The origins of the DJ style in Jamaica have their roots firmly in the R&B musical era of America. During the Forties and Fifties, most Jamaicans would listen to the radio stations of Miami and New Orleans. In fact, any radio station that could be picked up from South and Central America or other Caribbean countries.
The output of these stations exposed Jamaica to a wide range of music. Jamaicans, though, mostly preferred to listen to the black R&B sound of America, and it's here that they first heard Disc Jockeys talking over the records, DJ's like James ›Okie Dokie‹ Smith, Jack The Cat, Doctor Daddy-O, Clarence ›Poppa Stoppa‹ Hayman, Gene Nobles, Professor Bop and Satellite Papa.
These DJ's used slang and jive talk to introduce the records and for advertising. It worked very well. When sound systen owners like Coxsone, Duke Reid and Prince Buster finally started to play out, they simply transferred the style onto the sound system, in the same way that R&B itself was transformed into Ska. Coxsone, by all accounts was the first owner to encourage the practice, but that statement, like nearly anything else connected to Reggae music, is always open to argument.
This brings us to the purpose of this file. It is not a history of DJ's, the amount of information needed for something like that is not at the moment available. Its purpose is to act as a guide to all the major DJ's over the last 30 or so years.
It will for the first time list out all the more important DJ's into some rough chronological order. Information will then be provided on what Sound System and producers the DJ worked with, and some of there better albums. Most of the early DJ's never had more than a few records released, with these DJ's, singles and Various Artists albums will be listed. Themes like Slackness, Guns and Drugs will also be shown to be nothing new. The DJ's in reggae music have always been topical, whatever concerns the man or woman in the street or anywhere else, concerns them.
Winston ›Count‹ Matchuki, Started off with Coxsone's sound system in the late Fifties. Recorded for Coxsone and Joe Gibbs, ›Franco Nero‹, recorded for Gibbs, being one of his best tunes. Another is ›More Scorcha‹ for Coxsone.
Sir Lord Comic
Well known for ›Ska-ing West‹ issued in the UK on Doctor Bird in 1967, and the ›Great Wuga Wuga‹ also on same label. [available on ›The Trojan Story‹ box set]. Both records were cut for WIRL. ›Jack Of My Trade‹ for Joe Gibbs is another great favourite.
Like Matchuki, started off with Coxsone, He then cut a few tunes for the producer in the late '60s. Although success came his way with Clancy Eccles, where he had big hits like ›Fire Corner‹ & ›Herbsman‹ [Tighten Up Box Set - Trojan]
Lynford Anderson, to some is not even a DJ at all. Yet his two big hits in the late '60s the self produced ›Pop A Top‹ and the Byron Lee produced ›The Law‹ [Club Reggae - Trojan] brought together the DJ style with something that was to be named - dub.
Dave & Ansell Collins
Dave Barker's James Brown imitations over Winston Riley produced rhythms, created two big hits ›Double Barrel‹ and ›Monkey Spanner‹ [Reggae Chartbusters Vol 3 - Trojan] they sounded great in 69/70. Now called ›Rap‹.
Ewart Beckford, made his name with King Tubby's HomeTown HiFi in the late sixties. Records with Lee Perry, Keith Hudson & Coxsone, were all good. Yet it was only when he joined up with Duke Reid, that all the hits came, contained on his ›Version Galore‹ LP.
Dennis Smith, Came to fame on his own El Paso sound system in the late '60s. Cut his first record for Keith Hudson, then went on to great success with Studio One and Treasure Isle. With the Studio One label releasing the very popular ›Forever Version‹ LP.
Roy Reid, While working on his own sound Son's Junior. He was discovered by Harry Mudie in Spanish Town. With Harry Mudie he had a big hit ›Drifter‹ released in 1971. While Gussie Clarke produced his classic ›Presenting‹ LP [Trojan] in 1973.
Linval Carty, Entered the business working with a sound called ›Whip‹. Coxsone Dodd was the first to record him, having a number of hits now on his LP ›Jazzbo‹ [Studio One]. Jazzbo also cut a great album for Lee Perry ›Ital Corner‹ [Clocktower].
