Retrospectively referred to as blue beat, “Jamaican rhythm and blues” (JA-R&B) was one of many R&B styles performed and consumed in the UK during the early 1960s. Despite the genre’s importance to African-Caribbean migrant communities, urban subcultures, and, eventually, mainstream British popular music, JA-R&B is often relegated to a side note in the histories of Jamaican ska/reggae and British blues. This essay recuperates the production, emulation, consumption and mediation of JA-R&B into a broader narrative of the British R&B boom, a phenomenon often understood as a precursor to the British Invasion and the (re)birth of rock music as a major force in Anglo-American popular culture. As this essay details, JA-R&B was the product of a complex web of cultural interaction animated by a confluence of black Americans, Jamaicans of various ethnicities (living at home and abroad), and white Britons. The routes by which JA-R&B moved from the relative shadows of the underground Jamaican-settler social scene into the clubs of Soho, to London’s recording studios, and eventually onto the pop charts through British-made recordings are traced here through analysis of contemporaneous discourse found in The West Indian Gazette, Disc, Melody Maker, New Record Mirror, and New Musical Express. I conclude that JA-R&B’s eventual “novelty” status, coupled with apparent anxieties about the growing West Indian immigrant population in Britain, elided the possibility that JA-R&B could be valued on the same terms and by the same standards as “authentic,” American-originated R&B.

Wednesday, 25 September 1963 at 4 p.m., a crowd gathered at the Flamingo Club, one of the trendiest hotspots in West London’s Soho district. Afternoon was a bit early for a club best known for its “All-niter” sessions, but word was out that Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames were recording a live album that day. As any Flamingo devotee knew, Mr. Fame was not an act to be missed. As the recording engineer Glyn Johns fashioned a makeshift control booth in a broom closet and the rest of the band set up, a team of club regulars helped Fame bring his Hammond L-100 organ down the stairs of the basement club and onto the stage. Not long after, tape began rolling and the band blazed through ten tunes, only to find out that Johns’ two-channel mobile recorder malfunctioned mid-set.1 Undeterred, Fame and the Blue Flames hopped back on the bandstand and started again from the top. To open “take two” the Blue Flames settled into a vamp, Flamingo Club MC Johnny Gunnell announced the band, and the crowd audibly expressed their enthusiasm—which was apparently no worse for wear for hearing the band play the same material a second time:

“Yeah, here we go now, Georgie Fame, the Blue Flames, and let’s listen to. . . ‘Night Train!’”

The group then transitioned from the introductory vamp to the song’s signature groove as Fame began to sing:

“Miami, Florida! Atlanta, Georgia! Raleigh, North Carolina! Washington, D.C.! All aboard!”

So opens Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames’s Rhythm and Blues from the Flamingo. “Night Train” stands as a rather fitting representation of Georgie Fame and the Flamingo club sound circa 1963. Originally a #1 R&B hit for Jimmy Forrest as an instrumental in 1952, the song had been re-recorded by James Brown in 1961 with a sparse lyric that emulated a train conductor calling out a series of destinations along the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. Released in 1962, Brown’s version achieved crossover success, reaching #5 on Billboard’s R&B chart and #35 on the Hot-100. By performing this recent African-American commercial hit, Fame affirmed his dedication to a style markedly more modern than the kind favored by his British R&B contemporaries. Fame’s conception of the genre embraced rather than distanced itself from the contemporaneous sounds found on the Atlantic, Blue Note, Stax and Motown discs that were becoming increasingly popular with black American audiences. Rhythm and Blues from the Flamingo was, in this regard, a departure from the Chicago-centric, urban blues approach typical of rank-and-file British blues acts.

Not quite all of the tracks recorded on that September afternoon were re-creations of the best modern black American music at this time, however. Sandwiched between a Booker T-inspired rendition of “You Can’t Sit Down” and a version of The Miracles “Shop Around” was the track that seemed to elicit the most vocal response from the crowd, Monty Morris’s “Humpty Dumpty.” In its instrumentation, form, fundamental back-beat shuffle and even nursery rhyme lyric, “Humpty Dumpty” was not far removed from the American rhythm and blues tradition. From its first moments however, as the horn section pulsed away on staccato upbeats, it is evident that this was not a performance that could easily be confused with the standard fare coming out of the U.S. circa 1963. This was R&B of a very different kind and its source was quite literally an ocean removed from Chicago, New York or Detroit. This was not an attempt to emulate American rhythm and blues; rather “Humpty Dumpty” was a cover of Jamaican R&B. This style of music was, on both sides for the Atlantic, known simply as a variant on rhythm and blues—although already, on occasion, called “ska” in Jamaica, and, by early 1964, referred to as “blue beat” in the UK. For the moment at least, it was contained within the broad R&B category that also applied to James Brown, Chuck Berry, Marvin Gaye and Muddy Waters.

The performance and reception of Jamaican rhythm and blues in the UK was the product of a complex web of cultural interaction—stylistic influences, performance practices, listening and business practices—animated by a confluence of black Americans, Jamaicans of all ethnic stripes (living at home and abroad), and white Britons.2 This phenomenon contrasted sharply with the British revival of American R&B, which was understood at the time as a relatively straightforward emulation of African-American cultural practices by white artists with limited points of contact. In other words, this music was more transparently hybrid than the “downhome” R&B of Muddy Waters and similar African-American artists who were so revered by the first wave of British R&Bers. Nonetheless, it was performed and listened to in at least some pockets of the 1963 R&B scene, rising to prominence alongside more strictly U.S.-American forms.

The presence of Jamaican R&B (JA-R&B) in the UK during this period—particularly as performed by British artists—is often relegated to a side note in the histories of either “authentic” Jamaican ska or British blues. Indeed, more often than not JA-R&B doesn’t register in the British blues and R&B literature whatsoever.3 If addressed at all, it is typically mentioned in reference to Georgie Fame recordings like the aforementioned “Humpty Dumpty.” Even then, it is only considered to be one of the many sounds that Fame “interweaved” into his brand of R&B, rather than a fundamental element of his repertoire.4 Leslie Fancourt, for example, refers to Fame “combining R&B with a West Indian flavour” in the preface to his discography of British blues but only mentions this as the basis for Fame’s exclusion from the volume.5 Similarly, Christopher Partridge’s Dub in Babylon and Lloyd Bradley’s tomes This is Reggae Music and Sounds Like London give only minimal and often dismissive attention to the fact that white Britons were listening to and playing Jamaican-styled rhythm and blues.6 Jamaican R&B’s intermediary position between the two coherent/intelligible traditions of British blues and ska/reggae, coupled with the genre’s eventual exploitation as a commercial novelty dance style, has resulted in a lack of critical interest in a most complex and commercially successful popular music genre. Contemporaneous trends in press coverage and advertising indicate that JA-R&B moved from culturally bound obscurity, to object of countercultural affinity, to mass media pop fad, to passé novelty. Even during the period of peak interest in JA-R&B in London, the music was subjected to an array of ever-changing, often conflicting value judgments that both demonstrated its appeal and placed it at odds with the seemingly more “authentic” sounds of the United States. This article recognizes the complicated historical trajectory of the genre while it recuperates the production, emulation and consumption of Jamaican rhythm and blues in the UK into a broader narrative of the British R&B boom, a phenomenon often understood as a precursor to the British Invasion and the (re)birth of rock music as a major force in Anglo-American popular culture.

JAMAICAN ROOTS: FROM SOUND SYSTEMS TO SELLING RECORDS

Despite the wealth of diverse musical styles that made up the post-World War II Jamaican soundscape, singer, producer and soundman Prince Buster contends that “the minds of [post-war] Jamaican people were colonized by American rhythm and blues.”7 Iterations of rhythm and blues first arrived in Jamaica via two media: 1) on record by way of informal importation of records by American servicemen and Jamaican migrant farm laborers returning from the States, and 2) on radio broadcasts emanating from U.S. cities, such as Nashville, New Orleans and Miami.8 By the early 1950s, records by the likes of Louis Jordan, Jimmy Reed, Wynonie Harris and even Nat King Cole provided the preferred beat for Kingston’s nightlife, typically blasting out of the speakers of local businesses or from one of any number of outdoor dances.9 Almost concurrent with the importation of American R&B in Jamaica was the rise of sound system culture powered by large-scale, often custom-designed mobile DJ set-ups. For a combination of aesthetic and economic reasons, these “big rigs” were typically used to provide the soundtrack for outdoor social gatherings.10 The sound system, however, was much more than a turntable, powerful amplifier and set of oversized speakers. As Lloyd Bradley explains,

it was, quite literally, the community’s heartbeat. . . . Crowds flocked to wherever the big beat boomed out, it was a lively dating agency, a fashion show, an information exchange, a street status parade ground, a political forum, a center of commerce, and, once the deejays began to chat on the mic about more than their sound systems, their records, their women or their selves, it was the ghetto’s newspaper.11 

As early as 1952 these centers of cultural interaction had multiplied in number to the degree that competition between rival systems—be they in adjacent neighborhoods, nearby lawns or even in the same dancehall—became commonplace. The capacity to win over paying customers was often dependent not only on the power of a soundman’s system or his skill at reading a crowd, but also on his ability to spin records that could only be heard coming through his speakers.12 These “exclusives” typically came in the form of relatively obscure R&B records obtained through trips to, or via mail order from, the United States.13 By the mid-1950s a new strategy was being employed by sound system operators to obtain unique music: the commissioning of locally produced records. These “restricted recordings,” as Ray Hitchins refers to them, were original songs by Jamaican musicians cut to one-off acetate discs that could be played at a sound system the same day they were recorded.14 It was in producing these restricted records that Jamaican musicians first recorded rhythm and blues. Furthermore, it was through these restricted records played by sound systems that such homegrown productions were first heard.15 

