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The roots of the Gemini sound system can be traced back to around 1967 when two men Papa Gemini (b. Gerwin Dinnall) and Papa Kenneth started a small disco which mainly catered for the sound of soul music. As with most sounds systems of the day Gemini’s set initially consisted of a single turntable, and theirs was powered by a Dynaco amplifier. Papa Gemini was the main selector in those early days and with reggae gaining in popularity in the seventies the set started to grow in size. In 1974 Archie (b. Archibald Cummings) was recruited as main selector and as Gemini’s rise continued they started to attract some of the top deejays of the day. Welton Irie (b. Welton Dobson) first began deejaying the set around 1978. He then had a short spell with Virgo before returning Gemini and linkedup with another deejay Ringo (b. Bradley Miller), who was originally a selector on Soul Express, and their working partnership was crucial to the sounds progress. This was the dawning of the dancehall  era and their mixture of reality and slackness lyrics quickly become all the rage. According to Welton Irie, Gemini was one of the very first sounds to cut their own custom made “specials”. In particular he remembers a  series of “specials” that ruling deejay Ranking Trevor cut for the sound so they could champion themselves when no entertainers were around.

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 Around the turn of the next decade the sounds owner Papa Gemini decided to open his own club and he took over the La Exotica Club located at 39 Half Way Tree Road, Kingston 5 and he renamed it the Gemini Club. The club was ideally placed midway between uptown and downtown and its Wednesday night dances soon began to attract the crowds through the door and the entertainers to the set. Among the deejays who got their break on Gemini were Squiddly Ranking (b. Michael Clarke), younger brother to Peter Metro, and Buro Banton (b. Donovan Spalding) who became a regular after impressing the owner one Wednesday night. Others likely to be found on Gemini in the early eighties were deejays Dicky Ranking (b. Norman Suppria), Lee Van Cleef (b. Devon Perkins), Ranking Toyan (b. Byron Letts), Lui Lepke, Michael Irie and singers such as Hugh Griffiths and Michael Palmer. The Gemini equipment was also one of the best, producing a heavy, crystal clear sound. Welton Irie had no doubts, “It sounded damn good, nothing sounded like Gemini”. Unsurprisingly with all this talent around Gemini were crowned Jamaican champion sound for 1981.

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 As the Gemini Club wasn’t a very big venue, Gemini soon found a new home at the nearby Skateland Roller Disco in Half Way Tree Square, filling it to capacity whenever they played there. The sound was now playing out 7 nights a week in Kingston and throughout all of the parishes. A second selector, Charles “The Apache”, would often feature when Archie wasn’t at the controls. In January 1982 American record label Heartbeat decided to sponsor and record a couple of nights at Skateland and who better to showcase a “live” session than the mighty Gemini. These recordings and a further session later on in the year, resulted in two volumes of ”A Deejay Explosion” which helped bring the authentic dancehall sounds to a wider audience around the world.

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 In 1983 Mr Dinnall followed a well worn trend of starting to produce music and then releasing it on a label named after his own sound. The Gemini label started by releasing Hugh Griffiths “Chant Down Babylon” and followed it up with further records by Triston Palma, Ringo and Welton Irie. This was also the year for the sound to start touring abroad and they embarked on a successful visit to England playing to packed venues in both London, Birmingham and Manchester. The touring crew consisted of Welton Irie, Ringo, Squiddly Ranking and selector Archie. The owner Papa Gemini was also there to oversee things and Tony Brutus acted as tour manager.

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A lengthy stay in America in 1984 saw Gemini playing numerous dances in the New York, Washington and Boston with Ringo and Dicky Ranking, Toyan, Lee Van Cleef and many more in attendance. Still in America in early 1985 there was a dance held at the Superstar Athletic Club in the Bronx featuring Gemini and Papa Moke, which ended in bloodshed when gunmen opened fire in the audience leaving numerous people hurt with gunshot injuries.

 Back in Jamaica Gemini were no longer the top sound on the island. Number one selector Archie had migrated and Ringo and Welton Irie had moved on, but they still kept many a dance with “live” artists passing through. By 1986 another selector Glamour Wayne (b. Rolton Knight) joined the crew and he was to be joined later on by a returning Welton Irie who now turned his hand to selecting rather than deejaying. The times were changing in the dancehall and chatting on the mic was being replaced by dub plate clashing and juggling, occasionally with big names like Shabba Ranks and Ninjaman dropping in for some verbal jousting. Gemini, with Glamour Wayne as MC, adapted well to the changes and they continued to play out strong in the juggling arena way into the nineties.

 Over the years Gemini have taken their sound abroad many times playing to the reggae communities in America, Canada and England.  In 1997 there was a UK reunion tour which reunited most of the original crew for some classic dancehall style. The late great Johnny Ringo, Buro Banton, Squiddly Ranking, Little John, U.Brown and Peter Metro all teamed up again to recreate the glory days of Gemini, one of the great original sound system leaders from the early dancehall era.

 

Additional information sources:

Interview with Welton Irie by Michael Villet 2008

Dancehall – The Rise Of Jamaican Dancehall Culture by Beth lesser

 

For our latest sound system focus we have rounded up around 70 sessions of the mighty Gemini, presented to you in roughly chronological order.  We are sure that late seventies Gemini tapes must exist but alas we have yet to hear them. One cassette that was marked 1980 turned out to be 3 separate short sessions all muddled up. As a result of careful editing this tape produced Sessions 1 and 2, both from 1980, and also session 4, which to our ears sounds like a later, 1981 dance.

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Gemini – La Exotica Club, 39 Half Way Tree Road, Kingston 5, January 1980

Featuring: Welton Irie, Ringo,

Selector – Archie

“Recorded at La Exotica Club on Half Way Tree Road shortly before Papa Gemini took over the venue and renamed it the Gemini Club. At the moment this is the oldest recording we’ve heard of the set and it features the deadly duo of Welton Irie and Ringo doing what they do best, slackness and reality in equal measure. Welton asks the age old question “Who Was Adam & Eve” and spar Ringo wants to know if there is any sound “Who Trouble Gemi Now”. With Archie selecting wisely on the decks and Welton and Ringo on the go, very few sounds could indeed trouble the Gemini sound”

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Gemini – Savanna La Mar, Westmoreland, 1980

Featuring: Colour Ranking, Principal Grundy

Selector – Archie

“This dance finds Gemini in Sav La Mar and was most probably held at the town’s Club Cancer venue. Sadly it’s another short excerpt of the session but it does showcase the talents of two upcoming deejays.  Principal Grundy had been around for a few years prior to this, as Jah Grundy, and he adds his take on the popular “Morning Ride” topic. The main deejay on this tape is Colour Ranking, his deejay skills are obvious, he sounds like Ranking Trevor when voicing pieces like “True Born Dreadlocks”, and “Dreadlocks Princess”. Like his fellow DJ Ringo, Colour could also do an excellent Leroy Smart impersonation, as heard on “Life Is For Living”.

