This 78rpm single is the only playable copy in the World known to date.
Mento, Calypso, R&B and other vintage Jamaican and Caribbean Recordings.
You will find herein mainly 78rpm releases of Jamaican produced music. The Jamaican music industry’s ability to record and press records was first realised in early 1952. Unfortunately because so many of these are rare to find information on them is scarce and often inaccurate. There is to my knowledge currently no stand alone Caribbean / Jamaican 78rpm Discography online.
The details you will find here are 100% accurate as only information taken from records I own is included. There is no second hand hearsay to muddy the waters and you can trust the details given therefore.
I hope that this small selection will aid those interested in this fabulous area of music. I intend it at this time to include mainly but not exclusively Jamaican recorded and or released Mento and Calypso records. I may also include some other Caribbean recordings, such as those of Blind Blake on Miami’s ART Records for example, plus 45rpm single releases and finally Lps that I think are of particular note or worth having for your collection. You may also find details of some records which have been pressed by Jamaicans in Jamaica of American Pop and R&B.
LABEL / ARTIST / TITLE / CATALOGUE NUMBER / MATRIX NUMBER / PRODUCER / COUNTRY OF ORIGIN / RELEASE DATE / NOTES
ART RECORDS (Miami)
BLIND BLAKE AND HIS ROYAL VICTORIA CALYPSOS NEVER INTERFERE WITH MAN AND WIFE Art Al 3 2A A Song Of The Islands Production U.S.A. ? / Real name Blake Alphonso Higgs, not to be confused with Blues guitarist of same name
BLIND BLAKE AND HIS ROYAL VICTORIA CALYPSOS WATERMELON SPOILIN’ ON THE VINE Art Al 3 2b A Song Of The Islands Production U.S.A. ?
BLIND BLAKE AND THE ROYAL VICTORIA HOTEL ‘CALYPSOS’ A GROUP OF BAHAMIAN SONGS ALP – 3 Art Alp 3 Side 1 1952 U.S.A. Songs of the Islands Ltd.
BLIND BLAKE AND HIS ROYAL VICTORIA CALYPSO ORCHESTRA BLIND BLAKE AUTHENTIC BAHAMIAN CALYPSO – A THIRD ALBUM OF BAHAMIAN SONGS ALP – 6A Art Alp-6A Side 1 1952 U.S.A. Songs of the Islands Ltd.
BLIND BLAKE AND HIS VICTORIA CALYPSOS A SECOND ALBUM OF AUTHENTIC BAHMIAN SONGS / AUTHENTIC BAHAMIAN CALYPSO Alp – 4 A U.S.A. Art Records
BLIND BLAKE A FIFTH ALBUM OF SONGS BY … Art Alp 20 U.S.A. Art Records
VARIOUS ARTISTES, INC. ANDRE TOUISSAINT, PEANUTS TAYLOR, BLIND BLAKE JUNKANOO CLUB PRESENTS NASSAU’S STAR ENTERTAINERS ALP – 25 ART ALP 25 SIDE 1 1960s? U.S.A. ART RECORDS INC
COUNT LASHER (AS) COUNT LASHA and his CALYPSONIANS CALABASH 100A 100A 9888 DADA TEWARI CARIBBEAN RECORDING CO LTD. JAMAICA 1959?
COUNT LASHER (AS) COUNT LASHA (VOCALS) COUNT LASHER’S CALYPSO QUINTET DALVEY GAL-PARSON 100B 100 B 9889 DADA TEWARI CARIBBEAN RECORDING CO LTD. JAMAICA 1959?
COUNT LASHER (VOCALS) & CHARLIE BINGER’S SIX CALABASH 106A CALABASH #1 10516 DADA TEWARI CARIBBEAN RECORDING CO LTD. JAMAICA 1959
COUNT LASHER (VOCALS) COUNT LASHER’S CALYPSO QUINTET DALVEY GAL-PARSON 106B #2 10517 DADA TEWARI CARIBBEAN RECORDING CO LTD. JAMAICA 1959
COUNT LASHER / CHARLIE BINGER’S SIX MISS CONSTANCE CARIBOU 105A SE105A DADA TEWARI
COUNT LASHER / COUNT LASHER’S CALYPSO QUINTET SLIDE MONGOOSE CARIBOU 105B SE105B DADA TEWARI
COUNT LASHER AND CHARLIE BINGER’S SIX CALABASH 106A SE 106 A 50s U.K.
COUNT LASHER AND COUNT LASHER’S CALYPSO QUINTET DALVEY GAL-PARSON 106B SE 106 B 50s U.K.
LOCAL CALYPSO QUINTET – VOCALS BY BEDDASSE ROUGH RIDER CHIN’S C1001 NONE IVAN CHIN JAMAICA 1950s
LOCAL CALYPSO QUINTET – VOCALS BY BEDDASSE NO MONEY NO MUSIC CHIN’S C1001 NONE IVAN CHIN JAMAICA 1950s
LOCAL CALYPSO QUINTET (VOCALS – A. BEDASSE) HONEYMOON C1002 NONE IVAN CHIN JAMAICA 1950s
LOCAL CALYPSO QUINTET (VOCALS – A. BEDASSE) MONEY IS KING C1002 NONE IVAN CHIN JAMAICA 1950s
CHIN’S CALYPSO SEXTET /VOCALS BY ALERTH BEDASSE BIG BOY AND TEACHER CHIN’S C1008 NONE IVAN CHIN JAMAICA 1950s
CHIN’S CALYPSO SEXTET /VOCALS BY ALERTH BEDASSE RED TOMATO CHIN’S C1008 NONE IVAN CHIN JAMAICA 1950s
CHIN’S CALYPSO SEXTET (VOCALS – A. BEDASSE) NOT GUILTY C1012 NONE IVAN CHIN JAMAICA 1950s note from Dan Neely – This record was the last pair of sides Khouri pressed for Chin before Chin went to Decca for the service. This copy is the only one known to survive and play fully.
