TROJAN REGGAE FOR KIDS BOX SET (TJETD262) - Once upon a time, far, far away there was a small beautiful island, which had become part of a tyrannous Babylon queen-dom. And in this far away land, children played games as all young folks do, but as with children all ages everywhere in this world, the one thing that brought them the greatest enjoyment was the sound of music.

And so it was that they rejoiced when a music maker by the name of Sir Dee played for them. Unlike the famed Pied Piper from Hamlin, Sir Dee's aim was not to rid towns of unwelcome visitors, but simply to make people happy. And this he did with great success, enlisting his old friends, Kent Brown and Cecil Byrd to help him play "Hey Diddle Diddle" and "Ba Ba Black Sheep", both of which made the townspeople very happy indeed.

Soon after Sir Dee had entertained everyone with his joyous music, a minstrel by the name of Eric 'Monty' Morris brought more enjoyment when he sang about the calamitous "Sammy Dread" and "Simple Simon", as well as "Solomon A Gundy", who we all know was born on a Monday. While everyone was in a joyous mood, a band-leader called Granville Williams told his merry little band of men to entertain the folk with ska versions of "Old McDonald" and "Popeye The Sailor Man". Hearing of Granville's popularity, Billy Vernon, who led his own band, wasted no time in performing his own uplifting rendition of the children's favourite, "Oh Susannah".

By this time the island had been freed from the clutches of the evil queen and there was music everywhere and children rejoiced as the sun shone brightly once more. But when the children danced to the upbeat songs they became very, very hot and so to make sure everyone remained in good spirits, the musicians decided to slow things down. And so it was that the great keyboard wizard, Leslie Butler and his equally skilled friend, the guitar-playing Lyn Taitt, played their version of the "Sailor's Hornpipe", so ensuring the children could still have fun without becoming too tired.

Soon the island was swaying to this new magical Rocksteady beat and among those performers who continued to please listeners of all ages with their musical talents during this time were a minstrel by the name of Errol Dunkley and three singers called Brent, Tony and Trevor, who sang together as the aptly named Melodians. One of Errol's most popular songs was the take of "This Old Man", while the Melodians found great success with their song of the "Little Nut Tree" that would bear nothing but a silver nutmeg and a golden pear.

Also around this time, another three young men called Leo, Wesley and Sammy banded together to sing of "The Farmer In His Den", while Glen Adams maintained the animal-related theme with his toe-tapping version of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight". And all the while, Tommy McCook blew his supersonic saxophone so the children could keep dancing to such melodic refrains as "The Lonely Goat Herd".

By this time the lovely music from this land far across the sea was becoming more up-beat, and had begun to be called Reggae. This new Reggae Beat was heard by people from far and near and soon became popular in countries all around the world. But for all their acclaim, the island's music makers never forgot the children and with them in mind, a great many fine musical ditties were made.

Among those to bring joy to the people at this time with their up-lifting music were great guitar king Ernest Ranglin, who played to the sounds of "My Grandfather's Clock", and singers Lloyd Robinson, and Max Romeo and Nicky Thomas, whose renderings of, "Lavender Blue", "Michael Row The boat Ashore" and "If I Had A Hammer" helped ensure the happy-go-lucky feel was maintained.

Meanwhile, Clancy Eccles had the dynamites instrumental play Alllan Sherman's "Hullo Muddah (Hullo Faddah)", the Maytones sang the island's evergreen playground favourite, "Brown Girl In The Ring" and Harry Johnson's Jay Boys played a Reggae-fied version of Middle Of The road's pop hit, "Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep".

A number of other masterful music makers on the island followed suit by adding their own brand of Reggae magic to some of the more frivolous Pop hits of the day, with Desmond Dekker, Stranger and Hortense, Lascelles Perkins, Barbara jones and a merry band of singers called the Silvertones singing songs that have since become firm favourites among younger folk - "Yakety Yak", "Mockingbird", "Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens", "How Much Is That doggie In The Window" and "Sugar Sugar".

Around this time, Leo Simpson, who with his two friends had previously entertained the children with "The Farmer's in The Den", retold the tale of the "Three Blind Mice", a rendition that proved so popular that over the years that followed it was revived by some of the island's most famous singers.

As Leo was reviving the famed nursery rhyme, a  umber of musically minded folk decided a fun way to make the island's magical sounds even better was to add their own vigorously delivered lyrics to the musical mixture. One such man was Dennis Alcapone who not only entertained the children with his tales of "Old King Cole" (and a host of other nursery rhyme characters), but also gave lesson in spelling with his plea to the island's educators with "Teacher Teacher". The musical spelling lesson was continued bt Dennis' good friend, Alton Ellis, whose rendering of the ever-popular "Alphabet Song" brought joy to listeners, both young and old.

