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Label Hall of Fame

Channel OneText by Harry Hawks

Well charged, disco mixed and hit bound… “no other Jamaican studio was to have quite the same impact in 1975 to 1976 or exert as much influence on the direction of the music.” Steve Barrow & Peter Dalton
Date Added: Sep 22, 2014, Date Updated: Sep 24, 2014 Copyright (C) 2019 Dub Store Sound Inc.
1972 ~
Place of Establishment
Jamaica
Kingston
Maxfield Avenue
Founder:
Joseph Hookim
Ernest Hookim
Kenneth Hookim
Paulie Hookim
Producer(s):
Ernest Hookim
Joseph Hookim
Scientist
Maxie
Barnabas
Soljie
Chemist
Bunny Tom Tom
Engineer(s):
Sid Backnor
Ernest Hookim
Main Studio(s)
Channel One
Related Artist(s)
Revolutionaries
Sly & Robbie
Mighty Diamons
Roots Radics
Wailing Souls
I Roy
Sugar Minott
Sammy Dread
Leroy Smart
Yellowman
Jays
Barry Brown
Dillinger
Related Label(s)
Hit Bound
Disco Mix
Well Charge
Digikiller
VP
Virgin
Pressure
The four Chinese Jamaican Hookim brothers were all born in St. Andrew, Kingston: Joseph, known as Jo Jo, was the eldest, Paulie who repaired bicycles, Ernest who was a technician and Kenneth who was the youngest. Jo Jo and Ernest were both life long music lovers, fascinated with the way music was made and recorded, and Paulie ran his own sound system called 'Well Charge'. The brothers originally entered the entertainment business in the sixties controlling juke boxes and one armed bandits but the Jamaican government outlawed gaming machines in 1970. Although the Hookim's juke box operation was lucrative there was insufficient income just from juke boxes and they used the contacts they had made to branch out into the recording business. The Hookims opened their Channel One Recording Studio at 29 Maxfield Avenue deep in the Kingston 13 ghetto in 1972 and Jo Jo recalled that their first release on the Channel One label, 'Don't Give Up The Fight' by Stranger Cole and Gladstone 'Gladdy' Anderson(Gladstone Anderson), sold a respectable two thousand copies... it was easy to dispose of because of their juke box connections. The brothers had originally intended not to rent out their studio to other producers but the ubiquitous Bunny Striker Lee was actually the first to utilise their new facilities.

"The first tune recorded at Channel One was Delroy Wilson with 'Can I Change My Mind'... same day we did 'Cassius Clay' with Dennis Alcapone. Dennis will tell you that. The two of them were voiced on the same day. The rhythms were done at Harry J but they were voiced at Channel One..." Bunny Striker Lee

The quality of sound was of vital importance to the Hookim brothers and only the best equipment was used in their studio and the experienced veteran, Sid Bucknor, was the first engineer to be employed at Channel One. But Ernest soon took over at the mixing desk and picked up the required skills as he went along using the manual supplied by the makers of the board to carry out repairs. The Hookims began to develop their own sound built around their house band who, for reasons that would later become obvious, was named The Revolutionaries. Driven by the 'militant' drums of Lowell 'Sly' Dunbar and with Bertram 'Ranchie' McLean on bass the sound of The Revolutionaries at Channel One would become one of the most influential and imitated Jamaican musical styles ever. Ernest would often spend an entire day working with Sly on the drum sound learning how to perfect the art of recording drums.

"Ernest Hookim has never got the recognition. When he took over at Channel One he revolutionised the whole reggae sound and moved it twenty years forward! Ernest was a perfectionist and Jo Jo always made it his business to drive round and know what was going on." Roy Cousins

All their hard work finally paid off in 1975 with the release of 'Right Time' by The Mighty Diamonds, a vocal trio who had previously enjoyed moderate hits for the Hookims with the soul influenced 'Hey Girl' and 'Country Living' The prophetic 'Right Time', released on Well Charge, created the 'rockers' era; somehow simultaneously relaxed and urgent the record provided a template that the reggae business would imitate for the remainder of the decade.

Sly played in Skin Flesh & Bones and, while the band were working at the Tit For Tat Club, bassist Robbie Shakespeare was often to be found playing in the Evil People Club across the street with The Hippy Boys. During their breaks each would go to listen to the other and in 1974 they found themselves playing together for the first time on a session for Striker (that man again!) at Channel One. The pair began to play regularly at the Maxfield Avenue studio for the Hookims and the partnership between Sly & Robbie and the Hookims would establish the "Drumbar & Basspeare's" reputation as the world's foremost rhythm section and help to foster the long overdue rise of Jamaican musicians as stars in their own right.