Dave Scott, A singer (with the Federals ) began DJaying as a joke, one that impressed producer Derrick Harriott so much that he recorded him. Big hits were ›Draw Your Brakes‹ and ›Sesame Street‹. These are included on his LP ›Unbelievable Sounds‹ [Trojan]
Shortie The President
Perry Williams, Came forward in the early '70s working with producer Rupie Edwards. With Rupie, Shortie, had a run of hits that included ›President Mash Up The Resident‹ and ›Sharper Than A Razor‹. Both on his ›Presenting‹ LP for [Cactus].
Worked mainly with Prince Tony, with whom he had a massive hit ›Buttercup‹ in 1972, which was eventually released by Phillip. Other big hits for Prince Tony came with ›Quick & Slick‹ and ›My Little Filly‹. He also worked with the Tafari label.
Manley Buchanan, First heard on Tippertone HiFi, made his first record for African Museum, followed by a number of classics for various producers. His debut album 'Screaming Target‹ produced by Gussie Clarke and released in 1973 on Trojan.
Lester Bullocks, started out with 'Lee Perry who issued a couple of his records in the 'The Upsetters‹
Wade Brammer, Came into the business after working for Veejay Dub Master. Recorded initially for Channel One, where he was very successful. A massive hit for Joe Gibbs ›Three Piece Suit‹ [Joe Gibbs] was followed by an equally popular LP of the same name.
Robert Brammer, brother of Trinity, worked live on Ray Symbolic, Virgo, Gemini & Stereograph amongst others. Had big hits with Channel One like ›Death In The Arena‹ which turned into an album of the same name released by Cha Cha in 1978.
Started out with the sound system Socialist Roots in the mid seventies. By 1978 he working with Channel One studios with whom he had a big hit - ›Rub A Dub Style‹. Front Line signed him up releasing the Channel One album of the same title.
Joe Spaulding, A popular DJ around the late '70s. Worked for Harry Mudie and then Bunny Lee with whom he recorded the LP ›Keep Rocking And Swinging‹ [Live And Love]. Also released in 1977 was the popular ›Dignity And Principle‹ [Horse].
Made some great music for Bunny Lee, including his biggest hit ›No Dread Can't Dead‹ [Third World]. Which was the title track of just one of four albums that he did for the producer around the mid '70s. Now with Youth Promotion as selector.
Worked for Tantone and Virgo in the mid seventies. Did most of his best known work for Derrick Harriott, with whom he recorded his debut album ›Rasta Revival‹ released in Jamaica in 1978 on Move & Groove. ›Good Couple‹ a 7" on that label being a popular tune
Errol Archer, Came up on sound systems like King Teddy in the early seventies before working with sets like Gemini, Virgo and Studio 54. He had a big hit in 1979 with ›Roach In The Corner‹ produced by Ansell Collins. Also on the album of the same name.
Berris Simpson, deejayed for Veejay Dub Master in the early seventies. Made great records for Glen Brown and Joe Gibbs around the same time. By the late seventies he was on the Front Line label who released his ›Bible‹ LP, produced by Blacka Morwell.
Anthony Waldron, Worked for Virgo sound system, recorded his debut album ›On The Other Side Of Dub‹ for Coxsone in the mid '70s. He had a big hit for GG's ›Barnabus Collins‹ in 1979, before returning to Coxsone to cut the classic ›Badder Dan Dem‹ LP in '81.
Worked successfully with a number of producers in the late '70s early '80s. His best music though came from producer Glen Brown, with whom he had the hit ›Lamb's Bread‹ in 1979. In 1990 this tune was included on the LP ›Ghettoman Corner‹ [Pantomine] UK.
Huford Brown, First heard on sounds like Silver Bullets, Socialist Roots and Jack Ruby. Recording initially for Winston Edwards. He had a hit with the self produced ›Weather Balloon‹ which is on the LP ›You Can't Keep A Good Man Down‹ [Front Line].
