Bob Marley’s favorite singer: Jacob Miller

Jamaican reggae artist and Rastafari musician, nicknamed Jacob “Killa” Miller. Inner Circle lead singer, Jacob was a legendary Reggae singer with an exciting stage presence and memorable voice.

HIGHLANDA SOUND #Reggae 123 - Reggae Lover - Jacob Miller

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Listen to songs from Jacob Miller like Tenement Yard, Healing of the Nation & more.

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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.

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“Augustus Pablo Presents Rockers International” digital release available now; vinyl Nov. 13th

Augustus Pablo - Rockers International - Artwork

Augustus Pablo – Rockers International – Artwork

Originally issued as two separate album releases this 2CD remastered edition collects up 28 Augustus Pablo classics from the golden age of Rockers. Melodica masterpieces, deep dubs and classic vocal sides from the likes of Jacob Miller, Junior Delgado, Earl Sixteen and more all built on Augustus Pablo signature rock solid drum and bass foundations. Also featuring for the first time 7″ vinyl release for this scorching ’79 reggae classic from Junior Delgado ‘Away With You Fussing And Fighting,’ produced by Augustus Pablo. Download the album now.

“Give thanks for I & I Father Haile Selassie I for the inspiration for all melodies, which I & I play for His children all over His creation. Selah” – Augustus Pablo

Lovers Rock According to Freddie McGregor

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Freddie McGregor

Freddie McGregor

Here is a mix that many Reggae Lover listeners have been looking for. Freddie McGregor is one of reggae’s most prolific and successful artists. With roots in the 60’s at Studio One and a stellar career established over decades of tremendous success, Freddie is a living legend and continues to record and tour the world today.

The songs compiled here share the themes of love and relationships and the mix is absolutely crucial. I’m keeping the show notes short on this one, but the mix runs for almost an hour.

Please leave a comment here or email reggaeloverpodcast@gmail.com to let me know if the music sounds as good to you that it does to me.

Freddie McGregor Playlist:

1 Big Ship
2 When I’m Ready
3 Come Now Sister
4 Curly Locks
5 Curly Dub
6 Stop Loving You
7 Little Nut Tree
8 Nutmeg Dub
9 Sweet Talking
10 Mr. Fix It
11 Fix Him Dub
12 Give Me The Right
13 The Right Dub
14 Can I Change My Mind
15 Your Love (Change In Me)
16 Every Day Is Just a Holiday
17 Holiday Dub
18 Searching
19 I See It In You
20 Lovers Rock
21 Push Come To Shove
22 Undying Love
23 Undying Dub
24 Breaking Up
25 Breaking Dub
26 A House Is Not A Home
27 Gatepass To Your Heart
28 Take Time To Know Her
29 Come On Little Girl
30 Big Girl Dub
31 One More Dance
32 Danger In Your Eyes
33 You Have Caught Me
34 Let Him Try
35 Just Don’t Want To Be Lonely
36 How Can I Forget
37 Loving Pauper
38 Not Giving Up On You
39 Moving Away
40 I Was Born A Winner
41 Falling In Love With You
42 Falling In Dub
43 You’re Gonna Lose
44 Losing Dub
45 Westbound Train ft. Jacob Miller

Foundation Roots, Reality and Culture

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Roots_Reggae_by_guidenzinIn this episode, I present some essential Roots reggae cuts, mostly from the 1970s. These songs deal with the everyday lives and aspirations of the artists concerned, including the spiritual side of Rastafari and the honoring of God.

The featured artists provide social commentary and deliver lyrical themes including spirituality, resistance to government, black pride and repatriation.

You will hear Studio One classics, gems from Tuff Gong, Exterminator and Volcano, plus quintessential Trojan recordings, among others. The full track list is posted below. Enjoy the musical mix!

Song List:

1 Freddie McGregor – Rastaman Camp
2 Bob Marley – Africa Unite
3 Black Uhuru – Sensimilia
4 Sammy Dread – Road Block
5 Hugh Mundell – Rasta Have The Handle
6 The Gladiators – Easy Squeeze
7 Black Uhuru – Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner
8 Black Uhuru – Plastic Smile
9 Gregory Isaacs – Slave Master
10 John Holt – Up Park Camp
11 John Holt – Tribal War
12 Barrington Levy – No Fuss Or Fight
13 Jacob Miller – Tired Fe Lick Weed Inna Bush
14 Barrington Levy – Do Good
15 Barrington Levy – Murderer
16 Carlton Livingston – 100 Weight of Collie Weed
17 Bob Marley – Forever Loving Jah
18 Bob Marley – Them Belly Full
19 Bob Marley – Rebel Music
20 Don Carlos – Natty Dread Have the Credentials
21 Half Pint – Political Fiction
22 John Holt – Police In Helicopter
23 Jacob Miller – Tenement Yard
24 Gregory Isaacs – Border
25 Yabby You & The Prophets – Babylon A Fall
26 Yabby You & Tony Tuff – Falling Babylon
27 Burning Spear – Follow Marcus Garvey
28 U Brown – Jah Is My Father Still
29 Delroy Wilson – Better Must Come
30 Dennis Alcapone & Delroy Wilson – It Must Come
31 Barrington Levy – Teach The Youth
32 Cocoa Tea – Rasta Man
33 Sugar Minott – Give Me Jah Jah
34 U-Roy – Gorgon Wise
35 Johnny Osborne – Truths and Rights
36 Bob Marley – Time Will Tell
37 Burning Spear – Columbus
38 Freddie McGregor – Bobby Babylon
39 Johnny Osbourne – Jah Promise
40 Sugar Minott – Jah Jah Children
41 Johnny Osborne – Jah Righteous Plan

