We are delighted to present to you this new section featuring tapes from legendary collector Dave Brown. He kindly took time out to do the following interview for us and he is also going to be supplying tapes from his collection to add to this section.
We would also like to send a big thanks out to Daddy Sankofa for the picture and much more.
WCTD meets Dave Brown Sept 2010
WCTD: Hi Dave, first off we’d like to know a little bit about your background. Where did you grow up and when did you get your introduction to reggae and that all important first sound tape?
DB: Greetings everyone, well I started to collect not sound tapes, but radio tapes during 1979 when I returned to Jamaica for the first time since left in 1973. I recorded 2 tapes from JBC and RJR radio programs which featured Mikey Dread and others. I also recorded a 90min audio journal titled 'Talk Yard 79' which I recently transferred to CD in 2008, the recording was done in St Catherine, Jones Town, Linstead and Kingston.
I've always been someone who liked to capture and preserve history and I brought this same energy into collecting tapes. One thing I learnt early on was that if you get a tape don't lose it or lend it out. Plenty of collectors lost tons of tapes this way.
In 1979 I attended my first concert and it was 'Bob Marley' live in Toronto Nov 1st and again I recorded the concert at the age of 17 and it was this that lead me into sound system tapes...
WCTD: Can you tell us about some of the earliest sound tapes that you started to listen to. How did you come about getting your tapes in the early days?
DB: Well in the early days I started to listening to Canadian sound system's such as Leroy Sibbles sound 'Papa Melody' that was in 1979 and then 'Stereophonic', 'Virgo' and “Jah Love” this was during my school days...getting sound tape was no easy thing during my last years in school and to most of the folks who had the tapes. I had two friends who helped me out Winston and Courtney. They would lend me a tape for one night and I had to pay $2.00 - $4.00 for each copy of the tape. This was during 1980 when Stereophonic/ Virgo was some of the leading sound in Jamaica and their tapes for some reason made it into the hands of many collectors or fans back then...
WCTD: We’ve seen the extensive list of tapes that you’ve built up through the years, and it is quite mind boggling. Can you chart for us your collectors journey from those early days through to more recent times?
DB: The thing about collecting, which I knew early on, was not to lose any of the tapes I’d get, so plenty of folks over the years lost their tapes but I’d have all of mine! I did not lend out tapes, I’d always make copies for friends but never lend out the originals.. in the early years I met a few friends who would give me a copy of their tapes but it was a slow process. During (1981-1984) might have been the best time to collect plenty of tapes but I’d be sure not to lose any of them...and my collection just kept on growing...
WCTD: We know the Jah Love Muzik sound is a personal favourite of yours. How have you gone about acquiring such a great number of Jah Love cassettes?
DB: Jah Love Muzik tape is my personal favourite sound, during 1981 I started to collect the sound tapes, at first a few of my friend gave me copies and then I would reach out to others in the UK and the USA and even when I went any where and folks were talking about sound system I’d start to enquired about Jah Love Muzik tapes. In 1993 I only had 100 Jah Love tapes, at this moment I have just over 500! Plenty of work and sometimes you would get a lot of BS from others who say they had tape and in the end they have none. But it's my love of collecting and enjoyed meeting a few folks in this process. Some time you just don't know who will have a gem of a tape and I’ve found plenty of nice tapes this way.
WCTD: Which are your other favourite sounds? Have you managed to see many of them over the years when they have passed through Canada?
DB: Throughout the years plenty of sound have passed through Toronto and I’ve managed to see a few such as Killamanjaro, Jack Ruby 86, Sturgav 83, Jah Love June 1999. During my first trip back to Jamaica I had the chance to see Emperor Faith @ Marverly but it did not work out that night. In 1981, my second time returning home, I had chance to see Virgo disco in action @ Jungle, I heard the sound playing early in the evening but my cousin said during the night in the dance too many bad man would be there so I never went..it was not until July 1987 when I had the chance to see King Jammy’s playing at Kelly's Lawn in Spanish Town. The dance was very nice, but sad to say just 2 weeks after seeing Major Worries in the dance, he got killed in Aug 1987.
WCTD: Which dancehall artists do you rate highly?