It would not be long before a shift to recording JA-R&B for mass commercial production followed. One of the first of these records, Laurel Aitken’s 1958 “Boogie in My Bones,” “represent[ed] one of the first local recordings of which the sound can be considered comparable . . . to a North American recording.”16 Against competition from a bevy of American releases, “Boogie in My Bones” reached #1 on the recently founded Jamaican Broadcast Company’s record chart in October of 1959 and stayed at that position for thirteen weeks.17 The success of “Boogie in My Bones” appears to have motivated a great many other figures in the nascent Jamaican popular music community to produce records for commercial sale. Following the opening of Federal Studios in 1959, leading soundmen Coxsone Dodd and Duke Reid committed additional resources to this type of recording, setting in motion a full-blown, if relatively small-scale recording industry by 1960.18 

Sound system culture found its way to Britain shortly after its formation as part of the ever-increasing flow of Jamaicans to the mother country.19 Instead of clubs and ballrooms, the social hubs of everyday British West Indian life were “blues dances” and “shebeens”; regular or one-off, often all-night social gatherings held in basements or front rooms in London neighborhoods, such as Brixton and Ladbrooke Grove.20 Although indoor affairs, these events served essentially the same function as the lawns and dancehalls of Kingston. Recognizing that the radios that were first used for such dances weren’t producing the same effect as back home, recent émigré and former Jamaican “selector” Vincent Forbes (Duke Vin) had a “big rig” custom built in 1955.21 Shortly after he launched Britain’s first sound system, Duke Vin’s friend and top competitor Wilbert Campbell (Count Suckle) debuted his own system.22 As a means to supplement what selections were available in British stores, both Duke Vin and Count Suckle special-ordered rhythm and blues records directly from the U.S. In addition, contacts in Jamaica would ship them copies of the latest sides that were popular on the Kingston sound systems. By the end of decade these records would come to include the efforts of the emerging Jamaican recording industry.

DIASPORIC ROUTES: NOW AVAILABLE IN ENGLAND . . . BLUES FROM JAMAICA

This distinct social-musical scene for Jamaicans in the UK was emerging well below the radar of Britain’s commercial music industry and the mainstream press. As Bradley notes, “the black Jamaican tradition is oral” and therefore it is not uncommon for histories of Jamaican cultural production to be marked by the absence of contemporaneous documentary sources.23 Despite Bradley’s assertions, some written record of the emergence of Jamaican rhythm and blues in the UK exists. Launched in the political aftermath of the August 1958 Notting Hill race riots, Britain’s first commercial black newspaper, the West Indian Gazette (WIG), was conceived to serve the growing population of British-resident African-Caribbeans. From its inception, the WIG—founded by “communist, feminist and anti-imperialist” editor Claudia Jones—concerned itself primarily with the interrelated issues of immigration, civil rights (reporting on incidents of “racialism” in Britain, as well as closely following South African boycotts related to apartheid and the American struggle for racial equality), anti-imperialism and the long road to independence for the British colonies of the West Indies.24 In addition to this overtly political orientation, the Gazette included a “Show Column” and a regular “Let’s Talk About People” feature, as well as advertisements directed at its unique readership. Within these pages the paper frequently reported on and assisted in facilitating community building cultural endeavors aimed at the local West Indian population. Most notably, the WIG sponsored, promoted and organized the annual Notting Hill Carnivals between 1959 and 1964. The first carnival, held in St. Pancras Hall in January 1959, was co-sponsored by Melodisc Records, one of the few labels catering to the British West Indian population at the time.25 

Melodisc, founded in 1947 by European-Jewish, U.S.-based entrepreneur and part-time London resident Emil Shallit, focused on licensing American jazz recordings for the UK before expanding its business model to include recording local and visiting talent in the early 1950s.26 Not surprisingly, Shallit would be the first British record producer to reissue Jamaican popular music/JA-R&B records. By 1960, less than two years after the Jamaican recording industry got off the ground, Melodisc released its first Jamaican-sourced JA-R&B recordings on its Kalypso subsidiary, including Laurel Aitken’s “Boogie in My Bones.” In response to the brisk sales of Aitken’s records Shallit launched a new imprint specifically for the new sounds coming out of Jamaica. Aware that some Afro-Caribbean Londoners were referring to the new sound of Jamaican rhythm and blues as “blues beat,” Shallit’s employee Siggy Jackson suggested a name for the new label: “Blue Beat.”27 

The earliest advertisement for Blue Beat records in the WIG appeared in the November 1960 issue of the newspaper with the tag “Latest hits on Blue Beat . . . blues from Jamacia [sic].”28 The launch of the new label coincided quite closely with Laurel Aitken’s relocation to London, an event noted in two WIG articles covering a pair of promotional events sponsored by Melodisc/Blue Beat. The first, “Meet Laurel Aitken: Dynamic West Indian Star,” is a write-up of the welcome party the label hosted for the singer that celebrates his accomplishments in Jamaica—nine records in the West Indian Top-20 in the past six months—and his aspirations for his new career in the UK. The second is an announcement (or perhaps advertisement) for Aitken’s appearance at the “Grand Carnival Dance” at which the singer and a group called the Blue Beats were scheduled to perform.29 In addition to live music, the evening included a “Miss Blue Beat Contest” open to “girls of any nationality” eighteen years of age or older, provided that the contestant is “intelligent” and has “rhythm and beat in her.”30 Six months later Siggy Jackson, now running Blue Beat for Shallit, hosted a “Rhythm and Blues Dance” that would again feature “famous Blue-Beat artist” Aitken as headliner.31 

Melodisc/Blue Beat’s primary competition in the UK’s JA-R&B record market at the outset was Starlite, an imprint of Carlo Kramer’s jazz label Esquire. Between 1960 and mid-1962 these were the only two labels to advertise in the WIG, with Starlite beating Melodisc to the punch by three months. So tightly aligned were the efforts of the two labels that reissues of Laurel Aitken’s “Boogie in My Bones” appeared almost simultaneously in the UK from both companies.32 Having missed the opportunity to work with Aitken in the UK, Starlite signed another local Jamaican-born talent named Beresford Ricketts. The December 1960 edition of the Gazette features a profile of Ricketts similar to the November article on Aitken. While Ricketts failed to achieve any great success, the WIG coverage of him at this juncture is noteworthy in that it attests to a broad push to exploit local talent to promote to the British West-Indian market; talent that was expected to sing rhythm and blues, “which is what the youngsters of today most enjoy.”33 

Amid a flurry of reporting on Jamaica’s impending independence from colonial rule in the Gazette’s May 1962 issue, an advertisement appeared for a “new label in Jamaican Rhythm and Blues . . . now available in England”34 With this ad, Chris Blackwell and Island Records entered the British market in mid-1962. Island’s first eight releases, all “Hot from Jamaica Top 10” [sic], were promoted in the WIG, including the timely release of “Independent Jamaica” from Lord Creator, and Jamaica’s then-#1 single “We’ll Meet” from Roy and Millie. Other than this and similar ads, the Gazette reported on no other popular music events in 1961 and 1962. Instead, the balance of the paper’s music coverage was about stage, folk and classical performers.35 At this time, advertisements by record labels and record shops with a West-Indian orientation provide the only extant evidence that JA-R&B was being produced, marketed or consumed.

Press coverage of Blue Beat Records offers an illustrative example of how little JA-R&B registered in the mainstream at the time. The only mention of Blue Beat in the British popular music press in 1960 was a small industry announcement in Disc, which noted that Melodisc’s latest imprint would focus on “rhythm and blues . . . the biggest seller on the label is reckoned to be Laurel Atkins [sic].”36 Throughout the following year four reviews of Blue Beat releases appeared in Disc.37 Not a single Blue Beat side was reviewed by any other pop music paper in 1961. In fact, until the second half of 1963, Blue Beat Records was entirely absent from the reviews, news and advertisement columns of Disc’s main competitors Melody Maker, New Musical Express, and the Record Mirror.38 This was similarly the case in the more “seriously minded” jazz press, despite the fact that some jazz outlets made efforts to promote calypso a decade earlier. What the WIG’s coverage of Blue Beat artists and events suggests, then, is that JA-R&B records were almost exclusively marketed toward, and considered the domain of, Britain’s West Indian communities at this time. Yet even this coverage could be considered scant at best. Post-1960 the Gazette appears to have shied away from covering JA-R&B, leaving advertisements in its pages as the primary locus for information about West Indian popular music in the press. Advertisements for Jamaican rhythm and blues records from Blue Beat, Island and Starlite appeared among ads for shipping and travel agencies, Mt. Gay Rum, Red Stripe Lager and West Indian culinary staples, such as goat’s meat, green bananas and hot pepper sauce. From at least one point of view then, these records could be seen as an essential West Indian commodity or service; a product for purchase and consumption, but not necessarily newsworthy. Entirely missing from the WIG is even the slightest mention of blues dances, shebeens or sound systems.39 

Nonetheless, Jamaican popular music in London continued to sell. Blue Beat Records quickly established itself as the go-to source for JA-R&B, producing a steady flow of records for the market. Through regular trips to Kingston, Emil Shallit cultivated relationships with numerous soundmen-turned-producers who were happy to license their records to Blue Beat for British release.40 The top tracks from Jamaica’s dancehalls found their way to British sound systems and homes in this manner. Continuing to forge relationships with UK-based Jamaican talent, Blue Beat greatly expanded its local recording roster by late 1961.41 According to Lloyd Bradley, in the early 1960s Blue Beat’s top releases were selling “into the tens of thousands.” These sales, he notes, were “mostly away from the chart-return shops and often through informal distribution channels,” a fact that accounts for the absence of JA-R&B from the pop charts while making it all but impossible to corroborate these figures.42 (JA-)R&B From The Flamingo (And The Roaring 20s).

