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DERRICK HARRIOTT (1942 - )

A PLACE CALLED JAMAICA - PRODUCTIONS FROM 60'S & 70'S

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1967-1976 - Makasound - studio - discs:1

Derrick Harriott was born in Kingston on February 10th, 1942. His career as a singer began by the mid 50's. He entered the Vere John's Opportunity, a singing contest, performing "When You Dance" by the Turbans. In 1957 Derrick and his friend Clause Sang won the first prize with "I'm In Love", a hit of that period by The Cliques. As Sang left Jamaica, Derrick founded The Jiving Juniors with Maurice Wynter and Eugene Dwyer (singers) and Herman Sang (keyboard player and brother of Claude). They become popular quite fast. One day Derrick cut "Lollipop Girl" (singing alone with a piano providing the music) and very soon Sir "Coxsone" Dodd re-cut it. But at the same time Duke Reid was re-cutting it with Derrick and The Jiving Juniors. During a clash between the top Sound System owners of the time, Dodd played his version but was soon put off guard by Duke's version. After this episode The Jiving Juniors cut another single for the Duke called "My Heart Desire", and "Over The River" for Dodd. In 1959 Derrick became the first singer - producer cutting his own "What Can I Do" in New York. There he reformed the The Jiving Juniors, calling them the American Jiving Juniors. The cut "Sugar Dandy" and "Don't You Be Bad", both hits in their home land. As Jamaica was independent in 1962, Harriott started his solo career. The success was great. In 1967 he opened his shop called Derrick's One Stop and started to produce and record a lot of emerging names. Just to name a few we must remember The Chosen Few, Keith and Tex, Rudy Mills, The Kingstonians and The Ethiopians. Many of these released for his Crystal label. In 1969 he produced Dennis Brown's debut: the single "Lips Of Wine". Dennis was twelve years old! In the mean time Derrick was operating his promotional company (The Derrick Harriott Musical Chariot) along with his Sound System (The Disco Chariot). The evenings at The VIP Clib during the period 1970 - 1971 remain legendary. During the 70's Derrick focused on promotion and distribution, and on his shop. Time hasn't stopped Derrick from producing. He is still active today. This compilation covers eighteen tracks. As stated for the Makasound's collection on Bunny Lee, called "A Place Called Jamaica", one single CD can only give a quick glimpse on Derrick's long career. But let us see what we have here. The collection opens with "Message Form A Black Man" from Derrick. This small gem was cut at Randy's in 1970, with The Conscious Minds and B.B. Seaton (on guitar, and singer of The Gaylads). The original song was cut by The Temptations and appeared in their "Puzzle People" from 1969. Follows Junior Murvin's "Rescue The Children", a track cut at Randy's in 1973. Originally the single was issued as a Junior Soul effort, Murvin's pseudonym at the time. The musicians are The Crystalites with Mickey Chung on guitar. The third track comes from the great Horace Andy and is called "Lonely Woman". A classic from 1974 with The Crystalites backing Horace. Follows "Changing Times" from Roman & Dave. The Crystalites are here again for this 1969 gem. Roman Stewart and a no better defined Dave. The single was cut at Dynamic Sound. The fifhth track is "Native Woman" from Dave Robinson (a friend of Dennis Brown). Cut in 1975 at Federal Studio, this track has again The Crystalites as the backing band. Follows the classic "Stop That Train" from Keith & Tex. This huge Rocksteady classic was cut at the Dynamic Sound studio with The Crystalites and Lynn Taitt (guitar) providing the music. The same studio was the place where Scotty's "I Worry" was cut in 1968. Again The Crystalites were there. The track is based on "Do I Worry" and is really a pre-toasters hit. Follows "A Place Called Happyness" (1968) from Rudy Mills. Again it is the Dynamis Studio and The Crystalites. The nineth track comes from the legendary Big Youth with "Cool Breeze" (1972). The Crystalites provide the music for this version of Keith & Tex's classic "Stop That Train". Then comes the very young Dennis Brown with "Lips Of Wine" (1968). The Crystalites are backing and again Dynamic is the studio. Dennis was there since the beginning, a star was coming! The Chariot Riders are the backing band of the following track cut at Federal Studio in 1976: Earl Sixteen's "Malcom X". The song was written by Winston McAnuff. Dennis Brown also cut an amazing version of this classic. The twelveth track is "Ugly Days" from Winston McAnuff. Again The Chariot Riders are the backing band of this single cut at Federal Studio in 1976. Earl Sixteen is back with "Dreadlocks Unite" from 1976. The Chariot Riders and Federal Studio are here again. Follows "Shaft" (1972) from The Chosen Few. The Chariot Riders are the backing band of this single cut at Dynamic. Isaac Hayes classic versioned in not so innovative way. Follows Derrick Harriott's "The Loser" (1967). The Crystalites, Boris Gardner (bass) and the essential piano of Lloyd Delprat provide the music for this classic cut at Dynamic. The version from Scotty & Derrick called "Sesame Street" follows (1970). The Crystalites played the music at Randy's. Another version, far less impressive, comes from Augustus Pablo & Derrick Harriott with "Bells Of Death" (1973). Cut at King Tubby's with The Crystalites, this version offers the classic (and sad) sound of Pablo's melodica. The compilation closes with Keith & Tex's "This Is My Song" (1969). Again is The Crystalites and Dynamic. So, here we are with Derrick Harriott. This is a very good compilation. There are a lot of classics but also some less known cuts. A very good place where to start exploring Derrick great career.

 

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