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Label Hall of Fame

Fe Me TimeText by Harry Hawks

Jimmy Radways’ Fe Me Time and Capricorn Rising labels could never be termed prolific but every release “produced all the way by the man L. Rodway” was a certified classic
Date Added: Dec 21, 2010, Date Updated: Mar 2, 2011 Copyright (C) 2021 Dub Store Sound Inc.
1972 ~
Place of Establishment
Jimmy Radway
Jimmy Radway
Errol Tompson
Main Studio(s)
Related Artist(s)
Errol Dunkley
Leroy Smart
Desmond Young
Related Label(s)
Pressure Sounds
"I got the idea from the radio when the radio jocks would say 'Lee Perry Time' or ' Bunny Lee Time' and I was constantly being told it's not your time yet..."

Ivan Lloyd Radway born 5th January 1947... "My right name is Ivan Lloyd Radway but in school I grew up signing the middle name. When I was getting a passport a set of family from America told me Lloyd is a bad boy name" and so he became known as Jimmy. Growing up in the Jones Town area of Kingston he sang in the local Salvation Army church as a child. On a Sunday School outing to Montego Bay in September 1957 Jimmy was injured in the infamous Kendal Train Crash. There were nearly sixteen hundred people on the train as it returned to Kingston and, as it approached Kendal, Manchester, the train came off the rails at top speed and plummeted over a precipice. Over two hundred and fifty people died and more than seven hundred were injured. Jimmy was fortunate enough to survive but he lost a leg in the worst railway accident in Jamaica's history.

Undeterred Jimmy continued with his schooling and, in his holidays, began to train as an upholsterer. In 1962 Clement 'Coxsone' Dodd(CS Dodd) purchased The End nightclub at 13 Brentford Road and began to convert the club into the Jamaican Recording and Publishing Studio... better known as Studio One. Jimmy was helping to refurbish the premises with a friend. Mr Dodd "was kind enough to let me sit in the studio while the Skatalites rehearsed. They were testing out the studio..." and Don Drummond played his trombone while Jimmy sat at his feet. This had such an overpowering effect that Jimmy decided to "push the upholstery and deal with the music". Because of his injuries he did not feel sufficiently confident to perform on stage and so he started to write songs for others to sing.

Later that year he enrolled at the renowned Jamaica School of Art, a giant step for someone from Jimmy's ghetto background and, for the first time in his life, he mixed with people from all classes of Jamaican society. Between lessons he would sit with "a talented group of students" under an almond tree behind the school and write poetry and songs. Jimmy also took part in informal rehearsals in Kingston's ghetto yards with aspiring singers including Alton Ellis and Ken Boothe.

He first ventured into record production in 1968 in partnership with Tony McKinley (who had worked with Prince Buster) with Teddy Charmers' 'I Want It Girl'. Tony McKinley licensed the record to the Blue Cat label for release in England but Jimmy only discovered this when he sent a copy of the tape to London. It was returned with a duplicate of a receipt showing that "they done buy the record already!"

Despite this setback Jimmy persevered and in 1972 he set up his own record label with the help of a man named C Lloyd Gentles who operated a company based in the same Denham Town street where Jimmy lived. The philanthropic Mr Gentles, who had helped to establish the Wellington United Youth Club in the neighbourhood, gave Jimmy one hundred pounds to start Fe Me Time. "In those days if a man gave you £100 it was a big, big money".

For the debut release on Fe Me Time Jimmy recalled a song about a young girl he knew from the Tivoli Gardens district and "started to go back to my book of writing". 'Black Cinderella', voiced at Dynamic Studios by Errol Dunkley, was a Number One hit on both RJR and JBC radio stations in Jamaica... "Trust me! I never pay a cent in payola"... and, for a time, it really did look as if it was going to be Jimmy Radway's time.

Two further versions of 'Black Cinderella' followed featuring two of the most in demand artists on the scene: Big Youth with 'The Best Big Youth' and Augustus Pablo with 'Cinderella In Black'. Jimmy returned to Dynamic with Hortense Ellis for 'Hell & Sorrow' and, once again, Big Youth deejayed the rhythm as 'Tribulation'. Jimmy used the experience of his ghetto background with the knowledge he had gained at Art School in his combined roles of producer, arranger and writer. He also "played a bit of keyboard and used that to compose... I loved Tommy McCook who taught me a lot about music. He had a way with him. You had to respect him". Jimmy always referred to Tommy as 'The Great' Tommy McCook and, together with Cedric Brooks, Tommy "was responsible for playing a lot of the horns and showing me so much about music. I was listening to a lot of jazz..."