In April 1962, JA-R&B and the sound system tradition began the “inevitable” transition from the underground of sheebens and house parties to the relative mainstream of Soho’s club scene.43 As the Jamaican-born population in Britain grew exponentially in the early 1960s, so did the demand for the distinctive Kingston “dancehall” tradition.44 As the number of events featuring the sound systems of Duke Vin, Count Suckle, and their disciples multiplied and word spread of these events beyond the communities of Ladbrooke Grove and Brixton, curious “uptown” (white) bohemian types began seeking out blues dances. Although the details of this transition are a bit hazy, an advertisement in Melody Maker’s club listing suggests that Count Suckle’s Soho debut occurred on Sunday, 22 April at the Flamingo club. “SPECIAL ADDED ATTRACTION,” the listing reads, “disc jockey COUNT SUCKLE presents his hour of ‘ALL THAT JAZZ’ from 7-8.”45 This is the first time the name Count Suckle, or that of any other West Indian soundman, appeared in Melody Maker’s club listing. Although it is distinctly possible that Suckle worked at the Flamingo previously, the verbiage of “special attraction” in the listing suggests that this was the first time he was to appear at the club. A similar ad ran in the following week’s club listings, but after that, Suckle’s name disappears completely from the pages of Melody Maker in 1962. It is tempting to conclude from this that Suckle’s appearances at the Flamingo were limited to a two-week engagement, although that would run counter to other sources, however; at least one of which refers to Count Suckle as “a Flamingo regular.”46 

Although his sound system appearances at the Flamingo served to introduce a broader public to JA-R&B, it was the musicians who performed at the club who seemed to be most influenced by Count Suckle’s sets. Most significant was the effect the soundman had on Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames. Almost contemporaneous to Suckle’s first appearance at the Flamingo was the Blue Flames’ debut at the Flamingo’s All-Nighter Club. The group’s first advertised appearance at the club was Monday, 10 April 1962, when they performed as part of the club’s “Twist Night,” alongside the All-nighter’s regular attraction, Earl Watson and the Twisters.47 Fame would gain the most sustained access to the Jamaican-born selector’s musical tastes at the Roaring Twenties, however. It seems that Fame, as backing musician for singer and saxophonist Earl Watson, first appeared at the club for a pair of “Twisting at the 20’s” nights on 12 May and 13, 1962.48 All evidence suggests that Count Suckle and Georgie Fame first shared the bill at the Roaring Twenties on 4 July 1962.49 (see Table 1)

TABLE 1.

Early Georgie Fame and Count Suckle Soho club co-appearances

DateArtistVenue
10 April 1962 The Blue Flames (debut) The Flamingo 
22 April 1962 Count Suckle (debut) The Flamingo 
12−13 May 1962 Earl Watson and the Blue Flames The Roaring Twenties 
4 July 1962 Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames/Count Suckle The Roaring Twenties 
DateArtistVenue
10 April 1962 The Blue Flames (debut) The Flamingo 
22 April 1962 Count Suckle (debut) The Flamingo 
12−13 May 1962 Earl Watson and the Blue Flames The Roaring Twenties 
4 July 1962 Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames/Count Suckle The Roaring Twenties 

As Suckle recalls, when he first performed at the Roaring Twenties, the club had a prohibitive door policy that excluded people of color.50 It was only after Suckle threatened to quit the gig that the club opened to West Indians. This more or less jibes with Fame’s recollection that, after a period of inactivity at 50 Carnaby, “we re-opened [the Roaring Twenties] with us and Count Suckle’s sound system and then it was full of West Indians and everybody was having a great time. We ended up doing a Sunday All-niter at Suckle’s place on Carnaby Street for a good year or two.”51 One of Lloyd Bradley’s sources, selector Jah Vego, suggested that the Roaring Twenties was the real epicenter for JA-R&B circa 1963. “The Roaring Twenties,” he recalled, “was the first place in the center of town like that to be playing real Jamaican music every night.”52 It was the Roaring Twenties that became synonymous with the Jamaican sound in the minds of London clubgoers. For example, in Melody Maker’s “Blind Date” column—the equivalent to Down Beat’s “Blindfold Test”—Rolling Stones’ bassist Bill Wyman questioned if Prince Buster’s ska classic “30 Pieces of Silver” could have been “recorded at the Roarin’ Twenties.”53 

By late 1962 in at least two locations, JA-R&B was heard in Soho alongside and within the emerging R&B scene. By all accounts, Suckle’s sets at the Flamingo and the Roaring Twenties featured a mix of American rhythm and blues, soul jazz and the records the soundman sourced directly from Kingston. Increasingly, it can be assumed, his sets also included the growing stock of JA-R&B records produced domestically by Blue Beat. For a dance-oriented, West Indian crowd, these records were contained within a single framework of “R&B.” It was primarily through access to Suckle’s sound system that Fame gained exposure to a broad spectrum of American and Jamaican rhythm and blues records. Fame recalls that Suckle:

had this fantastic record collection and contacts in Memphis, so he’d get the latest soul, West Indian and Blue Note jazz records. He played them LOUD on this Sound System which was wonderful. Two of the crowd favorites were James Brown’s “Night Train” and Booker T.’s “Green Onions.”54 

Interaction with these relatively obscure rhythm and blues sounds was instrumental for the direction Georgie Fame would take his performing career in the following year.

Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames wasted little time building a Soho fan base. In a span of less than six months, Fame went from an uncredited member of the Flamingo’s Monday evening relief act to being the All-nighter’s feature attraction five nights a week.55 As the coming R&B boom was building steam into 1963, the Flamingo began listing its star attraction as “Rhythm and Blues Organist and Soul Singer Georgie Fame.”56 By that summer Fame was reportedly playing as many as forty-three dates a month for total crowds of more than 25,000.57 These dates included the ongoing residency at the Flamingo, the Sunday night All-nighter at the Roaring Twenties, and Friday nights at the Scene, as well as frequent gigs at U.S. military bases outside of London (table 2). At these venues Fame played to crowds made of up of black and white American servicemen, West Indians émigrés and the emerging mod subculture.58 

TABLE 2.

George Fame and the Blue Flames Schedule, June 28−July 31, 196360 

DateVenue(s)
June 28th The Scene Club, The Allnighter Club 
June 29th Abbots Langley 
June 30th [Sunday] The Scene Club, Flamingo Club, Roaring 20’s 
July 1st Flamingo Club 
July 3rd Fairford Village 
July 4th Brize Norton 
July 5th The Scene, The Allnighter 
July 6th Lakenheath, The Allnighter 
July 7th [Sunday] The Flamingo, Chicksand’s, Roaring 20’s 
July 8th The Flamingo 
July 11th The Flamingo 
July 12th Farnham Art School, The Allnighter 
July 13th High Wycombe 
July 14th [Sunday] The Allnighter 3-6 p.m., The Flamingo, Roaring 20’s 
July 15th Flamingo 
July 18th Westcliff-on-Sea 
July 19th The Scene, The Allnighter 
July 20th High Wycombe, The Allnighter 
July 21st [Sunday] The Flamingo 3−6 p.m., The Scene, Roaring 20’s 
July 22nd-31st HOLIDAYS 
DateVenue(s)
June 28th The Scene Club, The Allnighter Club 
June 29th Abbots Langley 
June 30th [Sunday] The Scene Club, Flamingo Club, Roaring 20’s 
July 1st Flamingo Club 
July 3rd Fairford Village 
July 4th Brize Norton 
July 5th The Scene, The Allnighter 
July 6th Lakenheath, The Allnighter 
July 7th [Sunday] The Flamingo, Chicksand’s, Roaring 20’s 
July 8th The Flamingo 
July 11th The Flamingo 
July 12th Farnham Art School, The Allnighter 
July 13th High Wycombe 
July 14th [Sunday] The Allnighter 3-6 p.m., The Flamingo, Roaring 20’s 
July 15th Flamingo 
July 18th Westcliff-on-Sea 
July 19th The Scene, The Allnighter 
July 20th High Wycombe, The Allnighter 
July 21st [Sunday] The Flamingo 3−6 p.m., The Scene, Roaring 20’s 
July 22nd-31st HOLIDAYS 

Between these numerous gigs, Fame and the Blue Flames found time to make their recording debut. It was once again as a backing musician that Fame broke through, this time in support of visiting Jamaican singer Prince Buster for the Blue Beat label. Reflecting the below-the-radar status of Blue Beat at the time, nothing about this album’s production, release or reception is to be found in the British popular music press. While the resultant album, I Feel the Spirit, receives some attention in retrospective histories of the period, discussions of the Prince Buster/Georgie Fame recording session are short on detail. Bradley’s Sounds Like London suggests that Flames’ congo player, Speedy Acquaye, introduced Fame and the Blue Flames to Blue Beat records, that Prince Buster taught Georgie Fame the “rudiments of ska,” and that Fame recorded with Buster.59 Bradley doesn’t cite any sources and doesn’t given any indication of timing, however; so it is unclear in what order these events may have occurred. De Konigh and Griffiths mention that Shallit and Jackson brought their exclusive artists Prince Buster and Derrick Morgan to London to promote their Blue Beat sides through live performance, indicating that this was done to help stave off “the threat posed by rival labels.”61 This statement suggests that, at the earliest, the tour and recordings occurred sometime after Island records started doing business in the UK during the summer of 1962. However it came to be, Fame is clear in his recollection that his “first recording on Hammond organ was with Prince Buster. Buster was doing an album called Soul of Africa and I played on three tracks.”62 

I Feel The Spirit was released sometime in 1963.63 Bearing the catalogue number BB-LP 802, it was only the second long-playing record issued by Blue Beat.64 In many ways I Feel The Spirit can be considered as representative of the record label’s activities as a whole at this time. Of the twelve tracks contained on the album, six were recorded in Jamaica and had been previously released there by Buster’s Prince Buster/Voice of the People label (see Table 3). These songs feature the Drumbago All-Stars as backing musicians (the default session band for most Jamaican recording artists in the early 1960s) and include the title track “I Feel the Spirit,” “Black Head Chinaman,” and Buster’s best-known record from this period, “Madness.” The balance of the songs on the album were recorded in London. With the exception of the Rico Rodriquez Afro-Latin instrumental feature, “Soul of Africa,” the backing band for these UK-sourced tracks is listed as the Les Dawson Blues Unit.