DB: The artists I rate the most is General Echo and Brigadier Jerry....I enjoyed listening to Echo as he's so versatile on the mike, some night he can dj plenty of culture and the next time some slackness. Brigadier Jerry is an amazing dj. I enjoy his style on the mike. I got the chance to meet Briggy in July 1982 when him and a few others came to Canada and played a dance at 'Western Arena'. The dance was mash up by the police just after 1 am on a Sunday night.....
WCTD: Is it getting harder for you to source “new” vintage tapes these days. Do you have good contacts around the world for those elusive ones you haven’t got?
DB: The challenge to find old tapes is not easy, being a collector who has been collecting tapes since 1980 I’m glad to have some rare tapes in my collection, to tell you the truth at first when I started I did not think about getting rare tapes, everyone then wanted a clean deck tape from their favourite sound. I remember in1982/83 my pal (Paul) from NY mention about a King Tubby tape, I remember he said it was a 45min tape and he was right, well my contact are from all around the world but plenty of the rare tapes came from the USA and the rest, such as the last King Tubby @ Student Union, from the UK a few years back...one of the big challenges now is plenty of the folks who help me out 15 years ago have moved on and not into sound tape any more.
WCTD: Which tapes have been the most difficult to find? Are there any tapes out there that you know of, that you just can’t get a copy of?
DB: The tapes which were some of the hardest for me to get was Stereophonic during the mid 80's, I only got a hand full but in the 90's, again from the UK, came half of my Phonic collection, thanks to Tim and Ron they helped me out a LOT...in my collecting of sound tapes I have about 86 Stereophonic tapes/CDs which is decent. I went to Jamaica during Sept 2008 and was to link up with Big John son, but after thinking about the link up to get more Stereophonic tapes, but the area seem ruff so I change my mind ...I’d love to get a poster of any ‘Phonic dance and I did get a hold of a chap who had one from 1979 @ Jack Ruby lawn but he misplace the poster... Jah Love Muzik thanks to (GDS) in the USA he has help me out tremendously. Also some time you just need to find the right person who has the same passion as you and everything just work out so good.
WCTD: Are their any particular cassettes that you really enjoy, can you name one tape as your favourite?
DB: The sound tape I enjoyed the most from my ‘Phonic collection is from Slipe Road 1980. I title that tape tribute to Jacob Miller. I enjoyed that ‘Phonic tape most, this might be because my cousin (Marvely) recorded it, the sound played in a up stairs restaurant on that night. With my Jah Love tape I enjoyed a dance @ Ewarton, St.Catherine, Dec 31st 1980 it's a 60min and also Jah Love @ Ewarton 1981, 60min title water pump style....plus plenty more dance from different sound...Black Scorpio, Sturgav and so on..
WCTD: Which recordings do you have that you would consider as “rare”?
DB: The rare recording I still have few such as a King Tubby 75 @ Student Union which we upload. I even got a Black Harmony 1977 with General Echo 60min and a classic clean Arrows 1975.
WCTD: With reference to these rarities. Where do you stand on the “sharing” of these recordings?
DB: Sharing the rare tape with other I’m cool with this. In time they will be uploaded.
WCTD: A lot of your tapes are at least thirty years old now. Have you decided to digitalize your collection yet?
DB: Thanks to plenty of my friends who have help me through the years such as Stephen Taw, ( B Fire) Shawn and others with the transfer of tapes to CD. This is how a lot of my Jahlove tapes got shared around and most people do not know they came from my collection.
WCTD: We have managed to reunite some artists with tapes that they have appeared on, have you managed to do anything similar and what was the feedback?
DB: I've manage to reunite just a hand full of artist with some of the tapes such as Madoo, Donovan and Dennie, all of Stereophonic. Others are Brigadier, Ilawi and few more.
I'd just like to say thanks to all those people who have helped me throughout the years collecting sound tapes and I'm also a big collector of dancehall flyers and I'm still looking for any old flyers. Two in particular come to mind, Jah Love Muzik tour England 1982 and King Sturgav tour USA in 1983. If anyone have any of these flyers I'd like to get a copy...give thanks and Jah Guide.....