Dynamic were so impressed with Jimmy Radway's abilities that they arranged a distribution agreement with him and a number of his productions were released on Byron Lee's Jaguar and Lion subsidiaries. He then moved on to work in Randy's(Randys) Studio 17 on North Parade and one day, as he was sitting on Parade, Leroy Smart asked Jimmy to write a song for him. "Father... write a music for me now man!" Their initial Fe Me Time recording was 'Mother Liza' and the pair went on to record the bombastic 'Mr. Smart' and the reflective 'Mirror Mirror'. These recordings helped to establish Leroy Smart in the vanguard of reggae vocalists.

In 1975 Jimmy moved to Micron Records and, while working with Pete Weston, started the Capricorn Rising label "I liked the name as I am a Capricorn". One of the first releases on the label was a new arrangement of Leroy Smart's 'Happiness is My Desire' entitled 'Mr. Smart'. Desmond Young's prophetic 'Warning' followed. Jimmy knew Desmond through his work as an agricultural officer and was amazed to see him fronting the Caribs Band one night at a show at the Sheraton Hotel. Jimmy was so impressed that he brought the entire band to Randy's(Randys) Studio 17 to record 'Warning'. The song was written by Desmond and arranged by Jimmy with the smouldering horn lines supplied by Bobby Ellis, Vin Gordon and Richard Hall. Big Youth, now at the height of his recording career, used the rhythm for one of his greatest ever outings 'Wolf In Sheep's Clothing'. 'Warning' was Jimmy's last hit record.

Although dub music was still in its infancy Pete Weston saw the potential in a collection of remixed Fe Me Time and Capricorn Rising rhythm tracks and he persuaded Jimmy, who had by now accumulated an enviable catalogue of some of the heaviest roots rhythms ever built, to compile a dub album.

"'Dub I' was mixed at Joe Gibbs(Joel Gibson) by Errol T(Errol Thompson)... all mixed in a day. I did not have a great deal of hopes for it and only did it because of Pete Weston constantly pushing me to do it. Pete was always a good business man and ahead of his time. Unfortunately Micron folded shortly after they pressed a few hundred copies. So I really did not have any high expectations about the record."

This classic dub album, "one of the hardest dub albums ever released", was finally given an official re-release on Pressure Sounds in 2008.

Although Fe Me Time had achieved a number of major hits Jimmy never seemed to be able to make enough money to survive. He decided to retire, thoroughly disillusioned with the music business, and retreat to the tranquillity of the countryside where he still resides. For a time his records outsold those of far more celebrated names but the absence of financial reward and the duplicity of much of the music business eventually proved too much for his original and creative talent.

Many well known record 'producers' never entered the studio to produce 'their' records, knew nothing of arranging, songwriting or production techniques and would be unable to recognise or sing a note of music. Jimmy Radway was a real producer who "produced all the way" and overcame a multiplicity of difficulties to make records that were a labour of love from start to finish. His legacy is a collection of classical reggae that sums up all that is good and true about roots music.
Dec 21, 2010 (Mar 2, 2011 Update) Text by Harry Hawks
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Hit Titles
Jimmy Radway, Errol Thompson - Dub I
CD Jimmy Radway, Errol Thompson - Dub I Pressure Sounds UK
¥2380 (US$21.65)
Jimmy Radway, Errol Thompson - Dub I (Japanese Edition)
CD Jimmy Radway, Errol Thompson - Dub I (Japanese Edition) Pressure Sounds UK/Beatink JPN
¥2263 (US$20.59)
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Jimmy Radway, Errol Thompson - Dub I
LP Jimmy Radway, Errol Thompson - Dub I Pressure Sounds UK
¥2680 (US$24.38)
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Various - Keep The Pressure Down (Jimmy Rodway Prod.) (1974-1977)
LP Various - Keep The Pressure Down (Jimmy Rodway Prod.) (1974-1977) Fe Me Time UK
¥2980 (US$27.11)
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Errol Dunkley - Black Cinderella
7" Errol Dunkley - Black Cinderella Fe Me Time UK Black Cinderella
¥1280 (US$11.64)
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Augustus Pablo - Cinderella In Black
7" Augustus Pablo - Cinderella In Black Fe Me Time Black Cinderella
¥800 (US$7.28)
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Leroy Smart - Mirror Mirror
7" Leroy Smart - Mirror Mirror Fe Me Time UK
¥1280 (US$11.64)
Desmond Young (Desi Roots) - Warning
7" Desmond Young (Desi Roots) - Warning Fe Me Time Warning
¥900 (US$8.19)
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Leroy Smart - Happiness Is My Desire
7" Leroy Smart - Happiness Is My Desire Fe Me Time UK Mr. Smart - Leroy Smart
¥1280 (US$11.64)
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