Michael Campbell, Worked a set called Safari, before moving into radio with JBC in the late '70s. Here he started a show called Dread At The Controls. Mikey took DJaying back to its roots. His 1980 LP ›African Anthem‹ [DATC] showcasing this well.
George Nooks, A good singer as well as a DJ. Prince Mohammed is best known for his work with Joe Gibbs. Who worked him very well into the late '70s 12"s with singers like Dennis Brown and Culture. Also producing his ›Inna Him Head‹ [Joe Gibbs] LP.
Errol Robinson, Didn't invent slackness, (blame that on Adam & Eve) but certainly made it a lot more popular by deejaying it on Stereophonic. And on LP's like ›12" Of Pleasure‹ [Greensleeves] produced by Junjo and released in 1980. Killed in 1980.
Winston Brown, became famous for his work on Ray Symbolic in the seventies. His debut album ›Kunta Kinte Roots‹ [Burning Sounds] being self produced. His biggest hit came in '81 with another self produced tune ›Fattie Boom Boom‹ [Greensleeves].
Papa Michigan & General Smilie
Anthony Fairclough & Errol Bennett, together worked at least three sounds Third World, Echo Vibration & Black Harmony, before finding success first at Studio One, recording the ›Rub A Dub Style‹ LP, then with Channel One & Junjo.
Ranking Joe/Little Joe
Joe Jackson, started out with El Paso sound system. Became very popular on U.Roy's Stereograph sound. In 1980 he had two big hits with ›Druken Master‹ and ›Leave Fi Mi Gal Arleen‹ for Joe Gibbs, with whom he also cut the ›Natty Superstar‹ LP.
Nkrumah Thomas, a popular DJ in the late '70s with albums like ›Dance Pon De Corner‹ released on his own Midnight Rock label, as well as ›Stop Yu Loafin‹ released on Greensleeves. One of his biggest hits was ›Shoulder Move‹ [Revue] released in 1984
Initally working with sound systems like Channel One, Echo Vibration and Virgo, it wasn't until he joined the highly popular Gemini sound that success came his way. On record he cut two slack LPs, although his own favourite LP is ›Rides West‹ for Junjo.
Winston Foster, Won the Tastee Talent Contest in 1979, then worked with Aces Disco. By 1980/81 he had at least 10 albums released with various producers. His best work can be heard on the Junjo produced ›Mister Yellowman‹ LP [Greensleeves].
Made his first record for Joe Gibbs ›Can't Take Me Landlord‹ went on to record the very popular ›Late Night Movie‹ [Joe Gibbs] for the producer. More success came with Channel One for whom he cut the ›Willie Red‹ LP in '82. Killed in 1988
Dennis James, Worked with Metromedia in the early '80s. His first hit ›This Is Massive‹ came on the UFO label, produced by Valerie Chang-Cowan. Who also produced the ›Strictly Bubbling‹ LP. He then cut the LP ›It's Massive‹ [Upfront] for the Wailing Souls.
First heard on Youth Promotion sound in the early '80s. In 1983 he recorded his one and only LP to date ›Boogie Down‹ [Vista Sounds] for producer Bunny Lee. Joined Jammys sound around the mid eighties. Where he can be heard mainly on V/A albums
Clint Eastwood & General Saint
Really showed that the success of the DJ duo Michigan & Smiley could be built on. One of there first tunes ›Another One Bite The Dust‹ was a massive hit in the UK, followed by the LP ›Two Bad DJ‹ [Greensleeves] both produced by Junjo.
Began deejaying with sounds like Socialist Roots and Romantic. His first record was for Don Mais's ›Roots Tradition‹ label. Working with Junjo in the early '80s he recorded the very successful LP ›How The West Was Won‹ [Greensleeves] in 1981.
Richard Bennett, Joined U.Roy's Stur-Gav in 1978. He started recording in '81 with Roy Cousins. Recording the LP ›Presenting Charlie Chaplin‹ [Trojan]. His main success came in 1984 with the LP ›Que Dem‹ [Powerhouse] for George Phang.