As the months turned into years, The likes of Hortense Ellis, David Isaacs and Pam Hall continued to entertain the island's children with happy songs such as "Wooden Heart", "Humpty Dumpty" and "My Boy Lollipop", which along with all the sounds in this musical box were perfect for sing-alongs and party games. But sadly it was about this time that the island lost its Tuff Gong and it seemed it would be a long time before anyone sang any new songs for the children.

Happily, after a time, the first star in the Reggae firmament once again began to twinkle. Named by his many admirers, 'the Cool ruler', Gregory Isaacs illustrated a gentler side to his nature, when he chose to sing "Puff The Magic Dragon", "Day O (The Banana Boat Song)" and that Dumbo favourite, "When I See An Elephant Fly".

Others too, decided to join Gregory in a sing along for the children, not just of the island, but of the whole world. Among these included such wonderful singers as Freddie McGregor, Eek A Mouse, Charlie Chaplin, papa Michigan and General Smiley, who took it in turn to sing "Three Little Birds", "Safari", Swing Low Sweet Chariot" and "Reggae Rock", in their own special way.

And there were others too! Brigadier Jerry told us we should be "Smart Smart Smart", while the Roots Radics left no one in doubt who they were aiming to please with their uplifting, "Reggae For Kids". Meanwhile, taking inspiration from some of the world's best loved children's movies were a host of singers, only too happy to join in the refrain. Tony Rebel sang on the "Bare Necessities", Peter Broggs asked "Who's Afraid Of The big Bad Wolf" and Sugar Minott told us "It's A Small World". As well as these were Luciano, who assured us dreams really can come true "When You Wish Upon A Star", and Don Carlos, who related the joys of Spring with his happy-go-lucky version of "Zippity Do Dah". Others chose more recent children's classics from which to draw inspiration, with Bunny Wailer singing "Hanuka Matata", Arrow telling of life "Under The Sea" and Yami Bolo reassuring us all with "You've got A Friend In Me".

Now, after more than forty years, that far off island is still making wonderful music of all ages the world over, and to celebrate we have gathered fifty of the best of these special songs in this musical box. Like all magical things, these joyous sounds will never age and we hope that you, your children and your children's children continue to enjoy then for many, many years to come.

Doctor Zeuss

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Puff The Magic Dragon
Gregory Isaacs
Bare Necessities
Tony Rebel
Three Little Birds
Freddie McGregor
Who's Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf?
Peter Broggs
Smart, Smart, Smart
Brigadier Jerry
It's A Small World
Sugar Minott
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
Charlie Chaplin
When I See An Elephant Fly
Gregory Isaacs
Reggae Rock
Michigan & Smiley
Dippity Do Dah
Don Carlos
Hakuna Matata
Bunny Wailer
Safari
Eek-A-Mouse
Under The Sea
Arrow
Reggae For Kids
The Roots Radics
You've Got A Friend In Me
Yami Bolo
Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)
Gregory Isaacs
When You Wish Upon A Star
Luciano

Farmer's In The Den
The Bleechers
Solomon A Gundie
Eric 'Monty' Morris
Lavender Blue
Lloyd Robinson
Three Blind Mice
Leo Graham
Humpty Dumpty
David Isaacs
Old McDonald Ska
The Granville Williams Orchestra
Simple Simon
Eric 'Monty' Morris
Little Nut Tree
The Melodians
Hi Diddle Diddle
Kent Brown & Sir Dee's Group
Brown Girl In The Ring
The Maytones
Hornpipe Rocksteady
Leslie Butler with Lyn Taitt & The Jets
Ska Suzanna
Billy Vernon & The Celestials
Sammy Dead
Eric 'Monty' Morris & The Dragonairs
This Old Man (Nick Nack Paddywack)
Errol Dunkley
Ba Ba Black Sheep
Cecil Byrd & Sir D's Group
Old King Cole
Denis Alcapone

Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep
The Jay Boys
How Much Is That Doggie In The Window
Barbara Jones
English Chicken (aka Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens)
Lascelles Perkins
The Lion Sleeps Tonight
Glen Adams
The Alphabet Song ('A' You're Adorable) (12" mix)
Alton Ellis
Popeye The Sailor Man (Ska)
The Granville Williams Orchestra
If I Had A Hammer
Nicky Thomas
Lonely Goat Herd Regae
Tommy McCook & The Supersonics
Wooden Heart
Hortense Ellis
Sugar Sugar
The Silvertones
Mockingbird
Stranger Cole & Hortense Ellis
Yakety Yak
Desmond Dekker
Grandfather's Clock
Ernest Ranglin
Michael Row The Boat Ashore
Max Romeo
Hello Muddah (Hello Fuddah)
The Dynamites
My Boy Lollipop
Byron Lee & The Dragonaires featuring Pam Hall
Teach The Children
Dennis Alcapone

Time - 50:48

Time - 43:12

Time - 49:31

All material Copyright Trojan Records