Sly's 'militant' double drum sound influenced the entire Jamaican recording scene and every producer stepped forward with their own variation including 'Coxsone' Dodd(CS Dodd) whose studio name, Studio One, and many rhythms the Hookims had adopted and adapted, began overdubbing and re-releasing records from his extensive back catalogue with the Channel One double drum sound. The all important sound of Channel One struck a chord with Kingston's musical fraternity and it soon became apparent that a trip down to Maxfield Avenue was necessary for any producer looking for a hit.

"If you're in the music business you have to check how things are down by Channel." Dave Hendley

The studio was now constantly fully booked with outside sessions from Monday through to Saturday but Sunday was always reserved for the Hookim's own productions. The Mighty Diamonds' debut album 'Right Time'/'I Need A Roof' was signed by Virgin Records in London and deejays Dillinger, Trinity and Ranking Trevor became huge local stars through their releases on the Well Charge and Disco Mix labels. In a typically self deprecating aside Jo Jo recalled his embarrassment on seeing nine out of the top ten records on the JBC charts on the Well Charge label.

"I would prefer to have a Top Ten hit rather than a Number One." Jo Jo Hookim

Foundation deejay Roy 'I Roy' Reid not only provided hit recordings for the brothers but also arranged their sessions and keyboard player and producer Ossie Hibbert also played an important role in arranging and engineering Channel One sessions during this period.

"Officially me and Sly used to make the tunes but Jo Jo was always named as the producer... After a while Ernest said to me 'I need help... I'll show you the board'. And Ernest taught me the board... done showed me everything!" Ossie Hibbert

First in numerous categories the Hookims were the first to release a twelve inch 45 rpm record in Jamaica with 'Truly', a Jayes updating of Marcia Griffiths' Studio One classic. This new format, playing a 45rpm single over the length of a 33rpm album gave added length, clarity and depth of sound and, as the vocal ended, the deejay part from Ranking Trevor came straight in without a break. The brothers tried to reproduce a similar effect on a series of seven inch singles that played at 33rpm but their 'Channel One Economic Package' records were discontinued after two releases due to problems with the sound quality.

Following Paulie's death in 1977 Jo Jo relocated to New York but still returned to Kingston once a month to supervise the Channel One recording sessions. Two years later the studio was upgraded to sixteen track facilities and the new Hit Bound label was introduced. Winston 'Niney The Observer' Holness(Winston 'Niney' Holness) was associated with the Hookims during this period and worked on their hugely successful early Yellowman recordings. The musical attack of The Roots Radics replaced The Revolutionaries and the sparse mixing techniques of Scientist, who had graduated from King Tubby's studio, came to the fore in 1982. Along with engineering maestros Barnabas and Soldgie these personnel fashioned a brand new music by returning to its roots in Kingston's dance halls and the dance hall style exploded.

But as the eighties drew to a close the Hookims gradually withdrew from making music but continued to press albums from their extensive back catalogue through the Hit Bound Manufacturing Inc. in New York and the Maxfield Avenue premises were shut down. The revolutionary sound of Channel One was an integral part in the crossover success of reggae music in the late seventies... and Jo Jo Hookim is hoping to emulate its success with his brand new state of the art Channel One Recording Studio situated uptown on West Kings House Road. But that's another story...

Sources:
Noel Hawks: Interviews with Roy Cousins London/Liverpool UK 6th & 13th July 2004
Noel Hawks: Interview with Sly Dunbar London UK 12th March 2004
Noel Hawks: Interview with Jo Jo Hookim London UK /New York USA 31st August 1998
Noel Hawks: Interview with Bunny 'Striker' Lee London UK 23rd October 2007

Steve Barrow & Peter Dalton: Reggae The Rough Guide Rough Guides Ltd. 1997
Sep 22, 2014 (Sep 24, 2014 Update) Text by Harry Hawks
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Hit Titles
Revolutionaries - Revolutionaries Sounds (Che Guevara Cover)
CD Revolutionaries - Revolutionaries Sounds (Che Guevara Cover) Hit Bound/Channel One US
  
¥1980 (US$18.04)
Add To Want List
Mighty Diamonds - I Need A Roof
CD Mighty Diamonds - I Need A Roof Hit Bound/Channel One US
  
¥1980 (US$18.04)
Add To Want List
Mighty Diamonds - Stand Up To Your Judgement
CD Mighty Diamonds - Stand Up To Your Judgement Hit Bound/Channel One US
  
