Archive for the Jack Ruby Category

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

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Jack Ruby – Hi-Fi (1981)

Posted in Dub, Jack Ruby with tags , on February 24, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage

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“What we have here is a full showcase-style dyed in the wool stormer. Ruby is the infamous producer linked to the Ocho Rios – Sound of Saint Anns, best known perhaps for his production associations with Burning Spear around the start of their Island career, Justin Hinds of the Dominoes, as well as numerous high calibre artists, think The Gaylads, Big Youth, King Tubby, Errol Thompson and some of the artists featured here, Ken Booth, Black Disciples and his long term studio associates. ‘Hi-Fi’ is an album originally appearing on Brooklyn’s little known but genre-breaking Clappers label, ‘a weapon without compromise’ as their chairman once put it, a label which ushered the transition of reggae into early New York dancehall and beyond, spawning early crossover hip-hop classics from the likes of Brother D and Silver Fox. Here Ruby focusses on four vocals segued into four full length dubs: Ken Booth’s voice has to be one of the most divine instruments in all music if not reggae, ‘Peace Time’ rides a delicious guitar line – Booth is in fine fettle on a lyric for universal peace , and the whomping ‘Khomeini skank’ version establishes this somewhere at the turn of the seventies. Lennox Miller’s take on Delroy Wilson’s alltime big one ‘Better Must Come’ is a belter – lively drummatical version and a wicked Jah Coller deejay version, 12 minutes plus of sublime reggae. Usual high quality Auraluxx job, mastered from vinyl, but this has resulted in the fantastic warmth and intimacy of these timeless recordings.”
Midnight Raver (Video)
Discogs
YouTube: Ken Boothe – Peace Time, The Iranian Students – Khomeni Skank, Earth Last Messengers – Hypocrites, The Black Disciples – Brezinsky Dub, Lenox Miller – Better Must Come, Jah Coller – Jah Coller Speaks His Mind, The Revealers – Jail House Free, Crucial All Stars – Rikers Island Dub

Burning Spear – Man in the Hills (1976)

Posted in Burning Spear, Jack Ruby with tags , on December 17, 2016 by 1960s: Days of Rage

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“Coming after the highly acclaimed Marcus Garvey (1975), Burning Spear’s fourth album, Man in the Hills (1976), had a lot to live up to. It is generally conceded that they did not craft an equally impressive follow-up, but Man in the Hills has its charms nevertheless. Lead singer and main songwriter Winston Rodney turns back to reflections on his rural Jamaican childhood for many of the lyrics, which gives the album a gentler, more nostalgic message than the political, exhortative Marcus Garvey. Rodney’s tenor is well suited to the sentiments, and the all-star band assembled to back him is supportive and, especially in the horn charts, complementary to the lead voice. The demands of recording schedules may have caused Burning Spear to recast earlier songs, but that contributes to the album’s theme of looking back. …”
allmusic

Man in the Hills is a reggae album by Jamaican musician Burning Spear (Winston Rodney), released in 1976 (see 1976 in music) on Island Records. Man in the Hills was follow-up to the seminal Marcus Garvey; Man in the Hills is usually considered a worthy follow-up, though less innovative and incendiary. produced by Jack Ruby, Man in the Hills is a simple and unadorned album, with songs that reminisce about Spear’s childhood in St. Anne’s Bay, Jamaica. ‘Door Peep’ was originally recorded in 1969 at Studio One after Spear ran into Bob Marley (also from St. Anne’s Bay); Spear later quotes Marley ‘And Bob was going to his farm. The man was moving with a donkey and some buckets and a fork, and cutlass and plants. We just reason man-to-man and I-man say wherein I would like to get involved in the music business. And Bob say, All right, just check Studio One.’ The single was released but fared poorly on the Jamaican charts. After Marcus Garvey, Spear’s fame had grown considerably, and he was a star in Jamaica and cult sensation in the United Kingdom. Man in the Hills was a much quieter and more restrained album than its predecessor, and was more astoral and dreamlike than militant and radical (though songs like ‘Is It Good’ and ‘No More War’ continue to address social issues). ‘Man in the Hills’, the titular album opener evokes the superiority of rural living over urban. In Jamaican history, the roots of radical protest, a national identity and the Rastafari movement, grew from communities formed by escaped slaves in the hills and (after emancipation in 1838) the so-called ‘Free Villages’.”
Wikipedia

YouTube: Man In The Hills
1 – Man In The Hills 2 – It’s Good 3 – No More War 4 – Black Soul 5 – Lion 6 – People Get Ready 7 – Children 8 – Mother 9 – Door Peep 10 – Groovy

Delroy Wilson – What Is Many (1976)

Posted in Coxsone Dodd, Delroy Wilson, Jack Ruby with tags , , on February 3, 2014 by 1960s: Days of Rage

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YouTube: What Is Many