..Dave Brown collector – Canada (Sept 2010)
Here are some flyers from Dave's collection
Here are some of Dave's Photo's
Sessions from the vaults of Dave Brown
King Majesty vs Studio Mix Nice & Easy Club, Morant Bay, circa October 1981
King Majesty – U. Brown, Peter Ranking, Sassafrass
Selector – Jah Screw
Studio Mix – Nicodemus, Mama Liza, Sister Junie, Papa Tullo, Papa Tubby, Purpleman
Selector – Danny Dread
“This “no competition” meeting of King Majesty, one of St Thomas’ favourites and Studio Mix, from out of Kingston is a real gem. It’s a typical “taped in the dance” affair with growling basslines and clinking bottles, and captures both sounds on the go. Majesty are featured in two segments with U. Brown taking the lion’s share of the proceedings with lyrics ranging from “Hammer Them Down” to “Me Chat You Rock”. Peter Ranking is here, minus his spar General Lucky, but shows his versatility in deejaying “All Kinda Posse” and singing “Sharing the Night Together”. Sassafrass knows the ropes too and his “Eradication, Eradication” and “Raiding Party” sum up the brutal runnings in Kingston. Studio Mix have escaped the city for a while and have carried six entertainers with them. In their single segment three youthman deejays follow each other on the version to “Have You Ever”. First comes Papa Tullo with “Side A Me”, then Papa Tubby with “Under Me” and lastly Purpleman with the popular “Eases and Squeezes”. Mama Liza and Sister Junie hold up well on the ladies side too. Marshalling the sound are selector Danny Dread and Nicodemus, who hits the heights here on “Gunman Connection” which gets the biggest roar from the Morant Bay crowd.”
King Sturgav @ Hagley Park Road, Kingston, October 1981(DB143)
Featuring: Josey Wales, Charlie Chaplin
Selector – Inspector Willie
“Jamaica was in turbulence during the 1980 election year and the King Sturgav sound was mashed up in the ensuing violence. By the time of this October 1981 session Sturgav were back on the road with newcomer Josey Wales joining Charlie Chaplin, owner U. Roy and selector Inspector Willie. The latter’s selection includes music from Wayne Jarrett, Tyrone Evans and their perennial favourite Phillip Fraser. Charlie Chaplin voices lyrics like “Weeping and Wailing” and “The Sound I Love”, his ode to Daddy U. Roy’s set. In places here Josey Wales really shows the influence that U. Roy had on his style. It’s also worth noting that this could well be the earliest recording of the “Outlaw”. Essential and historic.”
King Sturgav @ 22 Cling Cling Avenue, Olympic Gardens, Kingston 11, October 1981
Featuring: Josey Wales, Charlie Chaplin, Inspector Willie, Little Twitch
Selector – Inspector Willie
“Here’s another King Sturgav from October ’81 and once again it has Charlie and Josey holding court in the dance. Daddy Josey is developing his style and his lyrics are building and these are evidenced in “Natty Dread Universal”, “Juvenile Style” and “Talk Too Much”. Charlie knows the ropes and his cultural “Non A Jah Jah Children No Cry” is chatted over Al Campbell’s “Wicked A Go Feel It”. This tape even has a moment when selector Inspector Willie takes the microphone and deejays briefly. Listen out also for a very early performance from a youthful Little Twitch, serving his apprenticeship in his first spell with Sturgav.”
Ray Symbolic @ Lissant Road, Kingston, 1980
Featuring: Ranking Joe
Selector – Jah Screw
“This is an early 1980’s session from the Ray Symbolic sound and as usual it has that dynamic partnership of Ranking Joe and Jah Screw at the controls. It’s recorded in Lissant Road, and most probably held at Love Shack Lawn venue, and most entertaining it is. Combine Jah Screw’s spot on selection, featuring shots from Sugar Minott, Barrington Levy and Black Uhuru, with Ranking Joe’s excellent rhyming skills and trademark scatting and you get another corking, and rare, outing from Ray Symbolic.”
Stereophonic v Rulertone @ Success Club, 40 Wildman Street, Kingston, 1979
Featuring: General Echo
Selector – Parson
“A booming soundclash at the Success Club, the legendary dancehall located in Wildman Street. Sadly only 23 minutes of this survives but what it does have is Stereophonic’s General Echo in full flight taking the fight to the Rulertone sound. Burial lyrics abound and Echo directs them at Rulertone’s deejay Jah Stone and their selector Jah Wise. When Parson draws the “Hi Fashion” riddim, the General uses it to preview his forthcoming single “Bathroom Sex”. One notable quip to dismiss Rulertone is “no competition here, Stereo gone clear!”