Winston Sterling, Came up on sounds like Roots Unlimited and Rebeltone, before joining Charlie on Sturgav. First recorded for Junjo the very popular ›Leggo Me Hand‹ found on his debut album the ›The Outlaw‹ [Greensleeves] issued in 83, produced by Junjo.
Robert Russell, Started out with Emperor Marcus, but heard mainly on the Twelve Tribes sound Jah Love. As influential as U.Roy. He released his debut ›Jamaica Jamaica‹ on RAS in '85, although he is best heard on sound system tapes.
Worked on Roots Unlimited with Josey Wales, before moving on to Gemini, before making a name for himself with Junjo's sound ›Volcano‹. A gruff voiced DJ, he recorded initially for Junjo his debut album ›Buru‹ [CSA] being released in 1983.
Peter Ranking & General Lucky
A little known DJ duo who had a popular tune in ›Vineyard‹ produced by Don Mais and released on Roots Tradition in 1978. A few years later came there debut LP ›Jah Standing Over Me‹ [Silver Camel] A Cornerstone production.
Possibly Prince Pompidou as well. This is the DJ with the "rockstone" voice. Reportedly seen eating concrete for breakfast! Best know musically for his work on King Jammys, and his ›Governor General‹ tune for Chinna Smith's High Times label.
Carl Dywer, first heard on the Sounds Of Silence HiFi. By the late seventies he was recording for Youth Promotion. ›51 Storm‹ with Little John, was an early hit followed by his debut LP ›The Seven Voyages Of‹ [Greensleeves] produced by Junjo.
Popular enough in the early eighties to attract the attention of the Flacko Brothers owners of Negus Roots label. His debut album for them ›At Home‹ [Negus Roots] was followed by work with Bunny Lee. Last heard on King Jammys sound.
Peter Clarke, came up on Metromedia sound system. One of the first DJ's to chat Spanish and then Chinese in a dance hall. Had a big hit with ›Metric Connection‹. His debut LP ›Dedicated To You‹ [CSA] being produced by Clive Jarrett & Beswick Phillips.
Mother Liza & Kojak
Lloyd Perch & Beverley Brown & Jacqueline Boland. The first male/female dj duo. The first duo worked with Joe Gibbs/Errol T in the early eighties. ›Hole In The Bucket‹ being a big hit. Their debut LP ›Chant Down Babylon‹ came out in 1982/83.
Nancy Russell, first woman DJ to have a big impact on the music. Brigadier Jerry›s sister, she started off with Boptone and then Black Star, before joining Stereophonic aged 15. Her debut album ›One Two‹ [Techniques] being released in 1982.
First heard on sound systems like Channel One, Taurus, and Jammys. Had two really big hits with ›Gunman Connection‹ and ›Boneman Connection‹. Before going on to record his debut album ›Gunman Connection‹ [Cha Cha] Produced by the Morwells.
Lee Van Cliff
Devon Perkins, A popular DJ of the early eighties working with all the big sets of the time like Gemini and Virgo. ›Rock It To Me Twice‹ [J&L] produced by Scientist, released in '82 looks like his debut album. He was killed in 1988.
Carol Theresa East, Inspired by the deejaying of Brigadier Jerry she became a DJ herself. Working on Downbeat & Papa Moke. Her best work to date are the great LPs for Jah Life & Percy Chin. ›Black Cinderalla‹ in '84 & ›Jah Disciple‹ [Mango] in 1990.
One of the New York based ›Youth Promotion‹/›Wackies‹ DJ's. Jah Batta was first heard on Sugar Minott's ›Cool Runnings‹ hit. By 1983 he was ready to cut his debut album ›Argument‹. [Wackies]. A great album from a very talented DJ.
He invented the ›Fast Style‹ that for a year or so 84/85, made London DJ's more popular than anyone else, although the success went to other DJ's on the Saxon Studio set. Great records like ›Me Neat Me Sweet‹ [Fashion] show he was just as talented.
Phillip Williams, His debut ›Mi God Mi King‹ (›Great British MC's‹)[Fashion] really showed what the ›Fast Style‹ was all about. Another Saxon Studio DJ, he was the first UK-DJ, (or MC) to top the charts in Jamaica.
