BUNNY "STRICKER" LEE
A PLACE CALLED JAMAICA PT.2 - PRODUCTIONS FROM 60'S & 70'S
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1967-1979 - Makasound - studio - discs:1Edward O'Sullivan Lee (better known as Bunny "Striker" Lee) was born in Kingston on August 23, 1941. He studied Electrical engiheering at Kingston Technical High School. In 1957 he worked at Teletronics during the day and studying at night. Falling from a pole he hurt his back badly, and spent several months in the hospital. After his perdiod he worked at Uni-Motors. During this time he married the cousin of Derrick Morgan, miss Yvonne McCloud. By 1962 Morgan had already written "Forward March", a celebration of Independence. He introduced Bunny to the top producers aroud, as Duke Reid, Prince Buster, Sir Coxsone Dodd and Leslie Kong. Lee started to bring around the latest hits to the Radio stations. Legend has that he called all the stations for a particular request with the result of making that single be played more and more, helping its success. Lee cut his first production for the Duke. Later he met Ken Lack, whose Carlton label, released his first EP. At WIRL (West Indies Recording Limited) he met Roy Shirley, and soon became the house producer. He started to produce the biggest names around. The basic list reads, Slim Smith's Uniques, Pat Kelly (The Techniques), John Holt (The Paragons), Eric Donaldson, Cornell Campbell, Delroy Wilson, Glen Adams, and many more. Later he established his label called Lee, and later two new ones called Jackpot and Unity. As the 70's were bringing new sound, Bunny was already a living legend! It is of course impossible to collect whatever important produced by Bunny in one single CD. The "right" collection could be made of thirty or forty CDs. So here we have seventeen tracks, just to get the first impression. The firts track is "Great Musical Battle" by Derrick Morgan. Cut in 1968, this song re-creates a match. In this case the fight is between Lee and Coxsone. All is constructed upon Dave Brubeck jazz classic' "Take Five". Follows Glen Adams' "I Want To Hold Your Hand" (1969), a re-cut of the Beatles classic. Serious things come with "God Helps The Man" (1973) from the great Leroy Smart. This is a gem for sure. Follows Max Romeo's "She's But A Little Girl" from 1967. This is one of the first collaborations between the two. The fifth track collected here is "Jah Me No Born Yah" (1974) by Cornell Campbell. Cornell's distinctive style is already here, one year before his "Natty Dread Ina Greenwich Town" classic. Follows Dillinger's "Fernando Sancho" from 1976. A quite strange single, playing with Mexican styled western's characters. Leroy Smart is back with "Wreck Up My Life" from 1978. The music is played by the Aggrovators. Follows Barry Brown's "From Creation". This Roots single was cut in 1978 and is presented here in its extended version. The nineth track is Tappa Zukie's 1976 version of Bob Marley's classic "No Woman, No Cry", here titled "Natty Woman No Cry". This is actually a toasters version on Johnny Clarke's version. Follows Roy Shirley's "If I Did Know" (1972). The eleventh single is "Rocking & Swinging" (1978) from Big Joe. This fast, heavy and tough track is based on Leroy Smart's "Wreck Up My Life". Follows the stellar "We Just Can't Live" from Barry Brown. I am not able to say when this track was cut, in any case it is a Roots gem presented here in its extended version. After this comes Horace Andy's "I'll Forgive You" from 1974. This track was part of the strong "You Are My Angel" set, released in 1975. The fourteenth track is "The Village" from Gregory Isaacs. Again there is no information about the year of the recording. One of the few cuts for Striker. Maybe the only one. Follows a gem: The Uniques "Gypsy Woman". This single is a version of the Curtis Mayfield's song. Here Slim Smith is backed on vocals by Jimmy Riley and Lloyd Charmers. The following track is the Gerschwin classic "Summertime" (1968) from Lloyd Clarke. The compilation closes with Glen Adams' "I Can't Help It". Recutting The Uniques "Gypsy Woman", Adams delivers some small gem to close this compilation from Makasound. Much more could be said about Bunny "Striker" Lee. The compilers put together some good material with some gems here and there. As stated above, exploring "Striker" Lee's career is a long path. This could be a starting point.