CHIN’S CALYPSO SEXTET (VOCALS – A. BEDASSE) GIVE HER LOVE C1012 NONE IVAN CHIN JAMAICA 1950s
TRIPLE 78RPM SET – WILMOTH HOUDINI AND HIS ROYAL CALYPSO ORCHESTRA CALYPSOS SUNG BY WILMOUTH HOUDINI 18005A – DISC 1 66526A (A SIDE DISC 1) DECCA U.S.A. 1939
WHICH CONSISTS OF:
WILMOTH HOUDINI AND HIS ROYAL CALYPSO ORCHESTRA MONKEY SWING 18005A 66526A DECCA U.S.A. 1939
WILMOTH HOUDINI AND HIS ROYAL CALYPSO ORCHESTRA HE HAD IT COMING (STONE COLD DEAD IN THE MARKET) 18005B 66528A DECCA U.S.A. 1939
WILMOTH HOUDINI AND HIS ROYAL CALYPSO ORCHESTRA WELCOME OF THEIR MAJESTIES, THE 18006A 66523A DECCA U.S.A. 1939
WILMOTH HOUDINI AND HIS ROYAL CALYPSO ORCHESTRA HOT DOGS MADE THEIR NAME 18006B 66527A DECCA U.S.A. 1939
WILMOTH HOUDINI AND HIS ROYAL CALYPSO ORCHESTRA ROOSEVELT OPENS WORLD’S FAIR 18007A 66525A DECCA U.S.A. 1939
WILMOTH HOUDINI AND HIS ROYAL CALYPSO ORCHESTRA JOHNNY TAKE MY WIFE 18007B 66524A DECCA U.S.A. 1939
DOWN BEAT (Jamaica)
TAB SMITH & ORCHESTRA MY MOTHER’S EYES 101A U 1121 RE 1 UNITED RECORDS (USA)
TAB SMITH & ORCHESTRA YOU BELONG TO ME 101B URC 1138 UNITED RECORDS (USA)
SHIRLEY AND LEE LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL 104A AL-3325-X 10048 ALLADIN JAMAICA 1956 ORIGINALLY ON ALLADIN IN 1956
SHIRLEY AND LEE DO YOU MEAN TO HURT ME 104B AL-3325-Q 10046 ALLADIN JAMAICA 1956 ORIGINALLY ON ALLADIN IN 1956
GENE AND EUNICE VOW, THE DOWN BEAT 212G AL3374-Q ALADDIN
GENE AND EUNICE STRANGE WORLD DOWN BEAT 212G AL3374-X ALADDIN
DOWNBEAT (UK Re-issue)
MONTY REYNOLDS LONG TIME GIRL db 001a 2002 U.K.
LORD FLY BLU – LU – UP db 001b 2002 U.K.
LORD POWER PENNY REEL db 002a 2002 U.K.
LORD POWER MISS GOOSEY db 002b 2002 U.K.
LORD COMPOSER HILL AND GULLY db 003a 2002 U.K.
LORD MESSAM LINSTEAD MARKET db 003b 2002 U.K.
LORD BEGINNER ENGLAND REGAINS THE ASHES ESQUIRE 5-091 RS.411-1 RS.411-1 ESQUIRE U.K.
LORD BEGINNER NOBODY WANTS TO GROW OLD ESQUIRE 5-091 RS.412-3 RS.412-3 ESQUIRE U.K.
LORD LARO TRIBUTE TO N. W. MANLEY FEDERAL (BLANK) NONE FRM 7192 RICHARD KHOURI
LORD LARO INTEGRATION FEDERAL (BLANK) NONE FRM 7193 RICHARD KHOURI
TOWER ISLANDERS, THE CALYPSO (AS PLAYED AT TOWER ISLE), JAMAICA B.W.I. lp 1206 a 1956 Jamaica
TOWER ISLANDERS, THE CALYPSO BY THE TOWER ISLANDERS FLP1212 FLP1212-A JAMAICA 1960s
HERALD / JAMAICA
HERALD / JAMAICA JOHNNY ADAMS I WON’T CRY NONE E3447 ? JAMAICA 1950s
HERALD / JAMAICA JOHNNY ADAMS WHO ARE YOU? NONE E3448 ? JAMAICA 1950s – This is an issue of North American Vocal R&B released only ever on 78rpm in the states but here on a 45rpm two sider, obviously officially licenced to a Jamaican distributer and manufacturer, as of yet I’m unsure who, but surely Khouri at Federal stands a good chance of being the ‘culprit’?
ISLAND ARTISTS LTD.
GOOMBAY TROUBADORS feat VINCENT MARTIN, PEANUTS TAYLOR, GOOMBAY DRUMS BAHAMA LULLABY XTV 25855 XTV 25855 – 1A 1957 1957 BAHAMAS ISLAND ARTISTS LTD.
LORD KITCHENER DR. KITCH ju511 a/2 1963 U.K. Production – Telco / Jump Up was a division of Island Records.
LORD KITCHENER COME BACK HOME MEH BOY ju511 b 1963 U.K. Production – Telco
CHIN’S CALYPSO SEXTET (VOCALS – A. BEDASSE) SAMSON AND DELILAH C1003 – 04818 04818 IVAN CHIN / KEN KHOURI JAMAICA 1955
CHIN’S CALYPSO SEXTET (VOCALS – A. BEDASSE) INDUSTRIAL FAIR C1003 – 04819 04819 IVAN CHIN / KEN KHOURI JAMAICA 1955
SIR HORACE AND HIS MERRY KNIGHTS MORGAN’S MENTO DOUBLE SIX 66 NONE VISIBLE KEN KHOURI JAMAICA 1958
SIR HORACE AND HIS MERRY KNIGHTS MAMBO JAMAICA DOUBLE SIX 66 NONE VISIBLE KEN KHOURI JAMAICA 1958
CALYPSO QUINTET (Vocal ALERTH BEDASSE) WALK AND TALK KALYPSO XX01 24-T-3 IVAN CHIN
CALYPSO QUINTET (Vocal ALERTH BEDASSE) NIGHT FOOD KALYPSO XX01 24-T-4 IVAN CHIN
SIR HORACE AND HIS MERRY KNIGHTS MORGAN’S MENTO KALYPSO (JAMAICA) XX03 O4823 KEN KHOURI JAMAICA 1958 (THIS IS A LABEL VARIANT OF ABOVE ITEM)
SIR HORACE AND HIS MERRY KNIGHTS MAMBO JAMAICA KALYPSO (JAMAICA) XX03 O4822 KEN KHOURI JAMAICA 1958
TRENTON SPENCE QUARTET / VOCALS LORD POWER ONE BAGGIE KALYPSO (JAMAICA) XX04 O4826 KEN KHOURI ORIGINAL JAMAICA 1958
TRENTON SPENCE QUARTET / VOCALS ROY SHURLAND MATTY BELLY KALYPSO (JAMAICA) XX04 O4827 KEN KHOURI JAMAICA 1958
THE JAMAICAN CALYPSONIANS (VOCALS – LORD LEBBY) DR. KINSEY REPORT RL 101 0 4816 KEN KHOURI JAMAICA 1958
THE JAMAICAN CALYPSONIANS (VOCALS – LORD LEBBY) ETHEOPIA RL 101 0 4817 KEN KHOURI JAMAICA 1958
MIGHTY PANTHER, THE & THE JAMAICAN CALYPSONIANS TALKING PARROT, THE RL114 RL114 KEN KHOURI JAMAICA 1959? INTERESTING ALTERNATIVE TAKES TO THE LASHER SONGS OF THE SAME NAME, ARRANGEMENTS ARE THE SAME OR VERY SIMILAR, BUT BY A TRINIDADIAN CALYPSONIAN
MIGHTY PANTHER, THE & THE JAMAICAN CALYPSONIANS CINEMASCOPE RL116 RL116 KEN KHOURI JAMAICA 1959?