TABLE 3.

Prince Buster, I Feel the Spirit, track listing

TrackTitleAccompaniment
“I Feel the Spirit” Drumbago All Stars 
“Madness” Drumbago All Stars 
“Don’t Make Me Cry” Les Dawson Blues Unit 
“They Got to Come” Drumbago All Stars 
“All Alone” Drumbago All Stars 
“Soul of Africa” Rico Rodriquez Blues Band* 
“Wash Your Troubles Away” Les Dawson Blues Unit 
“Jealous” Les Dawson Blues Unit 
“Black Head Chinaman” Drumbago All Stars 
10 “Beggars are No Choosers” Les Dawson Blues Unit 
11 “Run Man Run” Drumbago All Stars 
12 “Just You” Les Dawson Blues Unit 
TrackTitleAccompaniment
“I Feel the Spirit” Drumbago All Stars 
“Madness” Drumbago All Stars 
“Don’t Make Me Cry” Les Dawson Blues Unit 
“They Got to Come” Drumbago All Stars 
“All Alone” Drumbago All Stars 
“Soul of Africa” Rico Rodriquez Blues Band* 
“Wash Your Troubles Away” Les Dawson Blues Unit 
“Jealous” Les Dawson Blues Unit 
“Black Head Chinaman” Drumbago All Stars 
10 “Beggars are No Choosers” Les Dawson Blues Unit 
11 “Run Man Run” Drumbago All Stars 
12 “Just You” Les Dawson Blues Unit 

* Prince Buster does not sing on this track

Very, very little has been written about the Les Dawson Blues Unit in terms of the group’s personnel.65 What is apparent is that this band was also known as the Blue Beats and that the group served as the backing musicians for most of the label’s local sessions starting as early as 1961. On these early records by the likes of Laurel Aitken, Owen Grey and Girl Satchmo, the group sounds very much like a standard “big beat” combo playing an American style of tenor saxophone-driven rhythm and blues. This sound is on display on I Feel The Spirit on the 12/8 ballad shuffle “Don’t Make Me Cry” and the instrumental sax wailer “Just You” that closes the LP. These styles, it should be noted, remained quite common in Jamaica right up to the time the record was made. For the most part, however, the Blue Beats audibly took steps toward the emerging ska performance style while backing Prince Buster for these 1963 sessions. Part of accomplishing this, for three tracks at least, was to bring in Georgie Fame on organ to supplement the band’s line up. As the organ was not a common instrument in JA-R&B/proto-ska, it was most likely Georgie Fame’s familiarity and facility with the style that earned him the opportunity to record on these tracks.66 

DO THE BLUE BEAT

I Feel the Spirit was released amid a growing interest in Jamaican-styled rhythm and blues in London, a point highlighted by the following excerpt from a September 1963 music industry report:

Is there a big boom on the way for West Indian rhythm and blues music? Certainly there are signs that this is quite a possibility. In the United States, for years it has been obvious that what the Negro market goes for today the white market goes for a few months, or years later. It has been true for rock and the various “refinements” such as the twist.67 

One of the signs of this potential boom was the late-1963 launch of a new independent label intended to complete with Blue Beat and Island for market share in the British JA-R&B niche. The new imprint, R&B Discs, announced their impending entry into the fray with a pair of August 1963 announcements. The first of these, an advertisement in the West Indian Gazette, informed readers that they should keep an eye out for “the R&B Discs with a beat.”68 A similar ad appeared in the pop music weekly, the New Record Mirror, along with an industry report which offered that R&B Discs “have gone into business to bring the best of Jamaican records to Britain” but will “also record material here.”69 That R&B Discs’ debut was mentioned in these two publications simultaneously—two publications aimed at very different demographics—is the first indication in the press that JA-R&B was now appealing to and being marketed to West Indian and white British audiences alike.

Considering the publication’s reputation as the go-to source for British R&B news, it was fitting that New Record Mirror (NRM) would become the first mainstream popular music periodical to dedicate editorial and advertising space to Jamaican R&B. NRM was the first of Britain’s four most widely read pop papers (the others being Melody Maker, New Musical Express and Disc) to cover American rhythm and blues in any depth with their short-lived, late-1961 R&B column.70,NRM reaffirmed its position as the primary source for R&B information in early 1963, notably through Norman Jopling’s features on American and British R&Bers, his “Great Unknowns” column, and various discographies of rhythm and blues artists, such as Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley and Fats Domino. Consistently ahead of the curve, NRM was likewise the first paper to publish features on the Beatles and the Rolling Stones (on 27 October 1962 and 11 May 1963, respectively). NRM’s readership was, in turn, rather forward-looking and potentially predisposed toward the sounds of a Jamaican offshoot of rhythm and blues. As its September “West Indian R&B Boom?” piece noted, NRM began reviewing Jamaican R&B records at this time “in view of the growing interest among NRM readers in this type of beat music.”71 The presence of a growing white market for JA-R&B was similarly underscored by the presence of ads for R&B Discs on the cover of NRM each week between 14 September and 9 November 1963.72 

In the 21 December 1963 issue of NRM, Melodisc ran an advertisement that read: “Melodisc Records wish retailers and all friends in the trade the best for Christmas and the New Year. Remember 1964 is Bluebeat year.”73 Although it had long been a British popular music press tradition for labels, promoters, managers, and clubs to run ads thanking fans and sending best wishes around the holidays, rarely has a year-end ad been quite so prophetic. Roughly two months later, a Blue Beat/Melodisc ad could claim that their signature musical style was fast on its way to becoming “The Rage of 1964!”74 This advertisement, which ran in the more widely read New Musical Express, followed this claim with the observation that even “the mods are with it now.”75 It would be just as accurate to have said that the “majors” were “with it” come early 1964. That month record industry leaders Decca, Columbia, Pye and the relatively smaller Oriole issued singles meant to exploit the Jamaican R&B trend that had been simmering in Soho. Decca, for its part, paired British rhythm and blues singer Chris Farlowe with studio bandleader/arranger Cyril Stapleton and his orchestra (under the name the Beazers) to enter the fray with a single titled “Blue Beat.”76 By the end of February, Columbia issued a single by Jamaican émigrés Ezz Reco and the Launchers. The release, a cover of Jimmy Cliff’s 1963 “King of Kings” b/w “Blue Beat Dance,” became the first charting JA-R&B single in the UK.77 As song titles on these singles attest, by the start of 1964 the term “blue beat” was no longer just the name of a record label, but was on its way to becoming generic term in its own right.78 

The Blue Beat “Rage of 1964” advertisement in NME seems a clear indication that the genre’s namesake was attempting to capitalize on the impending boom. Following a list of the company’s ten best sellers, a tag line reads: “Authentic Blue-Beat records are only on the Blue Beat label.”79 As this suggests, part of the label’s strategy at this moment was to highlight that their records were primarily sourced from Jamaica and featured Jamaican talent; at least for those mods “in the know,” that is, those who would recognize the artist’s names in the ad and understand the origins of the blue beat sound. Nowhere in this ad, nor in any of the advertisements for the major label releases, is there any indication that “blue beat” is Jamaican music.

The single listed in the #1 slot of Blue Beat’s “Best Sellers” was the first of many overt efforts by the label to cash in on the nation’s nascent dance craze. An instrumental from the white British R&B group Micky Finn and the Blue Men released in January of 1964 titled “Tom Hark Goes Blue Beat” was the first record from Blue Beat to include the label/genre’s name in the title.80 Three of the label’s four March 1964 singles similarly incorporated the words “blue beat”: the single release of the title track from Prince Buster’s I Feel the Spirit LP retitled as “Blue Beat Spirit” (BB211)81; “Blue Beat’s Over (The White Cliffs of Dover)” (BB209), featuring vocalist and tenor saxophonist Red Price; and “Blue Beat Baby” (BB212) featuring Soho cabaret singer Brigitte Bond. The latter two were recorded in London with the Blue Beats as backing band and appear to have been conceived in direct response to the emerging JA-R&B craze.

With the exception of Reco’s recording of “King of Kings,” the earliest efforts to cash in on blue beat’s emerging popularity failed to garner appreciable chart success (see Table 4 for a list of JA-R&B singles released in early 1964). Pye would reverse this trend with its next release, a reworking of the 1951 American pop hit “Mocking Bird Hill” by the Migil 5 (Pye N15597). Originally a trio backing act for pop singers, the group added two additional members in early1964, including former Flamingo and Roaring Twenties saxophonist/singer Alan “Earl” Watson to better position themselves in an increasingly R&B-heavy market.82 It would turn out to be Watson’s experience with blue beat, however, that paid off for the group. Of the material the Migil 5 tested for Pye’s recording manager in early 1964, it was their blue beat treatment of “Mocking Bird Hill” that was selected to be their next release. As the group indicated to NME as the song was climbing the charts, other than Watson the band had little experience with or even exposure to Jamaican R&B prior to recording the track.83 Nonetheless, they were opportunist professional musicians who prided themselves on adapting to emerging trends.84 “Mocking Bird Hill’s” combination of a catchy, familiar refrain and an up-to-date dance rhythm proved effective enough for the record to climb to #10 on NME’s pop chart by the end of April.

