Category Archives: A TUNE A DAY KEEP OBEAH AWAY

PAGES DEDICATED TO SINGLE TUNES OF CARIBBEAN DISTINCTION

Nigger Butler – (Too Much Youth) Inna Jailhouse – Record City


A tune a day keep Obeah away. << This is an occasional series of tunes that I think you need to have and to hold, and today I want to let you all know about a tune I keep returning to. A fine roots tune, with a strong version side, in the classic late 70s Roots style.

FullSizeRender 14This record was given to me a long time ago, when I was first setting off on my Jamaican music record collecting, by a dear friend, now gone, Charlie Reggae. It had no title, only a generic label, for the Record City Record label. A label which had very few releases. The first one on that label at that point I had seen. Discogs didn’t exist then and records were bought from mail-order homemade catalogues mailed to you each quarter year and not on eBay or online shops.

For a number of years I had no idea who was singing on it or what the title might be. I always called it, ‘Too Much Youth Inna Jailhouse’ as that is the striking refrain of the song. Because it was strong, and because even though I tried, I couldn’t find any info on it, it held a certain mystique that only an un-identified but quality record can.

Just recently someone identified the singer for me as Nigger Butler, otherwise and perhaps more politically correctly properly known as Rector Butler, who by the sparse information on the label sang on and produced and distributed the tune. A one man stop shop of Reggae production. I’d love to know who the backing band are, as the rhythm is strong and assured, but there is virtually no information about the singer/producer or his cohorts online, or I’d be copying and pasting it here for you to see.

As with a lot of great Jamaican music the only way to know the artist is to own and listen to their tunes, so much of Jamaica’s music was produced in virtual anonymity, particularly in the Golden era of the late 70s. However that’s what makes it ROOTS, music of the people, by the people, and why it has such inherent strength sonically.

Look, it’s not the greatest Reggae tune in the world, but it is a damn fine one, and you should be able to check it out on my next bigmikeydread reggae radio podcast soon. Check the section here on Musical Traces for track-listings. I’d like to share the tune with you here, but no recording of it exists online, yet.

© Murphy (mid Feb) 2019

 

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Earth A Run Red – Richie Spice


A completely essential single to have and to hold.

So this is the first of a new ‘series’ of ‘tunes’ that I in my infinite pretentiosity consider essential to have and to hold, to own, to rest easy ‘pon the record shelving.

It won’t just be Reggae music, but anything that I include, but anything that is pure essential listening, but more than that essential to have, to hold, to be physical with (let’s get physical, physical, let me hear your body talk…), none of that Spotify or iTunes shit, none of that ‘I got a collection of 20,000 tune dem, only to find out that .. Im’ got 20,000 Mp3 deh!! .. pure fuckery .. chaw….

This is/was a pure and strong new Roots anthem, ethereal lyrics, solid, meant and  meaningful, forward moving, a pleading anthem against violence and the culture of black on black crime. More so though, just a beautiful almost acapella from a smoke laden larynx, pure genius  ++ lyrically, this is one to stop the dance but still kill the sound ++ spiritually.

lyric selection, without objection…

I hear a next youth dead yeah

Hey watch the places you walk and mind
The way you talk
Watch out fi the vampire who will sneak up in the dark
Watch out for the big time thief who claim sey that them smart
Stop bringing the crack and the gun to mash up the youth dem heart
Earth a run red
Songwriters: Richell Bonner / F. Pitter / L. Corniffe
Earth a Run Red lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
Heretical Heartfelt Article
Murphy © Musical Traces 2019
Respect.