WRIGGLERS, THE / VOCALS DENZIL LAING LIMBO X2001 17X1 KEN KHOURI JAMAICA 1950s
WRIGGLERS, THE / VOCALS DENZIL LAING WHO TO CALL YOUR FRIEND X2001 17X2 KEN KHOURI JAMAICA 1950s
JAMAICAN CALYPSONIANS (VOCALS – LORD TICKLER aka HAROLD RICHARDSON) LIMBO RL108 15 X 1 1958 JAMAICA KEN KHOURI
JAMAICAN CALYPSONIANS (VOCALS – LORD TICKLER aka HAROLD RICHARDSON) MEDLEY (SWEETIE CHARLIE, MR. PARNEY, MANGO WALK) RL108 15 X 2 1958 JAMAICA KEN KHOURI
LORD LARO BANANA BOY NONE FRK 105 1961? JAMAICA KEN KHOURI
LORD LARO RASTAFARIAN LOVE, THE NONE FRK 106 1961? JAMAICA KEN KHOURI / Early references to Rastafari in Jamaican recording. Does this predate Harry Mudie’s recordings of Count Ossie of circa 1961? Also, this may well feature Ossie’s drummers, as Laro later recorded ‘A Tribute To Count Ossie’ it seems possible that they were closely linked, perhaps through this record?
WRIGGLERS, THE THE WRIGGLERS SING CALYPSO AT THE ARAWAK HOTEL JAMAICA W.I. KLP 200 LP 41058 A ? Jamaica FEDERAL
LORD LEBBY SINGS FAVOURITE CALYPSOS KALYPSO – 1000 FEDERAL 6905 1965 JAMAICA KEN KHOURI / includes a sublime rendering of ‘Oh Danny Boy’!
BEDASSE NIGHT FOOD RECIPE 45/C 1005 45 C 1005 A 1954 U.K.
BEDASSE WOMAN STYLE 45/C 1005 45 C 1005 B 1954 U.K.
BEDASSE HONEY BEE 45/C 1006 45 C 1006 A 1955 U.K.
BEDASSE COME BACK TO ME 45/C 1006 45 C 1006 B 1955 U.K.
CHIN’S CALYPSO SEXTET (VOCALS E. BEDASSE [ALERTH BEDASSE]) ADAM AND EVE 45/C 1010-A 45-C-1010-A 1956 U.K. KEN KHOURI
CHIN’S CALYPSO SEXTET (VOCALS E. BEDASSE [ALERTH BEDASSE]) NOT ME AGAIN 45/C 1010-B 45-C-1010-B 1956 U.K. KEN KHOURI
CHIN’S CALYPSO SEXTET (VOCALS E. BEDASSE [ALERTH BEDASSE]) BIG BOY AND TEACHER KALYPSO 45/C 1008-A 45-04820 IVAN CHIN 1956
CHIN’S CALYPSO SEXTET (VOCALS E. BEDASSE [ALERTH BEDASSE]) RED TOMATO KALYPSO 45/C 1008-B 45-04821 IVAN CHIN 1956
COUNT LASHER & THE PORTER CALYPSO STAR BAND TALKING PARROT 45/XX 12 DA-45-2857 1959? U.K. KEN KHOURI
COUNT LASHER & THE PORTER CALYPSO STAR BAND DOCTOR 45/XX 12 DA-45-2858 1959? U.K. KEN KHOURI
LAUREL AITKEN & THE BOOGIE CATS BABA KILL ME GOAT XX 19 A 45 XX 19-A 1960? U.K. LAUREL AITKEN?
LAUREL AITKEN & THE BOOGIE CATS TRIBUTE TO COLLIE SMITH XX 19 B 45 XX 19-B 1960? U.K. LAUREL AITKEN?
LORD LARO JAMAICAN REFERENDUM CALYPSO 45/XX 21 XX 21-A 1961 U.K. KEN KHOURI
LORD LARO WONG IMPRESSIONS OF A SOLDIER 45/XX 21 XX 21-B 1961 U.K. KEN KHOURI
COUNT ZEBRA & THE SEASIDERS CAT-O-NINE 45/XX 23 Go 5 1962 U.K. KEN KHOURI
COUNT ZEBRA & THE SEASIDERS BEDBUG 45/XX 23 Go 5 1962 U.K. KEN KHOURI
LORD ROSE AND THE BEACHCOMBERS INDEPENDANT JAMAICA 45/XX25-A XX25-A 1962 U.K. KEN KHOURI
LORD ROSE AND THE BEACHCOMBERS TWISTIN’ UNCLE 45/XX25-B XX25-B 1962 U.K. KEN KHOURI
LONDON INTERNATIONAL & LONDON CALYPSO
IVAN BROWN AND HIS CALYPSO MUSIC GIMME A BEAT ON YOUR DING DONG LONDON CALYPSO CAY.102 DR13435-1A LONDON CALYPSO U.K.
IVAN BROWN AND HIS CALYPSO MUSIC JOHNNY WEDNESDAY B.A. LONDON CALYPSO CAY.102 DR13436-1A LONDON CALYPSO U.K.
MONICA BOYAR and JACKIE BROWN’S CALYPSO KINGS OPEN UP THE DOOR MAMA LONDON CALYPSO CAY.103 DR18447-1 LONDON CALYPSO U.K.
MONICA BOYAR and JACKIE BROWN’S CALYPSO KINGS GIN AND COCONUT WATER LONDON CALYPSO CAY.103 DR18448-1 LONDON CALYPSO U.K.
MONICA BOYAR and JACKIE BROWN’S CALYPSO KINGS I LOVES YER BABY LONDON CALYPSO CAY.105 DR18149-1 LONDON CALYPSO U.K.
MONICA BOYAR and JACKIE BROWN’S CALYPSO KINGS HARRY PUT ME DOWN LONDON CALYPSO CAY.105 DR18450-2 LONDON CALYPSO U.K.
MARIE BRYANT and JACKIE BROWN’S CALYPSO KINGS SUEDE SHOES LONDON CALYPSO CAY.106 DR13459-1 LONDON CALYPSO ORIGINAL £5 60s 60s 06/04/2014 U.K.
MARIE BRYANT and JACKIE BROWN’S CALYPSO KINGS SIXTY MINUTE MAN LONDON CALYPSO CAY.106 DR13462-1 LONDON CALYPSO ORIGINAL £5 60s 60s 06/04/2014 U.K.
MARIE BRYANT AND JACKIE BROWN’S CALYPSO KINGS DON’T TOUCH ME NYLON dr. 18460 U.K. ?
MARIE BRYANT AND JACKIE BROWN’S CALYPSO KINGS WATER MELON dr. 18461 U.K. ?
