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Jamaica’s first champion calypsonian: Leonard “Lord Power” Williams

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 The role played by singers and musicians of Jamaica's first popular music, mento, in the attractiveness of the island as a tourism destination—particularly in the 1950s and 1960s—remains under-acknowledged. They were vital to the tourist-driven entertainment programs of hotels and nightclubs across the island. Mento, however, was marketed as ...
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  423 Hits
423 Hits

A Life of Sweet Sorrow: A Reflection on the iconic trombonist, DON DRUMMOND

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One of the extraordinary pillars of Jamaica's music history lies within the best trombonist in his time; He's a marvel to behold to this day, despite being a "troubled trombonist." The late Don Drummond's life and music continue to be quite the phenomenon. He was largely critical in the emergence and development of Jamaica's popular music. You'll r...
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  411 Hits
411 Hits

Beauty Corner: “Why your hair isn’t growing” (Part 1)

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"Black hair can't grow", "Pepper grain cya amount to much", "a ol' nayga hair she have" – All these simple things we may say or grew up hearing is where we should start unpacking. Get rid of it – Put some respect on your crown! You see that hair, your crown that you wear each day? That is exactly what it is, your crown – and it's beautiful and mean...
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  1053 Hits
1053 Hits

Sampling and the Circle of Music

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Close to the end of an on-air shift at Kool97FM, the vibe just right and the dancing by now reaching its peak, I hear the early beginnings of a song I love, one that marked part of my youth and naturally I got excited. Like a DJ might tease an audience and that audience might wait semi-patiently, I filled up on the introductory beat, certain I knew...
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  1576 Hits
1576 Hits

“THE SWEET” SOULETTES

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 American girl groups with catchy monikers like the Ronettes, the Marvelettes, and the Bobbettes, influenced the naming of at least two popular local singing groups. One of the two, the Gaylettes, have already been featured in Notes in Jamaican Music, so the spotlight now falls on the other, the Soulettes. Formed in the mid-sixties, the origin...
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  1597 Hits
1597 Hits

Single Fathers, We See YOU and Bless YOU

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 As we approach the day (probably arbitrarily) designated as Fathers Day, I find myself increasingly committed to the idea and task of reframing the narrative of fatherhood, especially as it relates to men of colour. I am convinced that the old, hackneyed stereotypes of 'wutless', deadbeat, absent fathers have outlived their usefulness. Haven'...
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  1764 Hits
1764 Hits

Take Your Power Back

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I read a quote somewhere that said "Self-care is how you take your power back." – It really stuck with me as someone who doesn't really make it a habit to take time to rest or just.... relax. A therapist told me it's because I have an 'avoidant' process of handling my struggles or day-to-day problems so I am always doing something – cleaning an alr...
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  2096 Hits
2096 Hits

The Gaylettes – Sweethearts of Soul, Reggae & Rocksteady

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  American music trends such as jazz and rhythm & blues, infiltrated and eroded Jamaica's colonial tradition of classical music, which had gathered steam in the 1940s. By the early 1960s, America's newest genre, soul, was also influencing Jamaica's musical landscape. While male solo singers and groups ruled the new art-form, girl groups we...
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  2826 Hits
2826 Hits

Sister Mary Ignatius Davies - Mother of Jamaican Music

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Without the life of Sister Ignatius, Jamaican music wouldn't be the same. In fact, it is arguable that without Sister Iggy, as she was affectionately known by her students, reggae, rocksteady, even ska may not have seen its genesis through the horns and drums of the boys in her care. The music world owes a great debt to Sister Mary Ignatius Davies—...
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  4072 Hits
4072 Hits

Hortense Ellis - Jamaica's “First Lady of Song"

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Born in that celebrated seedbed of talent called Trench Town on April 18, 1941, Hortense Mahalia Ellis blossomed into a highly regarded vocalist. Her potential as such was apparent from an early age, and she often participated in school and community concerts. But, by the late 1950s, it was time to showcase her voice on a grander stage. Brother Alt...
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  2121 Hits
2121 Hits

Bob Marley’s Enduring Legacy

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This year, the 76th anniversary of his birth, marks forty years since Bob Marley's passing and yet he remains the King of Reggae, the face of Jamaica and one of the most revered artistes in the world.It is not by chance that this artiste continues to set the bar for the success of Reggae in the world.Robert Nesta Marley, Jamaican African Rastaman w...
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  1701 Hits
1701 Hits

Reflecting on The Burning Spear

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 One of the most brilliant and well-respected Reggae heavyweights in Jamaican history is Burning Spear, born Winston Rodney on March 1, 1945. He's been a stalwart of Reggae music since the 1970s. Part preacher, part Black historian, Spear was an early proponent of Marcus Garvey, having shared the same birthplace as the national hero – St. Ann'...
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  1787 Hits
1787 Hits

New Year Preements

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Sooooo 2020, in all its 'covidity', is ending. We are beginning a new year, which for many of us means, resolution time. "New tings, I'm going to sort out my life." While many of us say that some other people wax bitter and salty, you know criticizing and judging: "Oh yea, here they come again with their new year's resolutions and their vision boar...
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  1423 Hits
1423 Hits

5 EASY DIY GIFTS

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 This time of the year we often get consumed with buying the best gifts and wrapping them beautifully, decorating our homes, baking treats and planning parties. Giving gifts is special during Christmas and what better way to treat your loved ones but with homemade gifts made with love? These are some of my favourite gift to make and over the y...
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  1943 Hits
1943 Hits

Millicent "Patsy" Todd

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One of Jamaica's prolific hit-makers of the 1960's was Millicent Todd, more popularly known as Patsy. Born in 1944, Todd was raised in the Fletcher's Land community of West Kingston, and attended the nearby All Saints school. On realizing she could sing, her mother informed popular singer Derrick Morgan of her talent. Millicent was 15 when Morgan f...
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  2199 Hits
2199 Hits

Jamaica’s Influence on Sweet Soul

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Soul music happens to be a very important category of Black Music, and music in general. The category defined as Soul has an amazing history; first identified and named in the 1950s as a sub-genre of Rhythm and Blues because of its roots in Gospel. Fast forward to the mid-1960s, the term Soul had become nationally accepted across the USA - with the...
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  1348 Hits
1348 Hits

Chronixx Chronology: Over the Years

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"Chronology", the album has coincidentally aged well with time, all puns intended. From the album release being accepted by worldwide critical acclaim to a Grammy nomination… It has been a journey in time! When the album first popped on the scene, it was an epic imagery of Jamaica's rich culture bursting with colour in front of our faces. It was no...
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  1476 Hits
1476 Hits

Sonia “Miss P” Pottinger

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 In the mid-1960s, St. Thomas native Sonia Pottinger entered the male dominated world of record producing. Sonia had already been exposed to the business, as she was the wife of record producer and Tip Top Record Shop owner, Lindon Pottinger. Lindon had produced hit songs such as "My Happy Home" by Roy and Patsy, and "Bewildered" by Jimmy Jame...
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  1492 Hits
1492 Hits