TABLE 4.

Selection of British “Blue Beat” Releases, late-January–early-March 196486 

ArtistSongLabel
Micky Finn and the Blue Men “Tom Hark Goes Blue Beat” Blue Beat 
The Beazers “Blue Beat” Decca 
Ezz Reco and the Launchers “King of Kings” (#28 NME)* Columbia 
The Exotics “Cross My Heart” Decca 
Jimmy Nichol and the Shubdubs “Humpty Dumpty” Pye 
Ezz Reco and the Launchers “Little Girl”* Columbia 
Erroll Dixon and the Bluebeaters “Rocks in my Pillow” Oriole 
Red Price and the Blue Beats “Blue Beat’s Over” Blue Beat 
Brigitte Bond and the Blue Beats “Blue Beat Baby” Blue Beat 
The Migil 5 “Mocking Bird Hill” (#10 NMEPye 
Millie “My Boy Lollipop” (#2 NMEFontana (Island) 
 *the titles to these record’s B-sides also included the words “blue beat”  
ArtistSongLabel
Micky Finn and the Blue Men “Tom Hark Goes Blue Beat” Blue Beat 
The Beazers “Blue Beat” Decca 
Ezz Reco and the Launchers “King of Kings” (#28 NME)* Columbia 
The Exotics “Cross My Heart” Decca 
Jimmy Nichol and the Shubdubs “Humpty Dumpty” Pye 
Ezz Reco and the Launchers “Little Girl”* Columbia 
Erroll Dixon and the Bluebeaters “Rocks in my Pillow” Oriole 
Red Price and the Blue Beats “Blue Beat’s Over” Blue Beat 
Brigitte Bond and the Blue Beats “Blue Beat Baby” Blue Beat 
The Migil 5 “Mocking Bird Hill” (#10 NMEPye 
Millie “My Boy Lollipop” (#2 NMEFontana (Island) 
 *the titles to these record’s B-sides also included the words “blue beat”  

“MY BOY LOLLIPOP”

The song that defined the blue beat moment for the British mainstream—and for future generations for that matter—was not the product of a British major label, but rather an Island Records production featuring recent Jamaican émigré Millie Small. In the first weeks of the “Bluebeat year,” Island head Chris Blackwell expressed his goal of landing a “blue beat disc in the charts, even if it was only at No. 50.”85 Blackwell had, for some time, been working on a strategy to do just that. In July of 1963—contemporaneous to Prince Buster’s first UK visit and the I Feel the Spirit recording sessions, Blackwell brought fifteen-year-old Jamaican singer Millie Small to London with the intent of grooming her for British pop stardom. As one half of the Roy and Millie duo, Small had been a local success story in Jamaica. Blackwell believed Millie’s distinctive high-pitched voice and youthful, effervescent personality had the potential, if properly “cultivated,” to produce hit records in the UK as well. In the early months of 1964 Millie and the British market were ready. Blackwell’s dream was realized with the release of the Millie single “My Boy Lollipop.”

Much like “Mocking Bird Hill,” “My Boy Lollipop”—originally recorded by Barbie Gaye—was a revamping of a 1950s’ American pop/R&B tune. To craft the sound of the record, Blackwell handed the song over to visiting veteran Jamaican guitarist Ernest Ranglin. Ranglin in turn hired a horn section of London-resident, Jamaican-born jazz players and one of the many established, rank-and-file British R&B groups active at the time, the Five Dimensions.87 The record opens with two concise full-band accents that establish the tempo and tonal center of the song. Millie’s vibrant soprano follows with an unaccompanied statement of the song’s catchy, title refrain of “my boy lollipop.” The band then settles into a typical ska-style groove featuring a walking bass line, a subtle backbeat swing, “skanking” guitar up-beats, and staccato brass punctuations that respond to most of Millie’s vocal statements. In what appears to be a nod to the concurrently growing British interest in American R&B, the song features an eight-bar harmonica solo following one full statement of the song’s AABA form.88 As important as these personnel and performance choices were, perhaps just as significant was Blackwell’s decision to lease “My Boy Lollipop” to Fontana, a British label with a more established distribution network and greater promotional and production resources. This cleared the logistical hurdle of getting the 45 into the “chart shops,” an issue that had stood in the way of previous independent label JA-R&B singles. A week after its release, “My Boy Lollipop” achieved Blackwell’s goal of cracking the top 50. By late April, the record was awarded a “Silver Disc” for sales of 250,000 or more.89 In May the record would reach #2 on the British charts, where it stayed for two weeks.90 

John Stratton has argued that the key to the commercial success of “My Boy Lollipop” was to take

a song located in African-American rhythm and blues, match it with a Jamaican singer with a winning smile and a voice that sounded cute to British listeners, and back her with an English rhythm and blues group playing ska arranged by a black Jamaican [Ernest Ranglin].91 

Stratton further contends that, in light of a growing anxiety felt by the general British population regarding increased Jamaican migration, it was necessary to soften what was perceived as the musical “rough edges” of JA-R&B in “Lollipop” and to present Millie as young, innocent, attractive and non-threatening in order for the song to appeal to a white British mainstream audience.92 He notes in the latter regard, that Small sufficiently embodied “British colonial fantasies of the exotic Caribbean, and she was distinguished from the West Indians who had been settling in England.”93 In musical terms, Stratton suggests it was only Millie’s pleasing, high-pitched melody that made “Lollipop” relatable to audiences who were otherwise accustomed to youthful pop singers.94 

In interviews, Millie appeared to distance herself from the Jamaicaness of her music. In her first interview with Melody Maker, she stated her desire to “just . . . be a pop singer. That’s what I am and what I want to be. They’ve tagged me a blue beat singer but I’m not really.”95 Nonetheless, Millie became the face of blue beat for the general public. Even though blue beat’s popularity among white audiences began in the countercultural clubs of the Soho R&B scene, once it reached the masses it was predominantly associated with the pop milieu. The “softened edges” of Millie’s records coupled with her “cute” persona elided the possibility that she could be taken seriously by the countercultural faithful.

Debates about the authenticity of various forms of American R&B played an important role in the British popular music discourse throughout 1964. Such controversies did not emerge around blue beat when the genre ascended into the popular charts. Although the Jamaican origins of blue beat were well documented by NRM as early as September 1963, Melody Maker’s introduction to the genre published on 25 April 1964 opens with the claim that “no one knows for sure where it came from.”96 Even taken as the exaggeration it appears to be—the article recognizes that two of the most successful blue beat recording artists were Jamaican ex-pats Ezz Reco and Millie Small but doesn’t mention the work or UK appearances of Jamaican residents like Prince Buster—this is a far cry from the American R&B narrative that practically begged readers to hear the obdurate conditions of the black American experience in the blues in its many forms. The blue beat discourse suggests that the origins and cultural associations of JA-R&B were all but irrelevant for the mainstream listener of early 1964. With 45s from Prince Buster and Derek Morgan just as readily available as those by Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, authenticity to a Jamaican standard of cultural expression was just as possible, but this did not seem to be a consideration at the time.

JA-R&B was thus judged and valued based on its relationship to a black American authenticity as it was depicted in British pop music press. This standard prized a romanticized notion of the music of African Americans across the Atlantic over the vibrant, localized, post-colonial music of the Jamaican immigrants in London. It would appear that the proximity of the growing West Indian immigrant population of Britain—what at least one author at the time referred to as an “unarmed invasion” and the “greatest social crisis since the industrial revolution”—left the possibility of a romanticized view of Jamaican cultural production all but impossible for most British listeners.97 

* * *

When Prince Buster’s I Feel The Spirit LP was issued, the cover sleeve made no mention of the generic terms “ska” or “bluebeat,” but rather marketed Buster as the “King of the Blues.” Despite the fact that JA-R&B and American rhythm and blues were received, consumed and reproduced in Britain from late 1962 to (very) early 1964 within the single category of “R&B,” the two subgenres ended up with very different legacies. It was the appeal to authenticity (or lack thereof) that contributed to these different outcomes in both the short and long terms. The American-influenced R&B of Georgie Fame, the Rolling Stones, the Animals, and their British R&B contemporaries continued to be received as vital and original, even after the genre became part of the popular musical currency of 1964. Conversely, by the end of 1964, the music that came to be called blue beat was considered little more than a passing novelty associated with a recent dance fad; a valuation that would condition British reception of Jamaican poplar music for much of the decade to follow. As a pop novelty, JA-R&B could not, through the narratives of the day, maintain a firm association with “real” R&B; a musical genre that was increasingly valued for its connection to a pre-industrial, non-commercial past. Blue beat had no past as far as the general British public was concerned. If much thought was given to the genre beyond its status as a dance soundtrack, it was considered a transnational, commercial product of a post-colonial, modern world; a status that effectively precluded the possibility that narratives about authenticity and tradition could be sown into the story of genre.

