Keith Hudson’s rocksteady rhythms

The Termites - Push It Up (label)

The enigmatic producer and singer Keith Hudson first made an impression on the Jamaican music scene in the late 60’s with successful vocal sides by Ken Boothe, Delroy Wilson and John Holt. These early hits were enhanced by ground breaking early DJ sides by the likes of Dennis Alcapone and U Roy.

By the early 1970’s the music was flowing thick and fast on his Inbidimts Now Sounds, Imbidimts, Rebind and Mafia labels. Whilst much of his 70’s work was on cutting edge Reggae rhythms a handful of tunes harked back to an earlier era by utilising older rocksteady backing tracks the same rhythms were also used by Hudson’s associate Derrick Kenyute “Stamma” Hobson who released tunes on the Stamma, Big Style and Atom labels.

Shake It Up rhythm

Previously believed to be by the Versatiles or the Sensations, Pressure Sounds credited this to the Termites on their reissue.

Keith Hudson recorded himself on this rhythm and voiced the DJ Phillip Samuel on it.

The Termites – Shake It Up
Keith Hudson – Old Fire Stick
Phillip Samuel – Hot Stick Version

Shake It Up. Thanks to Dave Russell for the label scan.
Shake It Up. 2018 reissue.
Old Fire Stick
Hot Stick Version
Hot Stick Version

How Keith Hudson came by these rhythms isn’t exactly clear. They all seem to have come from a producer with the initials CB (as indicated on the matrix) and were released as blanks, or on the Olympic label, between 1967 and 1969. The producer was believed to have been Carl Bryan but apparently he has said it wasn’t him, other possibles are Clifton Baugh or C.Bradford. The UK releases on Pama only serve to confuse matters concerning the true identity of the producer. Show Me The Way/What Can I Do by The Termites credits R.Bennett and Push It Up by The Termites credits H.Robinson as producer and Clancy Eccles as composer!

Show Me The Way rhythm

Show Me The Way by The Termites is the only one of the “CB” rhythms used by Keith Hudson to get a UK release, on the Pama imprint. Hudson must have liked this rhythm as he voiced two songs on it himself, note the different mix on the second cut.

The Termites – Show Me The Way
Keith Hudson – Popular
Keith Hudson – Don’t Start It Up
Show Me The Way
Don’t Start It Up
Don’t Start It Up (UK) Thanks to Dave Russell for the label picture.

One of these rhythm tracks, Go And Cry, was also used by Derrick Kenyute “Stamma” Hobson who had a working relationship with Keith Hudson. Hobson cut Golden Snake by Johnny Clarke and a number of other tunes on this rhythm it was also used by Hudson on his vocal; Smoke Without Fire.

Go And Cry AKA Golden Snake rhythm

The artist credit on the original rocksteady cut Go And Cry is also unconfirmed. The later use of the rhythm is a lot clearer; Keith Hudson voiced it himself and Keith Hobson recorded Johnny Clarke, the Heptones and deejay Little Clive (Clive Chin) on it

Artist is unclear – possibly the Merry Boys (the Harmonians??) or the Emotions – Go And Cry
Keith Hudson – Smoke Without Fire
Johnny Clarke – Golden Snake
Little Clive – African Bread
The Heptones – Girl You Were Wrong
Larry McDonald – Anode
Stamma All Stars – Mr Dub (this is the flip side of Girl You Were Wrong but is actually a dub of Anode)
Smoke Without Fire. Thanks to Dave Russell for the label pic.
Smoke Without Fire
Smoke Without Fire. Thanks to Dave Russell for the label pic.
Golden Snake
Golden Snake
Golden Snake
Golden Snake reissue C. 2009
African Bread
African Bread reissue C.2009
Girl You Were Wrong
Girl You Were Wrong
Girl You Were Wrong reissue C.2009
Mr Dub
Mr Dub

Many of the Keith Hudson and Keith Stamma Hobson sides mentioned are available on the excellent but now deleted Trojan Records double CD compilation – The Hudson Affair, this gives a great overview of Hudson’s work from the late 60’s onwards and is well worth tracking down.

Night Curfew rhythm

Night Curfew was apparently only issued on a blank with a hand written credit for Karl Bryan. This fueled speculation that the “CB” matrix refers to Carl/Karl Bryan though this has apparently been discounted.

Karl Bryan – Night Curfew
Dennis Alcapone – Shades Of Hudson
Night Curfew 2018 repress
Shades Of Hudson
Shades Of Hudson
Shades Of Hudson
Shades Of Hudson 2018 repress

The following are not featured on The Hudson Affair; Erotic Touch Of Hot Skin – Dennis Alcapone, Always – Al Brown, Old Fire Stick – Keith Hudson, Girl You Wrong – Heptones (all of which are currently unavailable) and Hot Stick Version – Phillip Samuel which was available on the now deleted Trojan CD Studio Kinda Cloudy.

Dance With Me rhythm

The original version of this rhythm was the last to be identified, Dance With Me was on the flip side Shake It Up (see above). Keith Hudson used it twice, for Al Brown and Dennis Alcapone.

Unknown Artist – Dance With Me
Al Brown – Allways
Dennis Alcapone – The Erotic Touch Of Hot Skin. The title inspired by the film of the same name.

The final track (below) is another Olympic production, initially it was thought this might be related to Always/Erotic Touch… whilst this isn’t the case I’ve kept the sound sample up as it sounds like it may well have come from the same session and it would be a shame to lose it!

Ed Parkins – Soul Message
Dance With Me
Dance With Me. 2018 reissue.
Soul Message
The Erotic Touch Of Hot Skin. Poster for the film
The Erotic Touch Of Hot Skin

The “CB” rocksteady sides were all reissued (with the exception of Soul Message) on a box set of 7″ singles in 2018 titled Searching So Long Olympic Singles 1967 – 1969 . The majority of the singles from the box were also distributed separately.

