Life Elsewhere Vol 262 – Reggae Special #2

There I was at a crazy busy airport, waiting for my delayed flight to board, I’m casually scanning through Twitter and noticed that Mark Stewart often posts links to rare reggae cuts. I sent a message to Mark saying, “I think you must keep popping into my reggae archive”. This is because Mr. Stewart was selecting obscure reggae cuts that could easily be found in my archives. With not enough time to listen to new music, I thought why not let Mark’s reggae post on Twitter be my raison d’être for the next show. Here they are, from my reggae archives, mostly 7 or 12-inch Jamaican singles, (please excuse the surfaced noise on some). To begin, one of the most beautiful voices ever, the great Cornell Campbell with Music Keep On Moving. A 1970 release on GG Records, credited to Cornell Campbell and The Eternals, Jimmy Riley, Lloyd Charmers, Busty Brown & Cornell. But, in a later interview, Cornell is quoted as saying the group was called The Links. I had the pleasure of chatting with Campbell for my long-running reggae show, Positive Vibrations, he was possibly the shyest man I have ever interviewed. Junior Byles is next with The Long Way, a 1975 Lee Perry production on the Orchard label. Followed by an Andy’s All-Star release, Garth Dennis who complains about the Slow Coach. Listen carefully as I flip this 7” over to play the version, Slow Coach Rock. Rudolph “Garth” Dennis a founder member of Black Uhuru, later a member of Wailing Souls for ten years before returning to Black Uhuru in the early 1990s. Next another Lee Perry production for his Black Art imprint, the 1978 release of From Creation by Clive Hylton. There are a number of re-releases on various labels off this one where Hylton is also credited as Jah Clive and Colour Red. The distinctive production sound of Augustus Pablo continues the mix with Paul Blackman on Earth Wind and Fire. My version is the 1979 release on the UK’s Daddy Kool imprint. Blackman is reportedly the first singer for Pablo’s catalog of amazing voices. From truth and rights in a serious dub style, we turn the corner to hear some slackness from The Chantalls with Rub Me Down on Phase 1, a 1977 release showcasing how the risqué side of reggae was just as appreciated as the truth and rights style. Next, on Sly and Robbie’s Taxi label we find Joy White with Tribulation. Production credits going to Sly Dunbar and writing credits to Dennis Brown. The extraordinarily talented Hugh Mundell was gunned down at an early age, leaving behind a treasure trove of recordings, mostly in collaboration with Horace Swaby, AKA Augustus Pablo. Feeling Alright Girl can only hint at what this young artist could have achieved as he matured. For my money,  Jah Love Is Sweeter by Lacksley Castell is one of those songs, you hear once and you want to hear it again, over and over. This 1979 release includes a dub that is crucial for anyone’s collection.  Junior Dan who says Look Out For The Devil was originally released in 1973, the version you’ll hear is the 1976 Gussie Clark production on Hi Try records. In 1969 a high school friend of mine wrote and released Black Magic Woman. Many people have covered this exceptional song since then, not least of all the signature song of Carlos Santana. Yet, it is the 1972 version by the late Crown Prince of reggae, Dennis Brown who captures the plaintive intent of the original song. When you consider, Brown was a mere teenager when he stood before the microphone and sang Black Magic Woman, it truly is incredible how much emotion he delivers. My old school chum, the man who penned, Black Magic Woman was equally as impressed by Brown’s version, sadly, Peter Green died in 2020. He is certainly missed and fondly remembered. To close the show, part of an almost 12 minute Lee Perry production, Errol Walker with the fittingly titled, In These Times. Thank you for listening.


  1. Cornell Campbell – Music Keep On Playing
  2. Junior Byles – The Long Way
  3. Garth Dennis – Slow Coach
  4. Garth Dennis – Slow Coach Rock
  5. Clive Hylton – From Creation
  6. Paul Blackman & Augustus Pablo – Earth Wind and Fire
  7. The Chantalls – Rub Me Down
  8. Joy White – Tribulation
  9. Hugh Mundell – Girl
  10. Lacksley Castell – Jah Love Is Sweeter
  11. Junior Dan – Look Out For The Devil
  12. Dennis Brown – Black Magic Woman
  13. Errol Walker – These Times

Artwork by Norman B “Self-portrait with posters” 2005 manipulated video image, giclée print on archival paper 35” x 36” Courtesy of Norman B’s collection