The 100 greatest tunes released by Pama Records (40-31)

Nora Dean – Peace Begins Within
Label: Bullet / Year of Release: 1971

Peace Begins Within was originally recorded by US artist Mylon LeFevre and was covered by Soul artist Bobby Powell, Nora Dean’s version retains some of the funky feel of the original versions and makes the transition to a Jamaican sufferers tune with ease. A Syd Bucknor production released on the Lion label in Jamaica, you should also look out for the organ cut issued on a UK 12″ on the Penguin label titled Love Juice by Syd’s Gang.

The Conscious Minds – Brainwash
Label: Escort / Year of Release: 1971

Brain Wash, a masterful horns cut of Hotter The Battle by the Conscious Minds. A BB Seaton production this was also issued in the UK by Trojan on the Big label and on Seaton’s own Soul Beat label in Jamaica. Surprisingly, unlike Brainwash neither the original vocal cut or the second Conscious Minds credited instrumental version, Good Mood, saw UK release.

Little Roys – Bongo Nyah
Label: Camel / Year of Release: 1969

Quoting Lloyd Daley in the great sleeve notes from the Jamaican Gold CD “From Matador’s Arena Vol 2”. “Little Roy was quite young, around fifteen or sixteen years old, when he started recording… He had a partner with him by the name of Carley. They had a song that they used to rehearse at school…fire for fire, blood for blood, and Rastaman this and that… So my wife Deanna took it and revamped it into Bongo Nyah.”

Ebony Sisters – Each Time
Label: Bullet / Year of Release: 1970

Production credits for this are usually given to Bunny Lee due to the “backed by Bunny Lee Allstars” credit on the label, but as Pama’s record reputation for getting such things right is less than stellar and as there doesn’t appear to have been a Jamaican issue it’s hard to be absolutely certain. Either way this is a quite superb tune – female group harmonies have rarely sounded better – an underrated classic for sure.

Bob Marley (actually Johnny Lover and the Wailers) – Soul Town (AKA Soul Town Reporter AKA Like It Like This)
Label: Bullet / Year of Release: 1971

“This happens to be soul town reporter, reporting the report that is to be reported to the people…” A marvelous deejay cut over a lovely Wailers vocal that has itself gone under several titles: Rock My Boat, I Like It Like This and Satisfy My Soul. Soul Town Reporter was originally issued on the Wailers Tuff Gong label in Jamaica, either credited to Johnny Lover or just to Bob Marley & The Wailers.

The Harmonians – Believe Me
Label: Gas / Year of Release: 1969

An excellent but somewhat overlooked uptempo vocal by the underrated and under recorded Harmonians. This was released on a Spade pre in Jamaica and is a Hippy Boys production. Little is known of the Harmonians, and only around half a dozen recordings were released credited to them (though they may not all be by the same group!) but all are worth checking out.

The Ethiopians – Buss You Mouth (AKA Contention)
Label: Nu Beat / Year of Release: 1969

More from the Ethiopians, the fifth on this list to be precise but you’ll get no apologies from me for that. An unmistakable Sir JJ rhythm and great vocals, not the Ethiopians biggest tune, or even their biggest for Sir JJ, but a top tune none the less. This was issued on a JJ stamped pre-release in Jamaica. And Pama still couldn’t spell Ethiopians!

Bunny & Ruddy – On The Town
Label: Nu Beat / Year of Release:1968

On The Town was one of the first productions by Bobby Kalphat issued on his Soul Sounds label in Jamaica. Bobby is on record saying he sold his instrumental Rhythm & Soul to Pama for £20.00 (this was also released on Nu Beat) so it’s safe to assume he done the same with this. A fine late rocksteady cut, there are better vocals out there but the rhythm is tough.

The Termites (actually The Hitones) – Girls (AKA Little Girl)
Label: Nu Beat / Year of Release: 1968

Girls (or should it be Girl?)/Little Girl is an Enid Barnett/Deltone production issued in Jamaica on a blank pre-release only. It’s commonly attributed to the Hitones but I’m not at all certain that this is accurate. Whoever the artists really are this is a first-rate but largely overlooked 1968 rocksteady killer…don’t sleep on this one.

Errol Dunkley / Phil Pratt All Stars ‎– Black Cinderella (Camel) 1972
Label: Camel / Year of Release: 1972

An early roots masterpiece produced by the great Jimmy Radway (and issued on his Fe-Me-Time imprint in Jmaiaca). This was Radway’s first production and a big hit in Jamaica reaching the top spots on both RJR and JBC radio station charts. As with all great reggae rhythms this comes with some equally superb versions, check out I Roy – Sound Education, Augustus Pablo – Cinderella In Black, Big Youth – The Best Of Big Youth and Don D Junior (Vin Gordon) – Zion Youth Part 1.

The 100 Greatest Tunes released By Pama Records:
Introduction & Credits > 100-91 > 90-81 > 80-71 > 70-61 > 60-51 > 50-41 > 40-31

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