VARIOUS AUTHENTIC JAMAICAN CALYPSOS mscl6651a/2b 1954 U.K. Stanley Motta
LORD KITCHENER – Acc FREDDY GRANT’S CARIBBEAN RHYTHM KITCH TAKE IT EASY LYRAGON J 703 PL 914 LYRAGON U.K.
LORD KITCHENER – Acc FREDDY GRANT’S CARIBBEAN RHYTHM REDHEAD LYRAGON J 703 PL 956 LYRAGON U.K.
LORD POWER AND HIS CALYPSONIANS MAMBO LA-LA M 20001 13 X A JAMAICA 1950s
LORD POWER AND HIS CALYPSONIANS SPECIAL AMBER CALYPSO M 20001 13 X B JAMAICA 1950s
LORD BEGINNER acc by CALYPSO RHYTHM KINGS VICTORY TEST MATCH – CALYPSO (ENGLAND Vs WEST INDIES, LORDS 1950) MELODISC 113 (MEL 20) MEL 20 MELODISC U.K.
CALYPSO RHYTHM KINGS – Vocal LORD BEGINNER and ENSEMBLE SARGEANT BROWN – CALINDA MELODISC 113 (MEL 23) MEL 23 MELODISC U.K.
LORD BEGINNER – CARIBBEAN CALYPSO BAND CRICKET CHAMPIONS, THE (WEST INDIES Vs M.C.C. 1954) MELODISC 1273 DA 2082 MELODISC U.K.
LORD BEGINNER – CARIBBEAN CALYPSO BAND CARIBBEAN LULLABY MELODISC 1273 DA 2083 MELODISC U.K.
LORD KITCHENER – Acc VINCENT STREET SIX KITCH – CALYPSO (SMALL COMB SCRATCH ME HEAD) MELODISC 1160 MEL 96-1 MELODISC U.K.
LORD KITCHENER – Acc VINCENT STREET SIX FOOD FROM THE WEST INDIES MELODISC 1160 MEL 97-1 MELODISC U.K.
LORD KITCHENER – Acc FREDDY GRANT’S CARIBBEAN RHYTHM DENIS COMPTON CALYPSO, THE MELODISC 1172 MEL 149 MELODISC U.K.
LORD KITCHENER – Acc FREDDY GRANT’S CARIBBEAN RHYTHM NO MORE TAXI CALYPSO MELODISC 1172 MEL 150 MELODISC U.K.
KING SPARROW & CARIBBEAN ALL STARS CLARA HONEY BUNCH MELODISC 1475 APR-56 MELODISC 50S
KING SPARROW & CARIBBEAN ALL STARS FAMILYSIZE COKES MELODISC 1475 APR-59 MELODISC 50S
TICKLERS, THE (VOCALS – HAROLD RICHARDSON) GLAMOUR GAL – CALYPSO 1214 / MOT 01-8 MOT 01 8 STANLEY MOTTA U.K. 1952? 1952? There is an advert in a 1952 copy of the Gleaner for this tune in it’s original MRS labelled state. Source – Mentomusic.com / First Jamaican recording entirely recorded and produced in Jamaica to see a UK and not just Jamaican release. On original Stamper for both UK and Jamaican releases. – Source – general knowledge, confirmed through Dan Neely’s research.
TICKLERS, THE (VOCALS – HAROLD RICHARDSON) DON’T FENCE HER IN – CALYPSO 1214 / MOT 01-9 MOT 01 9 STANLEY MOTTA U.K. 1952?
TICKLERS, THE (VOCAL HAROLD RICHARDSON) FOUR DAYS OF LOVE MELODISC 1237 MOT 2146 1 STANLEY MOTTA? ORIGINAL 50s
TICKLERS, THE (VOCAL HAROLD RICHARDSON) HEALING IN THE BALM YARD MELODISC 1237 MOT 2147 STANLEY MOTTA? ORIGINAL 50s
DIAMONDS, THE FAITHFUL AND TRUE R2216 71060 YB15047 GBU 15047 MERCURY JAMAICA 50s
DIAMONDS, THE LITTLE DARLIN’ R2216 71060 YB15048 GBU 15048 MERCURY JAMAICA 50s – Probably pressed by Federal, generic looking label bears close resemblance to Kalypso.
MARTERIE, RALPH (AND HIS ORCHESTRA) UNTIL SIX R2021 YBU 10354 JEROME MUSIC CORP JAMAICA 50s
MARTERIE, RALPH (AND HIS ORCHESTRA) DRY MARTERIE R2021 YBU 10222 JUDY MUSIC JAMAICA 50s
SUGAR AND SPICE HEY JOE (LET ME KNOW) MERCURY (JAMAICA) R2124 LBM 12411 TONE MUSIC 1956?
SUGAR AND SPICE INDEED I LOVE YOU MERCURY (JAMAICA) R2124 LBM 12412 TONE MUSIC 1956?
VARIOUS ARTISTES – MEET ME IN JAMAICA (B.W.I.) 12-852 LP 852 1 1950s 1950s U.S.A. Various Producers
MONTEGO BEACH HOTEL GIFT SHOP
MONTEGO BEACH HOTEL CALYPSO BAND SOUVENIR ALBUM / MONTEGO BEACH HOTEL CALYPSONIANS LOML 502 SMOL 103 1E 1958 1958 Jamaica Date Unknown (Stanley Motta?) – Note this features Lord Lebby on Vocals througout, though he is not credited on the Lp’s sleeve. Assumed to be a Motta production as he did produce 78s for and from this Hotel.
MRS (Motta’s Recording Studio)
DAN WILLIAMS AND HIS ORCHESTRA – VOCAL LORD FLY MEDLY OF JAMAICAN MENTO – FAN ME SOLJA MAN FAN ME, ONE SOLJA MAN, YUH NO YEARY WHAT THE OLE MAN SAY, SLIDE MONGOOSE SSS.2033X / 01A NONE STANLEY MOTTA JAMAICA 1952 This is thought to be the first song to be recorded and released in Jamaica, although there is some confusion over the possibility that it may have been recorded in Miami.
DAN WILLIAMS AND HIS ORCHESTRA – VOCAL LORD FLY CALYPSO – WHAI, WHAI, WHAI SSS.2034X / 01B NONE STANLEY MOTTA JAMAICA 1952
DAN WILLIAMS AND HIS ORCHESTRA – VOCAL LORD FLY JAMAICAN CALYPSOS – SWINE LANE GAL / IRON BAR 04A SSS 2082 X STANLEY MOTTA JAMAICA 1952
DAN WILLIAMS AND HIS ORCHESTRA – VOCAL LORD FLY JAMAICAN CALYPSOS – WHEN MI LOOK UPON JANIE SO / ADA / TIME SO HARD 04B SSS 2083 X STANLEY MOTTA JAMAICA 1952
REYNOLDS CALYPSO CLIPPERS – VOCAL – BOYSIE GRANT SWEETIE CHARLIE / MATTY RAG / NOBODY’S BUSINESS O6A MOT 2134 – 06A MEL STANLEY MOTTA JAMAICA 1952
REYNOLDS CALYPSO CLIPPERS – VOCAL – BOYSIE GRANT COME WE A GO DOWN A UNITY / OLD LADY O / LINSTEAD MARKET 06B MOT 2135 – 06B MEL STANLEY MOTTA JAMAICA 1952
DAN WILLIAMS AND HIS ORCHESTRA – VOCAL LORD FLY TRANSPORTATION KINGSTON STYLE – JAMAICAN CALYPSO MOT.2138 / 11A MOT2138 STANLEY MOTTA JAMAICA 1952?
