Numbers 70-61

The Greatest – William Samuels (Coxsone Dodd production)

The Greatest is surprisingly seldom heard, quite odd since this is a great clash type tune and top notch Studio One Rocksteady to boot.

Winston Samuels emerged as a solo artist in the early 60’s and recorded extensively for Sonia Pottinger in the Rocksteady era but this Brentford Road tune is perhaps his finest moment.

The Greatest was released on a blank in Jamaica and on Island in the UK, it is not currently available.

Rock And Shake – Prince Buster (Prince Buster production)

Prince Buster takes the rhythm from his cut of Dark End Of The Street and turns it into something quite special.

The use of echo/reverb (?) makes this well ahead of it’s time and arguably another missing link in the development of Dub.

Originally issued on a blank in Jamaica and gold UK FAB, Rock And Shake is not currently available (come on Buster sort it out!).

Suicide AKA Hang My Head And Cry – Alva Lewis (Caltone production)

Alva Lewis went on to work as a session guitarist in the Kingston studio’s (most notably as a member of the Upsetters) however he started out in the Rocksteady era as a singer.

It’s hard not to think that a tune where the singer threatens suicide is a bit morbid, but the slow beat of Rocksteady leant itself to downbeat vocals and this is certainly one of the best of them.

Originally issued on the Jontom label in Jamaica and slightly inappropriately on the Jolly label in the UK, Suicide is currently available on Safe Travel – Phill Pratt & Friends (Pressure Sounds PSCD 47).

Got A New Girl AKA First Time I Met You Girl – Larry Marshall (Prince Buster production)

Whilst Busters finest moments were in the Ska era with a whole series of scorching instrumentals he easily held his own in the Rocksteady era as the number of his productions making this top 100 shows.

Larry Marshall recorded extensively with Prince Buster before moving over to Coxsone Dodd with the dawn of Reggae where as well as some classic solo sides he scored massive hits alongside Alvin Leslie with Nanny Goat and Throw Me Corn.

Got A New Girl was issued on an Olive Blossom pre in Jamaica and on Fab in the UK, it has not been re-issued.

Shocking Love AKA You Better Call On Me – The Federals (David Scott production)

The Federals were Valman Smykle, David Scott and Franklyn Spence. This tune, produced by David Scott is one of their strongest with a sublime lead vocal (from Scott himself?) and superb harmonies.

The Federals were around for only a few years in the late 60’s with David Scott and Franklyn Spence joining the Chosen Few when the group broke up. Scott also achieved considerable success as the deejay Scotty, working mainly for Derrick Harriot.

Shocking Love was issued on a blank in Jamaica and on Island in the UK, It was re-issued , a year or so later, by Pama on the Camel label. It is available on the Trojan Rocksteady CD Box Set.

Cool Cool Collie – Hopeton Lewis (Sam Mitchell and Keith Scott production)

Cool Collie is the second Hopeton Lewis tune produced by Scott and Mitchell to be featured (see also number 74). This one is as cool as it’s title suggests with some great piano in the intro and unusual percussion.

Rocksteady would not have been the same without Hopeton Lewis working for Merritone with Keith Scott and Sam Mitchell.

Cool Collie was issued on the Merritone label in Jamaica and on Island in the UK. It is currently available on the CD Take It Easy on K&K records.

Let My People Go – The Rulers (JJ production)

Possibly one of the rarest tunes that will feature on this list and definitely one of the deepest… so much so in fact that it is a bit of an acquired taste.

Let My People Go was covered by Keith Wilson for Studio One as God I God I Say which is a roots masterpiece in it’s own right, but the original has a haunting quality that makes it totally unique.

Let My People Go by the Rulers was only ever released on a Jamaican blank and needless to say hasn’t been re-issued. Surprisingly given Heartbeat and Soul Jazz’s ongoing association with Studio One the Keith Wilson version has not been re-issued either.

Somebody’s Baby – Pat Kelly (Bunny Lee production)

Pat Kelly is undoubtedly one of the greatest singers to have ever come out of Jamaica, not bad for someone who was more keen on being in the engineers chair when in the studio.

Somebody’s Baby was one of Kelly’s first solo sides after taking a break from the Techniques, it was issued in 1968 and produced by Bunny Lee. Originally it came out on the Lee’s label in Jamaica and on Island in the UK.

Somebody’s Baby is available on the Trojan Rocksteady Box Set.

Let’s Get Together – Johnny & The Attractions (Sonia Pottinger production)

Best known for the roots versions by Tetrack recorded for Augustus Pablo in the 70’s, Let’s Get Together was first recorded by Johnny & The Attractions for Sonia Pottinger circa 1968. The Rocksteady version is every bit as good as the later cut.

This was re-released on 7″ single in 2008 by Rock-A-Shacka in Japan and is available on CD on Trojan’s Rebel Music Volume 2.

Won’t You Come Home – Delroy Wilson (Coxsone Dodd production)

A superb Studio One tune that was also cut by the Conquerors for Sonia Pottinger (see the comments section below).

Delroy Wilson was a child prodigy who first started recording for Studio One in the early 60’s. By the time Rocksteady came round he had matured as a singer and was on top of his game. He maintained his position as one of the best solo artists on the island for over ten years.

