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Artist Hall of Fame

Earl SixteenText by Harry Hawks

Earl ‘Sixteen’ Daley has never stopped singing for those who care, not only about reggae music, but also about the message within the music.
Date Added: Aug 12, 2010, Date Updated: Nov 8, 2017 Copyright (C) 2018 Dub Store Sound Inc.
Real Name: Earl Daley
1958 -
Place of Birth: Kingston
Jamaica
Over its fifty year history Jamaican music has often been accused of relying on novelty at the expense of talent and unwavering commitment. Earl 'Sixteen' Daley is one of a long and proud line of Jamaican artists whose illustrious careers are living proof that this is patently untrue.

Born Kingston, Jamaica in 1958 Earl Daley grew up in the western side of the city where he was introduced to music as he listened to his father play a guitar that he had made himself. Earl began to sing regularly in his local church and then started to listen to sound systems including Gemini, Virgo and Winston Blake's Merritone. At the age of thirteen he entered a talent show at the Bohemia Club in Half Way Tree where he sang The Chi-Lites' 'Peek A Boo'. On the line up that night were Junior Moore, who would go on to become lead singer with the Tamlins, Michael Rose, who would later become the lead singer of Black Uhuru and Joy White but, despite this stiff opposition, Earl won the competition.

Encouraged by his success Earl formed a group with his friends from St. Andrew Technical High School called the Flaming Phonics who modelled themselves on The Mighty Diamonds. Although the group had begun to establish a reputation singing at local fetes and barbecues Earl decided to branch out as a solo artist and recorded his first single, 'Leggo Girl Off A Dat', for Alphonso Bailey's Globe International label.

The Flaming Phonics had once shared the bill with The Boris Gardiner Happening at a show in Spanish Town where Boris took Earl to one side and asked him if he would like to audition for the lead singer's job. Earl "just jumped in when Tinga Stewart left" and dropped out of school to join the band. The Boris Gardiner Happening specialised in the "cabaret treatment" of current top Jamaican tunes which they played at balls, hotels, nurseries and on political campaigns. The other band members used to joke with Earl: "How come you're going on like a big man? How old are you?" Earl replied "sixteen" and he became known as Earl Sixteen.

Boris introduced Earl to Lee Perry at the Black Ark where he sang "about three songs" and two of these, 'Freedom' and 'Cheating', were released as singles. The experience of working with Scratch had a formative influence on Earl: "Scratch was one of the great producers" and many years later he worked on the 'Phoenix Of Peace' album with Lee Perry's associate Tony Owens of Seven Leaves Records. The set was so convincing that most people assumed it was put together with tapes that had been unearthed from the seventies.

Earl, along with school friends Winston McAnuff and Hugh Mundell, decided "to turn Rasta" and, after this momentous decision, the majority of Earl's work would be based on roots, reality and spiritual themes. Winston McAnuff wrote 'Malcolm X' and Earl sang the song for Joe Gibbs(Joel Gibson). Some months later Dennis Brown was working with Joe Gibbs and Errol Thompson on his epochal 'Visions' album and, using Earl's voice for a guide vocal, he sang the song over Earl's rhythm track. 'Malcolm X' became one of the standout tracks on a standout album and The Mighty Two eventually released Earl's original version on their Belmont label. As his solo career continued to build Earl sang many classic sides for Kingston luminaries such as Augustus Pablo, Michael 'Mikey Dread' Campbell(Michael Campbell), Earl Morgan from The Heptones, Linval Thompson, Derrick Harriott, Roy Cousins of The Royals and the Sturgav/Ray Symbolic sound system team of Ranking Joe and Jah Screw that placed Earl Sixteen as one of the foremost singers of his generation.

Earl began to visit Studio One on Brentford Road where he told Coxsone Dodd(CS Dodd) "I want to do a tune for you but I want to sing on the original rhythms". A good friend of Earl's, a music teacher at Norman Manley Secondary School, had written a song for him and "Mr Dodd gave me a box of records and told me to choose one and try and fit the song on it. I picked 'Fight It To The Top' (also known as 'Heptones Gonna Fight') by The Heptones". 'Love Is A Feeling' became an instant classic when it was released on a Studio One seven inch single; the song made such an impact that the rhythm is often referred to as Earl's very own 'Love Is A Feeling'. In 1985 a superb selection, alongside their attendant instrumental versions, was chosen from some of the eighteen songs that Earl sang at Brentford Road and released as the 'Earl Sixteen Show Case'. The album is now rightly regarded as one of the essential items in Coxsone's extensive catalogue.