David Emmanuel, Yet another DJ from Saxon Studio. What Smiley brought to the fast style was a wicked sense of humour that took in all the way into the national pop charts with ›Police Officer‹ [Fashion] in 1984.
Worked on Saxon Studio and Sir Coxsone Outernational. Out of all the UK DJ's/Mc's from this time, Asher was the more conventional. He had a big hit wih ›Abbreviation Qualification‹ [Fashion], which is on his ›JA to UK MC Clash‹ LP with Johnny Ringo.
Anthony Henry, Perhaps the most enduring UK, DJ/MC. His work for Saxon Studio and King Tubby's (UK) took him to Greensleeves where he had the pop chart hit ›Hello Darling‹. While LP's like ›Ah Me Dis‹ [GT's] showed even more of his talent.
Worked on Soul Imperial with Supercat before they both moved over to King Majesty. Recorded popular albums with Jah Thomas - ›Four Wheel No Real‹ [Midnight Rock] and ›Ghost Busters‹ for the Black Solidarity label. Also a big hit on single.
Michael Johnson, Started deejaying for Soul Expert in the early '70s before joining Black Scorpio in the mid '70s. In 1978 he cut ›Greenbay Massacre‹ for Lee Perry. More success came in '85 with ›Pocomania Jump‹ 7" & LP for Black Scorpio.
Amos Edwards, First heard on Black Scorpio, had big hits with ›Monkey And Ape‹ and ›Ghost Rider‹. Quickly followed by a series of great albums all cut for Black Scorpio including, ›Ghost Rider‹, ›Heart Mind & Soul‹ & ›Everything So So‹.
Fidel Hugh Henry, aka Colour Vibes. Worked on sounds like Cosmic Force, Ghetto International and other country sounds before joining Volcano. Although success really came with Youth Promotion. His debut LP ›Kick Up Rumpus‹ was recorded for the Creation label.
Started with Emperor Faith in the mid '70s. Mikey has always been a popular performer but has seldom recorded. Although he's worked with Joe Gibbs, Junjo (on the ›Whole New Generation Of DJs LP‹ ) and for Channel One. He also wrote ›Nice Up The Dance‹.
William Maragh, With Early B, he worked on Soul Imperial & King Majesty. Became very popular on Stur Mars, then cut his first record for Winston Riley ›Mr Walker‹. ›Sweets For My Sweet‹ [Wild Apache] in '89 was a big hit for him. Now signed to CBS.
Tony Thompson, Heard on sound's like GT's, and more recently Creation. He's recorded a couple of LP's for Black Solidarity ›Animal Party‹ and ›Lyric Shop‹ and one for Black Scorpio ›Style & Fashion‹. The self produced ›Strange‹ [Survival] hit big in '91.
Canadian based, was heard on Upsetter in Toronto before going to Jamaica where he was heard on Black Star and GT's. A true originator, Tiger has based a lot of his style on Screecha's ›Twang‹ style. King Jammy holds an album on him.
Norman Jackson, Started as a singer. Then he joined the Black Star sound in 1985. His wild style turned him into a top DJ and his debut LP ›A Me Name Tiger‹ was released by Island. Since then he's made a lot more! Changing his style with ›When‹ in '91.
C.Coule, another member of the Black Star team, and in turn part of the famous ›Briggy University‹. His Witty Henry produced ›New York Life‹ was a big hit for Island in 1988. Witty released his debut album ›Love Unho Bad‹ [Blue Trac] in 1989.
Joseph Cotton/Jah Walton
Silbert Walton, DJayed with Sound Tracks in the 70s. He Cut the slack ›Touch Her Where She Want It Most‹ in '77. Also the title of his debut LP for Ital. Returned in 1987 as Joseph Cotton and hit big with ›No Touch The Style‹ for Fashion.
Cleveland Laing, Came up on City Lights Disco, then worked for Clifton Henry's Stereo One sound/label. With Jammy he had his first hit ›Wear Your Size‹. His debut LP ›Great Ambition‹ [Superpower] followed. Was then signed by Atlantic.
