When I was a youth in Montana, radio in the 70’s and early 80’s was “format agnostic.” The one pop radio station we could receive out of Great Falls would mix a singer songwriter, like Jackson Browne, next to a rock artist like the Rolling Stones or Boston and then expect to hear some classic 70’s soul from the Spinners.
In the late 70’s it was not unreal to go from a Kiss rocker straight into thumping disco.
Radio is not that way any longer. Everything is separated and boxed in with narrow playlists.
So having nearly two decades of pop music knowledge, even in a rural place like Northern Montana, I have a keen ear for pop hits.
In Jamaica, even cheap transistor radios could pick up stations from Miami and New Orleans. So what I heard in rural Montana was also picked up in Jamaica.
So nearly every pop hit had a local Reggae “chucka chucka” cover. That guitar chop in Reggae comes because of wave distortion in the radio single. The modulation was thought to be a part of the song.
I cold do dozens of shows of covers and we hear some of these examples on today’s Smile Jamaica.
- The Pioneers cover one hit wonder Steam
- Junior Murvin falsetto on Curtis Mayfield
- Lloyd Charmers AM hit by Tommy James; 40 sec.
- The Clash turn the tables and cover Reggae – Willi Williams
From Fort Benton Montana to Kingston Jamaica inna rub a dub stylee!
<Pioneers cover Steam>
- Dillinger – Rock to the Music; Tribal War (New Cross) ’86 UK vinyl
- Glenmore Brown – South East Rock; Dube From the South East (Rhythm Foundation) Stevanger, Norway vinyl Dub Album of the Hour
- Judy Mowatt – Sing Our Own Song; Sing Our Own Song (Shanachie) 2003 UB40 cover
- General Plough – No Pity in the City; One and One = Two (JA) ’83
- The Pioneers – Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye; Give & Take (Trojan) ’69 Steam soul cover
- Prince Hammer – Legalise (Discomix); Rastafari Bible (Patate) ’76 Peter Tosh cover 4:20 Cannabis Service Announcement
- Lee “Scatch” Perry & the Upsetters – Stay Dread; 10″ (Upsetter) ’75 UK herbtune
- Ziggy Marley & the Melody Makers – High Tide or Low Tide; Spirit of Music (Elektra) ’99 riddim shower (1) – cover of Dad’s
- The Wailers – High Tide or Low Tide; Songs of Freedom (Tuff Gong) ’73 riddim shower (2) original
<High Tide or Low Tide; 49 sec.>
- Candy McKenzie – Jah Knows; Lee “Scratch” Perry Presents Candy McKenzie (Trojan) ’70’s Black Ark prod’n
- Junior Delahaye & Wackies Riddim Force – Mystic Revellation (sic); 12″ (Wackies) ’83 Bronx herbtune
- Lloyd Charmers – Crimson and Clover; Psychedelic Reggae vol. 3 (Trybute) ’69 Tommy James & the Shondells cover
- Soulettes – Shoo Be Doo; 7″ (Upsetter pre) Rita Marley’s rock steady group
- UB40 – Don’t Break My Heart; Baggaridim (DEP) ’85
- UB40 – Theme From Labour of Love; 12″ EP (DEP) ’85 UK – dub
- Sly & the Revolutionaries – Burn Pipe Dub; Sensi Dub vol. 1 (Original) Dub Album of the Hour
- Junior Murvin – Rasta Get Ready; Police & Thieves (Deluxe Edition) ’77 Curtis Mayfield cover
- Ras David – Legalizer Dub; One Love Vibration (Gold Poet) ’95 Santa Barbara 420 dub
- Gideon Zinger & U-Brown – So They Say + Can’t Keep a Good Man Down; Ire Hi-Fi (Play de Music) 2007 Germ.
- Marcia Griffiths – Don’t Ever Leave; 12″ (Sheba) ’81 JA
Set 5: Vinyl Is Vital
- Bob Marley & the Wailers – Love Won’t Be Mine; Best of Bob Marley & the Wailers (Studio One) ’65 JA
<Doo wop Bob 1 min. 28 sec.;>
- Shaka Man – Tribute to Bob (If It Wasn’t For the Rasta Man); 2030 A.D. (Majicaa) LA Bob Marley tribute
- Mother Liza – Ten to Ten; Mother Liza Meets Pappa Tullo (Vista Sounds) ’83 UK
- Linval Thompson – Lick Up the Chalice; Look How Me Sexy (Greensleeves) ’82 UK herbtune
- The Clash – Armagideon Time/Justice Tonight/Kick It Over; Black Market Clash (NuDisk) ’80 10″ EP
<10″ oil crisis; 1 min. 2 sec.>
Set 6: Best of Smile Jamaica 29+ Years
- Aisha – The Creator; High Priestess (Ariwa) ’88
- Aswad – Bubbling; To the Top (Simba) ’86 UK
- Burning Spear – Fire Man; (Heartbeat) ’83 aka Mr. Fire Coal Man
- Naturalites – Lion inna Jungle; Rub-a-Dubble Reggae Part 2 (CSA) ’85 UK
Set 7: Wailers Family Tree
- Peter Tosh – 400 Years/Stepping Razor – Live at The Bayou (bootleg) Mar. 14, 1979 Wash’n DC
- Bunny Wailer – Rastaman Rides Again (Ride Natty Ride); Hall of Fame; RAS (1995) 50 Bob covers for his 50th birthday
Set 8: Mutant Dub
- Bob Marley/Bill Laswell – Waiting in Vain; Dreams of Freedom (Axiom) ’97 ambient translations
- Thievery Corporation/Boojoo Bazou – Under Me Sensi Remix; Outernational Sound (ESL) 2004
- Heavyweight Dub Champion – Raise the Dead; Survival Guide for the End of Time (Champion Nation) 2002 Boulder, Collierado dub-hop
- Dry & Heavy – Riders on the Storm; From Creation (Beat) 2002 Jah-pon Doors cov
- Dub Syndicate – Not a World; 10″ (Lion & Roots) ’98 UK