Augustus Pablo, was a Jamaican roots reggae and dub record producer, melodica player and keyboardist, active from the 1970s onwards. He popularized the use of an instrument called the melodica.In his role as musician and producer he has helped to shape the reggae music genre. Show Notes Vocalist Jacob Miller, who was heavily influenced by Pablo, starts this episode off with "Baby I Love You So" followed by the dub version of said tune entitled "King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown." Both works can be found on the 'Easy Skanking' album. His album King Tubbys Meets Rockers Uptown (1976) is often regarded as one of the most important examples of dub. Selections heard in this mix include quintessential tracks from classic albums 'Ital Dub,' 'East of the River Nile,' 'Java Java Dub,' and 'Valley Of Jehosaphat,' among others. Also listen out for Wayne Wonder in dubplate style singing over the Java riddim for Highlanda Sound, and the voice of SuperPEC on his exclusive "Mommy Dearest," for which he chose the "East of River Nile" instrumental in tribute to Pablo.

Augustus Pablo, The Original Rocker featured on the Reggae Lover podcast

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Tue, 2 September 2014 Episode 21 - Augustus Pablo, The Original Rocker

Reggae Lover Podcast – Tue, 2 September 2014
Episode 21 – Augustus Pablo, The Original Rocker

Augustus Pablo, was a Jamaican roots reggae and dub record producermelodica player and keyboardist, active from the 1970s onwards.

He popularized the use of an instrument called the melodica.In his role as musician and producer he has helped to shape the reggae music genre.

Show Notes

Vocalist Jacob Miller, who was heavily influenced by Pablo, starts this episode off with “Baby I Love You So” followed by the dub version of said tune entitled “King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown.”  Both works can be found on the ‘Easy Skanking‘ album.  His album King Tubbys Meets Rockers Uptown (1976) is often regarded as one of the most important examples of dub.

Selections heard in this mix include quintessential tracks from classic albums ‘Ital Dub,’ ‘East of the River Nile,’ ‘Java Java Dub,’ and ‘Valley Of Jehosaphat,’ among others.

Also listen out for Wayne Wonder in dubplate style singing over the Java riddim for Highlanda Sound, and the voice of SuperPEC on his exclusive “Mommy Dearest,” for which he chose the “East of River Nile” instrumental in tribute to Pablo.

Tad’s Record Releases Prezident Brown’s New Album, “I Sound Is From Creation”

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Jamaican roots reggae artist Prezident Brown returns with the highly-anticipated release of his latest album, I Sound Is From Creation, available on November 13, 2012 from Tad’s Records. Born Fitz Cotterell in Clarendon, Jamaica, Prezident Brown embarked on his musical journey in the 1980’s, and over the years, has transcended international borders to bring his brand of socially-conscious messages, packaged through sweet reggae music, to the global audience.

Hailed as one of the few remaining authentic roots reggae entertainers, Prezident Brown is often compared to the late Dennis Brown and Jacob Miller of Inner Circle. This, his ninth full-length release, is no different, as he continues his mission to educate and entertain, through his music.

Boasting 14 tracks molded by Prezident Brown’s signature chanting style, all solidly laced over classic one-drop reggae riddims, I Sound Is From Creation is a must-have album for reggae lovers. With the first single, “Be Careful (Rags To Riches),” Prezident Brown implores listeners to not get attached to material things or lose themselves, as they rise from “rags” to “riches.” The second single, “Teach The Youths Dem (Meditation),” address the destruction of the culture and encourages youths to be strong in the face of adversity. Other notable tracks include “Defender,” where he delves into his Rastafarian faith and urges the public to not belief the negative propaganda that is spread about the religion, “Fi Wi Queen (Jamaica 50),” which pays tribute to Jamaica’s 50th Independence celebrations, “Everything Is Everything,” which explores the mysteries of creation, and “Rebel With A Cause,” a unique combination of neo-soul and roots reggae that speaks to Prezident Brown’s musical versatility.