DAN WILLIAMS AND HIS ORCHESTRA – VOCAL LORD FLY BLU-LU-LUP – JAMAICAN CALYPSO MOT.2139 / 11B MOT2139 STANLEY MOTTA JAMAICA 1952?
TICKLERS, THE (HAROLD RICHARDSON – VOCAL) PARISH GAL 15A MOT 2150 MOT 2150 STANLEY MOTTA JAMAICA 50s
TICKLERS, THE (HAROLD RICHARDSON – VOCAL) HARD HEARTED LOVER 15B MOT 2151 MOT 2151 STANLEY MOTTA JAMAICA 50s
CECIL KNOTT AND HIS JOYBELL ORCHESTRA WHEN YOU COME AMERICA COWHEAD D/SM.20A DSM20A STANLEY MOTTA JAMAICA 1950s
CECIL KNOTT AND HIS JOYBELL ORCHESTRA BELLYLICK BARGIE D/SM.20B DSM20A STANLEY MOTTA JAMAICA 1950s
REYNOLDS CALYPSO CLIPPERS (VOCALS BOYSIE GRANT TENOR BANJO EDDIE BROWN) NOISY SPRING MRS 23 F.23A DMRS23A STANLEY MOTTA JAMAICA 50s
REYNOLDS CALYPSO CLIPPERS (VOCALS BOYSIE GRANT TENOR BANJO EDDIE BROWN) HARD HEARTED LOVER MRS 23 F.23B DMRS23B STANLEY MOTTA JAMAICA 50s
JOSEPH CLEMENDORE WITH GEORGE MOXEY AND HIS CALYPSO QUINTET MY BROTHER CALAMITY SM.109 DSM.27A DSM109 STANLEY MOTTA JAMAICA 50s
JOSEPH CLEMENDORE WITH GANNY GABBISON AND HIS CALYPSO BAND MAINTENANCE SM.110 DSM.27B DSM110 STANLEY MOTTA JAMAICA 50s
COUNT LASHER’S CALYPSO QUINTET – VOCAL BY COUNT LASHER TREK TO ENGLAND SM.146 – DSM. 41 SM-146-1 STANLEY MOTTA JAMAICA 50s
COUNT LASHER’S CALYPSO QUINTET – VOCAL BY COUNT LASHER WATER THE GARDEN SM.145 – DSM. 41 SM-145-1 STANLEY MOTTA JAMAICA 50s
VARIOUS AUTHENTIC JAMAICAN CALYPSOS SERIES 3 motl 103a-1a 1955 1955 Jamaica Stanley Motta
VARIOUS ARTISTES AUTHENTIC JAMAICAN CALYPSOS SERIES 5 MRS MOTL 105 MOTL 105A-1E STANLEY MOTTA 1955 JAMAICA
VARIOUS ARTISTES CALYPSO DATE LOML 503 SMOL 105 1B STANLEY MOTTA JAMAICA 1950s
HAROLD RICHARDSON & CHARLIE BINGER AND HIS QUINTET JAMAICA IS THE PLACE TO GO 45-DSM 53 45-SM-173-1C 1950s 1950s U.K. STANLEY MOTTA
HAROLD RICHARDSON & CHARLIE BINGER AND HIS QUINTET COUNTRY GAL 45-DSM 53 45-SM-174-1C 1950s 1950s U.K. STANLEY MOTTA
BRUTE FORCE STEEL BAND ,THE JUMBIE JAMBOREE smep – 12-1c 1950’s Jamaica. / U.K. Stanley Motta
BRUTE FORCE STEEL BAND ,THE WHEEL AND TURN ME smep – 12-1c 1950’s Jamaica. / U.K. Stanley Motta
COUNT LASHER WATER THE GARDEN smep – 11-1c 1950’s Jamaica. / U.K.. Stanley Motta
COUNT LASHER SEVEN BREADFRUIT SEASON smep – 11-1c 1950’s Jamaica. / U.K. Stanley Motta
LORD RIGBY CARNIVAL JAMAICA NC2000 R&B NCD 2010 A 1964 1964 U.K. C.S. Dodd / Rare Studio One production, with writing credit to C.S. Dodd on the record, pressed up and labelled in the UK by R&B Discs.
LORD RIGBY MUSIC TEACHER NC2000 R&B NCD 2010 B 1964 1964 U.K. C.S. Dodd
FRANK HOLDER CALYPSO TIME WITH FRANK HOLDER NPT 19007 ZZ 1007 A1 1950s 1950s U.K. Nixa Produced / Frank Holder was vocalist with Johnny Dankworth (Jazz Band Leader) at one time and apparently resident in the UK at the time this record was recorded. Also known for his Bongo playing.
YOUNG TIGER (GEORGE BROWNE) Acc CALYPSO SERENADERS I WAS THERE (AT THE CORONATION) PARLOPHONE M.P. 120 CE 14566 DA 2082 PARLOPHONE
LORD BEGINNER (EGBERT MOORE) Acc CALYPSO RHYTHM KINGS QUEEN ELIZABETH CALYPSO PARLOPHONE M.P. 120 CE 14568 DA 2083 PARLOPHONE U.K.
CHAKKA DEMUS \ ROD DENNIS MENTO BAND NOBODYS BUSINESS side A title Jamaica D. Germain 2002
ROD DENNIS MENTO BAND NOBODYS BUSINESS VERSION side b version Jamaica D. Germain 2002
ROD DENNIS MENTO BAND ORIGINAL JAMAICAN MUSIC a mento band U.S.A. D. Germain 2001
PORT O JAM
SUGAR BELLY & THE CANEFIELDS SHAKE UP ADINA P.J. OO1 FCD7890? 1972 1972 JAMAICA C.S. DODD
SUGAR BELLY & THE CANEFIELDS DANNY BOY P.J. OO1 1972 1972 JAMAICA C.S. DODD
VARIOUS ARTISTES, LORD FLEA, HUBER PORTER, LORD LEBBY CALYPSOS FROM JAMAICA 12-503 LP 12 503 A1 LATE 50s LATE 50s U.S.A. VARIOUS? Note – One of the most wonderful covers in Jamaican Lp history. The Lp is exactly the same as the Sounds of the Caribbean Calypsos from Jamaica Lp.