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Gemini – Gemini  Club, 39 Half Way Tree Road, Kingston 5, December 1980

Featuring: Lone Ranger, Ringo, Sister Rosie, Welton Irie, Madoo, Sammy Dread, Leroy Smart

Selector - Archie

“The people use to pack the small Gemini club for regular Wednesday night sessions and this hour long tape celebrates one such night. Lone Ranger has ridden into the dance and urges the sound to “Dub It Up A Crossroads”. Ringo’s in a cultural mood for “Only Jah” chanted over “Unmetered Taxi” before Leroy Smart “The Don” takes the microphone. Or does he, as Ringo was known to do a fine impression of Leroy. The crowd certainly responds well when the song “Sunshine For Me” is belted out. Singers Sammy Dread, doing his popular “Gonna Take A Miracle” and Madoo (probably wrongly called U.U. here) shines on a ”Hotel Fee/Round The World” in a medley style.”

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Gemini – Hamilton Mountain, St Mary 1981

Featuring: Buro, Ringo

Selector – Archie

“ Here is Gemini in the parish of St Mary and you can clearly hear Archie in the background announcing another “brand new” Barry Brown tune on the “No, No, No” riddim for the waiting crowd, but Ringo wants the good old Studio 1 cut to it and Archie obliges. He proceeds to get slack with “Come Back Liza”, deejayed and sung in a typical Ringo style. Ringo also remembers his schooldays fondly and urges the youth against truancy in “Don’t Skulk School”. Buro was, and still is, a deejay who keeps things cultural and his “Crossing River Jordan” is typical of the man’s style and fashion.”

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Gemini – Peoples Penthouse, Greenwich Farm, March 1981

Featuring: Ringo, General Lucky, Dillinger

Selector - Archie

“Originally marked at 1983 this tape is almost certainly recorded in 1981 and it’s Gemini at the Peoples Penthouse club in Greenwich Farm. Local deejay General Lucky, one half of a deejay duo with Peter Ranking, takes time out to praise the sound in “Gemini Mash It Up”. Ringo carries the swing on this tape though, and he got the ghetto gunmen in his sights, voicing out three pieces on the subject, “Bushmaster”, “M16 Deh ‘Bout” and the questioning “Gunman Weh You Get Your Gun From”. He then hands over to special guest Dillinger who’s looking natty “in a two piece suit and criss brown beaver”. “Automatic Pistol” is his contribution on the gun situation before finishing with the obligatory “connections” talk on “Dog & Bone”

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Gemini – East Queens Street, Kingston, circa May 1981

Featuring: Buro, Peter Metro, Michael Irie, Squiddly Ranking, Ringo, Ashman, Franco Nero

Selector – Archie

“This is a Wednesday night session at a venue on East Queens Street and it’s like Gemini DJ’s meets Metromedia DJ’s in downtown Kingston. Squiddly Ranking and Michael Irie have some verbal sparring with each other before deciding that its time to get slack, much to the pleasure of the ladies present.

Peter Metro previews his forthcoming release “Join The Army” before turning Spanish for “Buenos Dios”. Archie spins the latest releases from Michael Prophet, Leroy Smart and Sammy Dread. Ashman and Franco Nero, both Metromedia regulars, turn in good cameos towards the end. Their “Have Argument” combination really kicks and Ashman’s solo “Jah Rule Over Me” certainly tells it like it is.”

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Gemini – Greenwich Farm, Kingston, circa June 1981

Featuring: Johnny Blacka, Beenie Man, Roots Wondell, Welton Irie, Squiddly Ranking, Lone Ranger, Lui Lepki

Selector – Archie

“Gemini rock a dance in a Greenwich Farm area. Archie digs deep into his Studio One selection and veterans Welton Irie and Lone Ranger carry the swing. Ranger’s “Labour Ward” rides the “Have You Ever” riddim and Welton nails the “General” riddim with nuff lyrics. Seldom heard singer/deejay Johnny Blacka shows promise with a tale of his heartless “Landlord”.

But perhaps the most striking feature of this tape is a very early performance by the 1981 Tastee Talent show winner Beenie Man. If the tape is dated correctly, and it does seem right, he’s still a few months away from his 8th birthday but he‘s already got bags of confidence, and the timing and rhyming skills of a seasoned deejay. Even back then he’s had all the different styles covered, at one point claiming he’s “One In A Million” before turning slack on “Girls Get Out A Hand.”

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Gemini – Lui Lepki’s HQ, Union Gardens Avenue, Greenwich Farm, Kingston, 11th September 1981

Featuring: Lee Van Cliff, Stanley Braveman, Ranking Toyan, Ranking King, Santana, Barrington Levy, Ringo, Sammy Dread, Peter Ranking, Phantom, Colour Ranking, Errol Scorcher

Selector – Archie

“Lui Lepki is away on tour in Canada so his Greenwich Farm headquarter is empty... so while the cat’s away Gemini come to play. There are plenty of entertainers handling the microphone for this rub a dub party and Lee Van Cliff gets things started, nicing up the area with Stanley Braveman over Archie’s Barrington Levy selection. Cornel Campbell’s “Boxing” and Triston Palmer’s “Entertainment” are tearing up all dances and the deejays can’t miss on these classic riddims.

Toyan is in a boastful mood for his “Well Dangerous” and Barrington Levy makes a brief appearance on “Entertainment” for his reality check lyrics “I’m A Struggler”. Colour Ranking gives us a version of Eek’s “Wa Do Dem” and Errol Scorcher versions his recent hits “DJ Spirit” and “Tribute To Bob Marley”, the latter delivered in call and response style.”

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Gemini – Gemini  Club, 39 Half Way Tree Road, Kingston 5, circa November 1981

Featuring: Edi Fitzroy, Colour Ranking, Ranking Toyan, Lee Van Cliff,+ Ringo, Welton Irie, Hugh Griffiths

Selector - Archie

“Gemini are on home territory for this dance at their own club. Ringo advocates being “Married For The Opportunity” whilst also berating the rental dreads in Negril, much to the amusement of the crowd. Ringo’s wicked sense of humour is also directed at “Cheesy Feet” Archie but the selector keeps things moving with tunes from Linval Thompson, Triston Palma and Leroy Smart.

Singer Edi Fitzroy turns up to showcase a couple of his recent hit singles “Check For You Once” and “General Penitentiary”. Fellow vocalist Hugh Griffiths often turned up on Gemini and he gets a chance to stretch his vocals on “Tribute To Bob Marley” in combination with Colour Ranking. Welton Irie is fresh from foreign, with his lyrics getting well slack in “Oh Yes It’s Me”. “Spar With Me” is Toyan’s tribute to radio deejay Barry G and he asserts that two spliffs a day will keep the “Pink Eye” disease away.” 

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Gemini – Skateland, Half Way Tree Road, Kingston 5, November 1981

Buro, Ranking Devon, Ringo, Squiddly Ranking, Ranking Toyan, Little John, Echo Minott, Welton Irie

Selector – Archie

“ Skateland was Kingston’s premier dancehall venue and it hosted many, many Gemini sessions over the years. Ringo urges the audience to have fun and “Jump & Prance in a Gemini Dance”. His lyrics cover the whole spectrum of topics, from anti violence in “Go Where Jah Send You” to a bawdy version of “Hello Mother, Hello Father”.

Ranking Devon was not heard much live in the dancehalls but when he was it was usually on Gemini. “Give A Helping Hand” is his plea to the sufferers who have no work. Squiddly comes forward with a tribute to General Echo and Buro’s “Dem A Cheater” is the deejay answer to Dennis Brown’s re-cut of his own “Cheater” song. Once again the Gemini sound is the ruling sound.”