1.
Chris Welsh, The Whole World’s Shaking: Georgie Fame Complete Recordings 1963-1966, Compact Disc Box-set Booklet (Polydor/Universal 4739865, 2015), 18−19.
2.
This was a yet-to-be codified or strictly labeled musical genre at the time. Music from this period is now referred to as JA Boogie (as it was then, at times, in Jamaica), proto-ska, Jamaican rhythm and blues, ska or blue beat (depending on when a particular song was released and/or its stylistic characteristics). The retrospective category of “ska” now generally applies to most Jamaican popular music produced between 1960 and 1966 (Kevin O’Brien Chang and Wayne Chen, Reggae Routes (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1998), x. As will be demonstrated in the discussion to follow, UK press mentions between 1960 and 1963 refer to this genre and its predecessors as Jamaican rhythm and blues/R&B, West Indian R&B or simply R&B without any additional qualifier. I will be using the term JA-R&B to encompass Jamaican-sourced and -inspired records from the period between 1958 and 1964 for the sake of simplicity and to highlight the relationship between this music and that of black America at the time and leading up to it. As “blue beat” became an accepted and widely used term at the start of 1964, I will use this term as well when referring to recordings/discourse from 1964.
3.
A notable exception to this rule is John Stratton’s “Melting Pot: The Making of Black British Music in the 1950s and 1960s,” in Black Popular Music in Britain Since 1945, Jon Stratton and Nabeel Zuberi, eds. (Farnham, UK and Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2014), 27−45.
4.
Bob Brunning, British Blues: The History 1950s to Present (London: Blandford, 1995), 73−76.
5.
Leslie Fancourt, British Blues on Record 1957-1970 (Faversham, England: Retrack Books, 1992), A.
6.
Lloyd Bradley, This is Reggae Music: The Story of Jamaican Music (New York: Grove Press, 2000); Lloyd Bradley, Sounds Like London: 100 Years of Black Music in the Capital (London: Serpent’s Tail, 2013); Christopher Partridge, Dub in Babylon: Understanding the Evolution and Significance of Dub Reggae in Jamaica and Britain from King Tubby to post-Punk (Bristol, UK: Equinox Publishing Ltd, 2010).
7.
Quoted in Bradley, This is Reggae Music, xv. Big-band swing, Cuban son and bolero, Trinidadian calypso, and traditional mento were all popular in Jamaica at the time (Katz, Solid Foundation,1−3).
8.
Katz, Solid Foundation, 4−5. Walker, Dubwise, 108.
9.
Bradley,This is Reggae Music, 13. Dick Hebdige, “The Roots of Reggae: Black American Music,” in Cut n’ Mix (London and New York: Routledge, 1987), 45−47.
10.
See Chang and Chen, Reggae Routes,20−21; and Jason Toynbee, Bob Marley: Herald of a Postcolonial World? (Cambridge, UK, and Malden, MA: Polity Press, 2007),82−83, for brief discussions of the economics and aesthetics of sound systems vs. live performance.
11.
Bradley, This is Reggae Music, 4−5.
12.
There is no reference in the historical literature whatsoever of female sound system operators at this time, thus the exclusive use of masculine pronouns.
13.
Once obtained, the physical labels for these records would typically be removed and the song renamed to avoid competitors from procuring the same disc (Bradley, This is Reggae Music, 37−39).
14.
Hitchins, Vibe Merchants,33−36. These records were typically recorded at one of two relatively primitive recording studios in Kingston: Ken Kohuri’s Records Limited or Stanley Motta’s Motta’s Recording Studio.
15.
Hitchins, Vibe Merchants, 34. Although these acetates offered the desired exclusivity (and superior bass frequencies), they degraded in quality quickly such that none of these restricted records have been preserved.
16.
Hitchins, Vibe Merchants, 56. Hitchins’ devotes an entire chapter to the production of this record, drawing heavily on interviews with session engineer Graeme Goodall (“Establishing an Internationally Competitive Recording Model,” 51−71).
17.
Katz, Solid Foundation, 20.
18.
It should be noted that, in terms of recording processes and distribution, the example of Kingston parallels the creation of similar local scenes in the U.S. like Memphis and Muscle Shoals.
19.
“Mother country” was a term frequently used by West Indians at the time—in the West Indian Gazette, in songs and in other media. It is hard to say if the sentiment behind the term is genuine affection toward Britain, a tongue-in-cheek way to refer to the source of imperial/colonial power/subjugation, or both.
20.
Bradley, This is Reggae Music, 115. As early as the late 1930s a small handful of public spaces such as the Paramount Ballroom made themselves accessible to London’s West Indian community; however, as segregation remained legal in the UK until the Race Relations Act of 1968, by and large people of color were barred entry to a vast majority of commercial dancehalls and clubs. See Partridge, Dub in Babylon, 101−103, Bradley, Sounds Like London,28−29.
21.
Paul Sullivan, Reverb: Remixology: Tracing the Dub Diaspora (London, UK: Reaktion Books, 2013), 58. A “selector” is equivalent to a deejay in typical U.S. American parlance in that this person is the one that decides which records to play when.
22.
Or perhaps the following year. The date of Suckle and Vin’s joint arrival in the UK (they travelled together as stowaways) is listed as either 1952 or 1954 depending on the source. The date of Suckle’s debut is also a subject of debate.
23.
Bradley, This is Reggae Music, 49. With only the rarest of exceptions, the social interactions and cultural production of black Jamaicans in the UK was undocumented in the press at this time. Such a dearth of written records can be patently linked to racialized and class-oriented power structures. Such structures positioned the day-to-day activities of (typically impoverished) urban black Jamaicans in both Kingston and London primarily under the radar of the “uptown” Jamaican and “mainstream” British music publications.
24.
Donald Hinds, “The West Indian Gazette: Claudia Jones and the black press in Britain,” Race and Class (50:1), 2008, 88−97. Underscoring a (perhaps coincidental) relationship to West Indian music distribution, the WIG was housed in a two-room flat above the Jamaican-owned Theo Campbell’s Record Shop in Brixton, South London.
25.
“West Indian Carnival – June 29,” West Indian Gazette, June 1963, 3.
26.
See de Koningh and Griffiths,Tighten Up, 21−27 and Bradley, Sounds Like London, 41−44 for more on Shallit and the early history of Melodisc Records.
27.
de Koningh and Griffiths,Tighten Up!, 23.
28.
WIG,November 1960, 7. The ad is for an Aitken 45 on Melodisc (“Lonesome Lover” b/w “Marylee,”) as well as Byron Lee’s “Dumplin’s” b/w “Kissin’ Gal” (BB2) and Higgs and Wilson’s “Manny Oh” b/w “When You Tell Me Baby” (BB3). The latter two records, along with Aitken’s “Boogie Rock”/“Heavenly Angel” (BB1) represent the first three releases from Blue Beat; all of which were recorded in Jamaica and licensed to Shallit. These appear to be the earliest advertisements and press promotion for Blue Beat anywhere as far I as can ascertain.
29.
Tickets for the 4 November 1960 Carnival concert were obtainable through “your Record Shop” or by writing the Melodisc offices. As will be discussed shortly, the Blue Beats appear to have been a rotating assemblage of musicians that were, at it core, made up of white British jazz/rock ‘n’ roll/R&B musicians.
30.
“Girls! Here’s Your Chance! ‘Miss Blue-Beat’ to be Chosen Nov. 4,” WIG,November 1960, 8.
31.
WIG, May 1961, 11.
32.
de Koningh and Griffiths, Tighten Up!,23.
33.
“Fabulous Singing Discovery,” WIG,December 1960, 9. Despite the promotional push from the label, he never really became Starlite’s answer to Aitken and appears to be all but lost to history except for the scant coverage of him in the WIG at this time.
34.
WIG, May 1962, 13.
35.
This selective coverage is indicative of the “cultural uplift” agenda found in much of the international black press.
36.
Owen Bryce, “Trad Jazz News,” Disc, 10 December 1960, 9.
37.
Out of forty-six singles and one LP released by the label that year.
38.
This contrasts starkly with the relatively wide breadth of coverage devoted to London-produced calypso during the early 1950s from the likes of Lord Kitchener and Lord Beginner.
39.
The justification for this absence may be the unlawful nature of these events or, just as, if not more likely, it was because these activities were of too low a perceived cultural value to justify any discussion.
40.
Most notably Duke Reid, Coxsone Dodd and Prince Buster. Only Prince Buster had an exclusive agreement with Shallit. Reid, Dodd and other Jamaican record producers appear to have worked rather indiscriminately with Kramer at Starlite, Blackwell at Island or later with the Kings at R&B Discs (Bradley, This is Reggae Music, 127−130).
41.
This roster included singers Owen Grey, Errol Dixson and Bobby Kingdom and trombonist Rico Rodriquez among others.
42.
Bradley, This is Reggae Music, 128. de Koningh and Griffiths indicate that independent labels were regularly denied television and radio access by the BBC, a situation that would also hinder Blue Beat’s access to “chart-return” record shops (Tighten Up!,21−24).
43.
To borrow Bradley’s term (This is Reggae Music, 144.)
44.
Roughly 50,000 Jamaicans were moving to the UK per year by 1960. By 1962 there were an estimated 200,000 Jamaican-born British citizens in the mother country (Bradley, This is Reggae Music,110−113). This increase occurred in the lead up to the Commonwealth Act of 1962 (put into effect 1 July 1962), which curtailed migration from colonies and commonwealth nations in direct response to a growing national fear of the “unarmed invasion” by peoples of color arriving from the West Indies and the Indian sub-continent. An editorial from the WIG indicates that this impending legislation was being debated in the House of Commons and a topic of much discussion among British West Indians (“The Common’s Debate On: Migration Restriction,” WIG, April 1961, 4.; “Bill to Ban Us Expected,” WIG, October 1961, 5.)
45.
“Jazz Clubs-London,” MM, April 21, 1962, 12.
46.
Welsh, The Georgie Fame Story, 17. Bradley’s source, a selector for Suckle during the early 1960s, indicates that Count Suckle’s sound system was the focus of Flamingo Sunday nights around this time, although this runs counter to the club’s published schedules.
47.
New Record Mirror columnist and deejay/manager for the Scene Club Guy Stevens reported that Fame and the Blue Flames got their first opportunity at the Flamingo as a fill-in for a no-show group in March of 1962 (“Jazz Clubs-London,” MM, April 7, 1962, 12). The All-Nighter Club, opened May of 1959, was housed in the same basement space as the Flamingo, but was organized by a different set of promoters. The Flamingo was run by Sam and Jeff Kruger and operated Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights from 7 p.m. to roughly 11:30 p.m. Before expanding its hours over the course of the year, the All-Nighter opened Friday and Saturday nights from midnight to anywhere from 4:30 to 8:30 a.m., as well as Sunday afternoon from 3-6 p.m.
48.
“Twisting at the 20’s” Advertisement, Melody Maker, 12 May 1962, 13.
49.
This event is sometimes cited as occurring in 1961; however, the fact that Fame debuted alongside Suckle, and that Suckle remembers distinctly that it was a Wednesday indicate that the year was in fact 1962. David Katz indicates that Suckle was invited by “an African percussionist who played in the house band at the Roaring Twenties” to play an American Independence Day celebration (David Katz, “RIP Count Suckle, London Soundsystem Pioneer,” Red Bull Music Academy Daily, 19 May 2014, http://daily.redbullmusicacademy.com/2014/05/count-suckle-rip, accessed 6 February 2017). It is likely that the “African percussionist” in question was Ghanaian congo player Nii Moi “Speedy” Acquaye who joined the Blue Flames around May of 1962. 50 Carnaby Street has a long history of black music performance, housing the Florence Mills Social Club in the 1930s, Club 11 in the 1950s, the Roaring Twenties [20’s?] in the 1960s and Columbo’s in the 1970s and 1980s (http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/lucy-harrison/carnaby-echoes_b_3836168.html, accessed 30 January 2017).
50.
Carl Gayle, “The Reggae Underground,” Black Music, July 1974: Vol. 1 / Issue 8 http://forum.speakerplans.com/reggae-sound-system-list-back-in-the-real-days_topic17036_page3.html, accessed 6 February 2017.
51.
Welsh, The Georgie Fame Story, 17. The Flamingo, by contrast, appears to have had an open door policy and was a favorite destination for white British R&B fans/mods, black American servicemen and, following Suckle’s appearances, black West Indians alike.
52.