“I came up with the album name I Sound Is From Creation because some of the songs were made from chanting the melody and lyrics,” reveals Prezident Brown. “The musicians created music for the chant and together we made a record.” Working alongside Axx Of Jahpostles (Devon Bradshaw on bass and Ian “Beezy” Coleman on guitar) on the production created a fruitful and comfortable working situation for the entertainer. “It is always a pleasure to work with Devon Bradshaw and Ian Coleman,” states Prezident Brown. “We work very well as a team and they are involved in a lot of my projects that are already out.” Axx Of Jahpostles thus share in the album’s billing.

“Overall I have grand feeling about the album as the collection of tunes represents me well,” discloses Prezident Brown. “I believe real progress is gradual and not overnight, so one should practice and maintain one’s position. This project took two years, on and off, to conceive and come together.” With the final project in hand, Prezident Brown is bound to satisfy the masses, as he continues his prolific pursuit as a reggae music ambassador and a socially-conscious commentator.

“Prezident Brown, as an artist, is one of those silent but deadly gems of reggae music,” states Tad Dawkins, President of Tad’s Record. “His songs are both entertaining as well as powerful in message. There was no contemplating when the opportunity arose for Tad’s Record to put out an album for Prezident Brown and Axx Of Jahpostles. Tad’s Record deals with quality music and I Sound is from Creation is a solid and high quality album.”

 

Big Bands of Reggae

Highlanda.net:

“Nothing compares to being in a venue where a reggae band is performing live.  The rumble of the bass lines surround you in a warm embrace and you can’t help but to rock and skank as you are transported to another realm and higher level of consciousness.  This describes the effects of the power that live reggae musicians have over the masses.”


Third World

Third World is a Grammy nominated Jamaican reggae band formed in 1973. Their sound is influenced by soul, funk and disco. Third World’s greatest success came in the late 1970s and early 1980s, peaking with their cover version of The O’Jays’ “Now That We Found Love”, a hit single on both sides of the Atlantic in 1979. Here is a Third World performing “Now That We Found Love:”
This song brought them to the attention of Stevie Wonder, who worked with them and wrote (along with Melody A. McCully) their song “Try Jah Love.” This band still records and tours to this day so definitely check them out if they come to a venue near you. Visit Third World online at http://www.thirdworldband.com/

Inner Circle

This Jamaican reggae group was formed in 1968 by the brothers Ian and Roger Lewis in Jamaica. The band released its debut album in 1974 on the famed record label, Trojan Records, and resigned in 1979 to Island Records, where the internationally successful album Everything Is Great originated. They are responsible for the 1989 song “Bad Boys,” which serves as the theme song for Fox Network’s long-running television program COPS. Here is Inner Circle with “Bad Boys:”
Jacob Miller, the frontman and lead singer, was killed in a car crash on March 23, 1980. The band appeared in the reggae cult film Rockers in 1978. Their second American hit, reaching #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1993 was “Sweat (A La La La La Long)”, which was a #3 hit in the UK. Here is Inner Circle with “Sweat:”

Steel Pulse
Steven Huey reports, “Generally a protest-minded Rastafarian outfit, Steel Pulse started out playing authentic roots reggae with touches of jazz and Latin music, and earned a substantial audience among white U.K. punks as well. Their 1978 debut, Handsworth Revolution, is still regarded by many critics as a landmark and a high point of British reggae. As the ’80s wore on, slick synthesizers and elements of dance and urban R&B gradually crept into their sound, even as their subject matter stayed on the militant side. By the late ’80s, Steel Pulse had won a Grammy and were working full-fledged crossover territory, but never reached the same degree of commercial acceptance as Aswad or Inner Circle. They subsequently returned to a tough-minded, rootsy sound that nonetheless made concessions to contemporary trends with touches of dancehall and hip-hop.” Here is Steel Pulse performing “Rally Round:”
In 1993 they performed at Bill Clinton’s inaugural celebration, the first reggae band to appear at such an event. Visit Steel Pulse’s website for more.

Aswad
From Vh1: “Aswad was arguably Britain’s most successful reggae band, in terms of both popularity and longevity. Critical opinion on their body of work is often divided; some hail their early material as the greatest roots reggae Britain ever produced, while others find their later pop-crossover phase more distinctive and unique, even at the expense of authenticity. Regardless, Aswad’s ability to adapt themselves to the changing times — new musical trends, shifting personnel — was ultimately the driving force behind their decades-long career.”
Aswad was often hired as backing musicians for touring Jamaican stars: Bob Marley, Burning Spear, Dennis Brown, and Black Uhuru.