In 1988 Earl moved to England where his cover of Simply Red's 'Holding Back The Years' was a big hit on the local reggae market. He has continued to live and work in London ever since where, over the years, he has recorded with the majority of the UK's top producers: "It was good to see the brethren in England putting out an effort to keep the vibes going... I really acknowledge their trying to retain what was happening before. It's been really good for me... and the next generation.'" However, Earl has done much more since leaving Jamaica than live in the past. His activities have not been confined solely to England and, in 1997, after voicing what he thought was a demo track for Down Beat in Germany Earl discovered that he was actually making an album for WEA. The connection with a major company proved to be a "totally different ball game" and the concept behind the 'Steppin'' album was to "blend with the European sound". Traditional reggae was mixed with drum & bass and techno to achieve a harmonious musical balance. Earl has often worked in a similar style since this release engaging in a number of different projects that concentrated on "vitalising the same merging and balancing a bit of Afro-Caribbean music and the European vibes" while also continuing to record roots rock reggae.

Long may he continue making music that "tries to maintain the roots and the culture and to keep the vibe of peace and love within the music".
Aug 12, 2010 (Nov 8, 2017 Update) Text by Harry Hawks
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Hit titles
Earl Sixteen - Soldier Of Jah Army
CD Earl Sixteen - Soldier Of Jah Army Patate EU
  
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Earl Sixteen - Babylon Walls (1992)
CD Earl Sixteen - Babylon Walls (1992) Ariwa UK
  
¥2080 ¥1380 (US$12.25)
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Earl Sixteen - Earl Sixteen Show Case
LP Earl Sixteen - Earl Sixteen Show Case Studio One
  
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Earl Sixteen - Them A Raiders
LP Earl Sixteen - Them A Raiders Rockers/Message Info: Deleted
  
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Earl Sixteen - Babylon Walls (1992)
LP Earl Sixteen - Babylon Walls (1992) Ariwa UK
  
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Earl Sixteen, Dub Revolutionaries - Black Man
12" Earl Sixteen, Dub Revolutionaries - Black Man Ariwa UK
  
¥1680 (US$14.92)
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Earl Sixteen; Harry J, Rockers All Stars - Peaceful Rastaman; Version
10" Earl Sixteen;Harry J, Rockers All Stars - Peaceful Rastaman; Version / Earl Sixteen: Errol T, Professionals - Malcom X; Original Version Merge UK/Lee Perry
  
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Earl Sixteen; Mikey Dread - African Tribesman; Yoruba Dub
10" Earl Sixteen;Mikey Dread - African Tribesman; Yoruba Dub / Earl Sixteen;Mikey Dread - One God; One Dub Dread At The Controls US
  
¥1780 (US$15.80)
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Earl Sixteen - Malcolm X
7" Earl Sixteen - Malcolm X Wild Flower UK
  
¥840 (US$7.46)
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Earl Sixteen - Freedom
7" Earl Sixteen - Freedom / Upsetters - Right You Upsetter EU Freedom
¥980 (US$8.70)
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Earl Sixteen - Give Me Your Loving
7" Earl Sixteen - Give Me Your Loving High Power UK Taxi
  
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Earl Sixteen - We Rule (Label Damage)
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Earl Sixteen - Chase The Devil
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Recent arrival(s)
Earl Sixteen - Run Come
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Earl Sixteen - Wake Up
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Earl Sixteen - Special Request
CD Earl Sixteen - Special Request Tamoki Wambesi UK
  
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Best selling LP(s)
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LP Earl Sixteen - Babylon Walls (1992) Ariwa UK
  
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Best selling 10/12"(s)
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Earl Sixteen; Danman - Jah Is Our Ruler; Can't Stop The Rastman
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Earl Sixteen - Run Away (Extended Mix)
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Earl Sixteen - Jammin
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Plakaty Polska, Earl Sixteen - East Jah Children; Version
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Thriller U - Raggamuffin Jammys
7" Thriller U - Raggamuffin Jammys / Earl Sixteen - A One Sound Prince Jammys Dub/Dub Store Records JPN Promised Land B: Trial & Crosses
   One of the most famous and popular dubplates from Jammy's vault. Thriller U, who recorded regularly at Jammys, sings on the Dennis Brown's 'Promise Land' rhythm for King Jammys Super Power. And Earl Sixteen performs 'A1 Sound' on 'Trial Crosses' rhythm.
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Earl Sixteen - People Music
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Johnny Osbourne, Earl Sixteen, Jennifer Lara - Dub Street (Original Stamper)
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