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Studio One Groups (SJRCD 151 - 2006)

The Wailing Souls - Mr Fire Coal Man
Righteous Flames - Solid Foundation
The Gaylads - Give A Helping Hand
The Bassies - Things A Come Up To Bump
The Mad Lads - You Will Never Know
The Clarendonians - You Can't Be Happy
The Consummates - What Is It
Carlton And The Shoes - Happy Land
The Viceroys - The Struggle
The Maytals - I'll Never Grow Old
The Heptones - Get In The Groove
The Royals - Pick Up The Pieces
The Gladiators - Jah Jah Go Before Us
Bob Marley & The Wailers - Love And Affection
The Stingers - Down Presser International
The Cables - Baby Why
The Ethiopians - Owe Me No Pay Me
The Purpleites - The Pressure Is On
The Silvertones - Cheating And Lying
 
Sunday morning was the time for audition at Studio One. The youths would gather early in the dusty yard outside the studio at 13 Brentford Road, just north of Trenchtown, first of all to be scrutinised, assessed and selected by Jackie Mittoo, Lee 'Scratch' Perry - or maybe Leroy Sibbles. By the time Clement Dodd (more commonly known as 'Sir Coxsone') arrived at around 10 o'clock there might be 100 or more aspiring vocalists waiting for their opportunity to impress the owner of Jamaica's number one recording studio. Singers might wait for hours in the baking sun before they got their one chance to perform their songs 'a cappella' under the temporary shade of the mango tree. If they showed promise they were rewarded with a perfunctory "...come back tomorrow".

Strongly influenced by the US Soul groups that could be heard via AM radio broadcasts from Miami and New Orleans throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the dominant vocal formation in Jamaica was the harmony trio, best exemplified by The Heptones, The Gaylads, The Gladiators and Carlton & The Shoes. Exceptions to this rule include, The Mad Lads (duo), as well as The Royals, The Cables and The Wailing Souls (all quartets).

1. The Wailing Souls MR FIRE COAL MAN (1971)
The Wailing Souls were formed in 1968 (from the remnants of The Renegades) and went on to become one of the most successful and prolific reggae vocal groups in Jamaica. 'Mr Fire Coal Man' was first released in 1971 on a Supreme label (credited to The Classics). It was sub sequentially issued in the UK on the Banana label (credited to Wailing Souls).
The group: Winston 'Pipe' Mathews, Lloyd McDonald, Oswald Downer and Norman Davis.

2. Righteous Flames SOLID FOUNDATION (1978)
In the early 1960s, Winston Jarrett and Eggar Gordon were recruited by Alton Ellis to form Alton And The flames. The group achieved great success in Jamaica recording smash hits like 'Dance Crasher' (1965) and 'Cry Tough' (1967) for Duke Reid, before defecting to Coxsone Dodd's Studio One label in 1967. when Alton left for England the same year (as a member of the groundbreaking Soul Vendors tour), Winston and Eggar were joined by Junior Green to form Winston Jarrett & The Righteous Flames. 'Solid Foundation' is a re-voiced outing over Burning Spear's 'He Prayed' rhythm (snatches of the original Winston Rodney vocals can still be heard deep in the mix).
The Group: Winston Jarrett (b.1940), Eggar Gordon and Junior Green.

3. The Gaylads GIVE A HELPING HAND (1966)
The Gaylads (sometimes known as The Gaylords) were formed in 1963 and began their career performing and recording Mento songs for the tourist market. The group released at least 70 singles on a variety of Studio One related labels throughout the 1960s and early 1970s, and two LPs - 'Sunshine Is Golden' (mainly Mento standards) and 'Soul Beat' (one of the best Rocksteady albums ever - believe me). The hard-to-find 'Give A Helping Hand' was only released as a Coxsone 7" and has never been compiled on album before.
The Group: Harris 'BB' Seaton (b.1944), Winston Delano Stewart (b.1947) and Maurice Roberts (b.1945).

4. The Bassies THINGS A COME UP TO BUMP (1968/1969)
Originally issued as 'Things Come To Bump' by The Victors on a Coxsone label in 1968, and featured on the 'Swing Easy' album of the same year, it was subsequently released (this time credited to The Bassies) on a Coxson (different spelling) label in 1969. The rhythm has been much versioned since, including cuts by Jackie Mittoo ('More Scorcher'), Roland Alphonso ('Bumpy Skank') and Lone Ranger ('Plant Up A Vineyard'). The single can also be found credited (erroneously) to The Viceroys.
The Group: Clifford Charlie Morrison, Leroy Fischer and Da da Smith.