Kahlil Wonda on ‘The Finest Years’ of Reggae Music

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The period beginning in the 1960’s on up through the 1980’s is what I refer to as The Finest Years of reggae music.  I sometimes include also the 1990’s.  The Finest Years includes many styles of the genre, from very grass-roots productions such as those of Studio One in Jamaica and Treasure Isle in the UK to the computerized creations of Jammy’s and Digital B in the 80’s and early 90’s.  These are some of my favorite selections as a consumer and Disc Jockey alike.  I pride myself as a collector and will never, ever, ever part with my musical treasure – original 12″, 10″, and 7″ records.

The Finest Years - classic reggae mix CD cover
The Finest Years – classic reggae mix CD cover

Click the Image to Download.

Although I don’t think its my very best mixing, this 100% vinyl mix is well selected and flows nicely from start to finish with some very nice transitions from song to song.  The sound quality is very good considering the age of some of the records being played, although I think the sound effects are sometimes too loud, especially for the type of songs being played.

The Finest Years - classic reggae mix CD cover
The Finest Years – classic reggae mix CD cover

The Finest Years mix begins with Ken Boothe’s ‘Everything I Own,’ which I use at the beginning to immediately set the tone. The first blend brings in Alton Ellis singing ‘I’m Just A Guy’ on the Studio One label. At this point you can really hear some hissing and popping from the needle travelling along the grooves of the original 45 (7″ record played at 45rpms). ‘Love and Devotion’ sung by Jimmy Riley (Tarrus Riley’s father for those who don’t know) is next followed by Eek A Mouse’s ‘Virgin Girl,’ a Volcano recording.

The mix steps up pace just a bit now as I draw for “I’m Still in Love” sung by Marcia Aitken and produced by the legendary Joe Gibbs. This tune was made popular recently by Sean Paul and Sasha. For all dub lovers I feature Studio One’s Ken Booth 45 of ‘When I Fall In Dub,’ (look for more dub featured on mixes coming soon). One good Studio One deserves another so another blend begins and The Heptones sing ‘Pretty Looks’ for us. Next is the first song from Dennis Emmanuel Brown, The Crown Prince of Reggae, ‘Sitting and Watching,’ followed by the Empress of Reggae, Marcia Griffiths with ‘Feel Like Jumping.’

The mix then goes into a vintage classic, ‘Loving Pauper,’ by Dobby Dobson. I remember drawing tunes like this in the early days of Highlanda to the surprise and praise of the elders in the community who asked “is how you know dem tune ya?” The Heptones’ ‘Sitting In the Park’ mixes in right on beat and ushers in more nostalgia before again the voice of Mr. D. Brown is featured with ‘Have You Ever.’ I had to let this one play for a while before transitioning smoothly into ‘I’ve Got The Handle,’ another Heptones Studio One classic, then Freddie McGregor’s version of ‘Let Him Try.’

The blend that follows is crucial as it brings across to your speakers the voices of Bob Andy and Marcia Griffiths with ‘Always Together,’ a lover’s anthem recorded at Studio One. I had to feature some Bob Marley so the next blend is into ‘Nice Time,’ original Tuff Gong 45 and from there back to Studio One with Alton Ellis ‘Breaking Up.’ To keep things interesting next up is ‘Can’t Stop Loving You’ by Freddie McGregor and ‘Missing You’ by Dennis Brown, (This Dennis Brown version was recorded at Don 1 studios in Brooklyn, New York) and Cocoa Tea‘s ‘Tune In’ on the Far East riddim. Volcano label 45 ‘Rocking Dolly‘ also by Cocoa Tea blends in smoothly next followed by another Cocoa Tea hit ‘She Loves Me Now.’

For many what follows is the sweetest part of The Finest Years mix. 6 Dennis Browns in a row blended masterfully starting with the Joe Gibbs dub version of ‘Money In My Pocket’ and moving into the original version, then ‘Silhoutte,’ ‘Take It Easy,’ ‘Caress Me Girl,’ ‘How Could I Leave,’ and ‘Rocking Time.’ Thank you D. Brown, we love you!

The next 4 songs are from Studio One: ‘Party Time’ by the Heptones, ‘Truly,’ by Marcia Griffiths, ‘Play Play Girl,’ by Johnny Osborne, and ‘Fatty Fatty,’ by Alton Ellis. Then an all-time favorite of mine ‘Friends for Life,’ is performed by Dennis Brown followed by The Melodians with ‘Come On Little Girl,’ and Cornell Campbell with ‘Boxing,’ another Joe Gibbs masterpiece. Featuring one more Freddie McGregor, the mix transitions into ‘I Was Born A Winner,’ and serious rockers tune ‘Keep On Knocking’ by Jacob Miller. The Finest Years closes out with Gregory Issacs‘s ‘Number One,’ and the classic ballad by Junior Byles, ‘Curley Lox.’

Thank you for reading and more importantly thank you for listening. The purpose of this blog post is for the education of those who seek to learn more about this powerful force, this divine gift of reggae.

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