DB#84 Stereophonic @ Kingsman Lawn, Mandeville, Manchester, December 1979
General Echo, Donovan, Colonel Fluxy
Selectors – Parson, Fluxy
Mixer - Soljie
“Recorded in Mandeville, the principle town of the parish of Manchester, late in the year of 1979. The Stereophonic sound crew Parson and Fluxy have all the leading tunes of the day meaning it’s Sugar Minott and Leroy Smart like dirt. As ever it’s Echo who carries the swing, covering all themes ranging from “Westmoreland Flood” to “Give Me One Of Your Girlfriends”. Donovan could ride the riddims too, and he comes forward with some quality deejaying in “Riddle I Dis” and “Natty Moving On The Right Track.”
DB# 11 Stereophonic @ Old Harbour, St Catherine, circa December 1979
Featuring: General Echo, Fluxy, Donovan
Selectors – Parson, Fluxy
“Although dated at 1980 the musical selection and an advertised forthcoming dance for December seems to point to late 1979. Promoted by Keith down in Old Harbour this is another fine Stereophonic session which, as usual, has General Echo doing what he does best, “slacking up the place”. Over a mixture of Studio One dubs he just doesn’t care, with “Cocky Ration”, “Mary” and “Country Gal” turning the air blue. But he was such a unique and gifted performer and the people loved his style.”
DB# 3 Stereophonic @ Old Harbour, St Catherine, circa February 1980
Featuring: General Echo, Donovan, Sister Blossom
Selectors – Parson, Fluxy
“Another ‘Phonic dance in Old Harbour this time early on in 1980. The mighty ”Western Kingston/Chim Cherrie” riddim kicks the tape off and the selection moves on to feature tunes from Linval Thompson, Barrington Levy and the obligatory Studio One killer dubs. But it’s the “Stalag” that backs General Echo’s as he versions his massive Jamaican No 1 hit “Arleen” and he’s briefly joined by his girlfriend Sister Blossom aka Flora Lee. Echo was not just a slack deejay though and lyrics like “Can’t Get No Job” and “Nah Kill No Man Over Woman” show another side to the man’s talent.”
DB#51 Stereophonic @ Skateland, Half Way Tree Road, Kingston 5, September 1980
Featuring: Donovan, General Echo, Madoo, Django, Sister Rosie, Sister Nancy, Errol Scorcher, Barrington Levy, Barry Brown, Sugar Minott, Brigadier Jerry
Selectors – Jungle, Fluxy
“Here’s another version of the classic Stereophonic Skateland session as featured in their own section. This is pure magic as it features a lot more of the session, and in the right running order. Brother and sister Brigadier Jerry and Sister Nancy hold the microphone for a lot longer with Muma Nancy shining on “It A Fi Ram”, “Dance Pon The Corner” and “Up Town Top Ranking” in which she appears alongside General Echo on the Studio One cut of “No, No, No”. This includes the classic passage with the singers, Sugar Minott, Barrington Levy and Barry Brown, singing and the deejays Errol Scorcher and General Echo, singing too. A dancehall thriller for sure, this one is ESSENTIAL!”
Part 1 2016
Part 2 2016
DB#87 Stereophonic @ Blossom HQ, Half Way Tree Road, Kingston, circa March 1980
Featuring: General Echo, Colonel Flux
Selector – Colonel Flux
“This short session at Blossom HQ, recorded in March 1980, may be another part of a Stereophonic already on WCTD. The selection is pure Tony Tuff and the deejaying is from “the two man army”, General Echo and Colonel Flux. They both have something to say on the subject of “What’s Your Occupation”, but it’s Echo who has the most lyrics, as in “Jennifer Jones” and “Bionic Mek Bad So”, chatted as only he could, and in a style all of is own.”
