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Metromedia have been a fixture of the Jamaican sound system scene for over 30 years now. Based in the Woodford Park area, Kingston 4 it was originally started by Lou Gooden and some associates around 1974. After he migrated in 1976 it was taken over by the current owner Jimmy "Daddy" Metro (b. Haldaine James). When the sound started out the equipment was a basic “amplifier, two Goodman speakers and a long time Garrard turntable.” As time went by the set was upgraded and because Jimmy had worked at Dynamic records since 1973 he had almost instant access to all the latest tunes.

By the early eighties the sound had grown and they were regularly playing at the main dancehall venues. Their popularity increased with the arrival in 1981 of Peter Metro (b. Peter Clarke), who's performances on the microphone were dynamic, filled with humour and lyrical dexterity. He was one of the first, if not the first, to deejay in Spanish to great effect. Metro's sparring partner on the set at this time was a deejay/singer called Zuzu (b. M. Murray), with whom he had a big hit in Jamaica with "Join The Army".

Other popular entertainers for Metromedia around this time included Massive Dread (b. Dennis James), Dicky Ranking (b. Norman Suppria), Ashman and Sprouty Ranks. In these early days Jack was the regular selector and he was joined around 82/83 by Sky Juice (b. Christopher Blake), who'd worked previously with the Black Zodiac sound. This was the start of Sky Juice’s long association with Metromedia as their premier selector, which continues to this day.

A visit to England in 1984 saw Peter Metro along with Josey Wales, Sister Verna and Sister Katy rocking the London crowds. Back in Jamaica Metromedia were regulars in the soundclash arena with the core of Peter Metro as their main lyrical weapon. Another Metro regular was deejay chanter Danny Dread (b. Donat Codner), a veteran who worked on sounds like Black Zodiac and Killamanjaro eventually gaining the nickname Reverand Danny Dread.

Peter's apprentice Tonto Metro (b. Mark Wolfe) made his first steps in the music business quickly developing into a fine deejay. In 1987, after recording "Cockney & Yardie" with Peter Metro, white Londoner Dominic (b. Dominic Kenny) could often be heard holding the mic. Niggah Mikey (b. Michael Grant) was another established resident deejay as was Chicken Chest (b. Alton Thomas).

More tours followed, first to Canada in 1988, Japan in 1989 and another tour of England in 1990. By this time deejay Japanese and singer Doctor C were part of the crew and Metromedia continued to carry "live" artists on the sound well into the nineties. But times were changing and dubplate soundclashes were now dominating the scene. Jimmy Metro, Oliver and the rest of the crew have continued to compete in the cut throat juggling arena, with the larger than life selector/mc Sky Juice being the main attraction with his enthusiastic approach to soundclashes.

 

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Metromedia Cope Lawn, East Kingston 1980

Featuring: Django, Welton Irie


“This is the earliest recording we’ve heard of the Metromedia sound. The tape took a lot of restoring and the quality variable. It predates the arrival of Peter Metro by about a year. The session has two micmen usually found on Stereophonic around this time, Welton Irie and Django. The slackness style is here but its also 1980, a violent election year, so Welton also tackles more serious matters by asking “where are all the guns coming from”. The unknown selector drops a good selection of Sammy Dread and Mighty Diamonds tunes and the two deejays add to the vibes of this vintage Metro dance.”

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Metromedia Dunkirk, East Kingston December 1981

Featuring: Peter Metro, Zu Zu, General Plough, Tyrone Taylor, Micheal Irie....

Operator: Jack...

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Metromedia Arnett Garden, Kingston July 1982

Featuring: Peter Metro, Massive Dread, Zu Zu, Papa Wayne, Papa Ritchie....

Operator: Sky Juice....

“Around the turn of the 80's the Metromedia sound was building a good reputation on the dancehall circuit. The main reason for their popularity was probably down to the presence of charismatic deejay Peter Metro. For this dance in Tivoli Gardens in Western Kingston, Sky Juice is at the controls, as he still is today, and it's the 'Unmetered Taxi' riddim which drives Metro's connection lyrics. He's joined by the late Massive Dread, who’s bubbling style was a dancehall favourite. Here he flashes his 'National Heroes' lyrics along with the hit song 'This Is Massive'. Papa's Wayne and Ritchie in combination, trade girl lyrics and comment on the 1982 Brazilian Football Team. But it's Peter 'Pedro' Metro who shines brightest here, often chatting and singing 'en espanol' at length. As he rightly say's ' Jamaica Proud A Me'. Metromedia's status continued to grow over they years, and although mainly a juggling sound now, Sky Juice is rated as one of the world's best selectors.”