SOUNDS OF THE CARIBBEAN
VARIOUS ARTISTS CALYPSOS FROM JAMAICA slp 734 a 1-14-71 U.S.A. Various producers / Re-release of the Ritmo Lp also titled CALYPSOS FROM JAMAICA.
HILTONAIRES MEET ME IN JAMAICA STUDIO ONE 100 WIRL CS LP 1241 A2/B1 C.S. DODD JAMAICA 1965
JAMAICAN CALYPSONIANS, THE – WITH VOCAL LORD FLEA CALYPSOS FROM JAMAICA NONE JAM 103 / D JAM 104/D JAM101/102/D JAM 105/106 KEN KHOURI (FOR TIMES STORE KINGSTON) JAMAICA 1950s VERY RARE (ONLY THREE KNOWN) ALBUM COLLECTION OF x3no 78RPM LORD FLEA SIDES, details on the three sides in this set appear below. This is one of only three currently known to eist, Jeremy Collingwood and Dan Neely own the other two. SEE BELOW FOR SINGLES THAT MAKE UP THIS SET
……………………. Singles that make up above x3no 78rpm single album set.
JAMAICAN CALYPSONIANS, THE – WITH VOCAL LORD FLEA TIME SO HARD / OLD LADY (JAM 101) UD. 1003 D JAM 101 KEN KHOURI (FOR TIMES STORE KINGSTON) JAMAICA 1950s PART OF THREE 78RPM ALBUM SET
JAMAICAN CALYPSONIANS, THE – WITH VOCAL LORD FLEA SOLAS MARKET / WATER COME FROM ME EYE (JAM 102) UD. 1003 D JAM 102 KEN KHOURI (FOR TIMES STORE KINGSTON) JAMAICA 1950s PART OF THREE 78RPM ALBUM SET
JAMAICAN CALYPSONIANS, THE – WITH VOCAL LORD FLEA WHEEL AND TURN ME (JAM 103) UD. 1002 D JAM 103 KEN KHOURI (FOR TIMES STORE KINGSTON) JAMAICA 1950s PART OF THREE 78RPM ALBUM SET
JAMAICAN CALYPSONIANS, THE – WITH VOCAL LORD FLEA MATTIE RAG / BROWN SKIN GAL (JAM 104) UD. 1002 D JAM 104 KEN KHOURI (FOR TIMES STORE KINGSTON) JAMAICA 1950s PART OF THREE 78RPM ALBUM SET
JAMAICAN CALYPSONIANS, THE – WITH VOCAL LORD FLEA DONKEY CITY (JAM 105) UD. 1003 D JAM 105 KEN KHOURI (FOR TIMES STORE KINGSTON) JAMAICA 1950s PART OF THREE 78RPM ALBUM SET
JAMAICAN CALYPSONIANS, THE – WITH VOCAL LORD FLEA RUN MONGOOSE / LINSTEAD MARKET (JAM 106) UD. 1003 D JAM 106 KEN KHOURI (FOR TIMES STORE KINGSTON) JAMAICA 1950s PART OF THREE 78RPM ALBUM SET
HUBERT PORTER WITH THE JAMAICAN CALYPSONIANS MISS GOOSIE JAM 113 UD 1007 DJAM113-1 KEN KHOURI JAMAICA 1950s
HUBERT PORTER WITH THE JAMAICAN CALYPSONIANS UGLY WOMAN JAM 114 UD 1007 DJAM114-1B KEN KHOURI JAMAICA 1950s
HUBERT PORTER WITH THE JAMAICAN CALYPSONIANS TEN PENNY NAIL JAM.120 UD.1011 JAM 120 KEN KHOURI JAMAICA 1950s
HUBERT PORTER WITH THE JAMAICAN CALYPSONIANS MARY’S LAMB / THE MORE WE ARE TOGETHER JAM.121 UD.1009 JAM 121 KEN KHOURI JAMAICA 1950s
JAMAICAN CALYPSONIANS – VOCALS – LORD FLEA DONKEY CITY (JAM 105) UD. 1003 D JAM 105 KEN KHOURI (FOR TIMES STORE KINGSTON) U.K. ? PRESSED IN UK FOR TIMES STORE KINGSTON JAMAICA – For claity’s sake this is the same side, catalogue and matrix numbers as the single that came in the 3 78rpm set.
JAMAICAN CALYPSONIANS – VOCALS – LORD FLEA RUN MONGOOSE / LINSTEAD MARKET (JAM 106) UD. 1003 D JAM 106 KEN KHOURI (FOR TIMES STORE KINGSTON) U.K. ? PRESSED IN UK FOR TIMES STORE KINGSTON JAMAICA
JAMAICAN CALYPSONIANS, THE VOCAL BY HUBERT PORTER NOT ME JAM 109 UD.1005 DJAM 109-1 TIMES RECORD / KEN KHOURI JAMAICA 50s
JAMAICAN CALYPSONIANS, THE VOCAL BY HUBERT PORTER RUM AND COCONUT WATER JAM 110 UD.1005 DJAM 110-1 TIMES RECORD / KEN KHOURI JAMAICA 50s
JAMAICAN CALYPSONIANS, THE VOCAL BY HUBERT PORTER MISS DAISY AND BROWN SKIN GIRL JAM 111 UD.1006 DJAM 111-1 TIMES RECORD / KEN KHOURI JAMAICA 50s
JAMAICAN CALYPSONIANS, THE VOCAL BY HUBERT PORTER OLD LADY JAM 112 UD.1006 DJAM 112-1 TIMES RECORD / KEN KHOURI JAMAICA 50s
TIMES RECORD HUBERT PORTER WITH THE JAMAICAN CALYPSONIANS JAL 1002 10″ TIMES RECORD LP JAL 1002 JAL 1 1C TIMES STORE – KEN KHOURI? JAMAICA 1950s RARE 10″ LP SOLD AT THE TIMES STORE KINGSTON, COLLECTION OF 78RPM SIDES
JAMAICAN CALYPSONIANS / VOCAL HUBER PORTER CALYPSOS FROM JAMAIACA JAL 1001 C.T.1786 CP1786-IC TIMES STORE / KEN KNOURI JAMAICA 1950s
TICO EL REY DEL MAMBO
JAMAICA BOY (AKA DENZIL LAING?) AND HIS KINGSTON CALYPSO ORCHESTRA MAN IS SMART, WOMAN’S SMARTER 10-391 X 20 A KEN KHOURI U.K. 1950s FROM MATRIX LOOKS LIKE IT WAS ORIGINALLY OFF A KHOURI / FEDERAL STAMPER / Released in South America via this New York label, uncertain if released in USA though the label states it was based there .
