April 28, 2011, at 12:42 am

The 100 greatest Rocksteady tunes #19

The Minstrels – So Weary (Sam Mitchell and Keith Scott production)

Another wonderful tune finance by Lebanese businessman Kenneth L Khouri for his Merritone label. How can anything so brilliant be so obscure? Every one should have a copy!

The similarity of the vocal structure and melody to Ferry Cross The Mersey by Gerry & The Pacemakers is unmistakeable and can’t be a coincidence. Though on this occassion the somewhat unusual source material doesn’t detract from the end product, this wasn’t always the case with other tunes covered/adapted on the Merritone label; The Mighty Quinn by Hopeton Lewis And The Gaylettes is kind of odd and Hornpipe Rocksteady by Leslie Butler is at best completely forgettable.

So Weary was originally released on the Merritone label in Jamaica, it did not see a UK release. It is currently unavailable but is expected to be reissued in the near future.


4 comments to The 100 greatest Rocksteady tunes #19

  • Since Ken Khouri was born in Jamaica, doesn’t that make him a Jamaican businessman of Lebanese heritage?

    It will be a crime when material such as “So Weary” is reissued and the writers, Lennox Robinson and Mikey or the late Geoffrey Chung, are not paid a publishing advance, or anything.

  • Tim P

    Hi Brian

    Thanks for the input Brian, sorry if the comment about nationalities was a little misleading.

    I’m afraid I’ve removed the download link – unless you can confirm that the rights holders have authorised the downloads in which case I’ll happily reinstate it. I’ve consistently argued against unauthorised downloads and whilst I appreciate the ground may be shifting under me on this point but I feel that they harm the reggae music business and I don’t want to be associated with them.

    I agree with your comment about the publishing – as long as those involved do the minimum they are required to as far as the law requires then I guess thats all we can really hope for.

    Respect as always

  • Al

    That’s really a great record, hadn’t heard it before.

    Since the Jamaican “writers” have already ripped off whoever wrote “Ferry Cross the Mersey”, isn’t it kind of a moot point? Who is stealing from who, exactly?

  • Donald Gregory

    That’s a good point that Al makes. Not that 2 wrongs make a right of course, but Jamaican music is full of instances like this. I’ll be interested to see other points of view on this matter.

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