¥2180 (US$19.86)
Add To Want List
Barry Brown - Far East
CD Barry Brown - Far East Hit Bound/Channel One US
  
¥1680 ¥1180 (US$10.75)
BUY
Lone Ranger - M 16
CD Lone Ranger - M 16 Hit Bound/Channel One US
  
¥1680 ¥1380 (US$12.57)
Add To Want List
Mighty Diamonds - I Need A Roof (Right Time)
LP Mighty Diamonds - I Need A Roof (Right Time) Hit Bound/Channel One US
  
¥2280 (US$20.77)
Add To Want List
Revolutionaries - Vital Dub Well Charge: Strictly Rockers
LP Revolutionaries - Vital Dub Well Charge: Strictly Rockers Hit Bound/Channel One US
  
¥2580 ¥2380 (US$21.68)
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Mighty Diamonds - Stand Up To Your Judgement
LP Mighty Diamonds - Stand Up To Your Judgement Hit Bound/Channel One US Info: Deleted
  
¥2380 (US$21.68)
Add To Want List
Revolutionaries - Reaction In Dub
LP Revolutionaries - Reaction In Dub Hit Bound/Channel One US
  
¥2980 (US$27.15)
Add To Want List
Revolutionaries - Revolutionaries Sounds (Che Guevara Cover)
LP Revolutionaries - Revolutionaries Sounds (Che Guevara Cover) Hit Bound/Channel One US
  
¥1980 (US$18.04)
Add To Want List
Clint Eastwood - Death In The Arena
LP Clint Eastwood - Death In The Arena Hit Bound/Channel One US
  
¥2080 (US$18.95)
Add To Want List
Mighty Diamonds - Tell Me What's Wrong
LP Mighty Diamonds - Tell Me What's Wrong Hit Bound/Channel One US
  
¥2080 (US$18.95)
Add To Want List
Barry Brown - Far East
LP Barry Brown - Far East Hit Bound/Channel One US
  
¥2080 (US$18.95)
Add To Want List
Lone Ranger - M 16
LP Lone Ranger - M 16 Hit Bound/Channel One US
  
¥2080 (US$18.95)
Add To Want List
Lee Van Cliff - Rock It To Me Twice
LP Lee Van Cliff - Rock It To Me Twice Hit Bound/Channel One US PancootI Came I Saw I ConqueredI Came I Saw I Conquered
  
¥1980 (US$18.04)
Add To Want List
Nicodemus - She Love It In The Morning
LP Nicodemus - She Love It In The Morning Hit Bound/Channel One US
  
¥2680 (US$24.41)
Add To Want List
Roots Radics - Seducer Dub Wise
LP Roots Radics - Seducer Dub Wise Hit Bound/Channel One US
  
¥2980 (US$27.15)
Add To Want List
Sammy Dread - Road Block
LP Sammy Dread - Road Block Hit Bound/Channel One US
  
¥2880 (US$26.24)
Add To Want List
Yellowman - Them A Mad Over Me
LP Yellowman - Them A Mad Over Me Hit Bound/Channel One US
  
¥1980 (US$18.04)
Add To Want List
Various - General For All General: Dance Hall Style (General Rhythm)
LP Various - General For All General: Dance Hall Style (General Rhythm) Hit Bound/Channel One US General
  
¥2880 (US$26.24)
Add To Want List
Various - Hypocrite Inna Dance Hall Style (Hypoceite Rhythm)
LP Various - Hypocrite Inna Dance Hall Style (Hypoceite Rhythm) Hit Bound/Channel One US Hypocrite
  
¥2880 ¥1980 (US$18.04)
Add To Want List
Jays, Ranking Trevor - Queen Majesty
12" Jays, Ranking Trevor - Queen Majesty / Jays - When You Are In Love Hit Bound/Channel One US Queen Majesty
  
¥1680 (US$15.30)
Add To Want List
Tamlins - Hard To Confess
12" Tamlins - Hard To Confess Hit Bound/Channel One US Hard To Confess
  
¥1680 (US$15.30)
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Tony Tuff - Love Light Shining
12" Tony Tuff - Love Light Shining Hit Bound/Channel One US I Hold The Handle
  
¥1980 ¥1780 (US$16.21)
Add To Want List
Sammy Dread - Rude Boy (AKA Bad Boy Fire M 16)
10" Sammy Dread - Rude Boy (AKA Bad Boy Fire M 16) / Roots Radics - Real Rock Well Charge/Channel One US M16 B: Real Rock
  
¥1780 (US$16.21)
Add To Want List
Alton Ellis - Girl I've Got A Date
7" Alton Ellis - Girl I've Got A Date / Unknown DJ - Unknown Well Charge (other) Girl I've Got A Date
  
