then) My mother & stepdad 1964 (Roy & Yvonne - Two roads before you)

(Now) My mother & stepdad 2017 (Roy & Yvonne - When its right)


Roy Panton and Yvonne Harrison play an exceptional role in the history of ska. Their great time was short-lived, but their influence on the further development of Jamaican music continues to live on. During the golden age of ska, Roy and Yvonne were omnipresent – on stage and in the studio. Before teaming up as a vocal duo, they each sang duets with various other vocalists, including Eric ‘Monty’ Morris, Millie Small, Cornell Campbell, Patsy Todd, Derrick Morgan, Lloyd Clarke, Glen Brown, and Lascelles Perkins. Yet, despite their achievements, Roy and Yvonne – just like many others who literally descended into obscurity never got the credit they deserved.

From its inception in the late 1950s, the ska has always been a difficult-to-construct puzzle made up of copious myths and legends. A detailed reconstruction is difficult even for witnesses of the glory days. Roy and Yvonne also have their very own story. Ever since they started as artists almost six decades ago, both had to cope with the many obstacles that life entails to find their bliss in the end.

In fall 1963, Roy and Yvonne first met at 103 Orange Street, Kingston at Lindon O. Pottinger’s Tip Top record shop.

“Mr. Pottinger had a small studio, he had a piano in his place…This was where we would go for rehearsal…Jimmy James, also a singer, was very good on the piano…This is where some other artists would meet…Artists like Herman Sang, Winston Samuel, Jackie Estick and Lloyd Charmers…..This was sort of a meeting place…,” Yvonne recalls. “Herman Sang is the only one in the group that has played on many of our recordings.”

Roy and Yvonne recorded several sides for Lindon’s Gaydisc label, including “Stop Knocking” and “Tell Me.” They also made one single with Prince Buster’s All Stars, “Sing To Me” b/w “No More,” released on Prince Buster’s Islam label in 1964.

Although they didn’t record that much, they performed on many shows. One of their most memorable moments was performing with Byron Lee and the Dragonaires on the All Island Tour. In the 1964 documentary This Is Ska!, Roy and Yvonne are present with a live rendition of “Two Roads,” their first single for Lindon O. Pottinger. Captured on celluloid, the show at Kingston’s Sombrero Club remains a lively document from that era.

However, their musical partnership didn’t last long. The duo separated after a couple of months.

The majority of Roy’s songs had been recorded between 1961 and 1964, at the height of the ska craze. He was backed by the best session musicians Kingston’s recording studios had to offer at that time. Born Samuel Panton in 1941 in Kingston, Jamaica, the son of a blacksmith and a housewife grew up in Trenchtown, the birthplace of ska and home to many Rastafari adherents. Roy cites artists such as Nat King Cole, Billy Eckstine & Sarah Vaughan as early musical influences. His favorite songs included “Answer Me, My Love,” “Because You’re Mine,” and “Faith Can Move Mountains.” Roy’s entry into the recording world came when he met up with Stranger Cole to form a short-lived group called The Rovers. They recorded two songs for Duke Reid – “Adam & Eve” and “Freedom Land” [which Duke later retitled “Come And Hold My Hand”] – before disbanding. That was around 1958-59.

The Rovers (Roy Panton & Stranger Cole) “Freedom Land”

As the ’60s dawned, Roy teamed up with Eric ‘Monty’ Morris for a series of singles, including “She’s Mine” for Leslie Kong, “Jenny” for Coxsone Dodd, and “Sweetie Pie” for Duke Reid. In 1962, he and Stranger Cole made acquaintance with a teenager named Ken Boothe and decided to form a group, but shortly thereafter, Roy quit the group and Ken and Stranger continued on as a duo. The same year, Roy joined forces with another teen singer, Millie Small. They debuted as Roy & Millie with the single “We’ll Meet” (E and R),