Soulville @ Ambassa Lawn, St Anns Bay, St Ann, 1979
Featuring: General Pow Pow, Andrew Ranking, Papa Sonny, Frankie “Trainer” Barber
Selector – Jossy
“This turns out to be our oldest tape of the Soulville sound system captured in session at Ambassa Lawn in St Anns Bay. The musical selection from Jossy includes shots from Mighty Diamonds, Tony Tuff, Barrington Levy and Madoo. The quartet of unknown toasters are composed of General Pow Pow, Andrew Ranking, Frankie Barber and Papa Sonny, who could well be Sonny Ranking, a regular on sound systems in the Mo Bay and Ocho Rios area.”
*This was the first sound tape that I ever heard. Around 1982 I saw this live tape listed for sale and it said it was the Echo Vibration sound system featuring one of my favourites, Ranking Trevor. When it arrived it was on an extremely dodgy/cheap cassette and I could barely hear the recording. So I decided to try and improve the quality and eventually I could make out that it was, to my disappointment, neither Echo Vibration nor Ranking Trevor. I still had difficulty working out the sounds name. After numerous listens and rewinds I thought the deejays were saying they were the ”King & I” sound. It turns out that wasn’t the name either, because when Dave supplied us with this first batch of tapes for his WCTD section it included this very same session, again incorrectly marked up as Echo Vibration, but as this copy was a bit clearer we could work it out as a very early Soulville tape, Mystery solved. Even now looking back it’s not the greatest sound tape performance wise, but it still means a lot as it opened up a whole new area of reggae for me to explore.
Soulville @ Ambassa Lawn, St Anns Bay, St Ann, circa April 1980
Featuring: Frankie Ranking, U. Brown, Emperor, Sammy Dread, Junior Irie, Andrew Ranking
Selector – Jossy
“Soulville were very active in and around the St Ann area during the early dancehall era. With a solid core of local micmen like Frankie Ranking, Andrew Ranking and Junior Irie they could certainly hold their own. For this dance, again at the Ambassa Lawn, they can also call upon big time Kingstonians Sammy Dread and U. Brown. The crowd want to hear Brown’s “Weather Balloon” but when selector Jossy can’t find the correct riddim, the deejay refuses to do the lyrics without it. However he’s got some great Dennis Brown rhythms to work with and a highlight from him is his “Dread In A Dis Armagideon” which rides DB’s killer “Revolution.”
Black Zodiac @ St Thomas, 1983
Featuring: Papa San, Kelly Ranking, Superman, Simple Simon, General Brains
Selector – Sky Juice
“Kingston sound Black Zodiac pitch up in the St Thomas area with a good set of artists to nice up the dance. Legendary selector Sky Juice raids the Studio 1 section of the sound box and with these to work with, Papa San and Kelly Ranking excel. San’s ready to bust big and his sharpness on the microphone is clear to hear as displayed in the opening “Spelling Style”. Kelly Ranking’s almost as good, with his “Dreadful Day”, “Beggy Beggy Gal” and ”Build A Little Roof” standing out from the pack. General Brains’ “Devil Pickney” lyric answers Sugar Minott’s vocal and listen out for a rare appearance from the late Simple Simon on “This Little Girl”.
Duke Hamilton @ The Clock Tower, Ocho Rios, St Ann, 1978
“The Clock Tower is a busy central meeting place on Main Street in Ocho Rios and here we have an excerpt of a 1978 street dance. It seems likely from the audio that Duke Hamilton regularly strung up their sound here playing to the locals and tourists alike. It’s deejayed by an unknown Rasta brethren, hailing from the tribe of Levi, and he talks intermittently over some hard Channel One rockers riddims from the likes of harmony groups such as Earth & Stone and Hell & Fire. The Duke Hamilton sound, or more often referred to here as King Hamilton, may only have been strictly local business but this recording preserves a snapshot of everyday life in Ocho Rios in the late seventies.”