¥570 (US$5.19)
Add To Want List
John Holt - Tree In The Medow
7" John Holt - Tree In The Medow Hit Bound/Channel One
  
¥800 (US$7.29)
Add To Want List
Revolutionaries - Kunta Kinte
7" Revolutionaries - Kunta Kinte Pressure Sounds UK/Channel One Kunta Kinte
  
¥1480 (US$13.48)
BUY
Creole - Jah Creation
7" Creole - Jah Creation Pressure Sounds UK/Channel One Jah Creation-Creole
  
¥1380 (US$12.57)
BUY
Enforcers - Pay Them
7" Enforcers - Pay Them Well Charge
  
¥1180 ¥999 (US$9.10)
Add To Want List
Freddie McKay - Dance This Ya Festival
7" Freddie McKay - Dance This Ya Festival Well Charge Big Heel Boot
  
¥900 (US$8.20)
Add To Want List
Leroy Smart - Ballistic Affair
7" Leroy Smart - Ballistic Affair Well Charge Ballistic Affair/College Rock
  
¥600 (US$5.47)
Add To Want List
Creole - Beware Of Your Enemies
7" Creole - Beware Of Your Enemies Hit Bound/Channel One US
  
¥980 (US$8.93)
Add To Want List
Clint Eastwood - Roots Rock Reggae
7" Clint Eastwood - Roots Rock Reggae Hit Bound/Channel One US Drifter
  
¥800 (US$7.29)
Add To Want List
Meditations - Standing On The Corner
7" Meditations - Standing On The Corner Well Charge
  
¥840 ¥710 (US$6.47)
Add To Want List
Mighty Diamonds - Tell Me What's Wrong
7" Mighty Diamonds - Tell Me What's Wrong Well Charge
  
¥840 ¥672 (US$6.12)
Add To Want List
Wailing Souls - Things And Time
7" Wailing Souls - Things And Time Well Charge
  
¥840 (US$7.65)
Add To Want List
Al Campbell - Repatriation
7" Al Campbell - Repatriation Hit Bound/Channel One Drifter
  
¥1380 ¥1180 (US$10.75)
Add To Want List
Meditations - Woman Is Like A Shadow
7" Meditations - Woman Is Like A Shadow Hit Bound/Channel One
  
¥1380 (US$12.57)
Add To Want List
Sammy Dread - Rude Boy A Fire M16
7" Sammy Dread - Rude Boy A Fire M16 Hit Bound/Channel One/Well Charge M16
  
¥570 (US$5.19)
Add To Want List
Barrington Levy - Black Roses
7" Barrington Levy - Black Roses Hit Bound/Channel One Revolution/Here I Come
  
¥900 (US$8.20)
Add To Want List
Barrington Levy - Dances Are Changes (Press Noise)
7" Barrington Levy - Dances Are Changes (Press Noise) / Jah Thomas - Ghetto Dance Hit Bound/Channel One General
  
¥800 (US$7.29)
Add To Want List
Jah 9 - Steamers A Bubble (Coloured Vinyl)
7" Jah 9 - Steamers A Bubble (Coloured Vinyl) Hit Bound Apartment
  
¥1880 (US$17.13)
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Recent Arrivals
Robert Dallas - Visions; Dub
12" Robert Dallas - Visions; Dub Channel One Sound System UK
  
¥2180 (US$19.86)
BUY
Best selling CD(s)
Martin Campbell, Hi Tech Roots Dynamics - San Diego Vibes
CD Martin Campbell, Hi Tech Roots Dynamics - San Diego Vibes Channel One UK
  
¥2480 ¥2180 (US$19.86)
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>>more
Best selling LP(s)
Revolutionaries - Revolutionaries Sounds Volume 2
LP Revolutionaries - Revolutionaries Sounds Volume 2 Channel One/Digikiller/Deeper Knowledge US
  
¥5180 (US$47.19)
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>>more
Best selling 10/12"(s)
John Holt - Love & Understanding
10" John Holt - Love & Understanding Channel One/Digikiller/Deeper Knowledge US
  