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Gemini v Turbotronic – Skateland, Half Way Tree Road, Kingston 5, December 1981

Featuring: Squiddly Ranking, Welton Irie, Ringo, Ranking Toyan, Lee Van Cliff, Brimstone, Buro Banton, Little John

 

Selector – Archie

 

“Two big sounds clash in Skateland with Gemini standing alongside I. Roy’s powerful Turbotronic sound. Only Gemi feature here and it’s pretty much the regular crew representing. Welton Irie is prominent throughout, deejaying intelligently in “Ganja Runnings” and “Living In A Tenement Yard”. Veteran Jah Stone’s usually to be found on Jack Ruby, and he’s now calling himself Brimstone (and Fire). Here he boosts Gemini in his short burst of “Papa Gemini A Champion”. Toyan, a true freelancer in the dance, rides the “Rougher Yet” riddim for a couple of lyrics, “Forward Selector” and “Rock It So Well”. Classic ’81 Gemini.”

 

Another big thanks goes out to Massie for this one............

 

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Gemini @ Skateland, Half Way Tree Road, Kingston 5, 31st December 1981

 

Featuring: Brigadier Jerry, Ranking Toyan, Lee Van Cliff, Ringo, Welton Irie, Peter Ranking, Fathead, Echo Minott, Squiddly Ranking

 

Selector – Archie

 

“A New Years Eve date for Gemini at Skateland, promoted by it’s proprietor Clinton “Jingles” Davy. In this portion of the session it’s not yet midnight and Briggy’s on his favoured “Answer” for “Gwan Go Dance”. But the bulk of this is taken up with the “Diseases” riddim and on it you get Ringo doing “Disaster”, Toyan flashing “Rock It So Well” and Peter Ranking singing well on “Love On A Two Way Street”. A great way for Gemini to end the year on.”

 

Many thanks to Massie for this one............

 

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Gemini @ Skateland, Half Way Tree Road, Kingston 5, January 1982

 

Featuring: Ringo, Yellowman, Peter Metro, Squiddly Ranking, Ranking Toyan, Peter Ranking, Welton Irie

 

Selector – Archie

 

“We reckon this was recorded in the very first week of 1982 and again it features a lot of the artists from the end of year show. Archie runs the “General” riddim red and the supas all take a turn. Peter Metro’s “Nah Fight Over Dat” and Ringo’s “You Mustn’t Nasty” are amongst the many styles chatted on it. Other highlights include Toyan’s tribute to Barry G, “Spar With Me” and Welton Irie’s promotion of his new single “Soldier Take Over”.

 

Another from the Massie/WCTD connection.......

 

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Gemini – Barbican, Kingston, January 1982

Featuring: Ringo, General Plough, Major Manzie, Liberty, Toyan, Dillinger, Colour Ranking, Welton Irie, Squiddly Ranking

Selector – Archie

“The Barbican area of Kingston is the venue for this dance held in early 1982. Gemini are a sound in tip top form and good line up of singers and deejays provide a great evenings entertainment. Ringo, as usual, dominates the proceedings questioning at one point why the “Good Have To Suffer For The Bad”. Singer General Plough has made it to the dance, but only just, as he’s very recently been attacked and beaten. He sings forlornly of the incident in “The Saddest Day of My Life” but you can’t keep him down and he fights back with his big tune “I’m The Toughest”. We also get some good old time toasting from Dillinger who takes the “Stalag” riddim and versions it with “Jim Screechy”, “Automatic Pistol” and his classic “Melting Pot”

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From the early 80’s the selling and trading of sound tapes was becoming more and more popular and suddenly sound men and record producers realised that these recordings could sell on vinyl too. Over the next few years these albums started to appear, some were official but often they weren’t. Heartbeat Records in America must have noticed this phenomenon and decided to get involved and in the process they gave the dancehall scene in Jamaica a real boost around the world.

We realised when we were putting the Gemini special together we had at least three different parts of the show and we carefully pieced it together and, in the absence of the master tapes, we think we have got the session  running in the correct order. Anyway what we have here is an extended version, four and half hours to be precise, of Heartbeat’s “A Deejay Explosion Inna Dance Hall Style””

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Gemini – Skateland, Half Way Tree Road, Kingston 5, 20th January 1982

Featuring: Ranking Toyan, Squiddly Ranking, Super Massa, Ringo, Colour Ranking, Welton Irie, Papa Richie, Phillip Fraser, Sassafrass, Peter Ranking, Dillinger, Sister Nancy, General Plough, Buro, Eek A Mouse (briefly), Prince Jazzbo, Little John, Dicky Ranking, Johnny Osbourne, Robert French, George Nooks, Lee Van Cliff, Michael Palmer, U.Black & Joe Tex, Yellowman, Fathead, Errol Scorcher, Brigadier Jerry, Big Youth

Selector – Archie

“ This dancehall mega session was produced and co-ordinated by Heartbeat’s Mike Cacia and promoted by Rasta twins Ruffy and Tuffy Newton. It features so much more than the released version did and it includes all the early parts which features deejays like Colour Ranking, Super Massa and Papa Richie. Ringo appears throughout the night organising things in the Skateland music room, which must have been a crush, because a who’s who of JA entertainers turned up for the occasion. So much so you hear Prince Jazzbo exclaim at one point “Who Not Pon Contract, Back Off!”

Selector Archie’s in charge of the sounds and you get to hear some of those famous Gemi dubplates, including Phillip Fraser’s “Skateland Killer”. One artist who was contracted to appear, but didn’t, was Eek A Mouse, but in a classic dancehall moment you can hear the big man being arrested in the music room for an alleged attack on Junjo Lawes’ car. His segment that eventually appeared on the album was recorded a week later at the same venue.

Singers like George Nooks, Johnny Osbourne, who airs his “No Ice Cream Love”, Michael Palmer and General Plough manage to grab the mic for a moment. Veterans like Dillinger, Brigadier Jerry, Sister Nancy and Big Youth rub shoulders with the new guard of deejays including Toyan, Lee Van Cliff and of course Yellowman who proclaims “Me Hot” to the pleasure of the crowd. Gemini gone down in a history!”

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

 

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Gemini vs Jack Ruby Skateland, Half Way Tree Road, Kingston 5, 31st January 1982

Buro, Squiddly Ranking, Ringo, Welton Irie, Ranking Toyan, Triston Palma

Selector - Archie

“Sound clash business in Skateland with 2 big sounds locking horns. Gemini have cut some wicked dubplates especially for this dance and Archie drops a couple of Phillip Fraser specials during this segment of the dance. Fraser’s “Gemini A Kill Jack Ruby” hits hard as does the famous “Skateland Killer” which gets good crowd response and is pulled up more than once. There are also live sound bwoy lyrics from Triston Palma, who’s fresh from London, and he’s claiming that “Jack Ruby Wrong To Trouble Gemini”. Welton Irie and Ringo join together for a rousing “Yo Yo, Mash It Up Now” and Squiddly takes time out from the slackness to voice out lyrics like “Room For Rent” and “Sensi Train”.