JAMAICA BOY (AKA DENZIL LAING?) AND HIS KINGSTON CALYPSO ORCHESTRA MARY ANN, BROWN SKIN GAL 10-391 X 20 B KEN KHOURI U.K. 1950s
COUNT FRANK COUNT FRANK SINGS CALYPSO wirlfm1802 / wirl 1058 1960s Jamaica Lynford Anderson
LORD JELLICOE AND HIS CALYPSO MONARCHS LORD JELLICOE AT THE SHERATON lord a1 1960s Jamaica Clifford Rae
Z.W. (Studio One)
LORD ANTICS AND THE MERRY BOYS CALYPSOES TOO HOT TO HOLD None FOD 7924 A ? ? Jamaica C.S Dodd
Lost and Found, rare Mento 78rpm surfaces.
‘I’ve waited a long time to begin my mento 78rpm collecting, and to find this incredibly rare 78rpm record as only the second 78 I have bought is nothing short of a record collecting miracle. Those who know the ups and downs of collecting will therefore understand that this will stand as one of the greatest days of my collecting ‘career’. With a find like this comes a responsibility too, to preserve this recording for the future, holding Jamaica’s cultural heritage quite literally in my hands.’
I hope to transfer the songs and restore them as best I can and will return here to post a link to a download for those other collectors that have yet to hear this song in reasonable condition, though it does currently appear on Chin’s CD6 available at cdbaby.com.
You can read more about this record here at Mento Music. Mike Garnice’s Website.
MENTO SHELLAC 78rpm CHIN’S CALYPSO SEXTET (VOCALS – A. BEDASSE) ‘NOT GUILTY’ CHIN’S C1012 Producer IVAN CHIN
MENTO SHELLAC 78rpm CHIN’S CALYPSO SEXTET (VOCALS – A. BEDASSE) ‘ GIVE HER LOVE’ CHIN’S C1012 Producer IVAN CHIN
Boogu Yagga Gal – Jamaican Mento (Heritage HT CD 45) – Liner Notes. This cd is no longer in ‘print’ but is readily available if you look for it, particularly online.
Notes – Richard Noblett, supplemented by Daniel Neely, Herbie Millar and Ron Geesin.
Re-printed here by permission of Ron Geesin. Transcribed by Mike Murphy September, 2009
Although Jamaica is usually associated with Reggae, visitors’ first experience of live music will probably be of a Mento band, either at the airport or by their hotel’s pool or bar, or at one of the Government sponsored festivals found throughout the island. Mento is commonly refereed to as Jamaican Calypso but, although containing certain elements of Trinidad’s music, it is a distinct musical form which was the first commercially recorded Jamaican popular music.
Mento is a traditional secular dance style and genre of music typically played by small rural groups of musicians playing fife, banjo, guitar, maracas, a bass lamellophone called a rumba box and less often, violin, piano, clarinet, and PVC pipes as bass.
Its origins are somewhat obscure. Although clearly of African descent, it has obvious European influences. Cultural historians see Mento as deriving from an African-Jamaican adoption and adaptation of the popular European dance, the Quadrille, which arrived in Jamaica via the slave owners. Performed by slave musicians, generally on fiddles and fifes, it gradually spread throughout the Island. After emancipation in 1838, the Quadrille in Jamaica was danced in two ways: the Ballroom and Camp styles. Jamaican high society danced the Ballroom style to the formal choreography but the Camp style could be considered more rural with a looser choreography, broadly seen as incorporating African elements.
The Quadrille consists of five figures gradually accelerating in rhythm but, by 1900, Walter Jekyll reported that the popular dances of Jamaica were ‘the Valse, Polka, Schottische and the Quadrilles in five figures’. This fifth figure, see as the origin of Mento, is also reported by Jekyll as the most popular, or as they would say ‘sweet than most’. Although writer Ivy Baxter says the word Mento was known at least as early as 1800, Jekyll never used the word but most of the examples he gives of the fifth figure are well known Mentos and a part of every band’s repertoire. Thus a distinctly Jamaican element was added to a European form, as a means of self-expression and local social and cultural identity.
TRADITION AND MODERNITY
The use of the Banjo in many of these recordings is significant , bridging the gap between the early North American finger-styles and the later, more rudimentary, jazz plectrum styles. Here, the rhythmically complex single line work with plectrum sometimes reminds one of an extra tuneful W.African ‘Kalengo’ (hourglass/talking drum).
By the time these 1950s recordings were made, Jamaican musicians had incorporated a wide variety of music. Groups that reflected and older performance tradition, characterised by home-made musical instruments and exclusively local repertoire and dance, were no longer the only ones playing Mento.
A coexistent ‘dance band’ style had emerged that incorporated new, foreign repertoire and instruments (like Clarinets, Saxophones, trap drums, and Piano) to supplement the older tradition. These dance bands seemed to have greater aspirations: many of the bands in higher demand traveled throughout the island and later, as they grew in size, throughout the Caribbean.
There were many reasons for this development. In addition to the increased American military presence in the Caribbean in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and the expansion of shipping routes throughout the area, an important reason was the introduction and spread of radio, which quickly became a disseminator of musical taste. Another reason was the increased local availability of imported foreign recordings. Both American Jazz and Trinidadian Calypso were popular in Jamaica, largely because both were recorded, distributed and marketed throughout the British Empire and United States.
Other styles from around the Caribbean were also influential: labour migration between Jamaica and Cuba’s eastern provinces brought son to the island which had a significant impact on Jamaican music as did Rumba, for example; migration to Panama and Nicaragua resulted in the exchange of repertoire and tradition, an influence still to be seen today in these regions.
in addition, by the time these recordings were made, tourism had become a cornerstone of Jamaica’s economy. Following World War II, tourists looked away from Europe for holidays and as the 1950s approached, tourism exploded. Famous people and commerce were attracted to Jamaica and when the Jamaica Tourist Board was established in 1954, it became clear that the government had made a commitment to the tourist industry. Jamaica was marketed as a destination both exotic and familiar.
Local entrepreneurs followed suit. In fact, many of the recordings made in the emergent recording industry weren’t marketed as Mentos at all, especially those produced for tourists. By the 1950s Calypso was a style more familiar to holiday makers. Consequently, recordings were often labeled Jamaican Calypsos, mainly to capitalise on the international popularity of Trinidad’s national music. Most, if not all, of the musicians on this CD made a significant portion of their individual livings working in tourist entertainment.
THE EARLY JAMAICAN RECORDING INDUSTRY
Although recording in Jamaica started later than other Caribbean Islands, its recorded music history starts much earlier, certainly pre-dating the Ska era when it is popularly believed to have commenced. Jamaican repertoire had been recorded in 1918 by the Trinidadian musician Lionel Belasco. A Jamaican artist had probably been recorded as early as 1924 in New York and a group of Caribbean artists, which probably included Jamaicans, had recorded for Victor in 1927. However, the first mention of Mento on records is found on the recordings of the Trinidadian, Sam Manning, who recorded ‘Mentors’ between 1925 and 1933 for various recording companies in the U.S. Therefore, by the time Mento came to be recorded in Jamaica in the early 1950’s it had a long history and, indeed, was about to be superceded by a new form of Jamaican popular music.