George Bailey, Worked on Twilight and Metromedia before really breaking through on King Jammys. ›Punaunie‹ was his first big hit followed by others like ›Healthy Body‹ and ›Big Belly Man‹. His debut LP for Jammy ›Born Champion‹ was issued in 1988.
Dominic Kenny, Wrote for Echoes, NME and Small Axe before turning his talent to Deejaying. His brash combination of cockney and yardie slang works a treat. Recorded LP's for George Phang and then Jammys - who's ›Ready For Dominick‹ was issued by Mango.
Tippa Lee & Rapper Robert
R.Wilson & A Campbell, both solo DJ's, when they teamed up to become a duo...Their first success came with Red Man - ›Nuh Trouble We‹ and the great LP of the same name. Their new LP ›Roots Vibration‹ [RAS] being produced by Barry Clarke.
Michelle Harrison Worked on Jack Ruby, Black Scorpio, Gemini and Kilamanjaro before cutting her first LP ›Small Horse Woman‹ for Witty Henry. With whom she had a big with ›Kuff‹ in 1988. Now working with Steelie & Clevie for Island Records.
Anthony Taylor, Worked on Black Scorpio and King Jammys His break came with the clash album with Shabba Ranks ›Rough & Rugged‹ for King Jammys in '89. Then came more success with his debut LP ›Everybody Loves The Chaka‹ [Black Scorpio].
Rexton Gordon, Could be heard on Black Star around 87/88. Recorded his half of the ›Rough & Rugged‹ LP in '88, along with his debut LP for Jammys. But it was Gussie (producing) and Home T & Coco Tea that brought the best out of him. Now signed to CBS.
A.May, Worked a lot with Winston Riley around 87/88 cutting his first album for the producer in the form of a clash LP with Red Dragon, his brother, went on to record a solo LP for Dennis Star ›Count Out‹ released by Greensleeves in the UK.
Leslie May, Another DJ with strong Techniques connections. His debut LP was the clash LP with Flourgon, ›Dragon V Flourgon‹. More recently in 1990 he had an hit with the bizarre self produced ›Ku Cun Cun‹ using a Pocomania rhythm.
Desmond Ballantine, once known as Uglyman. After changing his name to Ninjaman he came up hard and fast. Worked for Lloyd Dennis's Pickout label, where he cut his debut LP ›Big Showdown‹ a clash LP with Johhny P, now due to be signed by Island.
Orville Morgan, Another pace setting DJ, after his debut LP ›Big Showdown‹ with Ninjaman for the Pickout label. He's gone on to cut very successful LP's for Steelie & Clevie ›Frontline‹ and ›P is for Perfect‹ for Papa Biggy [RAS], both issued in 1990.
Had a very big hit with ›Kolo-Ko‹ for Redman which Greensleeves released in 1989. Another big hit for him that year was ›Bun & Cheese‹ with Robert Ffrench for Blue Mountain. The same company released his debut LP ›Follow Me‹ in 1989.
Garfield Dixon, One of the first DJ's to incorporate sound effects into his style. Mackeral's high pitched squeaks were first heard on the Stereo One sound. Very popular with the girls, his debut LP ›Nuh Run Down Man‹ [Crat] is a classic.
Younger brother to Nicodemus, he was first heard on SturMars. Deejays in the same gruff style, his first album ›Welcome‹ was produced by Papa Biggs and released on Vibes in 1990. As yet to hit big, but does have the talent.
Has worked successfully for Gussie Clark, cutting at least a couple of tunes. ›Lonely Am I‹ issued on the ›Ram Dance Hall‹ [Mango] LP, and ›Man Me Love‹ ›Music Works Showcase 90‹ [Greensleeves]. Should be big, a very good singer as well.
Reginald Williams, Had a big hit with ›Drum Pan Sound‹ for Steelie & Clevie in 1990. His debut album produced by Pipper ›Kim-Bo-King‹ quickly followed. Released on King Dragon in France, it showed Reggie had more than enough lyrics.