Bradley, This is Reggae Music, 145.
53.
“Blind Date,” MM,9 September 1964, 7.
54.
Welsh, The Georgie Fame Story, 17. As noted at the outset of this article, Fame opened his debut LP with “Night Train.” He would later record “Green Onions” (1964). One of the most direct influences of these records was Fame’s decision to switch from piano to Hammond organ, the instrument that would define his sound for most of his career. While it has been argued that Fame was substantially ahead of the curve in the UK by taking up the instrument, several stories and ads in MM from October/November indicate that interest in the Hammond organ was building more broadly. See for example the story “The Swing is to Organ,” MM,20 October 1962, 7, which states that “Jazz organ is currently enjoying quite a vogue in the States. And it looks as though Britain may follow suit.”
55.
“Jazz Clubs,” MM,25 August 1962, 12.
56.
“Jazz Clubs,” MM,22 December 1962, 8.
57.
That is, if advertisements for the band can be taken at face value. NRM, 27 July 1963, 2.
58.
“Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames” advertisement, MM,29 June 1963; “Georgie Fame Car Smash,”NRM, 27 July 1963, 2.
59.
Bradley, Sounds Like London, 142−5. In addition to recording West Indian musicians, Melodisc also worked with West African artists starting in the late 1950s. I am inclined to disagree with Bradley’s statement about Buster teaching Fame the “rudiments” of ska. I find it likely that Fame had been hearing JA-R&B records from Count Suckle for some time prior to this moment. He may have learned the finer points of ska from Buster, but would have already been generally acquainted with the style.
60.
As advertised in the above-mentioned 29 June 1963 MM.The inconsistency in venue names has been reproduced as it appeared in the ad.
61.
de Koningh and Griffiths, Tighten Up!, 25.
62.
Welsh, The Georgie Fame Story, 15. I Feel the Spirit contains a track titled “Soul of Africa.” It is possible that this was the working title for the album. Georgie Fame also played on Derrick Morgan’s “Telephone” among other Blue Beat releases around this time.
63.
As there was no reporting of Buster’s visiting the UK prior to 1964 (his 1964 trip received a modicum of press mentions) in either the popular music press or the West Indian Gazette, it is hard to pinpoint exact dates for the sessions on which Fame accompanied Buster. It is well documented that Fame acquired his first organ in November 1962 and, as noted above, the first time he was advertised as an organist was in December of that year. Therefore, the recordings were almost certainly made in 1963.
64.
The first album, titled Jamaican Blues (BB-LP 801), was pressed in 1961 and exclusively contained licensed tracks recorded in Jamaica.
65.
Other than the fact that they also recorded as the Blue Beats, all that has been mentioned about them in the secondary literature is that Les Dawson was apparently a “white drummer” (de Koningh and Griffiths, Tighten Up!, 25).
66.
Although he is not credited anywhere on the album liner notes, the three tracks where Fame’s organ can be heard are “Jealous,” “Beggars are No Choosers,” and “Wash All Your Troubles Away (Wash, Wash).”
67.
“West Indies R&B Boom?,” New Record Mirror (NRM), 9 September 1963, 6.
68.
WIG, July/August 1963, 8.
69.
“R&B Discs New Label,” NRM, 24 August 1963, 6.
70.
Disc and NRM were apparently a distant third and fourth to MM and NME. NME’s readership hovered around 300,000, while NRM was closer to 70,000 at its peak in 1963/64 (Norman Joplin, Shake it Up Baby!: Notes from a Pop Music Reporter (Surrey, UK: RockHistory Ltd, 2015)). Jazz News and Review was another early source for R&B information, but did not have the same level of readership as NRM nor as broad a scope. The niche publication of the Blues Appreciation Society, Blues Unlimited began providing similar coverage in early 1963, but from a much more “purist” perspective.
71.
An Island distribution manager noted that the label was selling 5,000−15,000 copies of their recent records “without any plugging or any kind of slick promotion” (“West Indies R&B Boom?,” NRM, 9 September 1963, 6). NRM again reported on the Jamaican R&B boom in October, noting that, “in London, at least, the sale of Jamaican R&B discs has been nothing short of fantastic” (“Jamaican R&B Boom” NRM, 19 October 1963, 2).
72.
R&B Discs initial releases were Jamaican-licensed records, such as the Maytals “Mathew Mark,” Lee Perry’s “Man and Wife” and Delroy Wilson’s “Lion of Judah.” Among the R&B Discs releases featured on the cover of NRM during this period were two 45s recorded in the UK containing the playing of Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames.The first of these, Clive and Gloria’s “Change of Plan” b/w “Little Gloria” (JB113), has the band in a supporting role. The second disc was the Blue Flames debut single, a pair of instrumentals titled “J.A. Blues” and “Orange Street” (JB114). Both the Clive and Gloria record and the Blue Flames debut are mentioned in the ad that appeared on the cover of NRM’s 12 October 1963 issue. Reflecting the fluid state of Jamaican-oriented rhythm and blues at the time, each of these 45s featured one track in the ska performance style highlighting pulsing up-beats (“Little Gloria” and “J.A. Blues”) and one in a more relaxed, organ-driven American R&B style reminiscent of Jimmy Smith or Booker T and the MGs (“Change of Plan” and “Orange Street”).
73.
NRM, 21 December 1963, 6.
74.
NME, 28 February 1964.
75.
New Musical Express, 28 February 1964. The subcultural community/identity known as “mods” were early adopters of bluebeat, Tamla-Motown, Blue Note jazz and similar “modernist” expressions of rhythm and blues. The relationship between mods, Jamaican immigrants and these forms of R&B has been explored by Dick Hebdige and Keith Gildart among others (Dick Hebdige, “The Meaning of Mod,” in Resistance Through Rituals, Stuart Hall and Tony Jefferson, eds. (London and New York: Routledge, 1993), 71−79; Keith Gildart, Images of England through Popular Music: Class, Youth and Rock ‘n’ Roll, 1955-1976 (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), 87−148.
76.
Decca followed up this record with “Cross My Heart” / “Ooh-La-Lah” (Decca F11850) by The Exotics, a “West Indian Outfit” featuring former Jamaican star Owen Grey on vocal (reviewed in Disc, 29 February 1964, 10). Pye’s first effort at the new style came via commissioning session musician Jimmy Nichol to re-tread two staples from Georgie Fame’s Flamingo repertory: “Humpty Dumpty” and “Night Train.” Review of “Humpty Dumpty” / “Night Train” by Jimmy Nichol and The Shubdubs (Pye N15623), Disc,22 February 1964, 9.
77.
“King of Kings” would hover around #28 in the NME chart for the three weeks. Reco and the Launchers issued another single rapidly thereafter, “Little Girl” b/w “Bluest Beat.”
78.
Advertisements for the Beazers single indicate the apparent depth of the emerging trend at moment: “Get with it –Do the Dance Everyone’s Doing – Get ‘Blue Beat’,” read the NME,7 February 1964 ads for the single (8) and the sheet music (16).
79.
This list includes three of JA-R&B tunes Georgie Fame covered around this time (Eric Morris’s “Humpty Dumpty,” Prince Buster’s “Madness” and “Tom Hark Goes Blue Beat”), as well the Fame-featured “Wash Your Troubles Away” from Prince Buster and Derrick Morgan’s “Telephone.”
80.
“Tom Hark Goes Blue Beat” represents a fascinating intersection of two exotic dance craze novelties. The original “Tom Hark” by Elias and his Zig-Zag Jive Flutes was a hit in Britain in 1958 and set off a short-lived craze for the South African genre Kewla. In an interview with NRM’s Norman Jopling, Blue Beat executive Siggy Jackson confirmed that “Tom Hark” was indeed the label’s bestseller at the moment, although Prince Buster’s “Madness” was their all-time sales leader with over 120,000 copies sold (Norman Jopling, “It’s the Blue Beat Craze,” NRM,15 February 1964). As Lloyd Bradley and others have noted, these sales numbers would have most likely been sufficient to land “Madness” in one of Britain’s pop charts except that Blue Beat discs were not sold in the record shops whose sales were used to compile the charts.
81.
As the words “blue beat” appear nowhere in the song, the new name for the song can be seen as nothing short of a clear and blatant effort to sell a record based on the craze. The fourth single released during the period was a reissue of “Wash All Your Troubles Away” only a few months after the initial single release. This could be in response to Prince Buster’s UK visit which was scheduled to begin on 15 March 1964 (“On the Upbeat: London,” Variety, 4 March 1964), 60.
82.
“Reviews,” Disc, 7 March 1964, 11. This is the same Earl Watson discussed earlier in the article who shared the bill with and occasionally was supported by the Blue Flames in 1962.
83.
Ian Dove, “’Blue’ lie led to hit,” NME, 10 April 1964, 12.
84.
An ad for Migil 5, for example, indicates that they “perform all kinds of music from two-beat to blue-beat; from R&B to C&W; from Ballads to Bolleros.” (NRM, 22 August 1964), 4.
85.
Norman Jopling, “It’s the Blue Beat Craze,” NRM, 15 February 1964.
86.
This list is in approximate chronological order of release dates.
87.
With Pete Pitterson on trumpet. Ernest Ranglin – British Library Jazz Oral History Project, as told to Val Wilmer, Shelfmark: C122/198−99.
88.
The horn section sits out during the B sections and the harmonica solo. Although the song opens with a typical AABA chorus, the overall form of the song is: AABA ABAA. The harmonica solo is performed by Five Dimenson’s leader Jimmy Powell, not Rod Stewart as is sometimes reported. Stewart has apparently denied any involvement with the recording and would have been with Long John Baldry and the Hoochie Coochie Men at the time, not the Five Dimensions (http://www.brumbeat.net/jimmypow.html, accessed 27 February 2017).
89.
“Silver Disc is Millie’s Prize for ‘Lollipop,’” Disc, 2 May 1964, 6.
90.
The blue beat craze was not restricted to the pop charts in 1964. Long a feature (live and on disc) at the Flamingo and Roaring Twenties, a number of other Soho clubs including the Marquee began incorporating blue beat by early 1964. The Marquee’s Blue Beat nights, co-sponsored by the Blue Beat label, ran from February through July, with the advertised entertainment shifting over time from Lester Dawson and the Blue Beats (with special quests like Red Price and Brigitte Bond) to the sound system of Duke Vin (Tony Bacon, London Live (San Francisco: Balafon, 1999), 166.
91.
John Stratton, “Chris Blackwell and ‘My Boy Lolipop’: Ska, Race and British Popular Music,” Journal of Popular Music Studies, 22:4 (2010), 458−9. Stratton suggests that Blackwell’s capacity as a Jewish Jamaican to function as a “cultural mediator” played an important role in facilitating this success. I consider this argument neither invalid nor unproblematic; however, it is beyond the scope of this project and my expertise to fully unpack and interrogate this position. I would nonetheless add that each of the three independent British-based JA-R&B labels were run by owners of Jewish descent, which seems to lend some credence to Stratton’s contention.
92.
Ibid., 447−9. An estimated 29,000−30,000 Jamaicans emigrated to Britain between 1960 and 1962, a twofold percentage increase over years prior. While Jamaican and general “West Indian” diasporic flow to England had been a common occurrence in the decades after WWII, this increase was unprecedented and, as mentioned above, has been linked to concerns over the potential impact of the impending Commonwealth Immigration Act of 1962 among Jamaicans interested in resettling in England.
93.
Ibid., 452. An NME profile of the singer underscores this point (Cordell Marks, “Millie—Banana Tree Singer,” NME, 1 May 1964, 14). The article refers to Millie as possessing a “water-melon smile” and quotes her talking about climbing banana trees in Jamaica before moving to the UK: “I used to sing for hours in the trees.” In a letter to the African diaspora-oriented UK magazine the Flamingo, Millie claims that she was misquoted and that the interviewer mischaracterized her statement. “These articles in the press have been a great embarrassment to me and I am sorry if they distressed others also,” she wrote (Millie Small, “Millie Replies,” Flamingo,December 1964, 2).
94.
Ibid., 458. He fails to recognize the potential for the distinctive ska beat to serve as the site of aesthetic pleasure in the record, claiming that this feature needed to be “offset” by Small’s vocal performance.
95.
“Millie,” MM, 18 April 1964, 7.
96.
Chris Roberts, “Blue Beat Breaks Through,” MM, 25 April 1964, 7.
97.
Lord Elton, The Unarmed Invasion: A Survey of Afro-Asian Immigration (London: Collins, 1965).

