Archive for the Ken Khouri Category

Ken Khouri

Posted in Ken Khouri with tags on July 12, 2013 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“Kenneth Lloyd ‘Ken’ Khouri (1917 – 20 September 2003) was a pioneering Jamaican record company owner and one of the first record producers on the island. … When his father required specialist hospital treatment, he flew with him to Miami, Florida, and by chance overheard someone selling a disc recording machine. Khouri bought the machine and discs, and returned with it to Kingston, where in 1949 he set up a voice recording service. Realising the commercial possibilities, he diversified into setting up a music recording business, one of his earliest recordings being Lord Flea’s ‘Naughty Little Flea’. In 1954, he set up the Times record label with Alec Durie, owner of the Times store in Kingston, and began producing records by local musicians, the first time this had been done in Jamaica. Having until then had records pressed in the US, he also set up a record pressing plant in the early 1950s, and began pressing copies of American records under licence.”

“Federal Records is a cornerstone in the history of the Jamaican music industry. It was the island’s first domestic recording studio and where the pioneers of reggae, such as Sir Clement ‘Coxsone’ Dodd, Duke Reid and Prince Buster, recorded the earliest examples of popular Jamaican music. The name of the studio’s founder, Ken Khouri, is not well known
outside of Jamaica, but his contribution to Jamaican music is immeasurable and he is a well-respected figure in his homeland. He left behind many important recordings that should be passed down from generation to generation. This re-issue series will bring discerning listeners remarkable music recorded by Ken Khouri at Federal Records. We would like to dedicate this series to Ken Khouri’s lasting contribution to Jamaican music.”
Ken Khouri at Federal Records

“… Mr. Khouri was smart enough to come home with 500 discs, but they quickly ran out because people were crowding him for voiced discs from the machine. He had to send for another 1,000 discs immediately. The discs cost 50 shillings apiece and became so popular that even churches were begging him to take the machine to their functions to record fascinated people’s voices. Realising the commercial potential of the machine, Khouri started recording music, instead of just voices. He first started out at a club which was located at Red Gal Ring in St. Andrew, as well as at home. With increasing commercial success, he decided to import the discs in bulk. Then he called Decca in London and agreed with them to make records from the discs for sale.”
Jamaica Gleaner

Ken Khouri – allmusic

YouTube: Night Food – Bedasse w. Calypso Quintet, Wheel And Turn Me – Lord Flea and The Jamaican Calypsonians, Lord Kitchener – Take You Meat Out Me Rice, Lord Booboo / De Knife, de Fork, de Spoon, Count Owen and his Calypsonians – Melody D’amour, The Big Bamboo – Lord Creator & Tommy McCook