Peter Thomas, Heard on Kilamanjaro and then Stur Mars, had learned his trade well before cutting some music first with Shocking Vibes and then with the Fashion label with ›The Stopper‹ a big hit, then came the equally successful LP of the same name.
Really came forward on Germain's Penthouse label. In 1991 he had his first big hit for the label with ›Fresh Vegetable‹. ›Hush‹ for Bobby Digital gave him another big hit. His debut LP for Penthouse ›Rebel With A Cause‹ is sure to establish him further.
Clifton Bailey, Although he's probably cut great music with nearly every producer on the island. His biggest single hit to date has come on Charlie Morgan's Outernational label ›Special Guest‹. LP wise, take your pick! Try ›Capleton Gold‹ [Charm].
Errol Brown, Came out of nowhere in 1991 to test the nerve of all DJ's with more music and lyrics faster than you could fire your favourite machine gun. He's worked with most producers, so for starters try the compilation ›Cobra Gold‹ [Charm].
Still up and coming, but he's already had one really big hit with the weird and wonderful ›Burrup‹ produced by Solgie. His debut LP ›Rough Nardo Ranking‹ issued by Profile in the U.S. is a great set, in the same mad style.
Dean Bent. Came to the fore in London deejaying for One Love. Young Sweetie's already had four big hits with his deep gruff style. Three of them are on his excellent debut LP D.J. Of The Future‹ [Mango] produced by Aswad & himself.
Little Meeky & Daddy Meeky
The Meekies have been great favourites in dances for years. And could be heard on sounds like Small Axe and GTs in Jamaica. Although still without a hit, Prince Jazzbo released their great debut LP late last year ›Meeks‹ on Ujama.
Andrew Grant, Last but not least. Mackie Ranks with his handful of releases on Outernational is poised for great things. ›Come Here‹ and ›Prestige Punanney‹ truly show great potential. An original DJ, all he needs is an hit.
100 DeeJays's from the early sixties to the early nineties, such is the depth and, strength of reggae music it could have been 200 or 300 DJ's. And to those DJ's who haven't a entry in this file enough respect. A lack of space and time always prevents anything like this being perfect.
If everything goes to plan another DJ file will be published and so on. The basic idea of this file is to give someone new to the music a rough guide to what's available. For someone who's been listening to the music for years it will hopefully provide them with a certain amount of information that is new to them.
It may interest some to know that this file has been one of the hardest files ever to put together. A tremendous amount of research has gone into it. The reason for this is the nature of the music itself. Most of the time you only have fragments of information to work on. Some artists are well documented, others require the help of many people and publications just to put together a few lines.
With the rapid way in which the music changes, by the time this file comes out a new DJ will probably be on top. This time last year no one had ever heard of Cobra, now the man has at least 6 LP's out!
In the last couple of years there has been a tremendous fusion of styles the result is a mixture of DJ music with Ragga, Hip Hop and Rap. Unlike previous attempts at such fusions this has happened gradually. With producers like Solgie in Jamaica and Gussie P in London at the forefront of it. Major labels like CBS/Sony seeing the potential for this have recently signed Tiger, Cobra and Supercat. With Shabba Ranks already on their books. Providing they do not interfere with the lyrical content, or the production of the music it should have a big impact on reggae music. Only a very few artists have ever got anything out of a music that they contributed to so much. If the major labels can put an end to this injustice it can only be for the good.
Any additonal information on the DJ's listed is most welcome. Of course if you have information on DJ's not listed that is also welcome.
Finally thanks go to the following people who have helped put this file together, Colin Moore, Penny Reel, John Williams, Noel Hawks, John Masouri, Rich Lowe, Lol Bell Brown, Beth & Dave Kingston, Tero Kaski, Charlie Morgan, John Mason, Carl Gayle, Seb Clarke, Dennis Alcapone and Steve Barrow. Credit must also go to the following Publications and Books - Reggae Quarterly, The Reggae Directory, Echoes, Black Music, Jah Music, Reggae Inna Dance Hall Style, Dub Vendors Catalogue, Black Star Catalogue, Greensleeves Catalogue.