Calypsos from Jamaica is an album worth having for the cover alone. It has been released at least twice, on two different labels and with differing cover art. I believe the Sounds of the Caribbean release is the second of the two. From memory it does not mention that it is recorded in Jamaica B.W.I. (British West Indies), only that it is from ‘Jamaica’, which may infer that it was released after independence. The second release has a rather plain cover and is nowhere near as colourful and attractive as this classic of album art. Perhaps times had changed since it’s first release and a cover that featured artwork that has more than a dash of racism about it’s artwork was considered inappropriate?
The lack of any track listing on both Lps makes it difficult to work out exactly which singers should be attributed to the songs that are shown. I have attempted to create one here, utilising Roots Knotty Roots the guide to Jamaican single releases compiled by Bob Shoenfeld and Mike Turner and my own knowledge such as it is. I hope that those of you who either own the Lp or wish to will find it easier now to match the singers, with the songs.
Bob unfortunately is no longer with us, but Mike’s work continues with Algoriddim and the creation of an online Jamaican Single Release Discography. Those of us who regularly leaf through the paper copy will certainly enjoy the prospect of an online resource.
The rear of the Lp lists a few artists that are on the Lp, but un-helpfully, not all of them. Those artists are – Lord Flea, Hubert Porter, Wigglers and Lord Lebby, all well-known Mento’ists and Calypsonians.
Details of the two different issues are thus:
1st Issue (Above)
VINYL LP VARIOUS ARTISTES, LORD FLEA, HUBERT PORTER, LORD LEBBY – CALYPSOS FROM JAMAICA – Label = RITMO Catalogue number – 12-503 LP A Side Matrix 12 503 A1 Producer? (Ken Khouri) / Released in the U.S.A.
VINYL LP VARIOUS ARTISTES – CALYPSOS FROM JAMAICA – Label = SOUNDS OF THE CARIBBEAN – A Side Matrix slp 734 a 1-14-71 Producer? (Ken Khouri) – Released in the U.S.A.
A1 HUBERT PORTER – RUM AND COCONUT WATER
A2 LORD TICKLER – LIMBO DANCE
A3 HUBERT PORTER & HIS JAMAICAN CALYPSONIANS – NOT ME
A4 LORD LEBBY – DR. KINSEY
A5 LORD FLEA & HIS JAMAICAN CALYPSONIANS – SOLAS MARKET / WATER COME FROM ME EYE
A6 HUBERT PORTER & HIS JAMAICAN CALYPSONIANS – MARY’S LAMB
B1 WIGGLERS – LINSTEAD MARKET / DAYO
B2 HUBERT PORTER & HIS JAMAICAN CALYPSONIANS – OLD LADY YOU MASH ME TOE
B3 WIGGLERS – JAMAICA MERMAID
B4 LORD LEBBY & HIS JAMAICAN CALYPSONIANS – MAMA DON’T WANT NO PEAS NO RICE
B5 HUBERT PORTER – TEN PENNY NAIL
B6 HUBERT PORTER – MISS GOOSIE
All the songs appear to have been originally recorded by one producer Ken Khouri, and most of them originally released on 78rpm on the Jamaican ‘Kalypso’ label and also on the U.K. based ‘Times’ label, and one or two also in the USA on ‘Ritmo’, which would tie in nicely with the 33rpm Lp release and possibly help to confirm it as the 1st of the two known pressings.
If you’re interested in finding out more about Jamaican Mento / Calypso then Mike Garnice’s web site Mento Music is an excellent place to find out more. http://www.mentomusic.com/