Echo Vibration @ Braes River, St Elizabeth, circa November/December 1982
Papa Junior Demus, Papa Scratchy, Papa Busby, General Lucky
Selector – Papa Busby
“Echo Vibration is Dexter Campbell’s long running sound system and this session finds them in the small place called Braes River in the parish of St Elizabeth. It features some artists in the very early days of their deejaying careers. The micman referred to here as Papa Junior and Nico Junior is in fact Junior Demus of Jaro fame, and he has not quite developed the gruff style he became known for. His pieces include “Trash Me Trash”, “Modelling” and “You Get Me Mad” and are tasters for what was to come. Similarly Papa Scratchy is the future Apache Scratchy and he’s in good form too with all the then current lyrics at hand on “A So Me Chat” and “Leggo Mi Hand Gateman”. Add to the mix Papa Busby, a deejaying selector and an unknown General, who I think may be General Lucky, and you have another excellent Echo Vibration rarity.”
Dave's Canadian Sessions
Michigan Regent Park Toronto 1983
Featuring: Super Cat, Brigadier Jerry, Echo Minott, Screecha Nice, Johnny Osbourne
Selector – Ilawi
“What a line up for this big night in Toronto. The Michigan sound system hosts this event and the big supas rise to the occasion much to the delight of the assembled audience. Johnny Osbourne, riding high in the charts, does two of his classics “Reasons” and “Water Pumping” as well as “Goodbye, Farewell” for Echo Minott, who’s returning back a yard in the morning. But as a parting shot Echo sings well on “Bad Boy Posse/One Away Man” and “Cool & Deadly”, a preview of a forthcoming single. Screecha Nice, a star on the local scene, causes worries in the dance with his adaptation of Grandmaster Flash’s “The Message”, and he mixes it with the big guns from JA, Brigadier Jerry and Super Cat. Briggy certainly sets the place on fire with his “Nice Up Montreal, while the Apache Cat, on what may have been his first visit to Canada, showed no nerves reciting the detailed “History Of Jamaica” to a captivated crowd.”
La Caverna Ballroom, Toronto, Canada 1983
Featuring: Josey Wales
" It’s Daddy Josey's first rime in Canada and it's him alone chatting without interruption as the selector picks the vocals. With big tunes from Junior Murvin, Little John, Sugar Minott and the obligatory Studio One section how can Josey fail. He’s just had his first number one single in Jamaica with “Beg You Come Home”, and he versions it here along with other “biggies” like “Bobo Dread”, “It Have Fe Sail” and “Asking For Love”. If you want a good example of Josey Wales in an ‘83 style then this is recommended listening.”
Mellophonic @ East Mall, Toronto, Ontario, 1983
Featuring: Speedy, Budwiser, Papa Bucky, Papa Blacka, Papa Birdy, John Steel, Daddy Yum, Daddy Lippa, Ragga,
Papa Scorcher, Papa Cousin
Selector – Dave
“Here’s a nice session from one of a myriad of sound systems operating out of Toronto and it’s surrounding areas. This sounds called Mellophonic and it features a wealth of local talent rocking the East Mall. Our very own Dave Brown is selecting wisely, running current hot tunes from ’83 hit makers like Barrington Levy, Sammy Dread and Dennis Brown. Apart from singer Ragga it’s pretty much deejays all the way and it’s the 3 Papas who catch the ear, Papa Birdy with “Me Hot”, Papa Blacka’s with “Youth Nowadays” and Papa Cousin doing the obligatory “The Girl Is Mine". John Steel’s appeared on Ja sounds like Emperor Faith and Killamanjaro, and here he steps in the dance fresh from Yard sending “Special Request” to one and all in the dance.”
Studio 64 @ Highlife Club, Kitchener, Ontario, circa December 1984
Featuring: Daddy Mellow, Patriot, Danny Irie, Choiceman, Popcorn, Peter Irie, Wally Richie
Operator – Colonel Howie
“Recorded in the Kitchener area this features Toronto sound Studio 64 really nicing up the dance. There are some really good performers present riding riddims which Howie lets go from the music box. Tracks from Michael Palmer and Frankie Paul are ruling the dancehalls of Jamaica and of course it’s no different in Canada. Star men on the night are Choiceman, with “Stick To Your Girl” and “Me Win The Lottery”, Popcorn, a deejay and producer on the local scene and singer Wally Richie who goes down well on “Bubble Up Now”.
