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Tommy McCook

Text by Harry Hawks
Date Updated: Aug 23, 2019
Tommy McCook’s beautiful tenor saxophone graced countless sixties and seventies recordings but his work as a composer and arranger is every bit as important. He is one of the undisputed architects and builders of modern Jamaican music.

Freddie Mckay

Text by Harry Hawks
Date Updated: Aug 9, 2019
A soulful singer whose plaintive delivery was rarely equalled; why Freddie McKay never saw the success he so rightly deserved from almost two decades of recording remains one of the great unsolved mysteries of reggae music.

Jah Shaka

Text by Harry Hawks
Date Updated: Aug 2, 2019
Legendary London based sound system controller and record producer who has ceaselessly championed Rastafarian roots reggae over the last four decades.

King Jammy

Text by Harry Hawks
Date Updated: Jun 21, 2019
The most important producer in the development of computer driven reggae music…

Marcia Griffiths

Text by Harry Hawks
Date Updated: Jun 14, 2019
Female reggae singers are rare and successful female singers are even rarer… Marcia Griffiths is the most successful Jamaican female singer ever. She is unquestionably Jamaica’s First Lady of Song.

Burning Spear

Text by Jeremy Collingwood
Date Updated: May 17, 2019
Winston Rodney – aka The Burning Spear – stands as one of Reggae’s few Elder statesman’s. He not only still Tours and releases music, but also runs his own label and web site. Famed for his chanting prophet vocals, which resonate to arcane melodies from the Old Testament. In the late 1970’s he was rightly spoken of in the same breath as Bob Marley: indeed there are many that rate some of Rodney’s UK appearances ahead of the more famous Bob Marley Live at the Lyceum gig.

Shabba Ranks

Text by Harry Hawks
Date Updated: Apr 26, 2019
Possibly one of the last of the traditional Jamaican mic. men but definitely the first of the island’s international superstar deejays…

Leroy Smart

Text by Harry Hawks
Date Updated: Mar 15, 2019
A source of inspiration to his ghetto brethren Leroy Smart demonstrated that true talent, coupled with hard work and single mindedness, will always rise to the top.


Text by Harry Hawks
Date Updated: Feb 15, 2019
Vocal harmony group rightly renowned for ‘Pressure & Slide’ and ‘Ride Your Donkey’ whose personnel featured some of Jamaica’s most gifted vocalists

Bounty Killer

Text by Harry Hawks
Date Updated: Feb 6, 2019
‘The Warlord’ has maintained his top position for over twenty years through a combination of raw talent, a deep understanding of exactly what’s going on and a complete fearlessness in telling it how it really is.

Jackie Mittoo

Text by Harry Hawks
Date Updated: Jan 9, 2019
Jackie Mittoo’s work at Studio One in the sixties built, shaped, refined and defined reggae music as we know it. He was not only an extremely talented keyboard player but was also a supremely gifted arranger and record producer.

Linval Thompson

Text by Harry Hawk
Date Updated: Dec 5, 2018
Originally revered in the seventies as a singer of roots anthems Linval Thompson went on to build another career as one of the first, and foremost, producers of dance hall music.

Joe Higgs

Text by Harry Hawks
Date Updated: Oct 10, 2018
Joe Higgs inspired generations of musicians during the course of his career… not only through his own music but also through his work as teacher and mentor to some of Jamaica’s biggest, brightest stars

Black Uhuru

Text by Harry Hawks
Date Updated: Sep 26, 2018
At a time when vocal harmonising was neither profitable nor fashionable Black Uhuru carried their sound and the message of freedom from Kingston’s Waterhouse ghetto to the international stage.

Toots & The Maytals

Text by Harry Hawks
Date Updated: Aug 1, 2018
The Maytals created a music, “there was nothing else like it on earth”, that could only have been created by Jamaicans in Jamaica; other vocalists and vocal groups often attempted to sound like their American counterparts but The Maytals paved the way for Jamaican singers to sound like Jamaicans.

Lloyd Charmers

Text by Harry Hawks
Date Updated: Jul 25, 2018
Lloyd Charmers’ production proficiency, voice, guitar and keyboards created some of the greatest records to ever come out of Jamaica.

Lone Ranger

Text by Harry Hawks
Date Updated: Jun 27, 2018
A true original, although his style came steeped in the traditions established by pioneers such as U Roy and Big Youth, the Lone Ranger was one of the first deejays to build a bridge between the roots and culture approach of the seventies and the full on dance hall deejay attack of the eighties.


Text by Harry Hawks
Date Updated: Jun 13, 2018
This dance hall super star’s career trajectory has been truly spectacular and continues from strength to strength: “Mavado… combines hip-hop influenced beats with ominous minor key vocals about street life and salvation." Rolling Stone

Barrington Levy

Text by Harry Hawks
Date Updated: Jun 6, 2018
Performing with the vibrant energy and spontaneity of a sound system deejay Barrington Levy was one of the first vocalists to transfer the live raw excitement of the dance hall direct to record…

Johnny Osbourne

Text by Harry Hawks
Date Updated: May 30, 2018
A consummate, professional vocalist who demonstrated, time and time again, that there was room for a versatile veteran amongst the brash, younger rising stars of the dance hall.
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