Issued on the Studio One label in Jamaica and it’s equivalent in the UK (though the UK version managed to miscredit the track to the Gaylads), Won’t You Come Home is currently available on the Soul Jazz CD/double vinyl, Studio One Kings.

20 comments to Numbers 70-61

  • AnorakTrev

    You`ve only gone and done it again ! ANOTHER brilliant set of scorchers.Totally agree about the Buster back catalogue,by the way.Looking forward to the next instalment already.THANKS.


  • alex

    It seems I got the answer on my question posted on 27 june…in the best possible way…thank you and keep on rolling.

  • admin

    Thanks for the comments. yes Alex you encouraged me to complete this section! Hopefully I’ll get the next one finished a little quicker…


  • eric

    this is a wonderful collection of rocksteady beats.. i m a deaf individual who is confined to the steady beats and bass of reggae. the faster these lists come the more i can fill my mp3 player with some of these songs.. currently thru napster.. any better reggae song sites i could download some of these songs?

  • paul

    If anyone’s interested in #61, “Won’t you come home” by Delroy Wilson, the version that appears on Dancing Mood is apparently a later, non-rocksteady rerecording of the track. I’ve been searching in vain to find an available CD release of this track…

  • Prince Horror

    It’s been a while now since the last update now! More rocksteady scorchers for the people!

  • Brian

    Seconded! It’s gonna be a cold winter without 60-01!

  • nilo82

    Yes, what about the next?
    Since you asked for suggestions in the first post, i’ll give one: “Carlton & The Shoes – Just Me”. A tune for the top 20 imho thogh 😉

  • Tim P

    Thanks all… I’ve done a bit more work on this thanks to the encouragement hopefully I’ll be there in a week or so.

    Nilo82 “Carlton & The Shoes – Just Me” a nice tune for sure but there is always better 😉

  • Brian

    paul wrote:

    “If anyone’s interested in #61, “Won’t you come home” by Delroy Wilson, the version that appears on Dancing Mood is apparently a later, non-rocksteady rerecording of the track. I’ve been searching in vain to find an available CD release of this track…”

    The rocksteady version is on the recent Soul Jazz “Studio One Kings” – I didn’t (but should’ve) realized this was the work on TimP, that rare Rulers cut “Let My People Go” is the best thing I ever got off a message board, cheers!

    Still lot of personal faves missing but 60 to go! Ken Boothe “Thinking”, Mr Foundation “See Them a Come”, Sound Dimension “Rockfort Rock”, Techniques “Traveling Man”, The Bassies “Big Mistake”, The Mellotones “Fat Girl in Red”, The Wailers “Hurting Inside”, Roy Shirley “I’m the Winner”, The Sensations “Lonely Lover”, Alton Ellis “If I Could Rule the World” and anything by Keith & Tex – so many tunes in barely a two-year time span, amazing! Eagerly awaiting the next ten

  • Kaz

    I’m also waiting for 60-51 from far east!!

  • MoW

    Hi Tim! Please, carry on with your great work! Still waiting for tunes like “So weary”, “The good you can”, “One Way Street” or “Red eye gal” – and hopefully more tunes like “The Greatest” which I’ve never heard before.

  • Must admire your dedication in compiling this list. Wouldn’t dream of sugesting any of my own faves as all music is personel. Look forward to the top 50.

  • Skaville

    Beautiful tune,The Rulers – Let my people go……………………………………..
    it is posible to send me to mp3, thank you in advance,best regards jacky aka Skaville from Belgium.

  • Tim P

    Thanks to Paul and Brian for the info about Won’t You Come Home, I’ve updated/corrected the details on this one.

    Sorry Skaville this is not a download site.

  • i dont understand the info update on Wont’you come home. To my ears the version as it appears on ‘Dancing Mood'(the LP, i dont do CD’s) is the original rock steady version, with a slight overdub on the drums. so it’s not a remake as suggested by paul.

    But why include a SO1 cover instead of the original chune?

    The Conquerors – Won’t You Come Home (Gayfeet)

    (riddim by lyn tate & the jets, not sibbles/mittoo)

  • Tim P

    Good question Jumbo… let me look at this one…

  • Al Kaatz

    Jumbo you are correct in your comments. The Conquerors version was first. I actually prefer the Studio One version, which is credited to “Delroy & Ken” on an old Studio One LP I have.

  • Johan Lindgren

    The Federals song and also The Pat Kelly song are on “Island Presents Rock Steady” (Island Records / Spectrum Music, 2013).

  • Michael Barnett

    Johnny Johnson was lead singer of Johnny & the Attractions (not sure of the other group members. He now resides in Atlanta, Georgia. After the Attractions broke up through migration, Johnny was asked by Winston Riley to join the Techniques (about 1968-69), and he was lead singer for two of the Techniques classic songs “Travelling Man” and the fabulous flipside “It’s You I Love” (my personal favourite by the Techniques).Shortly after Johnny left the music business and entered the world of finance rising to become a top executive in the late 80s/90s with the now defunct Eagle Financial Network in Jamaica. Johnny has done several concerts in Jamaica and the USA; teaming up with Pat Kelly and bandleader LLoyd Parks as Pat Kelly & The Techniques since the resurgence of rock steady music via shows like “Heineken Startime” and “Rock Steady Reunion”. A nicer individual than Johnny Johnson has not been created.

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