February is recognized in various parts of the world as “Reggae Month“. For today’s Oldies Sunday selection, we’re gonna take you on a trip back in time, to highlight a song that is very important to the Culture. While there are many Artists, Producers, and songs that have claims to being a pioneer of the genre called Reggae, we’d like to highlight one of them. Today’s selection comes from Larry Marshall and Alvin Perkins a.k.a. Larry & Alvin called, “Nanny Goat“.
Produced by Sir Clement “Coxsone” Dodd, the track was released through the Studio One Label in 1968. The track was inspired by the Jamaican proverb, “What sweet Nanny Goat a go run him belly“, and finds Vocalists Larry & Alvin singing about a love that is still desired, even though that person has gone on and found someone new. “Nanny Goat” is a very important song in Jamaican music as it has been mentioned by many to be the first true Reggae song.
The song became a hit for Larry & Alvin, and almost never happened. While Larry Marshall wrote the lyrics and presented them to Coxsone Dodd, it was suggested that a singer like Jacob Miller would’ve been more suitable to sing them. Not taking the suggestion, Larry went on to record the track. “Nanny Goat” was sampled over the years by various Producers and Artists, including Tony Rebel and Marcia Griffiths for their singles, “Chatty Chatty” and “Closer To You” respectively. Since the release of “Nanny Goat”, Larry & Alvin went on to record more songs together. Larry enjoyed a solo career with a few hits, and passed away in 2017.