My Baby Is Gone rhythm

My Baby is Gone was voiced twice by Keith Hudson.

The Termites – My Baby Is Gone
Keith Hudson – Old Broom
Keith Hudson – In Our Fathers House
My Baby Is Gone reissue C. 2011
My baby Is Gone reissue 2018
Old Broom
Old Broom
Old Broom
Old Broom
In Our Father’s House
ArtistTitleProducerRhythmJamaican LabelUK label
?Go And CryCBGo And Cry/Golden SnakeBlank-
TermitesShake It UpCBShake It UpBlank-
TermitesDance With MeCBDance With MeBlank-
Al BrownAllwaysKeith HudsonDance With MeInbidimts Now SoundsSupreme
Dennis AlcaponeThe Erotic Touch Of Hot SkinKeith HudsonDance With MeInbidimts Now Sounds-
Dennis AlcaponeShades Of HudsonKeith HudsonNight CurfewInbidimtsBig Shot
HeptonesGirl You WrongKeith HobsonGo And Cry/Golden SnakeStamma-
Johnny ClarkeGolden SnakeKeith HobsonGo And Cry/Golden SnakeAtom-
Karl BryanNight CurfewCBNight CurfewBlank-
Keith HudsonOld Fire StickKeith HudsonShake It UpRebind/Inbidimts-
Keith HudsonOld BroomKeith HudsonMy Baby Is Gone/Old BroomRebind-
Keith HudsonSmoke Without FireKeith HudsonGo And Cry/Golden SnakeImbidimts/RebindGreen Door
Keith HudsonPopularKeith HudsonShow Me The wayImbidimts/Rebind-
Keith HudsonDon't Start It UpKeith HudsonShow Me The WayImbidimtsKoo's Records
Larry McDonaldAnodeKeith Hudson?Go And Cry/Golden SnakeBlank-
Little CliveAfrican BreadKeith HobsonGo And Cry/Golden SnakeStamma-
Phillip SamuelHot Stick VersionKeith HudsonShake It UpImbidimts/RebindGreen Door
TermitesShow Me The WayCBShow Me The WayBlank?Pama
Keith HudsonIn Our Father's HouseKeith HudsonMy Baby Is Gone/Old BroomRebind-
TermitesMy Baby Is GoneCBMy Baby Is Gone/Old Broom-

Special thanks to: Errol Hobson, Vince Ellis, Dave Home, Al Kaatz, Matt Dinsmore, Roots Knotty Roots, Dave Hendley, Tommy Rock-A-Shacka, Ekki, Chungdejah, Daniel Kania, Dave Russell, Bob Brooks, Lloyd Miller, Melodies Of War and the Blood And Fire and Pama Forum message boards.


Label scans of stamped pre’s of the CB productions mentioned.
Any information of clues about who the “CB” who produced these tracks actually was.

Scans of the 7″ labels of any of the tunes mentioned that we don’t illustrate.

If you can help with any of the above then please get in touch.

12 comments to Keith Hudson’s rocksteady rhythms

  • Dave Home

    I really like the new layout Tim. I believe that Little Clive who toasted on ‘African Bread’ is Clive Chin but can’t confirm that 100%. Nice to hear ‘Stamma’ on the intro as well.
    Just in case anyone is interested the inspiration for Dennis Alcapone’s fantastically titled ‘Erotic Touch of Hot Skin’ can be found here;

    ..and there’s a review of it here;
    It sounds like a winner!

  • Daniel

    Hi Tim, I realized today that I have the original rock steady version of Always and The Erotic Touch Of Hot Skin. Its on Olympic pre. Artist: ED. Parkins – Soul Message

  • admin

    Thanks Daniel this is very interesting. There’s an email coming your way…

  • Dave Home

    Wow! I’d really like to hear ‘Soul Message’. I remember Tim saying that he felt ‘Always’ was a version to an earlier rhythm whereas I felt it was on an original rhythm. Looks like you were right Tim!

  • admin

    Soon come Dave 😉

  • Vince Owens

    Nice feature. I always imagined a Delroy original to ‘Smoke without fire’ before discovering this! Is there the same guitar bits on the original (Lynne Tait?)? Anywhere I can hear the whole original?
    Keep up the good work.

  • >>In our father’s house<>My baby is gone<>Old broom<<.

  • Bull

    The great Dennis Alcapone, next to legendary Ken Boothe and Mr Dave Barker at Reggae Brittania at Barbican. Documented by UK Pogus Caesar.! What a line up!

  • Ras Charles Jones

    My name is Ras Charles Jones. I performed with Keith is 1980 in a band called Earthworm. We performed at My Fathers Place, Tramps, Tier 3, Eighties. I now do radio at Binghamton University-WHRW. I can re reached at 607 7295526 for further info on Keith. Ras Charles Jones

  • Errol Hobson

    My name is Errol Hobson, Derrick K. Hobson (The ‘K’ means Kenyute and not Keith as was previously mentioned) is my late brother who died the summer of ’78. I know for a fact that he did a few recordings with artiste such as Johnny Clarke and Roman Stewart. The tunes that readily came to mind: “Ride On Young Girl” by Johnny Clarke, and Roman Stewart’s “Love Jah and Live”. “Ride On Young Girl” was remixed and release on a 12″ Disco Mix. This particular track was released on his own label [THE BETSY original Stamma].

  • Alex

    Hi Tim

    Isn’t ‘Dance With Me’ sung by Winston Samuels?


  • Kris VB

    Little Clive is indeed Clive Chin. I talked to him about the tune a couple of years ago. He wasn’t too pleased with the result as he doesn’t think of himself as a dj/toaster.

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