The 100 greatest tunes released by Pama Records (60-51)

Jackie Minto (actually Jackie Mittoo) – Mule Jerk (AKA Fiddling Around)
Label: Punch / Year of Release: 1969

A Coxsone production, the only one issued on the Punch label. This is a classic 1969 Jackie Mittoo/Sound Dimension tune, the kind of thing that usually found it’s way on to the Bamboo label in the UK. Pama didn’t release a huge amount of Studio One but there are some real gems out there and this is one of them. This was released on a “hanging mic” Studio One label in Jamaica titled Fiddling Around.

Dave Barker – Prisoner Of Love
Label: Punch / Year of Release: 1969

Dave Barker’s first solo tune after recording as a duo with Glen Brown. This was recorded for Lee Perry and voiced over the Slip Away rhythm track that Bunny Lee had shared with Perry. According to David Katz in his book People Funny Boy Busty Brown was supposed to voice the rhythm but couldn’t get it right, Dave Barker was in the studio, got his chance and nailed it (though there is a Busty Brown cut – A Broken Heart – also released on Punch). Prisoner Of Love was released on the Upsetter label in Jamaica.

Slim Smith – Slipaway
Label: Unity/Camel / Year of Release: 1969/1971

This was the first cut on the rhythm as mentioned above; Slim Smith covers Clarence Carter’s big R&B hit and whilst this may not reach the heights of the original it’s still pretty damn good! This was originally released on Unity in the UK and was reissued in 1971 on the Camel label. This was a Bunny Lee production and was released in Jamaica on a blank.

Sisters – Feel It (actually Paulette & Gee – Feel It More And More)
Label: Camel / Year of Release: 1970

An Alvin Ranglin production released on his GG Records label in Jamaica and also in the UK on Trojan’s GG imprint. Paulette is Paulette Williams but little is known of “Gee”. This is one of those infectious sounding tunes that just makes you want to smile, it has a great organ intro, presumably by the great Winston Wright who worked extensively for Ranglin in this period. Lovely stuff.

Little Roy – Hard Fighter
Label: Punch / Year of Release: 1971

A Lloyd Daley production released on the Syndicate label in Jamaica and also released on Big Shot in the UK. Little Roy had recorded a few times (for Coxsone and Prince Buster) before teaming up with Daley but it was his work with that producer that really established him. Hard Fighter is often sighted for it’s version side Voodoo that is regarded as one of the earliest dub sides, unfortunately Pama didn’t include that on this particular release, still the B side on this is Count Ossie – Back To Africa, a great bongo cut of the Alton Ellis classic so it’s not all bad.

Freddie M’Kay (actually Freddie McKay) – Go On This Way
Label: Bullet / Year of Release: 1973

Freddy McKay originally recorded Go On This Way for Harry Mudie in 1969, this is a second cut that was done for Carl Prehay, an associate of Leonard “Santic” Chin, in 1973. Both versions are great though for my money this one is best (and the easier one to track down!). This was Issued on both the Soul Beat and Santic labels in Jamaica.

The Paragans (actually The Paragons)- Equality and Justice
Label: Crab / Year of Release: 1969

For a relatively minor league producer Lloyd Daley sure made some hits. According to the man himself “In my early days in recording it was very difficult for me to acquire a famous singer. But as soon as you made a name and you were being exposed on the radio with rising popularity you would find that most of these good singers would offer their services to you. John Holt is one of the finest artists I ever worked with. I remember when the group did Equality And Justice (Stands For All)… recorded on October 12, 1968.” (from the sleeve notes of From Matadors Arean 1968–1969 [Jamaica Gold])

Charley Organaire – Shubi Ubi
Label: Bullet / Year of Release: 1970

It would be hard to find a rarer Pama release. This came on a Bullet blank only, the matrix indicates this would have been BU-433 if it had ever received a full release. This haunting vocal is on the same rhythm as Charley Organaire’s African Melody that also saw release on a Bullet blank before getting a full UK issue on Russell Coke’s Magnet label. For more information see the Unity discography.

Stranger Cole – When I Get My Freedom
Label: Unity / Year of Release: 1969

The flip side of Life Can Be Beautiful that featured at number 67. Stranger Cole sings his heart out on this one accompanied by Roy Richards on the harmonica. There is also a great full harmonica version of this by Richards called Death Rides A Horse (taking it’s name from the Spaghetti Western from 1967). As noted on number 67 this came out on a Carib-Dis-Co 7″ in Jamaica, production credits aren’t clear but it’s likely to be Stranger Cole himself.

Pat Kelly – How Long Will It Take
Label: Gas / Year of Release: 1969

After a highly successful stint as lead vocalist in the Techniques Pat Kelly decided to go solo in late 1968. He recorded mainly for Bunny Lee for the remainder of the 60’s with plenty of success though few of his recordings were as big as this. Released in the UK in July 1969 How Long Will It Take was a huge seller for Pama and may well have charted had it sold in the right (chart return) shops, it also sold massively in Jamaica where apparently it made number one. As this was so popular it’s not surprising that Bunny Lee cut many versions of the rhythm , check for example Don Tony Lee – Peyton Place, Glen Adams – Cat Woman, Jeff Barnes – Sweet Like Candy, Jerry Lewis – 5000 watts, Jumpers – Barnabas, Hortense Ellis – Last Date, Pat Kelly – Dark End Of the Street…

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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