The beginning of the Jamaican recording industry resulted from the pioneering efforts of entrepreneurs Ken Khouri, Stanley Motta, and Stanley Chin, all of whom were associated with local stores. It was Stanley Motta, founder of a chain of electrical appliance stores on the Island, who started recording local artists in Jamaica. Born October 5, 1915, Motta began his working life as an apprentice at his uncle’s garage. At the age of 16 he opened his first radio-parts shop at 10C East Street, Kingston. Three years later, in 1934, he became a pioneer in his field by introducing the popular Sylvania lighting systems to the island, and subsequently established a successful electrical appliance shop at 109 Harbour Street. Motta’s first recordings featured Lord Fly (Bertie Lyons) and it is believed that this is the first Jamaican recording although the guitarist Ernest Ranglin claims to have recorded Hawaiian guitar music on wax cylinders for another entrepreneur before the Motta 78s. Motta’s first recordings were probably made straight to disc. Since no processing facilities were then available in Jamaica, all acetates or soft waxes were sent to the UK where the recordings were mastered and pressed. The finished shellac 78s were then sent back to the island.
For later sessions Motta probably switched to tape recording as a first stage and used connections made through the Jamaican Jazz musician Bertie King, resident in London since 1935, to get his records manufactured. When King returned to Jamaica in late 1951 to lead a band at the Hotel Casablanca in Montego Bay, he recorded the Ticklers in Motta’s small Hanover Street studio. The recordings were then sent to London to be processed and pressed by UK major Decca, through the auspices of Emil Shalit’s London based Melodisc company, which had previously issued Jamaican music recorded in London. Released in Jamaica in summer 1952, the Tickler’s record ‘Healing In The Balm Yard’ became one of the first really big Jamaican hits and the MRS (Motta’s Recording Studio) label went on to become the major recorder of Mento. Motta devoted considerable time and effort to the marketing of Mento abroad and for the tourist trade, producing records for local hotels as well as for his own label.
Motta’s great rival in recording Mento was Ken Khouri but although he was not as dedicated to Mento as Motta and only issued a few sides, his long career with Federal Records means he has a far greater significance to the rise of the later generation of Jamaican recording artists. Khouri had become involved in recording almost by accident when he bought a disc recorder around 1949. He used this home-based system to record people’s voices for 30 shillings and soon found the demand for music so great he started that as well. He moved out of his home to a club at Red Gal Ring in St. Andrew and made an agreement with Decca in London to make records from the discs. He recalls that, ‘The first song I did was Lord Flea’s ‘Naughty Little Flea’. I contacted Alec Durie of Times Store to help me distribute records and we started Times Record Label. Durie advertised the records in the Saturday newspapers. This first attempt was a real gamble. But when I got to King Street the Saturday, I saw a line two blocks long.. We sold out in less than two weeks. I ordered 5,000 more records and we sold them for between four and five shillings.’
Khouri’s memory is faulty here unless he is referring to an earlier recording not issued on Times. The first record on the label is credited to the jamaican Calypsonians with Lord Flea (Norman Thomas) on vocal ‘Time So Hard Old Lady’ / ‘Solas Market Water Come From Me Eye’ which was recorded early in 1954. this success encouraged Khouri to start manufacturing records himself. He contacted a factory in California which sold him two presses and sent an expert to teach him about the record business. In late 1954 he started Records Ltd. at 129 King Street. By November of that year he had available the first locally pressed records on the Island. These were not local recordings but records manufactured under franchise from Mercury Records in the US. He then acquired a mono recording machine and, with Grahame Goodal’s help, converted a ‘maids quarter’s’ into Jamaica’s first recording studio. The small wooden building with a zinc roof was right beside the pressing plant. Recordings were mainly done at night. In 1957 Records Limited moved to 220 Marcus Garvey Drive and became Federal Records Manufacturing Co. Ltd. Khouri probably had the proposed but ill fated Federation of the West indies in mind and saw wider Caribbean possibilities. Soon he purchased some old Ampex equipment which had a new feature of reverberation. It was still monaural format and everything had to be done in one take. If a singer was recording and an instrumental solo was needed, the singer had to get out the way quickly and smoothly to allow for the solo.
With the exception of Count Lasher’s all the recordings on this cd were originally recorded and pressed by Records Ltd., the majority for the third pioneer in this era, Stanley Ivan Chin. Owner of Chin’s Services, he is less well known, and issued his recordings on the Chin’s label which were probably mastered in England and pressed in Jamaica. Many of these records were also issued on a Melodisc subsidiary called Kalypso where they appear to have been pressed by Levy’s a pressing plant associated with the English Oriole label. The English Kalypso label is not to be confused with the Khouri label, Kalypso which issued recordings of Count Owen in Jamaica. Kalypso is a label name with a complex history, the details of which are still being worked out.
The Jamaican recording industry changed for good when Dada Tawari (spelt a number of different ways) opened Caribbean Recording Company (CRC) around 1957 as this operation had mastering facilities. The price of producing a record fell and the whole process became local. The stage was set for the massive explosion in Jamaican music which characterised the following decades. Mento continued to be recorded and CRC issued many on it’s Caribou label, most notably by Count Lasher (featured on this cd) and, of course, the great Laurel Aitken whose career encompasses the history of Jamaican music.
If the early history of Jamaican recordings is a tortuous story most of the artists who recorded at this time are shrouded in mystery.
Along with Lord Flea and Lord Fly, Count Lasher is one of the best known artists with a long recording career that started with MRS and stretched into the early Ska period. Suprisingly little is known about him but it is suspected that his real name is Terence Perkins. Nothing yet is known about the accompaniment leader Charlie Binger.
Lord Lebby is known for his cover of Louis Jordan’s ‘Caladonia’, a seminal Jamaican R&B recording released in the UK.
Chin’s Calypso Sextet gives the appearance of being the most rural of the groups. The vocalist is variously credited as A. or E. Bedasse about whom nothing is known*. It’s almost certainly true that there is only one vocalist , possibly using a pseudonym. He is identified as ‘Alert’ Bedasse in ‘Calypso Pepperpot’. Significantly, the composer credits on all Bedasse recordings here are E. or E.F. Williams. He is also credited on the Ticklers MRS recordings, reputed to the the first Jamaican hit records, and on other MRS recordings. This is almost certainly Everart Williams who was recorded by the BBC in November 1953 singing ‘Greetings to the Queen’ during her tour. His compositions whilst not conforming to current notions of political correctness, are sophisticated and show a degree of self-conciousness artistry. these are not simple dirty songs but contain complex imagery reflecting the concerns of a society in transition.
* Much more, since the original release of this Cd and accompanying notes, is now known about Alerth Bedasse.
These cd notes were transcribed October 6, 2009 by Mike Murphy – Thanks to Ron Geesin.