which became a hit in Jamaica. They also made well-received singles for Dodd’s labels Muzik City (“Cherry I Love You”), Rolando & Powie (“Never Say Goodbye”) and Worldisc (“Dearest Love”), Lindon O. Pottinger’s Gaydisc (“Marie”), Prince Buster’s Voice Of The People (“I’ll Go”) and Vincent Chin’s Randy’s (“You Belong To Me”). Other female singers who he collaborated with included Annette Clarke (“I Mean It,” “My Baby” and “Yes My Darling”) and Patsy Todd (“My Happy Home”). After Millie left Jamaica for London, England in June 1963, Roy joined forces with a band called The Cavaliers. He also teamed up with Cornell Campbell under the name The Bellstars, recording several titles for King Edwards such as “Salvation,” “When I Feel So Lonely,” “You Are The Girl,” and “Sweetest Girl.” As a solo artist, he released singles such as “Smoke Without Fire” (Caribou), “Forty-Four” (Sabastians), “Such Is Life” (Randy’s), “Lolita” (Rolando & Powie), “Seek And You’ll Find” (Gaydisc), “Mighty Ruler” (Voice Of The People), “Good Man” (Crystal), and “John Payne” (Giant).

The Bellstars (Roy Panton & Cornell Campbell) “Sweetest Girl”

“In the summer of 1965, I joined Tommy McCook and the Supersonics right after the Skatalites broke up,” Roy recalls. “I was with the band until October of that year, that’s when I left and came to Toronto, Canada for the first time.”

Upon his return from this brief sojourn in Canada, Roy recorded two sides with the Los Caballeros Orchestra, “Beware Rudie” and “Control Your Temper,” released in 1966 on Copley Johnson’s JDI Records. “Los Caballeros was formed by Johnson of Johnson’s Drive Inn which was later on reshape into a smaller band called the Diamonds,” he says. In 1969, Roy’s self-penned “Endless Memory” appeared as a single on Sonia Pottinger’s Gay Feet label. His last activity in the Jamaican recording business came around 1969/70, when he recorded “The Same Old Life” for Harry J. In 1972, Roy and his then-wife relocated to Canada to join her


In 1975, the US-based Mart’s label released “Knotty Screw Face,” the last song Yvonne recorded as a solo artist before retiring from the music business for a long time. This solid reggae tune was written and produced by her brother, Glen Adams. Born in 1941 in Kingston, Jamaica, Yvonne took her first steps into Kingston’s vibrant music scene when she wrote “Wonder Thirst,” a song her brother recorded for Coxsone Dodd in 1960. It was Glen’s very first recording session. Some time later, Yvonne and Glen would team up for a duet, “Dearest,” released as a single on the Beverley’s label.

Yvonne has collaborated with many other great artists for duets before releasing solo material. She started singing with a group called Robin and the Nightingale. They attempted to do a recording but it never panned out. It was at one of their many rehearsals that she was asked to do a recording with Derrick Morgan. Derrick and Yvonne recorded one single – “Meekly Wait” b/w “Day In And Day Out” – for Lloyd Bell, owner of the President Hi Fi sound system, released in 1962 on his The President Record label and licensed to Emil E. Shalit’s Blue Beat imprint in the UK. On the superb “Meekly Wait,” Derrick was overshadowed by Yvonne. Their third collaborative tune, “Lorraine,” appeared the same year on Prince Buster’s Voice Of The People label. At around the same time, Yvonne also recorded a duet with Lloyd Clarke, “Love You,” for Prince Buster’s Wildbells label. Further duets included recordings with Lascelles Perkins – on the D. Darlington-produced “Tango Lips” – and Prince Buster – on “Hello My Dear.”

Yvonne incidentally auditioned for a role in the yearly pantomime production at the Ward Theatre, the traditional venue for the pantomime. “I played a villager, a beauty queen and a revivalist,” she recalls.

After she and Roy went their separate ways, Yvonne recorded two sides for Lindon O. Pottinger, “Cry To Me” and “We Had A Date.” She also teamed up with Lord Tanamo and the Baba Brooks Band for the single “Always Wanting You (True Love),” released in 1965 on Lindon’s SEP label. By the second half of the 1960s, Yvonne recorded two singles – “The Chase” b/w “Take My Hand” (1967) and “Near To You” (1968) – for the Caltone label owned by Blondel Keith Calnek, also known as Ken Lack. Before leaving Jamaica in the early 1970s, she recorded a duet with another female singer, Lisa. Their reggae version of the Carpenters’ classic, “Close To You,” was released as a single on the New Dimension label.