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Metromedia New Braeton July 1982

Featuring: Peter Metro, Zu Zu, Jah Thomas, Sprouty Ranking

Operator: Sky Juice

 

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Metromedia Standpipe, Cedar Valley Sept 1982


Featuring: Peter Metro, Tiger, Ranking Toyan, Sprouty Ranks, Crackie Ranks, Zuzu, Delroy Screechie, Skengy One


Operators: Jack, Earlu


A great Metromedia session this and it is all the more special as it is the first time Tiger appeared on the set, in fact it is the first time Metro gets to meet the young Tiger and as he say's “Tiger's bad to rass”

He mashes up the dance first over the 'Hi fashion' rhythm getting big forwards for his 'knock 3 times' & 'Can't take me momma in law' and then over the great 'Johnny Dollar' with 'Nah fight police officer' after an officer tells Metro to turn down the volume as the sound is disturbing the patients at a nearby hospital, probably the Chest hospital that is in the Standpipe area. Even with the low volume Tiger gets the crowd bawling again with 'Sister Myrcle'. Towards the end he gets them going again with his mad take on Bob Marley's 'Chase them crazy baldheads', a star in the making!

Metro is also on good form giving the crowd, 'Socarumba', 'Vegetable on me table' and his great combination piece with Zuzu, 'Army life'.

Zuzu himself gives some nice versatile dj/vocal performances and Skengy One gets the crowd bawling forward for his 'Back off' lyrics

All in all a really good tape that is full of vibes and that is all the more interesting as it is a snapshot of the rise of one of the big names of the late 80's Daddy Tiger.

Many thanks to Massie for this one, wicked tape my friend I really didn't want this one to stop.....

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Metromedia Skateland Roller Disco, Halfway Tree, Kingston January 1983

Featuring: John Wayne, Junior Reid, Ringo, Squiddley Ranking, Robert French, Ranking Toyan,
Zu Zu, Santana, Copper Colin, Michael Irie

Selector: Jack

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Metromedia Gemini Club May 1983

Featuring: Sugar Minott, Yellowman, Junior Reid, Peter Metro, Michael Palmer, Robert French,
Jah Thomas, Peter Ranking, John Wayne, Super Richie

Operator: Jack

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Metromedia @ May Pen, Clarendon, August 1983


Peter Metro, Welton Irie, Errol Turner, Sprouty Ranks


Selector – Jack


“This taped in the dance session hails from May Pen and features two powerhouse deejays, Peter Metro and Welton Irie. Right from the start “Mr Metro Deh ‘Bout” and he continues to rock on “Chim Cherrie,” “Seven Heroes Of Jamaica” and “Experience.” Welton’s a veteran and he’s not outshone, revelling in “Come Ya Quick”, “Can’t Stand It” and “Cool & Deadly.” Singer Errol Turner sings nicely on “Collie Man Tree” while the strangely named Sprouty chats “They Never Know.”

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Metromedia Hi Fi Chisolm Avenue 25-12-83

Featuring: Brigadier Jerry, Peter Metro, Zu Zu, Ranking Toyan, Dickie Ranking,
Squiddley Ranking

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Metromedia 82 Chisholm Avenue 1984

Featuring: Peter Metro, Danny Dread, Ranking Toyan, Johnny Black, Robert French....

Operator: Jack

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Session eight: -- Metromedia/Sir Coxsone, Kilburn, London Dec 1984

Featuring : Bikey Dread, General Dan, Jah Screechy, Daddy Younger, Peter Metro, Sister Verna, Josey Wales


A visit to London late 1984 finds a small part of the Metromedia posse in Kilburn for this session. The Coxsone crew hand over to top yard deejays Peter Metro and Josey Wales assisted by Sister Verna and they tear up the place in "Pure Jamaican Stlye". Josey and Peter are in fine form touching down on some great riddims, with lyrics from hits like "Bobo Dread", "Hoola Hoop", "Everything Gone Electric" and in combination for "Calypso, Calypso".

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Metromedia, Kingston September 1985 (Respect to G Wizz for this one)

Featuring: Peter Metro, Little Kirk, Ashman, Chicken Chest, Ultimate, Daddy Blue, Zuzu, Chuck Turner

Selector: Sky Juice

"It's the day after a big four sound clash at U.W.I. Students Union and it seems that Metromedia have been the victims of sabotage and feelings are running high. Youthman singers Little Kirk and Chuck Turner both make an appearance an Chicken Chest and Daddy Blue tackle another thorny subject, politics business. Ashman and Peter Metro give us an acappella "Aids a Go Round" before Peter relates his experiences of "Police Ina England".

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Metromedia @ August Town, Kingston 6, 1986

Featuring : Peter Metro, Tonto Metro, Chicken Chest, Tonto Irie, Ashman, Tiger, Power Saw.