Exodus v African Star @ Kitchener, Ontario, 1985
Featuring: Daddy Mellow, Bush Doctor, Daddy Famous
Crew – Danny
“The Exodus sound, from Mississauga, had to have some good Ja connections as selector Danny can call upon some great specials from Woody Noble, Frankie Paul and in particular the opening Tenor Saw boomshot “Exodus Is The Ruling Sound”. Daddy Mellow’s no slouch on the microphone rhyming confidently on many pieces such as “Dance Addict”, “Roll River Righteous” and “Sound Haffe Drop” aimed straight at African Star’s mainman Bobby Zarro. Mellow’s spar Bush Doctor backs him up too, announcing that “Exodus Pon Your Corner” and they’re not turning back in this clash.”
Lectro @ Relxdale, Toronto, Ontario, 1985
Featuring: Daddy Nuts, Andy, Daddy Bucky, Junior Dett, Daddy Brutus, Noel Andel, Daddy Blacka, Culture Paul, Papa Cousin, Daddy Mellow, Noel Ellis
Selectors – Dave Brown & Papa Carl
Mixer – Goaty
Operator – Calvin
“Another fine session, this time in Relxdale, with a slew of entertainers round the Lectro sound-station. Dual selectors Dave Brown and Papa Carl can’t go wrong with top tunes from Junior Reid, Half Pint and Michael Palmer spinning on the decks. Daddy Nuts does the early warm up and with the help of Daddy Bucky and an assertive Daddy Brutus, they get the dance really moving. Bobby Zarro and Noel Ellis are expected guests and they arrive towards the end of the tape. Unfortunately we only get to hear singer Noel Ellis versioning “Baby I Love You”, one of his father’s, Alton’s big tunes before the cassette clicks to a halt.”
Black Sabbath Int. @ Bramalea, Brampton, Ontario, December 1983
Featuring: Principal Grundy, Popcorn, Choiceman, Danny Irie
Selector – Leroy
“This sounds very much like a basement session and it has the excellent Principal Grundy bringing warm Jamaican vibes to Bramalea on a cold night in December. Other guests on the Black Sabbath set include local supas Choiceman and Popcorn but it’s Grundy who controls this “taped in the dance” cassette. His lyrics are mainly on a cultural tip with stand out pieces include “Gone Pon A Mission”, “Give Jah Praises” and “Canada Cold” which tells of his introduction to the harsh Canadian weather.”
Night Rider @ Maximum Club, Toronto?, Ontario, December 1986
Peter Irie, Super G
“Here’s Night Rider, another local Canadian sound, captured live at the Maximum Club late in 1986. The selection is almost entirely King Jammy’s productions and the two Deejays Peter Irie and Super G step in occasionally on the versions. Of the two of them it’s Peter Irie, with tracks like “This A Drama” and “Look How We Tan”, who shows that he can chat well when given a crisp digital riddim.”
Love Crisis Int. @ Bramalea, Brampton, Ontario, circa September 1986
Featuring: Daddy Reds, Birdy Culture, Ricky Tuffy, General B, Bucky Ranking, Errol Foreigner
Selector – Culture Paul
“Another Canadian sound tape courtesy of Dave Brown, this time it’s the Love Crisis Int. sound. It features some deejays from Jamaica passing through on the night, such as Ricky Tuffy, his elder brother Birdy Culture and General B. Tuffy is in “Cantankerous” mood with slackness to the fore in his repertoire, General B promotes himself as the “DJ Don” and “Governor General”. It’s all in good fun and it’s an enjoyable example of dancehall ’86, Canadian style.”
Jack Ruby @ Queens, New York, 21st August 1982
Papa Noah, Bobby Culture, Brimstone, Louie Ranking
Crew – Jack Ruby, Fat Jaw, Bonito
“Recorded during Jack Ruby’s extensive 1982 tour of America this is an excerpt of their date in Queens. Papa Noah warms things at the start before Bobby Culture and Brimstone show the New Yorkers the “Ochi” style. The selection is varied with big tunes from Freddie McGregor, Roland Burrell and The Tamlins being prominent. Bobby turns up the heat with “Health & Strength” and “Spar With Me” before handing over to Brimstone who chats “Rainfall Sunshine” and “Westmoreland Flood”. Louie Ranking, now residing in New York, knows the yardman style and can be heard on “Eradication Operation” and “Jah Jah Watch Over Me”. The Jack Ruby sirens wail and as Brimstone says “dis ya one a scorcher!”