“I left Jamaica to join my husband who was living in the United States,” Yvonne says. “I attended New York Community College, was employed at Empire Blue Cross & Blue Shield as a Dental Correspondent and later on as a Medical Representative.”

“In the early seventies, I was the female vocalist for a couple of bands, including Roland Alphonso and the Outer Limits, and the Bronx Cavaliers, just to name a few.”

“In 1991, I moved to Canada, then later on returned to Jamaica for a little while,” she continues. “It was then that I was asked to do a song with Derrick Morgan, who, incidentally, is my cousin. It was suggested that a show was in the making to celebrate Byron Lee’s years in the music business and they wanted all the vintage artists who worked with him to be on this upcoming event. I was living in Kitchener-Waterloo, Canada, not knowing that Roy was living in Toronto, Canada. I was under the impression that he was living in England, since most of the male artists moved to London.”

“In 2005, I was given the contact number for Roy by Winston ‘Merritone’ Blake. I was still in Jamaica when I called Roy. I came back to Canada to meet with Roy personally since I hadn’t seen him in over 40 years. It was then while visiting him that he told me that he has always had an interest in me, about which, by the way, I didn’t have a clue.”

“It so happen that we both were divorced and one thing led to another. We decided that we would make it official, so we got married in the Bahamas in June 2011. It has a great impact on our musical career, as we travel and work together as a duo and we have fun doing it together.”

“Our first concert outside of Jamaica & North America was in Mexico City,” Roy recalls. “Needless to say, we were amazed at the way in which the young people responded to our music, singing along with us, that’s something we never experienced before. Then we went on to perform in Spain and afterwards in Germany. Our first time in Germany was in the Summer of 2013 and we have been back every year since.”

In 2013, Roy and Yvonne went back into the recording studio for new material that resulted in their first joint album, Moving On. The sessions took place in Washington, D.C., with backing from Teddy Garcia’s Musical Combo. Released in 2014 by Liquidator Music, the album offers a mix of wonderful ska and rocksteady music.

In 2015, they voiced “When It’s Right” over the Sea of Love riddim. This heartfelt reggae ballad was written and produced by Henry ‘Sadiki’ Buckley, Jr. and released on Skinny Bwoy subsidary label Buckley Records as limited vinyl edition. Sadiki wrote the song based on Roy and Yvonne’s story.

“Sadiki met us in L.A. while we were there at the same show [with the Tennors] so we kept in touch and that’s how we came about recording for him,” Roy says.

In summary, one can say that Roy and Yvonne transformed their life stories as artists into a love story. This way gave them the chance to release their first official studio album. Something that’s very rare in the music business. Something that makes their chapter in the book of ska one of the most interesting.

The future of Internet radio world wide
Published: 21 January 2017 08:37 PM
Kim Phillips
There is a contest underway in Denton. The popular online blog The Dentonite will present the first-ever DAM (Denton Arts and Music) awards to the winners at the Campus Theatre on Feb. 11.One of the contest categories is Best Radio Station, in which there are three competing stations: DentonRadio.com, KNTU 88.1 FM and Real Waves 1670 AM.The Denton Convention & Visitors Bureau is honored to be nominated among Denton’s best and covets your vote for our all-local DentonRadio.com station. That said, consider the lineup. Three stations in three different modes of radio delivery: online, FM and AM.

Until recently, an online radio station would not have made the cut in Denton or anywhere else in America.When DentonRadio.com launched in 2012, it was cutting edge and largely misunderstood. Online radio was just emerging as a viable listening option among the masses.People often asked us where on the dial to find DentonRadio.com, eyes glazing over when we replied with a URL rather than traditional FM or AM frequencies.According to Exaget.com, however, internet radio now is the fastest-growing segment of radio-listening options.

Radio is changing.On Jan. 11, Norway became the first country in the world to begin the shutdown of FM radio and switch to all-digital. It’ll take a year for the transition to be complete across that nation, but by this December, traditional radio will be no more in Norway.A Jan. 6 CNN column by Alanna Petroff said after 10 years of government planning, “the Nordic country is switching from FM to digital radio — called DAB — because the digital option offers more channels, better audio quality and savings for broadcasters.”Another column, this one on Public Radio International, or PRI, on Jan. 11, stated Norway authorities say digital makes it easier to broadcast emergency messages in times of crisis.