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Gemini – Cope Lawn, South Side, East Kingston, circa February 1982

Peter Ranking, Welton Irie, Ringo, Super Massa, Papa Richie, Sassafrass, Squiddly Ranking, Colour Ranking, Toyan, Phillip Fraser

Selector – Archie

“Cope Lawn was a popular venue in the Southside area of downtown Kingston and for this night Gemini come to town. Unusually, and not always successfully, there are a lot of deejays turning into singers for a while. Ringo launches into “It’s Now Or Never” and “Brandy” while Welton Irie, not to be outdone, decides on “Hey Sister”. Super Massa is new on the Gemini scene and he sings the standard “Endlessly” before switching to deejay mode for “Operation Eradication”, a major talking point of the day. Sassafrass, a man who knows his horses well, comes with “Race Horse Man” and “Giddy Up” which really gets the crowd roaring “Forward”. Colour Ranking does “Chalice Blaze” in his best Leroy Smart impersonation and Papa Richie hits the spot with pieces like “Air Polluted” and “Cornbread, Earl and Me” delivered over dancehall’s ever present riddim, the good old “Full Up”.

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Gemini– Skateland, Half Way Tree Road, Kingston circa Feb 1982

Featuring: Ringo, Brent Dowe, Welton Irie, Ranking Devon, Lee Van Cliff, Toyan, Yellowman, Squiddly Ranking, Echo Minott, General Leon, Michael Maggotty, Sassafrass, Desi Ranking, Peter Ranking

Selector – Archie

“Once again Gemini roadblock Skateland and, with the help of nuff artists in the place, they keep the people rocking.  Big supas Yellowman and Toyan do just that with a wicked combination “We Haffi Rock” and the wonderfully named Michael Maggotty sings the praises of “Gemini ina Higher Category”. At one point deejay Lee Van Cliff reveals himself to be half brother to Jimmy Cliff. It’s good to hear the soulful voice of The Melodians singer Brent Dowe in a rare dancehall setting. He sparkles on “You’re On My Mind” and the rootsy “Time Has Come” over  the version of the Mighty Diamonds “Pass The Kouchie”. Echo Minott’s voice on “Round The World” just about rises above the noise in the music room while later on Welton Irie goes full speed ahead on “Good, Better, Best” and gets the audience bawling out for more.”

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Gemini – East Kingston, circa March/April 1982

Featuring: Donovan Smith, Ranking Kimble, Squiddly Ranking, Ringo, Yellowman, Peter Metro, Toyan, Lee Van Cliff

Selector – Archie

“Recorded around March or April in East Kingston and it features the major talents of Yellowman and Peter Metro. We get to hear a great combination from the pair of them stating that they “Don’t Deejay For Free”. Yellowman easily switches to slack mode and “Eases and Squeezes”, “Water Coconut” and “Soldier Take Over” are just some of the hit tunes he delivers. Ringo’s “Fussing & Fighting” is followed by “Me Hot” to which Peter Metro counteracts with “Me Cold”, all riding the massively popular “Diseases” riddim. Archie picks tunes from Barrington Levy and Triston Palma out of Gemini’s dub box and the entertainers do the rest.”

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Gemini - Skateland, Half Way Tree Road, Kingston 5, May 1982

Featuring: Buro, Peter Metro, Michael Irie, Squiddly Ranking, Pablo Lion, Barrington Irie, Ringo, Welton Irie

Selector – Ringo

“Another dance held at Jingles’ Skateland and this one finds Gemini without their recognised selectors. Archie is away in Canada and Charles is around for this part of the dance. Ringo ably steps into their shoes and a succession of deejays keep the dancers happy. Peter Metro tells the tale of a broken Gemini cassette tape and later on excels with some Spanish deejaying. Ringo’s found the Studio One dubs and Squiddly and Metro join up for a family combination in “Water Shortage” over the Heptones “Fight It To The Top”.

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Gemini - Barbican Road, Barbican, Kingston, circa May  1982

Ringo, Buro

Selector – Charles

“Jah Mike was the promoter for this Gemini dance in the Barbican area. Buro and Ringo are the only two artists here, but a least Charles has been found and he drops plenty of Barry Brown, Barrington Levy, Leroy Smart and Sammy Dread tunes in the mix. Buro makes his case for justice in “Give Me What Is Mine” and urges everyone to “Keep On Coming In A De Dance”. However, he gets the biggest “forwards” from the crowd when he chats his “Senator D” lyrics. Not to be outdone Ringo has “Owner Fe De Yard” and “Good, Better, Best” on offer for the massive.”

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Gemini vs Black Scorpio Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre, Hope Road, Kingston May 1982

Featuring: Ringo, Buro, Johnny Osbourne, Lee Van Cliff, Ranking Trevor

Selector – Charles

“The promoter, Snowman, has paired up Gemini with Black Scorpio for this clash at the Ranny Williams Centre. Ringo leads the assault with “We Are The Gorgon” over Cornel’s classic and then rides the “Youthman” riddim on “Scorpio Can’t Run Away”. Lee Van Cliff tackles a heavy re-cut of “Rockfort Rock” which he titles “Gemini Rock” for this occasion. Premier dancehall singer Johnny Osbourne versions his big tune “Yo Yo” on the large “Boxing” rhythm. Buro gets the biggest forward of the night on “Jah Guide Over Me” and Gemini old boy Ranking Trevor is back on the track for Gemi again but he only manages to voice the singular “Reggae Music” before the tape runs out.”

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Gemini – Lionel Town, Clarendon circa May/June 1982

Ringo, Buro, Presser, Pretty Ranking, Sad Sack, Jesse Gender

Selector – Archie

“Dis A Dance Ina Lionel Town” announces Ringo and he’s in good form for this session in Clarendon. There’s a story of a “Football Match” held at the National Stadium and a live take on his single “Two Lesbians Hitch” which was inspired by a recent newspaper report. The “Connections” theme was popular at this time and Ringo lists the “DJ Connections” and the “Sound System Connection” while his spar Buro embarks on the more serious subject of the “Gunman Connection”. Local deejays and singers muscle their way to the microphone, with Sad Sack firing off lyrics “Ina Different Style” and “Ganjaman A Moneyman. There’s some early deejaying from Jesse Gender who matches a couple of tunes “Taxi Driver” and “Disaster” to the hot “Diseases” riddim.

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Gemini  – Stable Club, 132 Red Hills Road, Kingston 19, 25th June 1982

Featuring: Buro Banton, Welton Irie, Lui Lepki, Papa Chris

Selector - Archie

“The Stable Club was a popular club on the Kingston dancehall circuit and Gemini regularly played out there. Only four artists are featured on this tape but that doesn’t detract as you get lyrics galore from Welton Irie and Buro, who excels on the Studio One cut of “ Bobby Bobylon” for “Operation Eradication”. Archie has those wicked Phillip Fraser dubplates “Gemi The Toughest” and “Skateland Killer” both cut for a clash with Jack Ruby earlier in the year. Welton Irie deejays in great detail how to “String Up Gemi Sound” and contributes to the “connections” theme for “DJ Connection”. Fresh from New York is Lui Lepki and he gets the crowd bawling with his tale of his unfaithful “Stepmother”.

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Gemini  – Bionic Lawn, 30 Windward Road, Kingston 2, circa July 1982

Featuring: Welton Irie, Buro, Toyan, Lui Lepki, Billy Boyo, Clarence Parks, Django, General Plough

Selector - Archie

“Gemini journey to the east of Kingston to play a dance at the Bionic Lawn on Windward Road. There’s a good set of artists around the control tower including Billy Boyo, briefly on “Your Boss DJ” and Lui Lepki  who rhymes well in an “82 Fashion” and “Know ‘Bout Me Country”. Archie’s selection on this night are from artists like Michael Prophet, Carlton Livingston and Leroy Smart. Singer Clarence Parks takes his chance and his “Gemini Sound Carry The Swing” boosts up the sound’s profile. For the most part though its the deejays running things, Toyan is “One In A Million”, while Buro knocks the lyric pirates on “Live & Direct” and Django, on home ground here, is on form for “What Is For You”.