5. The Mad Lads YOU WILL NEVER KNOW (1969)
One of only three titles recorded by The Mad Lads (the other two being 'Losing You' and 'Ten To One'), 'You Will Never Know' was originally issued on a Coxsone 7" in 1969, and later remixed and extended as a Studio One 12" credited to The Mad Lads & Soul Vendors. In the UK the same track was issued as 'He'll Break Your Heart' on the distinctive red and white Studio One 'hanging microphone' label (the B side to Alton Ellis' Change Of Plans').
The Group: George Allison and Delroy Williams.

6. The Clarendonians YOU CAN'T BE HAPPY (1966)
Although only together for four years, The Clarendonians were one of the most successful groups of the ska/rocksteady era in Jamaica. Formed in 1965 by Ernest Wilson and Peter Austin, they were later to be joined by a pre-teen Freddie McGregor (who allegedly had to stand on a beer crate in order to reach the microphone). 'You Can't Be Happy', their biggest hit, was released in Jamaica on a Studio One label in 1966, and in the UK on the Island label in 1967.
The Group: Fitzroy 'Ernest' Wilson, Peter Austin and Freddie McGregor (b.1956).

7. The Consummates WHAT IS IT (1968)
The Consummates were just one of the many anonymous vocal groups who turned up at Coxsone's yard in the late 60s seeking fame, but unlikely to find fortune. Only two titles were recorded and released before the group disappeared without trace. 'What Is It' was issued on a Coxsone 7" in 1968, while 'Do The Right Thing' only seems to have appeared on the REGGAE IN THE GRASS LP from the same year.
Members of the group remain unknown.

8. Carlton And The Shoes HAPPY LAND (1968)
Carlton Manning, together with brothers Lynford and Donald, formed one of the most outstanding sweet harmony groups of the rocksteady era. 'Love Me Forever' b/w 'Happy Land' was the group's first recording for Coxsone Dodd, released on a Supreme label in 1968. 'Happy Land' is recognised as the template for roots classic 'Satta Massa Gana', recorded independently at Studio One the following year by The Abyssinians (led by Donald Manning and featuring Bernard Collins and brother Lynford).
The Group: Carlton Manning, Lynford Manning and Donald Manning.

9. The Viceroys THE STRUGGLE (1978)
The Viceroys came together in 1967 to record their first titles for Coxsone Dodd, including 'Maga Down' (on the Supreme label), and 'Shake Up' and 'Lose And Gain' (both on Coxsone). The group also recorded for other producers as The Interns or The Brothers, and for Coxsone Dodd as The Voiceroys (but the latter is probably a misprint). 'The Struggle' was first released on a Studio One 7" in 1978.
The Group: Wesley Tinglin, Linval Williams and Daniel Bernard.

10. The Maytals I'LL NEVER GROW OLD (1963)
one of Jamaica's seminal vocal groups, The Maytals (originally known as The Vikings) were formed in 1962 and recorded the first of their many hit singles for Studio One the following year. The group's raucous vocal harmonies fused gospel with soul in a way that appealed to Jamaica's burgeoning Rastafarian culture. 'I'll Never Grow Old' was originally released on a Rolando & Powie 7" in Jamaica in 1963, and in the UK on Island in the same year, backed by the Skatalites.
The Group: Frederick 'Toots' Hibbert (b.1945), Henry 'Raleigh' Gordon (b.1945) and Nathaniel 'Gerry' McCarthy (b.1939).

11. The Heptones GET IN THE GROOVE (1968)
The Heptones were the most successful Jamaican vocal harmony trio throughout the late 1960s / early 1970s. After changing their name from The Hep Ones to The Heptones and joining Coxsone Dodd's studio One stable in 1966, they scored an immediate hit with 'Fattie Fattie', a celebration of the 'Fat Girl' that was initially banned in Jamaica. Group leader Leroy Sibbles not only acted as staff songwriter, arranger, assistant producer and talent scout at Studio One, but also played bass with resident house band The Soul Vendors. 'Get In The Groove' was initially included on the SWING EASY album from 1968 before being issued on a Studio One 7" in 1971.
The Group: Leroy Sibbles (b.1949), Barry Llewellyn (b.1947) and Earl Morgan (b.1945).

12. The Royals PICK UP THE PIECES (1976)
The original recording was made in 1967, but release was delayed until 1973 when it appeared on a Studio One label credited to The Tempests. It was later re-recorded and reissued (in 1967, as The Royals) with a more modern drum track. The distinctive lead vocal is by Roy cousins, who subsequently founded the Tamoki/Wambesi labels as a producer in his own right.
The Group: Roy Cousins, Bertram Johnson, Keith smith And Errol Wilson.

