TROJAN REGGAE DUETS BOX SET (TJETD093) - Duets have been a staple of the Jamaican music industry for over 40 years now. With the success of such US couplings in the 1950s as Brook Benton and Dinah Washington and Shirley and Lee, Jamaica decided to follow suit producing a rich legacy of male/female and same sex pairings from perhaps the most famous of all collaborations, Bob (Andy) and Marcia (Griffiths) to present day dancehall star Sean Paul's guest spots with the likes of Beyonce on 'Baby Boy' and Blu Cantrell on 'Breathe'.

One of the first male/female duet to be recorded in Jamaica came from the Duke Reid stable - 'Love Not To Brag' sung by Derrick (Morgan) and Patsy (Millicent Todd). Recorded in the early '60s at Federal Recording studios, Kingston, but not seeing the light of day for some time after. It's a scolding parable, that showcases Patsy as Derrick's mother backed by the Drumbago All Stars who comprised Arkland 'Drumbago' Parks (drums, bass), Jah Jerry (guitar), 'Huks' Brown (guitar), Theophilus Beckford (piano) and a blazing horn section featuring Roland Alphonso, Rico Rodriguez and David Madden.

Derrick Morgan, one of the elder statesman of Ska was the son of a deacon. Born in March 1940, in Stewarton, Jamaica he grew up listening to New Orleans R&B and gospel and by the time he was a teenager he was taking part in talent shows around Kingston. In 1956 he won first prize at the annual Vere John's Opportunity talent show, with covers of Little Richard's 'Long Tall sally' and 'Jenny Jenny', beating such sterling competition as Owen Gray, Jackie Edwards, Eric Morris and Hortense Ellis. The following year Derrick toured as Little Richie before landing a deal with producer Duke Reid who in 1959 released his inaugural single, 'Lover Boy'. But it was in 1962 that Morgan peaked - with seven of his recordings taking up the top 7 placings on the Jamaican charts, including his biggest smash, a duet with Patsy called 'Housewives Choice' backed by the Beverley's All Stars. Originally titled, 'You Don't Know' the song proved so popular with female radio listeners that DJ Marie Grath re-titled it due to this hence, 'Housewives Choice'. Taking Shirley and Lee's New Orleans R&B soul as their blueprint Derrick and Patsy also went on to record their own takes of the Crescent City duo's 'Feel so Good' and 'Let The Good Times Roll' (available on the Jamaican R&B Box Set) and put down a soulful rendition of Curtis Mayfield's 'Gypsy Woman', their version becoming a popular choice with the London Mods.

When Derrick and Patsy parted company, Derrick teamed with male singers Denzil Dennis, Eric Morris, Lloyd Charmers and Prince Buster, and female vocalists Pat, Hortense, Paulette, Naomi and Yvonne, the latter whom he recorded 'Meekly Wait' with which is included here. Patsy's tremulous warble went on to compliment recordings by Stranger Cole, the most successful, 'When You Call My Name', a call and response marrying Stranger's soulfully smooth, laidback vocals with Patsy's ear piercing shriek, giving Duke Reid a hit two years running.

Wilburn Theodore Cole aka 'Stranger' because he didn't resemble anyone in his family, started his musical life with Duke Reid on his 1962 ska debut 'Rough & Tough'. But it was on his duets that he delivered his most innovative and enticing material. With Patsy he also recorded 'Yeah Yeah Baby' - an infectious slice of soulful reggae that interweaves their voices perfectly over a Hawaiian guitar backing. Other notable releases from the duo include 'Come Back', 'Down The Trainline' and 'Tell It To Me' the latter a delicious Sonia Pottinger produced slice of Rocksteady.

It was Bob & Marcia, however, who minted the most successful boy/girl singing partnership, especially in the UK. Producer, singer and songwriter Bob Andy teamed with vocalist Marcia Griffiths in the '60s both professionally and privately, and the pair notched up a series of Jamaican hits first with Marcia as a solo artist on such respected Andy-penned Studio Classics as 'Truly', 'Mark My Words' and 'Feel Like Jumping', and then as a duet; their storming rendition of Nina Simone's 'Young Gifted & Black' hijacked the Jamaican charts and made the UK Top 5 in 1970, staying there for twelve weeks. Their catchy rewrite of Crispian St. Peter's 'Pied Piper' (available on Reggae Sisters') also gave them a UK hit, at number 11 the following year. Their repertoire extended to enticing takes on William Bell and Judy Clay's 'Private Number', plus Brook Benton and Dinah Washington's 'It's A Rockin' Good Way', with both renderings featured on this box set.

