Sugar Minott | Reggae Lover Podcast Episode 86

Reggae lover podcast episode 86 is about Lincoln Barrington Minott, also known as dancehall music pioneer, Sugar Minott.

Sugar Minott Dancehall Hero

Sugar Minott, Dancehall Hero

In a live dancehall setting during the 1970s, it was common for artists to perform over pre-recorded instrumentals. Sugar Minott was the first artist to recreate that style inside the studio. He worked with Coxsone Dodd and sang new lyrics over the instrumentals of popular Studio One songs.

After leaving Studio One, Minott founded his own record label called the Black Roots. He also founded a sound system called Youth Man Promotions, and later a record label by the same name. His vision was to give young artists an outlet, and a chance to make their name in the music business.

Sugar Minott moved to England where he was achieving more success than he was in Jamaica. The lover’s rock craze started in the UK and Sugar was one of the major players in that movement. While in England he discovered the group Musical Youth.

Back in Jamaica, he’s also credited with discovering many young talents. He gave unknown artists the chance to perform live in the Dancehall and record for the first time. It was Sugar Minott who actually recorded Garnet Silk‘s first song. Other artists associated with the Black Roots and Youthman Promotion movements include Barrington Levy, Little John, Nitty Gritty, Tenor Saw, Junior Reid, Jah Stitch, Ranking Dread and Ranking Joe.

Sugar was a very Dynamic, versatile artist with successful records in different styles. Lovers rock, Roots, covers, dancehall style, and original written material. Sugar Minott recorded for his own record labels, and he worked with other top labels and producers. Working with Mikey Dread, George Phang, Sly and Robbie Jammys, Channel One and with the Bullwackies label out of New York City. Sugar Minott recorded over 60 albums and countless singles.

He passed away in 2010 to heart disease. To see him on stage I was very impressed. Even in his old age, he was a very energetic performer, acting out scenes, jumping, prancing and dancing across the stage. All with his voice still sounding sweet like sugar. Very comfortable in a dancehall setting, he would ask the band or the selector to play some Studio One, and he could sing for hours – entertaining and thrilling the crowd.

I salute the great Sugar Minott. His legacy lives on with his daughter Pashon Minott who is a bonafide recording artist in her own rights. If you enjoy this mix I hope you will add some of the songs to your music collection.

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61 - Reggae Lover Podcast - Original Vintage Ska (artwork)

Original Vintage Ska | Reggae Lover Podcast 61

This episode starts with early rocksteady then goes back in time to original vintage ska.

Cover: 61 - Reggae Lover Podcast - Original Vintage Ska

For those who are not familiar with ska, I will attempt to give you a brief history. Ska music originated in Jamaica in the 1950s and became popular in the 1960s. When you listen to ska lyrics and melodies you must keep a few things in mind:

  1. Ska had an uptempo beat for dancing and required very energetic dance moves. It’s based on Mento (Jamaican folk music) and Caribbean Calypso mixed with classic American R&B.
  2.  Jamaica gained independence from Great Britain in 1962 with ska as the soundtrack. This music is the island’s 1st true ‘pop’ genre and there is a sense of new national pride in some of the lyrics.
  3. An influx of youth moved from outlying areas of the island to Kingston to look for work. Unable to make a living, many teens resorted to illegal activities. This set the stage for what became known as the “rude boy” subculture, another major source of lyrics in early ska.

In the late 1960s the pace of the ska beat slowed down and a new, slower genre called rocksteady emerged. Rocksteady only remained popular from 1966 to 1968. Then reggae music hit the town and spread like wildfire.

Ska caught on in the British market from 1960 to 1967. Many British ska record labels popped up on the scene releasing music that featured Jamaican artists and musicians. The skinhead and punk communities also embraced the music. Ska experienced a revival with a second wave of popularity driven by UK bands in the 1970s.  Traditional ska transformed with the hard edge of punk rock among other influences.

The third wave of popularity began in the 1980s and continued into the 1990s. By then most continents had a growing ska presence. Ska bands such as No Doubt, Sublime, and Fishbone led the way in the United States and had major commercial success.

Playlist:

  1. Johnny Clarke – Move Out of Babylon
  2. Burning Spear – Marcus Garvey
  3. Carl Dawkins – Baby I Love You
  4. Derrick Morgan – Tougher Than Tough
  5. Peter Tosh and The Soulmates – Rudie’s Medley
  6. Desmond Dekker – 007 (Shanty Town)
  7. Lloyd Robinson – No More Trouble
  8. Alton Ellis and The Flames – Cry Tough
  9. Alton Ellis and The Flames – Blessing of Love
  10. Hopeton Lewis – Take It Easy
  11. Alton Ellis – Girl I’ve Got a Date
  12. U-Roy – Wake the Town
  13. U-Roy – I Can’t Love Another
  14. Ken Boothe – The Train is Coming
  15. Bob Andy – I’ve Got to Go Back Home
  16. Delroy Wilson – Dancing Mood
  17. Jimmy Cliff – The Harder They Come
  18. Paragons – Happy Go Lucky Girl
  19. Eric Morris – If I Didn’t Love You
  20. The Melodians – Rivers of Babylon
  21. Stranger Cole – Rough and Tough
  22. Theophilus Beckford – Easy Snappin’
  23. Bob and Marcia – Young Gifted and Black
  24. Prince Buster – Hard Man Fe Dead
  25. The Maytals – Six and Seven Books of Moses
  26. The Skatalites – Guns of Navarone
  27. Derrick Morgan – Forward March
  28. Prince Buster – Al Capone
  29. Derrick Morgan – The Hop
  30. Derrick Morgan – Housewives Choice
  31. Don Drummond – Man in the Street
  32. The Folkes Brothers – Oh Carolina
  33. Bob Marley – Judge Not
  34. Jimmy Cliff – Miss Jamaica
  35. Alton Ellis and The Flames – Dance Crasher
  36. Justin Hinds and The Dominoes – Carry Go Bring Come
  37. The Wailers – Simmer Down
  38. Laurel Aitken – Boogie in My Bones
  39. Clancy Eccles – Sammy No Dead
  40. Baba Brooks – Girl’s Town Ska
  41. Owen Gray – Midnight Track
  42. Millie Small – My Boy Lollipop

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