13. The Gladiators JAH JAH GO BEFORE US (1974)
The Gladiators recorded for various producers throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s, including Clive Chin, Lee Perry and Duke Reid. They also worked for Coxsone Dodd during this time, mainly singing back-up vocals, but occasionally releasing their own popular hits (notably 'Hello Carol' in 1968). Self-contained bands were a rarity in Jamaica and The Gladiators were accomplished instrumentalists as well as gifted vocalists. By 1971 the group had developed their own distinctive deep roots perspective and began recording a series of Rasta inspired singles that saw release on the Studio One and Coxsone labels, of which 'Jah Jah Go Before Us' is a superlative example.
The Group: Albert Griffiths (b.1946), Clinton Fearon (b.1951) and Gallimore Sutherland.

14. Bob Marley & The Wailers LOVE AND AFFECTION (1965)
When the Wailers made their first recordings at Studio One (in 1963) they were a six-piece group, with Junior Braithwaite, Beverley Kelso and Cherry smith augmenting the more familiar line-up of Robert Nesta Marley, Neville O'Reilly Livingstone and Winston Hubert McIntosh. By 1965, Bob Marley & The Wailers, by now a trio, were the most popular group in Jamaica. 'Love And Affection', written by Bob, and influenced by US groups like The Temptations, The Moonglows and The Tams, was originally released in Jamaica on a Coxsone 7", and in the UK on the Ska Beat label. The saxophone solo is by Roland Alphonso.
The Group: Bob Marley (b.1945) on lead vocal, backed by Bunny Wailer (b.1947) and Peter Tosh (b.1944).

15. The Stingers DOWN PRESSER INTERNATIONAL (c.1973)
Not much is known about The Stingers. they recorded titles for Lee Perry and several other producers throughout the 1970s but released only four tracks for Studio One - 'Rasta Don't Stop No-One' (on Bongo Man), and, as El Tibby & The Stingers, 'Who Laughs Last' (on money Disc, 1972) and 'Stepping Into Zion' (Bongo Man, 1974). 'Down Presser International' utilises the 'In Cold Blood' rhythm originally recorded by Jackie Mittoo.
The Group: Members of the group remain unknown.

16 The Cables BABY WHY (1968)
Named after lead singer Keble (sometimes known as Kable) Drummond, the group was formed in 1962 but didn't begin recording until 1966 (with 'You Lied' for producer Linden Pottinger). 'Baby Why' was the first song they recorded at Studio One and features Leroy Sibbles on Bass and Jackie Mittoo on Keyboards. 'Baby Why' was first released on a Studio One 7" in 1968.
The Group: Keble Drummond (b.1947), Vincent Stoddart and Elbert Stewart.

17. The Ethiopians OWE ME NO AY ME (1966)
Leonard Dillon made his first recording under the name Jack Sparrow, including 'Ice Water' from 1965 when he was backed by The Wailers. that same year he met street-corner duo Steven Taylor and Aston Morris, and together they formed the fledgling Ethiopians. 'Owe Me No Pay Me', one of several hits penned by Leonard Dillon for Studio One, was released in 1966. Aston Morris left the group soon after, but Dillon and Taylor continued as a duo, recording a series of hit singles and the occasional album for a variety of producers until Steven Taylor's untimely death in 1975.
The Group: Leonard 'Sparrow' Dillon (b.1942), Steven Taylor (1944-1975) and Aston Morris.

18. The Inn-Keepers/The Purplelites ME FRIEND/THE PRESSURE IS ON (1970)
This one is a bit of a mystery. The track was originally released on 1970 on a Jamaican Supreme label (backed with Dennis Alcapone's 'El Paso'), but was issued again the following year in the UK on the Banana label  as 'Me Friend' and credited to The Inn-Keepers. Just to confuse matters further, a later Studio One repress also credits 'Me Friend' to The Inn-Keepers.
Members of The Purplelites (or The Inn-Keepers for that matter) remain unknown.

19. The Silvertones CHEATING AND LYING (1977)
The Silvertones were formed by lead singer Delroy Denton in 1964 and achieved initial success with hits like 'True Confession' (1966) and 'Midnight Hour' (1968) for Duke Reid's Treasure Isle label. Shortly after the group joined Studio One, Delroy Denton emigrated to the USA. His place was taken by Clinton 'Tennessee' Brown, who can be heard singing lead on this extended version of 'Cheating And Lying' from 1977. The same song can also be found on The Silvertones 'Young At Heart' album where it is re-titled 'Be Thankful'.
The Group: Clinton 'Tennessee' Brown, Gilmour Grant (b.1943) and Keith Coley (b.1944).

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