WORKS CITED

WORKS CITED
Bacon, Tony.
London Live
.
San Francisco
:
Balafon
,
1999
.
Bradley, Lloyd.
This Is Reggae Music: The Story of Jamaica’s Music
.
New York
:
Grove Press
.
2000
.
———.
Sounds Like London: A Century of Black Music in the Capital
.
London
:
Profile
,
2013
.
Brunning, Bob.
British Blues: The History 1950s to Present
.
London
:
Blandford
,
1995
.
Chang, Kevin O’Brien and Wayne Chen.
Reggae Routes
.
Philadelphia
:
Temple University Press
,
1998
.
de Koningh, Michael and Marc Griffiths.
Tighten Up!: The History of Reggae in the UK
.
London
:
Sanctuary Publishing Ltd
,
2004
.
Lord Elton.
The Unarmed Invasion: a Survey of Afro-Asian Immigration
.
London
:
Collins
,
1965
.
Fancourt, Leslie.
British Blues on Record 1957-1970
.
Faversham, England
:
Retrack Books
,
1992
.
Gayle, Carl.
“The Reggae Underground.”
Black Music
1/8 (July 1974) http://forum.speakerplans.com/ reggae-sound-system-list-back-in-the-realdays_topic17036_page3.html, accessed 11 February 2017.
Gildart, Keith.
Images of England through Popular Music: Class, Youth and Rock ‘n’ Roll, 1955-1976
.
New York
:
Palgrave Macmillan
,
2013
.
Heathcott, Joseph.
“Urban Spaces and Working-Class Expressions Across the Black Atlantic: Tracing the Routes of Ska.”
Radical History Review
87
(
2003
):
183
206
.
Hebdige, Dick.
Cut’n’Mix: Culture, Identity and Caribbean Music
.
London
:
Methuen
,
1987
.
Hewitt, Paolo, ed.
The Sharper Word: A Mod Anthology, Revised and Updated
.
London
:
Helter Skelter Publishing
,
2009
.
Hinds, Donald.
“The West Indian Gazette: Claudia Jones and the Black Press in Britain.”
Race & Class
50/1
(
2008
):
88-97
.
Hitchins, Ray.
Vibe Merchants: The Sound Creators of Jamaican Popular Music
.
Burlington, VT and Farnham, UK
:
Ashgate Publishing
,
2014
.
Katz, David.
Solid Foundation: An Oral History of Reggae
.
New York
:
Bloomsbury
,
2003
.
———.
“RIP Count Suckle, London Soundsystem Pioneer.”
Red Bull Music Academy Daily
, May 19,
2014
, http://daily.redbullmusicacademy.com/2014/05/count-suckle-rip.
Partridge, Christopher.
Dub in Babylon: Understanding the Evolution and Significance of Dub Reggae in Jamaica and Britain from King Tubby to Post-Punk
.
London and Oakville, CT
:
Equinox
,
2010
.
Ranglin, Ernest. British Library Jazz Oral History Project, as told to Val Wilmer. Shelfmark: C122/198-99.
Schwarz, Bill.
“Claudia Jones and the West Indian Gazette: Reflections on the Emergence of Post-Colonial Britain.”
Twentieth Century British History
14/3
(
2003
):
264-85
.
Stratton, Jon.
“Chris Blackwell and ‘My Boy Lollipop’: Ska, Race, and British Popular Music.”
Journal of Popular Music Studies
22/4
(
2010
):
436
65
.
———.
When Music Migrates: Crossing British and European Racial Faultlines
, 1945-2010.
London and New York
:
Routledge
,
2014
.
Stratton, Jon and Nabeel Zuberi, eds.
Black Popular Music in Britain Since 1945
.
Farham, UK and Burlington, VT
:
Ashgate Publishing
,
2014
.
Sullivan, Paul.
Reverb: Remixology: Tracing the Dub Diaspora
.
London, UK
:
Reaktion Books
,
2013
.
Walker, Klive.
Dubwise: Reasoning from the Reggae Underground
.
London, CA
:
Insomniac Press
,
2000
.
Welsh, Chris.
The Whole World’s Shaking: Georgie Fame Complete Recordings 1963-1966
, Compact Disc Box-set Booklet (Polydor/Universal 4739865,
2015
)

DISCOGRAPHY

DISCOGRAPHY
Prince Buster,
I Feel the Spirit
. Blue Beat BB-LP 802,
1963
. LP.
Georgie Fame.
The Whole World’s Shaking: Georgie Fame Complete Recordings 1963-1966
, Compact Disc Box-set Booklet (Polydor/Universal 4739865,
2015
)
Millie Small,
“My Boy Lollipop.”
Fontana (Island) TF 297 331,
1964
. 45 rpm single.