¥2180 (US$19.86)
BUY
Oneil Dyer - Apartment; Dub
10" Oneil Dyer - Apartment; Dub / Unknown Artist - Hey Natty Dread Channel One/Digikiller/Deeper Knowledge US
   The Channel 1 Lost & Found series of previously unreleased music continues with more killer ten inches. Oneil Dyer's "Apartment" was only ever issued on a small press blank label Hitbound 10" in New York, unnoticed by all but the most hyper astute collectors. Heavy tune, with a killer dub, serious 1982 Scientist/Radics style. The B-side of this record features an unknown killer roots tune from around the same time, dubplate material which unfortunately on tape carried no markings as to who the singer is. We absolutely love good female-voiced roots and this is no exception, purely wicked tune. If anyone knows who sings this tune, let us know, as no one including some of those folks involved in making the tune could place it! One thing that is clear however is the voice of Sugar Minott on harmony. Unfortunately no dub version was found for this tune.
¥1980 (US$18.04)
BUY
Barry Brown; Revolutionaries - Forward On; Forward In Dub
10" Barry Brown;Revolutionaries - Forward On; Forward In Dub / Clarence Parks;Revolutionaries - So Jah Mean; Skylarking Dubplate Style Channel One/Digikiller/Deeper Knowledge US Skylarking
   Channel 1's lost and found series continues with a big ten-inch. This one features Channel 1's heavy update of the classic 'skylarking' rhythm. Barry Brown's "Forward On" originally appeared only on his classic "Far East" album. The vocal here is followed by an unreleased dub cut. The flip side is an unreleased vocal cut by Clarence Parks. This cut is followed by a different skylarking dub, which we believe to be also unreleased. While it's a bit more lo-fi and not quite as Channel 1 sounding, this was sourced from a collection of tunes originally played as dubplates by the Channel 1 sound system, another piece of Channel history. One bad ten-inch with four killer cuts.
¥2180 (US$19.86)
BUY
Unknown Artist - Rocks & Mountains
10" Unknown Artist - Rocks & Mountains Channel One/Digikiller/Deeper Knowledge US
   While never officially released, this tune was made famous thru play on UK sound systems. And while the vocalists of this tune have long been rumored to be the Mighty Travellers, who self-produced some tunes and cut an LP for Jammy's, no one has been able to definitively confirm this. More likely is that the tune is by the Majesterians, who cut "Youthman" for Sly & Robbie around the same time, as the lead voice sounds almost identical. This recording has been sourced straight from a mastertape containing dubplate mixes of other released and more well known Sly & Robbie productions from the early 1980's, but which bore no notation of "Rocks and Mountains" presence at all. So decades later, the mystery endures, but the music finally comes into the light and speaks for itself.
¥2180 (US$19.86)
BUY
Robert Dallas - Visions; Dub
12" Robert Dallas - Visions; Dub Channel One Sound System UK
  
¥2180 (US$19.86)
BUY
>>more
Best selling 7"(s)
Heptones - Natural Mystic
7" Heptones - Natural Mystic Channel One/Digikiller/Deeper Knowledge US
  
¥1180 (US$10.75)
BUY
Little John - False News
7" Little John - False News Channel One/Digikiller/Deeper Knowledge US Fight Fight
   ittle John's "False News" is the rarest released cut on Channel's killer "fight fight" riddim, this time employing some great synth work. Those paying close attention will notice that this riddim is so good, it was licked over by the Choppper crew for our previously released Lionel Barrett and Bobby Melody tunes on that label.
¥1180 (US$10.75)
BUY
Leroy Smart - Oh Marcus
7" Leroy Smart - Oh Marcus / Revolutionaries - Dub Channel One/Digikiller/Deeper Knowledge US
   oth Leroy Smart's "Oh Marcus" and the deejay version, I-Roy's "Tribute To Marcus Garvey" were only ever available as LP cuts, released here now for the first time ever as singles, and backed by a tough version of the Revolutionaries' rhythm track.
¥1400 ¥1180 (US$10.75)
BUY
Hopeton Junior - Reward
7" Hopeton Junior - Reward Channel One/Digikiller/Deeper Knowledge US Worries In The Dance
   Hopeton Junior's "Reward" is one of the baddest cuts on Channel's "Worries in the Dance" rhythm. It was featured on the classic "Worries" rhythm album, but was also one of only two cuts on the rhythm that was released on 7" in JA, with its own unique dub.
¥1400 ¥1180 (US$10.75)
BUY
Al Campbell - Down In Babylon
7" Al Campbell - Down In Babylon Channel One/Digikiller/Deeper Knowledge US
   One killer unreleased blast, straight from 29 Maxfield Avenue. Previously unreleased heater from Al Campbell. From the same sessions as produced his great tune "Jah Army" (coming soon!) is this gem, fantastic early '80s roots, licking back some lyrics he did earlier for producer Larry Lawrence's Ethnic label.
¥1280 ¥1180 (US$10.75)
BUY
>>more
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