Archive for December, 2017

Dandy Livingstone

Posted in Dandy Livingstone with tags on December 31, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


Dandy Livingstone (born Robert Livingstone Thompson, 14 December 1943, Kingston, Jamaica) is a British-Jamaican reggae musician and producer, best known for his 1972 hit, ‘Suzanne Beware of the Devil’, and for his song, ‘Rudy, A Message to You‘, which was later a hit for The Specials. ‘Suzanne Beware of the Devil’, reached number 14 on the UK Singles Chart. At the age of 15, Livingstone moved to the United Kingdom. Livingstone’s first record was released without his knowledge: A tenant in the building where he and a friend jammed recorded some of these sessions released some tracks on the Planetone record label. When London-based Carnival Records was seeking a Jamaican vocal duo, Livingstone filled the requirement by double-tracking his own voice, releasing records in this fashion under the name Sugar & Dandy. …’
Wikipedia
Trojan Records (Audio)
Discogs
YouTube: Rudy, A Message To You, Suzanne Beware Of The Devil, (People Get Ready) Let’s Do Rocksteady, Put On Your Dancing Shoes, THINK ABOUT THAT, Version Girl (Original 1970), Talking About Sally

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Micky Simpson – See dem a come (1974)

Posted in Errol Thompson, Jack Ruby, Joe Gibbs, Riddims with tags , , , on December 16, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


“If anyone is exemplary of a hard knock life, careerwise I mean, it must be Micky Simpson. Although not much information about this artist can be found, his vocation in music seems to have been a very rocky road. Born and raised in Ocho Rios (I believe) Mickey Simpson was off to a fine start when he recorded a string of singles in the mid seventies, such as the impeccable ‘Peace of Mind’ on Shacks, ‘I and I can’t turn back now‘ on Total Sounds and the one featured here: ‘See dem a come’ on Errol Thompson’s Naa-Na label. The latter appears to be the least known song among reggae fans and Mickey aficionados alike. For what it’s worth, I wasn’t aware of this single either untill someone tipped me. But I’m glad I found it, because it’s simply superb. The riddim is elemental, to say the least, but serves perfectly well the purpose of the song. With its eerie keyboard line and heavy flying cymbal base, it sounds like an army marching into town. An army with no other intention then to spread mayhem and despair upon the land. The matrix number suggests the riddim was recorded before the vocal take, so perhaps it served as an inspiration to Mickey, who follows suit with dark, but uplifting and hopeful lyrics. Indeed, a classic roots reggae approach, but a fine one at that. The producer’s credit on ‘See dem a come’ goes to both Joe Gibbs and Errol Thomspon. That’s quite interesting as Errol T was still involved with Randy’s in 1974, if I’m not mistaking. Perhaps Joe Gibbs used the credit to lure Errol away from the Chin premises? Whatever the case, this is certainly an early example of the duo credit the partners-to-be would incorporate on their future releases. I’m not sure what happened for Mickey Simpson in between 1974 and 1980, but by the turn of the decade he had moved on to record for Jack Ruby and made an appearance in the legendary 1981 documentary ‘Deep Roots’ in which he can be seen singing ‘Don’t Cry‘ (his biggest hit) and ‘Move the barrier.’ In another great movie from around this time, Mickey is performing ‘Good Loving‘ live in Ocho Rios on Jack Ruby’s HiFi. Although scoring (minor) hits again, I have no idea what the singer was up to after the mid 80’s until he resurfaced and teamed up with Barry O’ Hare and the Flynn brothers’ Chain Gang Music label in the early nineties. It had been 19 years in the making, but in 1993 Mickey Simpson finally released his debut album and things seemed to go forward for the singer. He recorded for a fair deal of producers and had tunes out on Roof Int, Star Track and Penthouse, for whom he recorded his biggest hit of the era. Unfortunately it was also to be his last. Penthouse recorded a great cut of the Far East riddim, which Buju Banton sang into the charts with his ‘Murderer’, the track he wrote to commemorate his friend Pan Head who was killed earlier that year. Mickey Simpson also scored big on the riddim, but when his ‘Save a little bit‘ came out, the label read; ‘Mickey was murdered on december 6, 1993. May his soul rest in peace.’ I have nothing to add to that.”
Pressure Beat (Audio)
YouTube: See dem a come

Keith Rowe – Stop that train / Groovy situation / Living My Life (1967-77-78)

Posted in Big Youth, Dancehall, Dub, Lee "Scratch" Perry with tags , , , on December 16, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


Keith & Tex are the Jamaican rocksteady duo of Keith Rowe and Phillip Texas Dixon, best known for their 1967 hit ‘Stop That Train‘. Keith Rowe (Born Keith Barrington Rowe) grew up in the Washington Gardens area of Saint Andrew Parish, across the road from Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry’s home and future studio, on the outskirts of Kingston. Phillip Texas Dixon grew up in the Pembroke Hall area and they were introduced by a mutual friend. Starting out as a five man group singing on the corner, they were encouraged to try to get recorded. They soon began auditioning for local producers but were rejected by Prince Buster, Coxsone Dodd and Duke Reid, the group having lost confidence broke up leaving two. Keith and Tex were left and auditioned for Derrick Harriott where they eventually found success. …  Rowe joined the US Army in 1972, staying in for twenty years, but also found time for music, recording as a solo artist, working with producer Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, releasing tracks such as ‘Groovy Situation’ and ‘Living My Life’, and recording further singles in the US, including a few on his own KEBAR label. …”
Wikipedia
KEITH ROWE: LIVING HIS LIFE
YouTube: Stop that train – Keith, Tex & Friends, Groovy situation, Living My Life