Selector: Sky Juice

"Classic early 1986 Metro session in the August Town area of Kingston. Peter Metro, his apprentice Tonto Metro, Chicken Chest and Ashman have the crowd rocking and they are joined by two of the Black Star deejays passing through, Tonto Irie and Tiger, who's a star on the rise at this time. He really tears it up in rough as usual and Sky Juice keeps the selections fresh and lyrics flow from all the entertainers"

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Metromedia Skateland May 1986

Featuring: Tiger, Peter Metro, Puddy Roots, Errol Turner, Blinky, Ashman, Tanto Metro, Zu Zu, Django, Welton Irie, Dogman

Operator: Skyjuice

A late addition to the Metromedia special. This one is one I thought I could not save as it was very low and hissy. I tried out a few new processes on it and it has come out surprisingly well.

Its a very nice session and we get Tiger as special guest on Metro sound mashing up the place as usual. Skyjuice drops some great selection including tunes from Nitty Gritty, Frankie Paul, Echo Minott & Peter Metro. He also Drops the Metro Hornsman Sleng Teng dubplate before Puddy Roots tells how 'Metro a block up the town'

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Metromedia Sun Light Street, Kingston January 1987

Featuring: Squiddley Ranking, Django, Penny Irie, Ashman, Tanto Metro, Elfeego Bacca,
Daddy Life, Don Angelo, Roger Goldman, Andrew B

Operator: Sky Juice

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Metromedia Dunkirk 23-3-1987

Featuring: Barrington Levy, Dominic, Nicodemus, Junior Demus, Peter Metro, Cutty Ranks,
Chicken Chest, Jah Thomas, Don Angelo, Troy Wonder, Mellow Tuffy, Daddy Life,
Cripple Youthman, Hornsman, Joe Lickshot

Operator: Sky Juice

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Metromedia Ascot Lawn, Old Harbour, St Catherine 1987

Featuring: Papa San, Peter Metro, Anthony Redrose, Horace Ferguson, Danny Dread,
Dominic, Puddy Roots, Sanchez, Tonto Metro, Teddy Irie....

Selector: Sky Juice

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Metromedia vs Rambo Whitehall Avenue, Constant Spring Feb 1988

Featuring: Puddy Roots, Peter Metro, Tonto Metro, Danny Dread, Dicky Ranking, Doctor C

Selector: Sky Juice

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Metromedia @ Club Caribbean, Toronto, Canada 14th Nov. 1988

Featuring : Doctor C, Japanese, Puddy Roots, Peter Metro, Tonto Metro, Junior Demus, Fatman, Stamma Ranks, Lady Lyrics

Selector: Sky Juice

"The full Metro crew are on tour, touching down at Club Caribbean in Toronto for this dance. Japanese has now joined Peter Metro and Tonto Metro as one of the sounds top deejays, while Doctor C, Puddy Roots and local youth Fatman handle the vocals well. Tunes from Sanchez are ruling the dancehall and Sky Juice has them all, particularly for the ladies.Junior Demus gets plenty of forwards from the Toronto massive for his stop/start style, while Metro's, Peter and Tonto work in combination keeping the lyrics flowing.
One sad note from the session is when Peter Metro send out a special request to Zuzu, his old time sparring partner in Miami, who's now wheelchair bound after a shooting accident."

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Metromedia vs Aries Delamere Avenue, Waltham Park, Kingston 1988

Featuring : Puddy Roots, Daddy Life, Michael Prophet, Danny Dread, Pinchers, Professor Nuts, Daddy Major, Lecturer, Junior Demus and Joe Lickshot...

Selector - Sky Juice

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Metromedia vs Stone Love 1989 Kingston

Featuring: Japanese, Cutty Ranks, Junior Cat, German, Don Angelo

Selector: Sky Juice

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Metromedia International 2 Manchester UK May 1990


Featuring: Echo Minott, Peter Metro, Japanese, Lecturer, Danny Dread, Johnny P, Robert Lee..

Selector: Sky Juice

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Metromedia Waltham Park, Kingston September 1990

Featuring: Billy Boyo, Cutty Ranks, Peter Metro, Danny Dread, Junior Demus, Nuthead, Dicky Ranking...

Selector: Sky Juice

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Metromedia Hunts Bay, Kingston January 1991

Featuring: U Roy, Ninjaman, Cutty Ranks, Charlie Chaplin, Danny Dread, Panhead, Japanese..

Selector: Sky Juice

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Metromedia v Downbeat International @ Caribbean American Social Club, Yonkers, New York 1997

Featuring : Metromedia Selector: Sky Juice & Downbeat Selector: Tony Screw

"Times have changed in the dancehall and clashes are all the rage. Here though we have two of the great foundation sounds going head to head with dubplates galore and , unusually its 100% foundation singers from start to finish. Downbeat's Tony Screw has always had access to Studio One rhythms through his friendship with Coxsone Dodd and his dub box runs deep with unique foundation tunes. But Metromedia can draw vintage tunes too and they more than hold their own with many Studio One dubplates as well as modern relicks.The two selectors have mutual respect for each other and the rivalry remains friendly. And the winner is…."

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