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Gemini - Skateland, Half Way Tree Road, Kingston, 4th August  1982

Featuring: Squiddly Ranking, Buro, Captain Sinbad

Selector – Archie

“Another excerpt from a Skateland dance and the spotlight falls mainly on Buro and Squiddly Ranking. On “Living In The Ghetto” Buro lays out the hardships of the ghetto sufferer and asks for guidance in “Jah Guide Over Me”. “Chicken Farm” is his latest release on the street and he even sings “Broken Heart” in a  Yellowman style. Squiddly comes with “Rat A Bite”, “MC Connection” and “Town Connections” which gets a good reaction from the audience. Perhaps the most unusual feature of this session is a rare appearance from Captain Sinbad who wants and demands “Quiet When Supa A Chat” when he holds the mic.”

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Gemini - Caxton Park, 1 Waverly Avenue, Vineyard Town, Kingston, 5th August 1982

Featuring: Clarence Parks, Peter Metro, Lee Van Cliff, General Plough, Toyan, Lui Lepki, Sammy Dread, Welton Irie

Selectors – Archie & Charles

“Here’s Gemini in Caxton Park in what could be a stage show event. The compere is radio personality Super Don Henry and he introduces a series of artists closely associated with the Gemi sound. Clarence Parks runs through his two dancehall hits “Run Up & Down In The Dance” and “Gonna Take A Miracle”. The later tune is also one of Sammy Dread’s numbers in which he also voices “What’s Going On” and his boom tune “Roadblock”. Lui Lepki chats his “Late Night Movie” and his version of the “Shame & Scandal” standard, but a highpoint of this tape is when Peter Metro launches into “Vegetable” saga and the crowd goes crazy.”

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Gemini - Enid Anglin Community Centre, 2b Baker Street, Admiral Town, 11th August 1982

Featuring: Ringo, Squiddly Ranking, Little Lincoln, Buro Banton, Welton Irie, Sister Pauline, Michael Irie

Selector – Archie

“This tape was originally marked as 1981 but the selection on it suggests its 1982, especially as this dance is advertised in the previous two sessions. Promoters Don and Mardell have brought Gemini to Admiral Town and on this night its deejays all the way. Welton Irie and Ringo combine well for “Mash It Up Now” and Michael Irie turns the air blue on his slack “Me Sweet”. He’s not the only one either, both Squiddly and Welton are hilariously rude too. In contrast Little Lincoln, a confident youthful chatter who seemingly disappeared without trace, excels here on “I Spy”, “Eat Plenty” and “Racehorse Jockey”.  

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Gemini  – Stable Club, 132 Red Hills Road, Kingston 19, February 1983

Featuring: Yellowman, Little John, Ringo, Buro, Toyan, Squiddly Ranking, Papa Chris

Selector - Archie

“The Stable Club on Red Hills Road often hosted sound system nights around this time and here we have a recording of Gemini in an early 1983 dance. King Yellowman is in attendance and as ever he’s pure entertainment. Whether he’s giving the crowd some of his many hits, like “Mr Chin” or “Just Cool”, or, as he does here, gets involved in a light-hearted slackness clash with Squiddly, the people just love him. Little John’s tune “Janet Sinclair” is causing worries in the dances and Ringo explains exactly what you must do to get your problems sorted out. Excellent vibes on this Gemini session.”

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Gemini – v Black Scorpio, Waltham Park, Kingston, February  1983

Featuring: Ringo, Lui Lepki, Dillinger, Squiddly Ranking, Buro, Peter Metro, Super Cat

Selector – Charles

“This is a short portion of a clash with Black Scorpio recorded in the Waltham Park area of the city. The “Unmetered Taxi” riddim seemed to feature on just about every dancehall tape at this time, and this one is no exception. Squiddly rides it well on “Form A Line”, cleverly using the style of doubling up the lyrics. His brother Peter Metro delivers an great passage called “Year To Year” which details the history of violence in Kingston. There’s an early appearance from Super Cat as well, and his “Bull In A Pen” is a taste of things to come.”

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Gemini – Kingston, circa June  1983

Featuring: Squiddly Ranking, Junior Demus

Selector – Charles

“This is a small clip of an early warm up part of an Gemini  session held somewhere in Kingston. The likes of Ringo, Buro and the other big timers have yet to “reach” so its up to Squiddly Ranking and Junior Demus to pave the way. Squiddly overcomes a few technical hitches on the mic and goes on to explain the intricacies of “How You String A Sound” in the lawn. Charles is controlling the sound and tunes from Little John and General Plough are the order of the day. Junior Demus, here using the moniker Nicodemus Junior, rides the Roots Radics version to “Janet Sinclair” letting the people know he’s got the lyrical skills “To Ram It Up”.

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Gemini  – Skateland, Half Way Tree Road, Kingston 5, July 1983

Featuring: Dicky Ranking, Puddy Roots, Peter Metro, Zuzu, Buro Banton, U.U. Madoo, Ringo, Ranking Toyan, Errol Scorcher, Mikey Jarrett, Squiddly Ranking, Michael Irie, Robert French, Andrew B

Selector - Archie

“For this Skateland dance in early July there must have been mixed emotions for those present as the murder in June of Killamanjaro’s leading deejay Jim Kelly must have been fresh in the mind. Puddy Roots, who stood by his side for many a dance, sings a tribute in his memory. Mikey Jarrett, on a visit to Jamaica from America, has the crowd roaring while deejaying “Take A Trip” and to counteract Ringo details how to reach a foreign land. With lots of other entertainers also passing through this is another top quality Gemini tape for sure.”

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Gemini  – Up Park Camp, Kingston, July 1983

Featuring: Dicky Ranking, Little John, Thriller, Buro Banton, Noel Ellis, Shadowman, Danny Dread, Barrington Levy, Elfigo Barker

Selector - Archie

“Recorded, we think, in the Up Park Camp area of Kingston and is probably one of the last Gemini tapes to feature Buro Banton before he was recruited to Junjo Lawes’ Volcano set. Parting shots from the deejay include “Old Time Religion” and the crowd-pleasing “Tek A Set” lyrics. This session is notable for an appearance from Alton Ellis’ son Noel, who’s visiting from Toronto, and he sings a trio of songs including “So Much Love” and “You Make Me Happy” a tune made famous by his father. To round things of Barrington Levy touches down on a couple of his biggest hits “Be Like A Soldier” and “Black Roses” his crucial cut to the “Revolution” riddim.

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Gemini – Gemini  Club, 39 Half Way Tree Road, Kingston 5, August 1983

Featuring: Little John, Welton Irie, Dicky Ranking, Toyan, Andrew B, Squiddly Ranking, Zuzu, Liberty, Michael Palmer, Barrington Levy, Thriller, Junior Reid, Ringo, Anthony Johnson, Danny Dread, Trevor Junior

Selector – Archie

“Gemini are really attracting the dancehall artists to their set and this session finds them back on home ground at the Gemini Club. “Deejay Ambassador” Dicky Ranking is just one of the many deejays on show and he issues wise words to the youngsters in “Teenage Pregnancy”. Michael “Palmer Dog” Palmer comes with his “Smoke The Weed” voiced on its mighty dubbed up Channel One riddim and Barrington Levy quickly follows with “Murderer” on the same version. The dancehall style of the moment is all things “move” with patterns like Welton’s “Belly Move” and Liberty’s “Jockey Move” regularly being flashed.”

