Archive for the The Melodians Category

The True Story of Rastafari

Posted in Rastafarians, The Melodians with tags , on January 18, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage

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A mural of Leonard Howell in Tredegar Park, near where the first Rastafari community was formed in the 1930s, Spanish Town, Jamaica, January 4, 2014
“In the postcard view of Jamaica, Bob Marley casts a long shadow. Though he’s been dead for thirty-five years, the legendary reggae musician is easily the most recognizable Jamaican in the world—the primary figure in a global brand often associated with protest music, laid-back, ‘One Love’ positivity, and a pot-smoking counterculture. And since Marley was an adherent of Rastafari, the social and spiritual movement that began in this Caribbean island nation in the 1930s, his music—and reggae more generally—have in many ways come to be synonymous with Rastafari in the popular imagination. For Jamaica’s leaders, Rastafari has been an important aspect of the country’s global brand. Struggling with sky-high unemployment, vast inequality, and extreme poverty (crippling debt burdens from IMF agreements haven’t helped the situation), they have relied on Brand Jamaica—the government’s explicit marketing push, beginning in the 1960s—to attract tourist dollars and foreign investment to the island. The government-backed tourist industry has long encouraged visitors to Come to Jamaica and feel all right; and in 2015, the country decriminalized marijuana—creating a further draw for foreigners seeking an authentic Jamaican experience. …”
NYBooks

“Rastafari is a religion which developed in Jamaica in the 1930s, following the coronation of Haile Selassie I as Emperor of Ethiopia in 1930. Its adherents worship him in much the same way as Jesus in his Second Advent, or as God the Son. Members of the Rastafari way of life are known as Rastafari, Rastas, or simply Ras. Rastafari are also known by their official church titles, such as Elder or High Priest. The way of life is sometimes referred to as ‘Rastafarianism’, but this term is considered offensive by most Rastafari, who, being critical of ‘isms’ or ‘ians’ (which they see as a typical part of ‘Babylon’ culture), dislike being labelled as an ‘ism’ or ‘ian’ themselves. Rastafari has always been conceived as a way of life for and by people of African descent. The name Rastafari is taken from Ras Tafari, the title (Ras) and first name (Tafari Makonnen) of Haile Selassie I before his coronation. In Amharic, Ras, literally ‘head’, is an Ethiopian title equivalent to prince or chief, while the personal given name Täfäri (teferi) means one who is revered. Yah (יה in Hebrew) is a Biblical name of God, from a shortened form of Jahweh or Yahuah found in Psalms 68:4 in the King James Version of the Bible and many other places in the Bible. … Many elements of Rastafari reflect its origins in Jamaica along with Ethiopian culture. …”
Wikipedia

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“Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jr., ONH (17 August 1887 – 10 June 1940), was a Jamaican political leader, publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, and orator who was a proponent of the Pan-Africanism movement, to which end he founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL). He also founded the Black Star Line, a shipping and passenger line which promoted the return of the African diaspora to their ancestral lands. Prior to the 20th century, leaders such as Prince Hall, Martin Delany, Edward Wilmot Blyden, and Henry Highland Garnet advocated the involvement of the African diaspora in African affairs. Garvey was unique in advancing a Pan-African philosophy to inspire a global mass movement and economic empowerment focusing on Africa known as Garveyism. Promoted by the UNIA as a movement of African Redemption, Garveyism would eventually inspire others, ranging from the Nation of Islam to the Rastafari movement (some sects of which proclaim Garvey as a prophet.) Garveyism intended persons of African ancestry in the diaspora to ‘redeem’ the nations of Africa and for the European colonial powers to leave the continent. …”
W – Marcus Garvey

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“The Rastafari Movement in the United States is the Rastafari Movement, founded in Jamaica, manifestation in the United States. … Marcus Garvey, a native Jamaican, speaking on the topic of the creation of an African state for displaced Africans, told his followers to ‘look to the East Africa, for the crowning of the Black King.’ This was also to influence the minds of the masses of black people from continuing to worship King George of England. Marcus Mosiah Garvey was referring to Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia, the only remaining African Monarch of Biblical ancestry. However, some found a more literal interpretation. … The movement has had strong cultural, social, and political effects on both Ethiopia and Jamaica, but to date, little scholarly research has been done on the effects of the movement on the United States of America. But this is not to say that such influences and affections do not exist in America, which many Rastafari see as the epitome of Babylon, and the hearth of all evil in the world. … Reggae was known in Jamaica as a popular dance move until 1968, when the Toots & the Maytals released their single ‘Do the Reggay‘. From this point on, Reggae referred to a genre of music centered on a steady and regular beat played on a rhythm guitar, called the ‘bang’, and biblical lyrics pertaining to Rastafari ideology. In Jamaica and around the world, reggae, and especially the music of Bob Marley, was used as a medium to bring about social and political change. …”
W – The Rastafari Movement in the United States

YouTube: The Maytals – Do The Reggay

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The Melodians – Swing and Dine (1992)

Posted in Duke Reid, The Melodians, Tommy McCook, Treasure Isle with tags , , , on February 4, 2014 by 1960s: Days of Rage

MELODIANS
“Rather than the customary single lead contrasted by twin harmonies, The Melodians divided lead duties between Tony Brevette and Brent Dowe, with Trevor McNaughton harmonizing with the singer who wasn’t featured on a particular track. This outstanding 16-track collection includes their biggest hits for Treasure Isle. The threesome glided along atop skipping, light rhythms provided by such bands as the Gaytones, Lyn Taitt and the Jets, the Soul Syndicate, and Tommy McCook and the Supersonics. The Melodians primarily did poignant love tunes, although they could also handle evangelical or political material. The set features such classics as ‘Little Nut Tree,’ ‘Hey Girl,’ ‘You Don’t Need Me,’ and ‘Love Is A Doggone Good Thing.’ It’s also thoroughly annotated and superbly mastered.”
allmusic

YouTube: Swing and Dine, I’ll Get Along Without You, Hey Girl, Come on little girl come on, A Little Nut Tree, I’ll Take You Where the Music’s Playing, No, No Lola (Take Two), Daphne Walking

The Melodians – Swing & Dine (1992)

Posted in Duke Reid, Ska, The Melodians, Treasure Isle with tags , , , on October 31, 2013 by 1960s: Days of Rage

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“Rather than the customary single lead contrasted by twin harmonies, The Melodians divided lead duties between Tony Brevette and Brent Dowe, with Trevor McNaughton harmonizing with the singer who wasn’t featured on a particular track. This outstanding 16-track collection includes their biggest hits for Treasure Isle. The threesome glided along atop skipping, light rhythms provided by such bands as the Gaytones, Lyn Taitt and the Jets, the Soul Syndicate, and Tommy McCook and the Supersonics. The Melodians primarily did poignant love tunes, although they could also handle evangelical or political material. The set features such classics as ‘Little Nut Tree,’ ‘Hey Girl,’ ‘You Don’t Need Me,’ and ‘Love Is A Doggone Good Thing.; It’s also thoroughly annotated and superbly mastered.”
allmusic

YouTube: Swing and Dine, I’ll Get Along Without You, Come On Little Girl, You’ve caught me, No, No Lola (Take Two)