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Jamaica’s first champion calypsonian: Leonard “Lord Power” Williams

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 The role played by singers and musicians of Jamaica's first popular music, mento, in the attractiveness of the island as a tourism destination—particularly in the 1950s and 1960s—remains under-acknowledged. They were vital to the tourist-driven entertainment programs of hotels and nightclubs across the island. Mento, however, was marketed as ...
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  405 Hits
405 Hits

A Life of Sweet Sorrow: A Reflection on the iconic trombonist, DON DRUMMOND

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One of the extraordinary pillars of Jamaica's music history lies within the best trombonist in his time; He's a marvel to behold to this day, despite being a "troubled trombonist." The late Don Drummond's life and music continue to be quite the phenomenon. He was largely critical in the emergence and development of Jamaica's popular music. You'll r...
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  399 Hits
399 Hits

Beauty Corner: “Why your hair isn’t growing” (Part 1)

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"Black hair can't grow", "Pepper grain cya amount to much", "a ol' nayga hair she have" – All these simple things we may say or grew up hearing is where we should start unpacking. Get rid of it – Put some respect on your crown! You see that hair, your crown that you wear each day? That is exactly what it is, your crown – and it's beautiful and mean...
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  1044 Hits
1044 Hits

Sampling and the Circle of Music

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Close to the end of an on-air shift at Kool97FM, the vibe just right and the dancing by now reaching its peak, I hear the early beginnings of a song I love, one that marked part of my youth and naturally I got excited. Like a DJ might tease an audience and that audience might wait semi-patiently, I filled up on the introductory beat, certain I knew...
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  1562 Hits
1562 Hits

“THE SWEET” SOULETTES

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 American girl groups with catchy monikers like the Ronettes, the Marvelettes, and the Bobbettes, influenced the naming of at least two popular local singing groups. One of the two, the Gaylettes, have already been featured in Notes in Jamaican Music, so the spotlight now falls on the other, the Soulettes. Formed in the mid-sixties, the origin...
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  1588 Hits
1588 Hits

Single Fathers, We See YOU and Bless YOU

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 As we approach the day (probably arbitrarily) designated as Fathers Day, I find myself increasingly committed to the idea and task of reframing the narrative of fatherhood, especially as it relates to men of colour. I am convinced that the old, hackneyed stereotypes of 'wutless', deadbeat, absent fathers have outlived their usefulness. Haven'...
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  1752 Hits
1752 Hits

Take Your Power Back

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I read a quote somewhere that said "Self-care is how you take your power back." – It really stuck with me as someone who doesn't really make it a habit to take time to rest or just.... relax. A therapist told me it's because I have an 'avoidant' process of handling my struggles or day-to-day problems so I am always doing something – cleaning an alr...
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  2084 Hits
2084 Hits

The Gaylettes – Sweethearts of Soul, Reggae & Rocksteady

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  American music trends such as jazz and rhythm & blues, infiltrated and eroded Jamaica's colonial tradition of classical music, which had gathered steam in the 1940s. By the early 1960s, America's newest genre, soul, was also influencing Jamaica's musical landscape. While male solo singers and groups ruled the new art-form, girl groups we...
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  2817 Hits
2817 Hits

Sister Mary Ignatius Davies - Mother of Jamaican Music

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Without the life of Sister Ignatius, Jamaican music wouldn't be the same. In fact, it is arguable that without Sister Iggy, as she was affectionately known by her students, reggae, rocksteady, even ska may not have seen its genesis through the horns and drums of the boys in her care. The music world owes a great debt to Sister Mary Ignatius Davies—...
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  4059 Hits
4059 Hits

Hortense Ellis - Jamaica's “First Lady of Song"

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Born in that celebrated seedbed of talent called Trench Town on April 18, 1941, Hortense Mahalia Ellis blossomed into a highly regarded vocalist. Her potential as such was apparent from an early age, and she often participated in school and community concerts. But, by the late 1950s, it was time to showcase her voice on a grander stage. Brother Alt...
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  2113 Hits
2113 Hits

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