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Sunday, 31 May 2015

Alphabet Beats #142: U is for....U-Roy

U is for....

One of the things I've loved about doing this series Alphabet Beats is that it's given an opportunity to share some artists and musical styles that are maybe not as well known to people and today's spotlight is another one of those fantastic artists, he's nicknamed The Originator and for more than 50 years he has been plying his trade as one of the Supreme Reggae Artists (at 72 going on 73 he's still performing!).

Ewart Beckford (born 21 September 1942), known by the stage name U-Roy, is a Jamaican vocalist and pioneer of toasting. U-Roy is noted for a melodic style of toasting applied with a highly developed sense of timing.

He began back in 1961 as a DJ on Sound Systems working for Sir Coxsone Dodds and King Tubby and by 1969 he had released his first single, 'Dynamic Fashion Way'. In 1970 John Holt spotted him toasting over a Duke Reid track at a dance and recommended him to the Duke who promptly signed him to his Treasure Isle Label. Those first two singles released in 1970 ('Wake The Town' and 'Wear You To The Ball') established him as one of the most popular of Jamaican Toasters. In 1971 as a tip of the hat to John Holt he released his own DJ version of The Paragons hit 'The Tide is High'.

Below is just a small selection of U-Roy albums that are on You Tube in one form or another. Click on the links to enjoy.

The Music
    Version Galore (1970)
       Dread in a Babylon (1975) – produced by Prince Tony Robinson
    Natty Rebel (1976)
       Rasta Ambassador (1977)
    Jah Son of Africa (1978)
    The Originator (1980)
       True Born African (1991) – produced by Mad Professor
    Babylon Kingdom Must Fall (1996) – produced by Mad Professor
    Serious Matter (2000)
    Rebel in Styylle (2005)
    Pray Fi Di People (2012)

More U-Roy Albums
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