Ben Speight on Reggae, Soundtrack to Social Change | Reggae Lover 100

I had an eye-opening conversation with Atlanta-based organizer for social justice, Ben Speight. 

  • Ben tells how and why he fell in love with Reggae.
  • He talks about reggae as the soundtrack to movements of social change over the years. 
  • He discusses the history of Ska and Roots Reggae, highlighting the political content. 
  • He draws comparisons between Motown and music from the Rocksteady and UK Lover’s eras. 
  • Hear his thoughts on dancehall, Cali reggae, and the new school of roots rockers coming out of Jamaica. 

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This interview, episode 100 of the Reggae Lover podcast, is a testament to the diversity and power of reggae music.  Like my guest said, please continue to support reggae music artists, musicians, DJs, and promoters.

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Joe Gibbs Mix | Reggae Lover Podcast Episode 99

The producer Joe Gibbs, hardcore Jamaican entrepreneur, engineer, and record producer started recording artists in the back of his electronics repair shop in 1966.

joe gibbs mix

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He worked with Lee “Scratch” Perry who had left the employ of Coxsone Dodd‘s Studio One. Bunny Lee helped them form The Amalgamated record label. Soon ‘Niney The Observer‘ joined the team and they were able to produce Rocksteady era hits.

In 1972, Errol Thompson came on board as the chief engineer and together with Joe Gibbs formed “The Mighty Two.” Their studio band called The Professionals featured bassist Sly Dunbar, drummer Robbie Shakespeare, and guitarist Earl “Chinna” Smith.

Hundreds of hits came out including “Money in My Pocket” by Dennis Brown and “A So We Stay” by Big Youth. In 1977 the Culture album entitled “Two Sevens Clash” debuted and became a smash hit which coincided with the punk rock craze in the UK. 

Artists recorded and produced by Joe Gibbs included Dennis Brown, Jacob Miller, Gregory Isaacs, Junior Byles, Barrington Levy, Cornell Campbell, Delroy Wilson, Beres Hammond, JC Lodge, Marcia Aitken, Althea and Donna, Ranking Joe and Peter Tosh. The list goes on and on.

In the new millennium, Joe Gibbs focused on marketing his back catalog.  Joe Gibbs passed on to Zion in February 2008.  He had over 100 Jamaica number one hits and over a dozen UK hits.

He released music on an array of different record labels. An amazing body of work, the Joe Gibbs catalog includes some very important songs in the story of Jamaican music.  Salute to the icon, the giant, one of the greatest producers ever – Joe Gibbs. 

Please subscribe to the reggae lover podcast. Please share and invite others to listen. Email your requests and feedback to reggaeloverpodcast@gmail.com.   Until next time, keep it positive. This is Kahlil Wonda from Highlanda Sound saying Jah bless.

iHeartRadio: Listen and Follow here.

STITCHER RADIO: SUBSCRIBE AND LISTEN HERE.

GOOGLE PLAY MUSIC: SUBSCRIBE AND LISTEN HERE.

TUNE IN RADIO: FAVORITE AND LISTEN HERE.

SOUNDCLOUD: CLICK TO DOWNLOAD OR PLAY EPISODE.

APPLE PODCASTS: SUBSCRIBE AND LISTEN VIA ITUNES.