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TOMMY COWAN (b. 1946 - )


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1974-1979 - Pressure Sounds - studio - discs:1

Thomas "Tommy" Cowan was born in 1946 in the St. Elizabeth Parish. In 1954 he moved to his aunt's in Kingston. His first group was The Merricoles, formed by Martin Williams, one friend named Derek, Norris Weir (on bass) and Ricky Storme (later known as I Kong). Some Aston McEchron, an American business man, suggested to change the name of the group to The Jamaicans. Confident enough to approach a producer, they went to Coxsone Dodd for an audition. Dodd released a couple of singles including "Chain Gang", "Hear My Plea" and "Jamaica". In 1966 the won the Pop & Mento Competition with "Me And Pa", later the contest will become the Festival Song Contest. After Dodd it was the time of Duke Reid who released the hit called "Things You Say You Love" in 1966. The musicians emplyed for this Rocksteady song were Tommy McCook & The Supersonics. During the period 1966-1968 they kept on cutting some strong hits for the Duke but also for Harry J. Then they toured the U.S. and Canada with Byron Lee & The Dragonaries. Lee was discovering that Cowan had more than an attitude to follow the technical aspects of the music business. In 1969 Lee bought the former W.I.R.L. premises and founded Dynamic Studios. In the meantime Tommy became Sales and Marketing Manager for Lee but also started to manage concerts for foreign artists. This job for Lee ended in 1973. The next year, with the support of his friend Lee, Tommy started Starapple label on his own. In 1975 with the intention to concentrate on Jamaican music he opend Talent Corporation along with Gayman Alberga and the former Dynamic Studios member Warwick Lyn. Some of the artists involved were names such as Junior Tucker, Zap Pow with Beres Hammond, Jacob Miller and Inner Circle, Augustus Pablo, Ras Michael & The Sons Of Negus, Israel Vibration, Peter Tosh, Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer , Earl Zero, Ken Boothe, Fred Locks. Not all the songs released by Tommy through Talent were produced by him, but his role was always more than substantial to promote on the right direction those tracks. This seminal work lasted more or less till the end of the 70's. By the beginning of the 80's Tommy concentrated his activity on promoting shows, something that he had done since the early 70's. Now let us check this compilation. It starts with the extended version of Devon Irons' "Jerusalem". The second and third tracks come from the legendary Abyssinians : "Love Comes And Goes" and its Dub version called "Love Comes And Goes Version". Follows a small gem from the unique style of Jacob Miller: "Ghetto On Fire". The fifth track is "Mother Country" from Little Madness. Its subsequent Dub is "Mother Country Dub Side". Follows "School Tonight" (versioning Dennis Brown's classic "Money In My Pocket") from Desi Roots. The eighth track is "The Way" from Augustus Pablo. Follows Earl Zero's "City Of The Weak Heart" and its Dub called "Dub The Weak Heart". The eleventh song comes from Leroy Smart and is called "The Road Is Tough". Follows a stellar Soul spiced song from the immortal Dennis Brown called "Life Goes In Circles". The thirteenth song is the deep "False Rumour" from Two Rasta Man. Follows its Dub version managed by King Tubby and called "False Rumour Version". The fifteenth track is "Please Officer" again from Earl Zero. Follows a King Tubby's version of the previous track. The seventeenth song is a small gem from Ken Boothe called "Speak Softly Love". The rhythm is a reprise of no less than American director Francis Ford Coppola's main soundtrack theme of his "The Godfather" epic movie. Amazing and beautiful (both Ken's song and of course the movie). Follows Roman Stewart's "Hit Song". The compilation closes with its version from Dillinger called "Natty Sings A Hit Song" and its Dub "Dub Songs". Here we are. Thomas "Tommy" Cowan's career was long and successful. A lot of artists were part of Talent Corporation success and at the same time the company was highly involved to promote some very good music from those artists. Cowan was a professional as the artists involved were: both got what was deserverd. This great compilation proves this.

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yardie-reggae.com - 2007