Jamaican & Caribbean + Mento 78rpm, 45rpm and 33rpm Recordings


Mento Discography.

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.

Listed Thus:

LABEL / ARTIST / TITLE / CATALOGUE NUMBER / MATRIX NUMBER / PRODUCER / COUNTRY OF ORIGIN / RELEASE DATE / NOTES

DISCOGRAPHY

ART RECORDS (Miami)

78rpm

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.    ?

12″ Lps

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

CARIBOU

78rpm

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

7″ Single

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.

CHIN’S

78rpm

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

DECCA (U.S.A.)

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)

7″ Singles

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.

ESQUIRE

78rpm

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.

FEDERAL

7″ Singles

LORD LARO    TRIBUTE TO N. W. MANLEY    FEDERAL (BLANK)    NONE    FRM 7192    RICHARD KHOURI
LORD LARO    INTEGRATION    FEDERAL (BLANK)    NONE    FRM 7193    RICHARD KHOURI

FIESTA

12″ Lps

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

7″ Singles

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.

12″ Lps

GOOMBAY TROUBADORS feat VINCENT MARTIN, PEANUTS TAYLOR, GOOMBAY DRUMS    BAHAMA LULLABY    XTV 25855    XTV 25855 – 1A    1957    1957    BAHAMAS    ISLAND ARTISTS LTD.

JUMP UP

7″ Singles

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

KALYPSO (Jamaica)

78rpm

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

7″ Single

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?

12″ Lps

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’!

KALYPSO (UK)

7″ Single

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

78rpm

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.    ?

10″ Lps

VARIOUS    AUTHENTIC JAMAICAN CALYPSOS        mscl6651a/2b    1954    U.K.    Stanley Motta

LYRAGON

78rpm

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.

MARACAS RECORDINGS

78rpm

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

MELODISC

78rpm

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

MERCURY (JAMAICA)

78rpm

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?

MONOGRAM

12″ Lps

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

12″ Lps

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)

78rpm

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

10″ Lps

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

12″ Lps

VARIOUS ARTISTES    CALYPSO DATE    LOML 503    SMOL 105 1B    STANLEY MOTTA    JAMAICA    1950s

7″ Singles

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

7″ E.P.

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

NATIONAL CALYPSO

7″ Singles

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

NIXA

10″ Lps

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.

PARLOPHONE

78 rpm

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.

PENTHOUSE

7″ Singles

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

12″ Lps

ROD DENNIS MENTO BAND    ORIGINAL JAMAICAN MUSIC        a mento band        U.S.A.    D. Germain 2001

PORT O JAM

7″ Singles

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

RITMO

12″ Lps

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

12″ Lps

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.

STUDIO ONE  

12″ Lps

HILTONAIRES    MEET ME IN JAMAICA    STUDIO ONE 100    WIRL CS LP 1241 A2/B1    C.S. DODD    JAMAICA    1965

TIMES RECORD

78rpm

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

10″ Lps

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

78rpm

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

WIRL

12″ Lps

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)

12″ Lps

LORD ANTICS AND THE MERRY BOYS    CALYPSOES TOO HOT TO HOLD    None    FOD 7924 A    ?    ?    Jamaica    C.S Dodd

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Ivan Chin’s Mento – Not Guilty / Give Her Love


Lost and Found, rare Mento 78rpm surfaces.

Once thought to be completely lost this rare 78rpm was discovered for the first time in 2006 and now possibly only the second copy known has been found in June of 2010.

‘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.

Details~

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


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


INTRODUCTION

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

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.

THE ARTISTS

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.