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Gemini – Kingston, August 1983

Featuring: Toyan, Matta Pang, Barrington Levy, Phillip Fraser, Zuzu, Junior Reid, Squiddly Ranking, Errol Turner, Lady Anne, Ranking Popcorn, Thriller, Skengae One, Major Manzie, Michael Palmer, Audie Murphy, Redman

Selector - Archie

“It’s not often you get so many singers all in one dance, but this Kingston session sees at least six bonafide vocalists around the set. Barrington Levy’s “Be Like A Soldier” always gets a good crowd response and Phillip Fraser, over the “Never Let Go” riddim,  gives them “Papa Gemi Mek Yu Bad So”. Quite honestly the crowd are absolutely spoilt for choice here, as there are so many good performers to choose from. Special mention here has to go to a severely underrated deejay Audie Murphy. He really gets the audience roaring in his pieces “No Vacancy”, “Bounty Hunter” and the spot on “Wicked Mr Murphy”. Wicked indeed!”

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Gemini – U.W.I. Students Union, 8 Cedar Valley Road, Kingston 6, August 1983

Featuring: Audie Murphy, Barrington Levy, Liberty, Zuzu, Junior Reid, Toyan, Johnny Turner, Thriller, Michael Irie, Lui Lepki, Ringo, Horace Andy, Cory Irie, Papa Dimes, General Scratchy, Hugh Griffiths, Squiddly Ranking

Selector – Archie & Squiddly Ranking

“Another all star line up around the Gemini decks featuring some well known artists and some not so known. Barrington Levy seems to be at nearly every dance as does Junior Reid but its Hugh Griffiths who shines on this night with some good adaptations of “Bend Down Low” and “Right Track”. Lui Lepki gets some “forwards” from the Union crowd for his “Return Of The Champion” as does the enthusiastic Papa Dimes who’s full of lyrics, albeit most of them borrowed, for “Good Better Best” and “Me Hot.”

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Gemini – Enid Anglin Community Centre, 2b Baker Street, Admiral Town, Kingston, 21st August 1983

Featuring: Michael Irie, Peter Metro, Lady Anne, Barrington Levy, Thriller, Squiddly Ranking, Icho Candy, Junior Reid

Selector - Archie

“Billed as Gemini’s “last dance before the tour” this was promoted by the wonderfully named Mughead and Sturridge. Of the deejays picked to go to England on the 26th August only Squiddly Ranking is present here and he’s in good long talking form in “Keeping A Dance” and “Know ‘Bout Me Country”. Archie’s selects some rocking music from Dennis Brown, Frankie Paul and Frankie Jones while deejays Michael Irie and Peter Metro, fresh from Germany, put in stellar work on the versions with Metros “Country Gal Nice” standing out here.”

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Gemini posse on David Rodigan’s “Roots Rockers” radio show, Capital Radio, London, September 1983

Papa Gemini, Archie, Welton Irie, Ringo, Squiddly Ranking

“This is the touring Gemini posse guesting on David Rodigan’s popular Capital Radio “Roots Rockers” reggae show to promote their forthcoming UK dates. The recording has Welton, Ringo and Squiddly talking about their careers and has them freestyling on riddims like “The Whip” and “Johnny Dollar”. As an added bonus you also get to hear the sounds boss Papa Gemini talk about the history of the set and selector Archie picks some of his favourite Gemini dub plate specials.”

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Gemini Hi Fi Ace Cinema Brixton 10 9 83

I was lucky enough to attend this session, here’s a little rundown of the parts I can remember.

The Ace was a big old cinema next door to Brixton Town Hall, they used to have rock gigs in there and later moved the Fridge Club into it. Sir Coxsone had a Sunday residency in there where they would have other sounds playing with them.

We got to the venue very early and Gemini were still setting up. When we arrived the sound was being set up on the big stage at the front of the venue. The first thing Archie played was the Gemini Skateland Heartbeat LP, the Eek A Mouse part over ‘Kouchie’ but everytime he dropped the bass the needle started jumping. They kept trying different things but could not fix the problem so lucky for us they decided to move the sound from off of the stage.

They moved the set to the back of the venue where they used to have the PA desk for live gigs, exactly where we were standing. This did not take very long at all and was much better than on the big old stage. Was great watching them string up the sound and being only seperated from them by a small crowd barrier. Within minutes they were playing without any needle jumping problems. The boxes they used looked very much like Saxon’s, if anyone can verify this it would be nice??

Ringo, Welton and Squiddly soon came around the control tower, if I remember rightly they all had matching Addidas tracksuits with their names on the back, but I was a bit under the influence so that may be wrong!! They flashed lyric after lyric all night giving us all of the latest yard runnings and plenty of their old time style and fashion too. The three of them were very versatile switching from culture to very funny slackness seamlessly. I remember there being a lot of playfull cussing of Archie, the old 'cheesy foot Archie' line being used quite a few times.

Archie played all the massive Gemini dubplates including the great ‘Skateland Killer’ by Philip Frazer, a very special moment for me as it is one of my all time favourite specials. The selection really was great, new stuff, classics and plenty of Studio 1.

I had never seen the Ace so rammed as it was that night and the atmosphere was electric. There were tape machines all over the place (would love to hear any of the taped in the dance one’s if anyone out there still has any?) It seemed as though everyone turned out for Papa Gemi’s first dance in the UK. I remember seeing Ranking Trevor and I’m sure at some point Lee Van Cleef & Lui Lepke turned up and briefly chatted over a couple of rhythms, as I said before though, I had a few that night and it was a long time ago!

We left in the early hours but the session was still rammed and in full swing. All in all it was great night made even better for being right behind the control tower watching Archie operate the sound and Ringo, Welton and Squiddly doing what they used to do so well.

Here is a part of the session for you to hear, very nice it is too but sadly it is nothing like actually being there and soaking up the vibes of one of the greatest JA sounds of the early 80’s.......

Jayman

Gemini Hi Fi Ace Cinema, Brixton 10-9-83

Featuring: Ringo, Welton Irie, Squiddly Ranking

Operator: Archie

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Gemini – Phebes Club, 240a Amhurst Road, Stoke Newington, London, October 1983

Featuring: Welton Irie, Ringo, Squiddly Ranking

Selector – Archie

“This recording of Gemini’s appearance at Phebes Club has running time of over 2 hour and 40 minutes it gives us a great, uninterrupted coverage of one of the dances of the year. There’s a who’s who of reggae supas in the audience, including Dennis Brown, Sugar Minott, Don Carlos and Bunny Lee, and they are treated to Gemini at their very best. Archie selects a great mix of Studio 1 and crisp dubplates from the soundbox and yard-stars Welton Irie, Ringo and Squiddly Ranking run through classic lyrics and flash new styles for the UK audience. Phebes must have been rammed for one of the dances of the year!”

