Kingston 13 Reggae to the World

Category : Story

The Kingston 13 continued contribution to the development of reggae music or Jamaican music culture after starting on strong footing by the pioneers Owen Gray, Lauriel Atkins, Jackie Edwards and Count Prince Miller our initial offering. This was the blue beat era or so called (softies music) when our singers were mostly trying to copy the sound of America. Listening to such early music as Lauriel Aitkins’ (I remember), Jackie Edwards (tell me darling) all have that over riding American music influence and reflected much of what was recorded in Jamaica at the time, e.g. The Jiving Juniors with the song (sugar dandy) and Dobby Dobson with the song (oh Donna) and the Rhythm Aces with the song (A thousand tear drops). Our musical identity started to take shape during the ska era when our singers and players of music after absorbing all the musical cultures exposed to them came up with a sound that was truly Jamaican, this was ska. This music being our first popular music that got us world recognition saw a number of early artists making important contribution to the music’s development during the early 60’s. Among them Eric Monty Morris, Higgs & Wilson, Simms & Robinson, Prince Buster and Derrick Morgan. Though all made paramount contribution to our early music development it was Derrick Morgan who ruled this era of our music. His hits were what ska and Jamaican popular music was all about during the early 60’s. He was like a king in his neighborhood of Greenwich Town and influenced many young musical inspired youths from the area and Jamaica at large. With the popularity of ska music and the emergence of dozens of sound systems and bands in the corporate area led to regular live concerts and dances which were always well attended by the music hungry masses. Two important acts of that early era was cabaret sensation Shelia Records and dancers Sparky& Pluggy, both from the Greenwich Town area and were two of the most popular cabaret acts in Jamaica performing at all the leading night clubs and hotels across the island. Another important ingredient in the Kingston 13 musical fraternity is the talented Lloyd Charmers from the Greenwich Town area who played an important part in influencing dozens of future recording artists from the area over a number of decades. This gifted self taught musician and singer has made his influence felt first during the ska era with his group the Charmers a duo that was extremely popular during the early stages of our music’s development. Later during the Rock Steady era he was a member of the hit group Alton and the flames with whom he recorded the dancehall anthem (Cry Tuff), later with the group the Uniques, a group he formed with Jimmy Riley, himself and Keith Slim Smith. This group formed in the Greenwich Town area is known to have recorded some of the sweetest music to have come out of Jamaica. Blessed with the gifted lead voice of Slim Smith who is considered the most gifted vocalist to emerge from our popular music. They recorded exclusively for producer Bunny Striker Lee during the late 60’s to mid 70’s and gave the world such memorable hits such as; (Conversation, Watch this sound and Do the Rock Steady) among dozens of other hits. Continuing his musical journey Lloyd Charmers was to produce some of reggae music’s biggest international songs such as; the Ken Boothe massive hit (Everything I own). As the Kingston 13 music tradition started with Derrick Morgan leading the charge the baton was now handed over to another young youth from the Greenwich Town area, this individual was not a singer but a producer who was to revolutionize the music and went on to become one of the most respected name in the history of our popular music the individual Bunny Striker Lee.
This young musical inspired youth was born on West Avenue in Greenwich Town and from an early age knew he was destined to be in music. During the late 50’s to early 60’s he ventured into music first as a dancer where he appeared on the popular Vere John talent show of the day on a number of occasions but did not win. He later ventured into singing where he again show cases his singing ability on the Vere John talent show at the majestic theatre placing second and third on two occasion singing the hits made popular by Mario Lanzo his idol at the time. Becoming friendly with all the major players in the fledging Jamaica recording industry such as producers, singers, musicians, radio announcers and record promoters encouraged the young striker lee to venture into record production, this he did in 1968. His first recording session at West Indies Records now Dynamic Sound produced the hits: SOCK IT TO ME by the group Lloyd and the Groovers a group from the Greenwich Town area the song was a instant hit, this first session also produced the hit: Music Field by Roy Shirley. As history has shown Bunny Striker Lee have produced some of the biggest recordings to come out of Jamaica and have recording hits with; Bob Marley, Owen Grey, Jackie Edwards, Derrick Morgan, the Mellodians, John Holt, Ken Boothe, Pat Kelly, Slim Smith, Delroy Wilson, Johnny Clarke, Cornell Campbell, Dillinger, Max Romeo, the Paragons, Ken Parker, Dave Barker, Roland Alphanso, Val Bennett, Dennis Brown, Leroy Smart, Bennie Man, King Kong, Sly& Robbie, Eric Donaldson, Soul Syndicate Band and many others. His impressive catalogue of music reflects the development that our music has seen since its inception and represents the largest collection of recorded music in the Jamaican popular music. With the Soul Syndicate band in the mid 70’s he created the (Flying Cymbal sound) along with drummer Carlton Davis that launched the career of Johnny Clarke earning Clarke the title (the hit machine) releasing dozens of hit songs during that era. His first million selling production was the song (wet dream) with singer Max Romeo which went to the top of the British and other European charts while been band from all radio. Bunny Lee’s contribution to the development and popularizing of the Jamaican music and culture saw the Jamaican government in 2008 honoring him with the title O.D. order of distinction

Comments (2)

pretty nice jah bless

SOON!!! Thanks for the support. Keep checking Will have music within a short time. Blessings


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