Jah Love Muzik @ Negril, Westmoreland, 1981
Featuring: Covenant Hinds, Brigadier Jerry
Selector – Ilawi
“Jah Love travel way out West to Negril for a 1981 Orthodox session. Ilawi runs some fine Jacob Miller dub versions and Covenant Hinds has some righteous chants before Brigadier Jerry takes over proceedings. There is also a selection from Leroy Smart and then on to some heavy Bunny Wailer dubplates over which Briggy echoes Bunny’s original lyrics. Variations of “Crucial”, “Keep On Moving” and “The Toughest” are all examples of Briggy’s talent of rephrasing a familiar tune.”
Upsetter @ Oakwood, Eglinton, Toronto, 6th December 1980
General Lefty, Smiley
Crew – Papa Leslie, Papa Mervin
“Upsetter were another of Toronto’s top ranking sounds and this is an early 80’s session in the Oakwood area of Toronto. Picking out the names of the various singers and deejays is difficult but there are some good performances from them. Operator Leslie flashes some hard JA music from the likes of Gregory Isaacs, Johnny Clarke, Michael Prophet and Mighty Diamonds while the local micmen offer up roots and culture in the form of “Love Up Your Culture”, “Valley Of Decision” and “Read Up The Bible.”
Papa Melody International @ Keele, Eglinton, Toronto, December 1981
Featuring: Leroy Sibbles, Stamma Ranks
“Papa Melody International have just received the “Canadian Sound of the Year” for 1981 and the owner, Leroy Sibbles, is revelling in the accolade. He sings and deejays at the beginning of this sadly all too short tape, but it’s still great to hear the Heptones’ front man lighting up the dancehall when he versions “I’ve Got The Handle” and “Mr Chauffeur”. The other deejay is Stamma Ranks, their number one chatter at this time, and he comes to “Mash It Up” over Carlton Livingston’s “Trodding Through The Jungle” anthem.”
Black Star @ Regent Park, Toronto, 1985
Featuring: Puddy Roots, Chester Miller, Natty Reuben, Dicky Ranking, Stamma Ranks, Bobby Zarro, Papa Cousin, Daddy Lippa
Crew – Darcell, Courtney
“Toronto’s Black Star sound was owned and run by Darcell Grant and for this 1985 session he has some Jamaican guests Dicky Ranking and Puddy Roots passing through guaranteeing a road block in Regent Park. Puddy Roots salutes “Black Star Pon The Corner” before combining with Chester Miller, trading songs in a medley style. In fact it’s Miller who really catches the ear with his near perfect recreation of Dennis Brown’s vocal style and “Time and Season”, “Try So Hard” and “Right Fight” are straight out of the Crown Prince’s songbook. Stamma Ranks, with “Night Rider” and Bobby Zarro with “Kumina” represent well for Toronto whilst big supa Dicky Ranking is typically on form on “Nah Fuss & Fight” and “Young Girl Proverbs” Another quality Canadian session courtesy of the Dave Brown/WCTD connection.”
Jack Ruby @ 1 Music Avenue, Ocho Rios, St Ann, August 1981
Featuring: Bobby Culture, Lui Lepki, Nicodemus
Selectors – Fat Jaw
“Once again it’s the Jack Ruby sound at their James Avenue headquarters. Hardly a session went by without Fat Jaw selecting the 7TH Extension Band’s “Hard Times” dancehall favourite and over the dub Lui Lepki, with “Herbsman Trafficking” and Bobby Culture, with “Herbsman Planting”, both comment on the complexities of the ganja trade. The ever steady Nicodemus contributes “Wife & Sweetheart” and “Demus Ina A1 Class” to this tuff, early August session.”
Upsetter @ Eglinton, Toronto, 19th December 1980
Featuring: Inspector, Papa Riddim, Clifton James, Papa Stereo
“Here’s another vintage Canadian session featuring one of Toronto’s premier sets, Upsetter live in December 1980. For this dance the sound appears to be clashing...against a live Boxing match on the television. Luckily after a while Upsetter prevails and the deejays and singer ride a series of popular riddims of the day, both Studio 1 and late seventies classics like “Green Bay Killing” and, ironically Joe Frazier.”