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Gemini v Killamanjaro Skateland, Half Way Tree Road, January 1984

Part 1: Ringo, Dicky Ranking, Yellowman, Squiddly Ranking, Half Pint, Thriller, Papa San, Shinehead, Alton Irie

Selector – Charles

“Gemini move into 1984 with this clash with Killamanjaro. Ringo sees a lot of the early action alongside Dicky Ranking and they are joined by singers Thriller and the upcoming Half Pint, who croons “Gemini Weh You Bad So”. The dance shifts up a gear when American visitor Shinehead grabs the microphone and lets the Jamaican posses hear what he can do. Not surprisingly he calls for the “A Get A Lick” riddim and they get “Billie Jean” and his whistling in fine style. His New York spar, the late Alton Irie, also impresses on the “Unmetered Taxi” detailing the spread of “Cocaine.”

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Part 2: Shinehead, Alton Irie, Squidley Ranking, Peter Metro, Ringo, Kuru, Dickie Ranking, Eek A Mouse, Bubbler.

Selector - Charles

Thanks to our good spar Daddy Keimo we can now present to you a next part to the Gemi side and Charles drops some nice Sugar Minott specials including the killer ‘Going to Gemini’ over the ‘shank I shek’ rhythm. Sing Jay Kuru steps up to the mic giving the Skateland posse his unique style. We are then treated to a performance from ‘Big’ Eek A Mouse who gets the crowd bawling when he steps up over the ‘real rock’ and drops some of his fashion. The Half Way Tree crowd go wild and Charles has to pull it up numerous times.

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Many thanks to Daddy KeimoZone for the Part 2......

 

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Gemini @ Skateland, Half Way Tree Road, Kingston 5, February 1984

Featuring: Thriller, Joe Lickshot, Lui Lepki, Billy Boyo, Elfigo Barker, Squiddly Ranking, Tinga Stewart, Macca P, Dillinger, Tipper Lee, Rappa Robert, Robert French, Ringo, Puddy Roots, Half Pint, Echo Minott, Brigadier Jerry, Yellowman, Cory Irie, Prince Psalms, Reggae Bob, Chim Cherry, Papa Dimes, Papa San

Selector – Charles

“Another all star cast assembled around the Gemini control tower with numerous cameos’ from artists both old and new. Yellowman wants “Not A Pretty Gal” in his life while Dillinger chants out Ras Michael’s “Non A Jah Jah Children”. Half Pint is a singer on the rise and he airs some of his new Jammy’s hits “Pouchie Lou” and “Money Man Skank”. There is also a notable, and rare appearance, from singer Tinga Stewart whose wonderful vocals can be heard versioning his big hit “Dry Up Your Tears.”

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Gemini @ Gemini  Club, 39 Half Way Tree Road, Kingston 5, February 1984

 

Featuring: Redman, Welton Irie, Joe Lickshot, Ringo, Mellow Tuffy, Michael Palmer, Audie Murphy, Papa Dimes

 

Selector – Charles

 

“Gemini are back at their headquarters  in the Crossroads area for this nice little session. Welton Irie and Ringo are side by side running things with Welton Irie flashing some new lyrics, “only two days old” on “Join the Eradication”, a tale of if you can’t beat them join them. Ringo’s “Higgler Move” gets a good response as does a confident Mellow Tuffy on “History Of We Island”, a lyrical history lesson. Michael Palmer is a singer with the flavour and he’s here to sing off some of his current boom shots. Sounds like “Long Run Short Ketch”, “Cool Nuh” and his monster tune “Smoke The Weed” all rock the Gemini Club’s foundations.”

 

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Gemini Waltham Avenue, Kingston, circa February/March 1984

Ringo, General Screechy, Junior Reid, Welton Irie, Peter Metro, Tonto Metro, Squiddly Ranking, Robert French, Echo Minott, Mellow Tuffy, Thriller, Papa Dimes, Yellowman, Toyan

Selector – Charles

“More of Gemini “Superstars Mix Up”, this time in Waltham Avenue and there are some big riddims being aired by selector Charles The Apache, who’s still filling in for Archie.  The General riddim, very popular due to Barrington Levy’s “Dances Are Changing”, gets the “line up” treatment with Junior Reid, Thriller, Ringo, Welton Irie, Echo Minott, Papa Dimes and Yellowman all doing their own “thing” over this mighty recut. Peter Metro is back from working in the Cayman Islands and he’s got his apprentice Tonto “Ranking” Metro by his side. Peter deejays his “Richard Pryor Ketch A Fire” and then adds Michael Jackson to the list of burning celebrities.”

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Gemini @ Skateland, Half Way Tree Road, Kingston 5, February/March 1984

 

Featuring: Welton Irie, Jackie Statement, Mellow Tuffy, Rappa Robert, Junior Reid, Cory Irie, Papa Dimes, Echo Minott, Sugar Minott, Phillip Fraser, Triston Palma, Michael Palmer

 

Selector – Archie

 

“It’s time for the singers to take over the Gemini controls and there are six of the best on show here. Triston Palma’s “What A Bubbling” and “Disappointed Lover” shows his style off well and Echo Minott touches a couple of cover versions in “Sweet Dreams” and “Human Nature”. Sugar Minott causes worries in the dance and the crowd roars for his “Never Give Up” and “A1 Sound”. Veteran Phillip Fraser is always welcome in a dance and on his “Please Stay” and “Sharing The Night” he’s accompanied by a un-credited melodic player, who was probably Prince Psalms. Towards the end, Welton Irie takes exception to Mellow Tuffy, who’s claiming some lyrics as his own, and he threatens to “box his mouth”. Cut and thrust, dancehall style.”

 

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Gemini @ Kingston, March/April 1984

 

Featuring: Super Cat, Dillinger, Michael Palmer, Squiddly Ranking, Fabian, Dicky Ranking, Yellowman, Mellow Tuffy, Leroy Smart, Jah Thomas, Colourman, Welton Irie, Brigadier Jerry

 

Selector – Archie

 

“Big line up of artists for this dance at an unknown venue in Kingston. Many pass through the voicing area including Yellowman with “Just Money, ”Michael Palmer with “Lick Shot” and Dillinger with “Discotheque”. Colourman makes a very impressive cameo in “Open The Bible”, a lyrical dissection of the Holy Book. Leroy Smart was very prominent in the dancehalls at this time and here he showcases his hits of the day like “That Girl”, Don’t Go”, “Dance It A Fe Cork” and “She Jus’ A Draw Card”, all of which goes down well with the crowd. Pity there’s not another part to this as Super Cat and Brigadier Jerry just start to do their thing as the tape runs out. Part 2 anyone?”

 

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Gemini @ Ewarton, St Catherine, 1984

 

Featuring: Dicky Ranking, Charlie Chaplin

 

Selector - Archie

 

“Gemini travel inland to the town of Ewarton in the parish of St Catherine. This tape is heavily edited in favour of Dicky Ranking and Charlie Chaplin, unfortunately obliterating Michael Irie from the proceedings. Still, Dicky and Charlie have plenty to say with Dicky showing his prowess on “Black Liberation”, “Gun Hawk” and “Dem Bawling”. Charlie’s just as good, as shown on “Intelligence” delivered over the version to Little John’s “Say What You’re Saying.”