The same day, Henrik Pryser Libell reported in The New York Times that Norway’s Culture Ministry estimates the changeover will save about $25 million per year.Not all Norwegians are happy, and there are skeptics worried about the cost to consumers, noted repeatedly in news about the country’s giant technological leap forward. You see, digital radio uses a digital signal rather than airwaves to transmit content requiring that listeners have a digital radio receiver.The old radios won’t work anymore. Remember a few years ago when we all had to purchase new televisions or get the required adapter box for America’s big analog-to-digital TV switch? Norway is experiencing the radio version of that.Doubts aside, the rest of the world is watching, especially in Europe where PRI says Switzerland, Denmark and Britain in particular plan to shut down FM radio broadcasts.Which brings me to Australia. Digital and internet radio have existed with equal popularity alongside FM and AM in that country for many years.

Recently, though, Exaget.com reports the Australian Department of Communications is recommending internet over digital radio after an efficiency review concluded online and mobile listening alternatives offered significant savings over digital in the long run.Don’t panic. FM in America still is king of the hill and far from going away. But online and digital radio audiences are broadening, a trend going only upward.Way off in the future, a decade at minimum says the research, America likely will follow the rest of the world’s radio lead.Australia’s director of communications thinks internet radio’s advantages will win over digital when the fate of the airwaves down under finally is decided. Internet radio just like our own DentonRadio.com, once a wild, visionary dream, is emerging now as radio’s new normal.

In March, DentonRadio.com had 479 radio sessions, similar in analytical meaning to the number of unique users on a website.In December, nine months later, 7,835 radio sessions marked a 1,635 percent increase in DentonRadio.com listenership for the year. We attribute part of the dramatic gain to our Facebook Live broadcasts that accompany our live-on-the-air, in-studio shows. For instance, the 7,835 December radio sessions were just a sub-group of a 42,657-large audience that month who tuned in via their Facebook feeds.

In less than a year, our handful of listeners has grown to nearly 190,000.The growth is more than Facebook, though. We believe a new era of radio has dawned.“The best is yet to come,” says DentonRadio.com manager Jake Laughlin. “We are continuing to explore new and exciting forms of internet and digital media to spread the original and independent sounds of Denton.”KIM PHILLIPS is vice president of the Denton Convention & Visitors Bureau at the Denton Chamber of Commerce. She loves promoting Denton’s original, independent spirit through the city’s sense of place and cast of many characters. She can be reached at kim@discoverdenton.com.

The Story Behind Tun it up Radio

Exposing music the ‘Wright’ way

Marlon Wright at his TUN-IT-UP Radio base in Stony Point, New York.The independent record company is synonymous with the success of reggae, especially its underground artistes. Marlon Wright, head of Cyber-Leaf Entertainment, is determined to continue that trend.This has been the most productive year for the label Wright started in 2008. It has released songs and videos by roots artistes Iya Ingi, Derajah, Jamaican Carlos and Richie Innocent.Wright met those artistes through them sending their songs to TUN-IT-UP Radio, a cloud-based radio station he started five years ago in Stony Point, New York.For the Westmoreland-born Wright, it’s all positive for label and station.“When an artiste sends me a song for airplay, I listen to the words and make my determination. If the music is slack, out of order, or disrespectful of any nature, I usually delete it. But once it’s positive and clean, I keep it and provide the artiste with feedback,” he told the Jamaica Observer.Iya Ingi’s Foundation, Jamaican Carlos’s Influence, Hills Mi Deh by Richie Innocent, and Show Love, a collaboration between Iya Ingi and Derajah, fit that format.Cyber-Leaf Entertainment has released videos for each song. The company is doing the same for singer Rad Dixon’s Make It Right, scheduled for release in a matter of days.Though not household names in Jamaica, Richie Innocent and Derajah have been recording for some time. The latter has toured France several times and performed throughout Brazil.According to Wright, Cyber-Leaf Entertainment’s objective is to give them exposure they do not receive in Jamaica.“The primary focus of my company is to help people achieve their dreams, especially those in the reggae community, by providing them with the material needed to be successful — to include flyers, music videos, radio airplay, and any promotion they need to get their message out to the public,” he said.Wright, 40, migrated to the United States in 1988 and served in the army. Eight years ago, he got involved in broadcasting.

