Today’s Oldies Sunday comes from legendary Grammy winning Reggae group, Black Uhuru! Titled “General Penitentiary“, this was produced by Sly & Robbie for the Taxi Label in 1979 and features vocals from members Derek “Duckie” Simpson, Michael Rose (Mykal Rose), and the late Sandra “Puma” Jones. The single speaks on the experiences of someone who is serving time in Prison, the conditions they live in, and warns “Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time“.
On this Oldies Sunday, we take it to the Church with a selection from one of Jamaica’s most successful Gospel groups, The Grace Thrillers! We go back to the late 80s/early 90s with their single, “Crown (Him Lord Of All)“. In this single, the group sing praises to Jesus our Lord God and encourage us all to crown him Lord of all over a very upbeat Production. The Grace Thrillers, who were founded in 1971 by Noel Willis,were known to deliver powerful songs over Reggae Productions that complimented them well. The single was the title track of their 1993 Album which also boasted other popular tracks which included “I Must Tell Jesus” and featured lead vocals from Sandra Brooks (then known as Sandra Llewellyn).
Today on Oldies Sunday, we look back at the Calypso Legend, Calypso Rose’s “Come Leh We Jam“. Arranged/Produced by Pelham Goddard and Charlie’s Roots, this single was released in 1977 by CLO Records. The single was a part of her “Her Majesty: Calypso Rose” album which was released the same year, and was entered in the 1978 Trinidad Road MarchCompetition. With her signature delivery, she speaks on the Soca music putting her in a wonderful place and prompting her to dance through it all. She also encourages unity in the dance with lyrics like “So leh we jam, jam, jam…“, “Jam together, Jam one another…“.
You’ve seen her on TV, you’ve witnessed her performances on Broadway, you’ve assisted in her various causes over the years, but did you know Sheryl Lee Ralph is also a Singer? Today’s Oldies Sunday showcases a moment in her singing career with “In The Evening“! Produced by Trevor Lawrence and written by Lawrence and Frank Musker, this Dance/Pop single was released in 1984 and was a part of her only album, “In The Evening” on the The New York Music CompanyLabel. On the single, Sheryl sings about the challenges of living in New York City, but all that is pushed aside when she becomes a part of the nightlife where she states, “The real me comes alive“.
As we remember Jamaica’s National Heroes on October 17 (the day is celebrated every 3rd Monday in October), we look back at Reggae Artist Horace Andy’s “Our Jamaican National Heroes” track. This single was produced by Bunny Lee for the Striker Lee Label in 1978 and features Andy paying tribute to our National Heroes. Here he name drops George William Gordon, Paul Bogle, Marcus Garvey, Alexander Bustamante and Norman Manley as he learned about them during his younger days in School. For those paying attention, you may have noticed the omission of Heroine Nanny of the Maroons as she wasn’t conferred the Order of National Hero until March 1982, and Sam Sharpe the same date. In between the name drops, Horace would speak on the roles each Hero played with mention that George William Gordon and Marcus Garvey were betrayed, Bustamante was the only living National Hero at the time, and Marcus Garvey is the greatest Hero of them all.
Today we’re taking you back to the year 1987 with Recording Artist Lt. Stitchie! Here we feature his track “Great Ambition” which was produced by Jammy’s Records (King Jammy’s) on the “Kuff Riddim“. In the song, Stitchie speaks on being an ambitious young man while encouraging listeners to be ambitious, listing the goals he’d like to achieve including owning a home, and working to make all this possible. A key part of the single is his Dancehall remix of the 1956 American single, “Que Sera Sera” which was performed by Singer/Actress Doris Day.