 

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Gemini @ Skateland, Half Way Tree Road, Kingston 5, May 1984

 

Featuring: Mellow Tuffy, Welton Irie, Dicky Ranking, Phillip Fraser, Junior Reid, Joe Lickshot, Michael Palmer,

Peter Metro, Mikey Hornsman, Buro Banton, Toyan

 

Selector – Archie

 

“More worries in the giant venue of Skateland and Archie blasts out some typically fine Gemini selection, which at this time has to feature the classic dancehall riddims “The Answer” and “Johnny Dollar”. Two months on and Welton Irie and Mellow Tuffy are still squabbling over who originated “Borrow Clothes”. Michael Palmer’s here again, doing “Rip & Run Off” and “Belly Lick” for the crowd and Junior Reid, back from “foreign”, sounds in good shape on a medley of “Days Are Getting Longer/Have You Seen Her”. Toyan deejays, and promotes, his latest record release “Hot Bubble Gum” and Peter Metro details the recent visit to Jamaica by Michael Jackson. Gossip time in the dancehall!”

 

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Gemini @ Gemini  Club, 39 Half Way Tree Road, Kingston 5, 16th May 1984

 

Featuring: Dicky Ranking, Buro Banton, Danny Dread, Michael Irie, Bubbler, Joe Lickshot, Yellowman, Alton Irie,

Mellow Tuffy, Papa Michigan, Zuzu, Jackie Statement, Papa Dimes

 

Selectors – Archie & Charles

 

“Another Wednesday night jamboree for Gemini at their HQ and another all star line up. Gun salutes are causing problems in the dance and there’s a threat of the club being closed down by police commissioner Joe Williams. But this session’s firing with regulars like Buro and Dicky Ranking seeing a lot of the microphone. Yellowman passes through with Alton Irie and Papa Michigan in tow and they add flavour to the melting pot. Alton Irie, back on the island from USA, notes the rise in “Gas Prices” while Papa Michigan quotes “Black History” as he wrestles with the fast talk, but Yellow says the speed talk “is not for me” and he leaves it well alone.”

 

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After Gemini’s successful 1983 tour of England, in 1984 they embarked on a lengthy tour of USA. It seems that they only took Ringo, Dicky Ranking and selector Archie for the dates, but each dance was supplemented by an array of established local artists and Ja supas passing through New York. The tour started early in July and as this list shows they were still going strong in September. The following list isn’t definitive, but it shows where some of the big Gemini dances took place.

 

July

First show -  Club Dynasty, Brooklyn

6th - Galaxy Ballroom, Brooklyn

7th - Philadelphia

13th - Alexander Hamilton Hotel, Paterson, New Jersey (with Papa Moke)

14th - Club Empire, Brooklyn (with Third World)

15th - Falcon Crest Club, Brooklyn

20th – Bronx HQ, Bronx

21st – Club Jamaica, Manhattan

August

..... – Highlight Racquet Club, Queens

10th – Connecticut

11th – Washington

12th – Club Boom Boom, Brooklyn

31th – Club Empire, Brooklyn (with Sir Tommy’s)

September

15th – Empire Skate Rink, Brooklyn

29th - Galaxy Ballroom, Brooklyn

 

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Gemini @ Club Dynasty, 2148 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, early July 1984

 

Trevor Junior, Ringo, Teddy Brown, Sugar Minott, Lone Ranger, George Nooks, Mikey Jarrett, Dicky Ranking, Sammy Dread, Nicodemus, Carlton Livingston, Augustus Thomas, Alton Irie

 

Selector – Archie

 

“Gemini are causing a roadblock for their opening night at Club Dynasty and there’s a superstar roll call in attendance to welcome the sound. Archie selects from the Studio One section of his dub box and it’s the “Party Time” riddim that opens this tape and a succession of artists take up the microphone. Singers Trevor Junior and Teddy Brown voice out before Sugar Minott and Sammy Dread hot up the spot. They duet on a version of Sugar’s “River Jordan” and “Ain’t No Sound Like Gemini” is Minott’s salute to the set. Nicodemus and Lone Ranger are veteran deejays now both living and working in USA and they join the celebrations with typically fine performances. Ringo’s “Gentleman Principle” is well received by the massive, who are treated to an evening with a champion sound.”

 

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Gemini vs Third World @ Club Empire, 103 Empire Blvd, Brooklyn, 14th July 1984

 

Featuring: Ringo, Dicky Ranking, Mikey Jarrett, Sammy Dread

 

Selector – Archie

 

“It’s only when you hear Ringo’s newly built lyrics in “Dance In a Dynasty” that you realise how much of a stir the opening night of the tour caused. It went down “in a history”, with a “crowd nuff nuff” and a stampede to get in. This dance held a week or so later at Club Empire in Brooklyn has more of Ringo and Dicky Ranking entertaining the masses. The latter, who missed out on Gemini’s ’83 tour of England, revels in the spotlight delivering lyrics like “Nice Up The Scene” and “Every Time Me Deejay In A Session”. Long time New York resident Mikey Jarrett still has the Ja vibes, with his “Yardman” and “Peoples Rock” proving the point.

 

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Gemini @ Falcon Crest Club, Brooklyn, 15th July 1984

 

Featuring: Dicky Ranking, Alton Irie, Augustus Thomas, Sister Carol, Ringo, Tinga Stewart

 

Selector – Archie

 

“Recorded the very next night at the Falcon Crest Club, again in Brooklyn. Archie plays more current here with tunes almost exclusively from Anthony Johnson and Half Pint in this excerpt. Sister Carol, a strong defender of the Rasta faith, remembers the “Coronation Of King Selassie” and singer Tinga Stewart excels with “Your Love” on the killer riddim “Hi Fashion.”

 

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Gemini @ Highlight Racquet Club, Queens, early August  1984

 

Featuring: Ringo, Dicky Ranking, Rev. Badoo, Lone Ranger, Phillip Montgomery, Mikey Jarrett, Jah Meekley, Sister Carol,

Tommy Trouble

 

Selector – Archie

 

“ The Gemini tour rumbles on, this time stopping in Queens at the Highlight Racquet (or is it Rocket?) Club for an open air session. Ringo announces that “We Are The Gorgon” and continues to shock out especially on “Johnny Ringo Why You Bad So”, his nod to the UK deejays. On the tapes we have of this tour Archie didn’t flash too many specials, preferring to showcase current music and Studio One classics. Lone Ranger versions his hit single “Fort X” and Preacher Rev. Badoo follows him with “Talk To Dem” on the version to Johnny Osbourne’s “Check For You.”

 

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Gemini vs Sir Tommy’s Club Empire, 103 Empire Blvd, Brooklyn, 31st August 1984

 

Gemini - Josey Wales, Lui Lepki, Ringo, Lee Van Cliff, Dicky Ranking, Frankie Paul (talk only),

 

Selector – Archie

 

Sir Tommy’s – Donovan, Junior Wilson, Mouth A Massy, Rev. Badoo

 

Selector – Tommy

 

“Gemini are joined by New York’s own Sir Tommy’s sound in another dance at Club Empire. You get to hear both sounds starting with Gemini who have Josey Wales as their main attraction and the “Outlaw” is in ruling form. “Bobo Dread” on the Prison Oval” riddim is always a crowd pleaser and he gets an extra load roar when he boasts “Me Sexy”. Lui Lepki and Lee Van Cliff both tell of how things a run in America and Ringo and Dicky are still rolling out their lyrics. After the handover to Sir Tommy’s their first entertainer is Donovan, a veteran of the Stereophonic posse and he takes time out to remember the days of General Echo and the crew. His “I Man Born Ya” proceeds singer Junior “Willow” Wilson’s cover version of “Dreadlocks Girl”. Two sounds combining well to rock Brooklyn.”

 

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