In addition to Dixon’s song, Cyber-Leaf Entertainment will release songs and videos by Derajah and singjay Sledge in early 2017.

— Howard Campbell


December 14, 2016 
Sting, regarded as the most prestigious dancehall show worldwide since its inception in 1983, will not be held in 2016, according to show organizers, Supreme Promotions.?Speculation surrounding the possible staging of Sting 2016 had intensified in recent weeks as there was little promotion, no activity on the shows social media pages and no annual launch event. With Boxing Day – Sting’s annual stage date – less than two weeks away, Supreme Promotions head Isaiah Laing and manager/booking agent Junior ‘Heavy D’ Fraser confirmed to CVM OnStage on Tuesday that the show is indeed off.?According to both men, the lack of headline acts available have hurt the chances of putting together a proper show.?“Last two, three years, the headline (artist) is just never there to me, so there was no crowd” Fraser said. “Since Kartel gone, the headline move….yes you will have 50 artistes to work, but if you don’t have two (main ones), the 48 don’t count. The ones who are hot now are not interested.” “Sting was not built up like this,” Laing said. “Over the years when you come to Sting, you find the hottest artistes. You have 20 or 30 artistes that are really pulling crowds, that’s not happening any more. You have to depend on three or four artistes now, it cannot work.” ?Laing revealed that Supreme Promotions has not made a profit from the show since 2008, the year Vybz Kartel and Mavado clashed each other. He and Heavy D conceded that it has become difficult to book artistes of repute as they have turned it down either over financial disagreements or receiving overseas shows. Additionally, sponsorship has been lacking, making it even more difficult to fund the show.

?However, Laing believes a lot of artistes are intimidated by the Sting crowd because of its reputation for being tough on performers, at times throwing bottles and other projectiles on stage when displeased with a set.?“It is known worldwide that Sting is the hardest audience to please cause if you put your wrong foot forward from the first song out of your mouth, you get the boo or the bottle,” Laing said. He also chastised sponsors for not catering to the largely middle and lower class fan base.?As for the future of the Sting show, Laing said the show as we know it is dead, but will be revamped in an international format. The show will be rebranded in 2017 featuring artistes in dancehall, reggae and several other genres, with a premiere in London slated for next summer.?There also are talks to host a gospel version of Sting in the near future.?This year, Supreme Promotions will award various entertainers who have contributed to the show’s growth over its 33 year existence, including Bounty Killer, Beenie Man, Ninja Man, Marion Hall (formerly Lady Saw) and more.


Dancehall star, Devin Di Dakta and emerging singer, JL have made history as the youngest ever Jamaicans to be nominated for music’s highest honour as the duo are up for the Best Reggae Album award at the 59th Grammy Awards.

When Grammy nominations were officially announced on December 6, the duo’s debut EP, Reggae For Her produced by legendary hit makers and previous Grammy winners, Sly and Robbie was named among five contenders for the honour. They will go up against six-time reggae Grammy winner, Ziggy Marley for his self-titled album, Raging Fyah for Everlasting and two American acts: J Boog for Rose Petals and Rebelution for Falling Into Place.

Released in late September, Reggae For Her is an eight-track EP which features singles such as Ayo Ayo, Safe Havenand Jenell. The compilation is being distributed by Tuff Gong International and also released by Taxi Records.

It is a huge achievement for both acts, who are managed by long-time marketer and public relations specialist, Shelly-Ann Curran, who is elated by the news and has stated her intention to walk the Grammy red carpet. For Devin, news of the nomination comes a day after his 21st birthday.

Additionally, this is the first time that prominent Jamaican talent shows, Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall and Digicel Rising Stars can boast of having former contestants earning such acclaim. Devin Di Dakta was crowned Magnum King in 2015 while J.L. reached the final round of Rising Stars the year prior.

The 59th Grammy Awards will be held at The Staples Center in Los Angeles on February 12, 2017.