Phyllis Dillon also proved a worthy duet partner. born in Linstead and modelling herself on singers as diverse as Dionne Warwick and Connie Francis, she was first spotted at a local concert and asked to audition for Duke Reid. Despite a career of a mere five years, she was soon dubbed 'the first lady of Jamaica' on the strength of such divine recordings as 'Don't Stay Away' and her awesome take on Bettye Swann's 'Make Me yours'. Her duets were equally fine helping to shape the sound of Reggae, via such wondrous ditties as 'On The Right Track' with the hugely underrated Hopeton Lewis and 'Remember That Sunday' with Alton Ellis, which became a huge Jamaican hit in 1970.

But it wasn't just opposite sex pairings that caught the imagination. Stranger Cole found time to hook up with pianist Gladstone 'Gladdy' Anderson, delivering a fabulous songbook including 'Just Like A River' and 'Lift Your Head Up High'. Stranger also recorded with Rocksteady favourite Ken Boothe, although the latter's frustration on sharing his singing partner with Patsy Todd led to Ken seeking out another collaborator - finding local Denham singer, Roy Shirley to fit the bill - and with Linden and Sonia Pottinger producing released the magnificent 'Paradise'. Later Ken teamed up with Lloyd Charmers on 'Rasta Never Fail', on of the first Rastafarian songs to make Number 1 in Jamaica.

Bruce Ruffin, solo artist and singer/songwriter with the Techniques, the Shades and Inner Circle also recorded duets, primarily with Tyrone Evans, as evidenced on the gospel infused, heart warming 'I Am A True Believer' and 'Let Me Say'. Special mention must also go to Chuck and Dobby, Lloyd and Devon and Winston and George whose single 'Denham Town' plus it's B-side 'Keep The Pressure On' provide explosive political comment on the rude boy situation.

Lois Wilson, MOJO Magazine - Thanks to Jan Harrington




When You Call My Name
Stranger & Patsy
Why Did You Leave
Alton & Phillis
In Paradise
Jackie & Judy
Private Number
Bob & Marcia
The Vow
Slim & Doreen
Weíll Meet
Roy & Millie
Housewives Choice
Derrick & Patsy
Remember That Sunday
Alton & Phyllis
Yeah Yeah Baby
Stranger & Patsy
(To Be) Young, Gifted And Black (Jamaican mix)
Bob & Marcia
Get On The Right Track
Phyllis & Hopeton
You Are Mine
Clive & Naomi
Feel So Fine (aka Feel So Good)
Derrick & Patsy
Come Back
Stranger & Patsy
Love Makes Me Do Foolish Things
Slim & Paulette
Derrick & Patsy
My Happy Home
Roy & Patsy

(I Am A) True Believer
Tyrone & Bruce
Tell It To Me
Stranger & Patsy
Folk Song
Tony & Dennis
Itís A Rockiní Good Way
Bob & Marcia
Meekly Wait
Derrick & Yvonne
The Fits Is On Me
Owen & Leon
Keith & Tex
Roy & Ken
Make Good
Stranger & Gladdy
Down The Train Line
Stranger & Patsy
Gypsy Woman
Derrick & Patsy
Keep On Pushing
Lloyd & Glen
Soul Man
Glen & Hopeton
Just Like A River
Stranger & Gladdy
Love Not To Brag
Derrick & Patsy
Stop That Train
Keith & Tex

We Shall Overcome
Stranger & Gladdy
Deep Down In My Heart
Ernest & Freddie
Oh Babe (Sick And Tired)
Ewan & Jerry
Denham Town
Winston & George
Lift Your Head Up High
Stranger & Gladdy
Let Them Say
Tyrone & Bruce
Oh Fanny
Chuck & Dobby
Out Of The Fire
Lloyd & Devon
Keep The Pressure On
Winston & George
Donít Give Up The Fight
Stranger & Gladdy
Freedom Fighter
Bunny & Ricky
The Coming Of Jah
Maxie & Niney
Rasta Man Going Back Home
Flowers & Alvin
What A Confusion
Dave & Bunny
Ethiopian Land
Pete & Paul Lewis
I Man A African
Maxie & Niney
Rasta Never Fail
Lloyd & Ken

Time - 46:36

Time - 44:16

Time - 49:57

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