Tag Archives: norman b

LEM Reggae Special #1

Without fail, every week we receive requests to hear more reggae on the show and we try to oblige by including a new cut when available. Dub-master, Adrian Sherwood’s talented daughter, Denise has been a recent standout with her album, This Road. Then, this past week an email came in from Ken Graham who writes, “Hello Mr. B, I listen to LEM every week on NWCZ Radio. It’s a great station and you have a really cool show. I remember you saying one time that you had a vast reggae collection and you’d love to curate a whole show from your reggae archives. Not enough reggae is played on the air in my opinion! How about it Mr. B. one hour of reggae, please. Thank you! Ken Graham in Renton, Washington.” Mr. Graham’s message prompted a venture into our reggae archives to search through the hundreds of crates packed full of treasured vinyl. After a day of listening and selecting a 60 minute non-stop mix was created. Some cuts may be familiar to serious reggae enthusiasts, others will be rare grooves, if not obscure versions. The mix begins with the full extended version of Rocking Universally from Willie Williams and Cousin Marshall. Released circa 1979, produced by Jackie Mittoo. The Real Rock rhythm used here is the same on Williams’ Armageddon Time, only faster. It is known to be a Studio One release, but my copy is a white label with scribbled info, “W.Williams – M. Cousins – Rocking Universally – Version – Keep Moving”. Cousin Marshall also listed elsewhere as Marshall Cousin was the son of Alton Ellis. Bongo Gene is also credited on this recording in some catalogs. An extraordinary recording. Listen carefully for the effects. Next up, The Cool Ruler, Gregory Isaacs with the sublime, Soon Forward. This version is the 1979 12” on Isaac’s own African Museum label. The song can also be found on the album of the same name under various imprints. Featuring an all-star line-up, including Sly and Robbie. Gregory is credited as producer. The originator of Lover’s Rock died in 2010, leaving a catalog of over 500 recordings. Ronnie Davis (AKA Max Brown, Winston Scotland) gives us a 1977 recording, You Are The Fool. Recorded at Black Ark with Lee Perry providing the brilliant dub. I saw this one being offered recently for $77. “The lyrics came about because I was in love like everyone else and had a broken heart in the process.” a quote from Dawn Penn in The Sunday Gleaner just after No, No, No had been released in 1967. The Studio One recording was a hit in Jamaica, but it was not until the early 90s when a new version became a commercial success. Be Thankful has, over the years been recorded by a host of artists, this 1975 version from Bunny Clarke, produced by Lee Perry for Clocktower Records has to be one of the best. Dubbing In The Back Seat is on the other side. On the subject of cover versions, can there be a better version than Dennis Brown’s exquisite reading of my high school friend, the late Peter Green’s Black Magic Woman. Perhaps not as well known as certain other versions, Brown’s delicate, soulful voice and Phil Pratt’s production delivers a poignant song. Dubbed The Crown Prince of Reggae, Brown sadly passed in 1999. Any reggae mix has to include a cut from one of the sweetest voices ever, the extraordinary, Cornell Campbell. This circa 1973 Bunny Lee production of You’re No Good showcases Cornell’s masterful falsetto. Possibly one of the most demur, artists, I have ever interviewed. When I asked Cornell if he enjoyed being on stage in front of fans, he replied, “Nah, mon, I prefer the studio, no one can see me face.”. Now 76 years old, the artist also known as Don Cornell and Don Gorgon can still be found performing, occasionally. Between 1976 and 1978 Hugh Mundell and Augustus Pablo lay the tracks for what would ultimately become Mundell’s debut LP, Africa Must Be Free By 1983. Produced by Augustus Pablo, Mundell wrote every song on the record. He recorded several 12″ singles under the alias Jah Levi. Mundell was shot to death on 14 October 1983, during his short life he recorded 5 LPs and numerous singles. The Rockers International 1979 release of Feeling Alright has to be essential in every reggae lover’s collection. The inclusion of the legendary I Roy, one of JA’s most celebrated DJs/Toasters/MCs is deliberate to illustrate the influence he had on rap and hip-hop. Born, Roy Samuel Reid he had a prolific career during the 1970s. For a while, he worked as house producer at Channel One Studios, although his work was generally credited to the studio owners. Bring It To Me was released in 1974, produced by Bunny Lee. Lacksley Castell, sometimes misspelled Laxley, Lacksly, Lasky, or Locksley Castel died in 1983, during his brief career as a reggae singer he released 3 albums and about a dozen singles. Jah Love Is Sweeter from 1980 was produced by Prince Jammy. For this mix, you’ll hear the wicked King Tubby Dub Mix. Get moved by the Nyabinghi drum sound. To close, certainly a rarity to hear the full version of Lee Perry’s, Norman The Gambler, featuring one, Maxwell Livingstone Smith, AKA, Max Romeo on vocals. On this 1997 recording Mr. Perry indulges in fader-mixing and knob-twiddling with such skill, you are consistently surprised as this long extended version moves forward. Brilliant!

Thank you for listening.


  1. Willie Williams & Cousin Marshall – Rocking Universally
  2. Gregory Isaacs – Soon Forward
  3. Ronnie Davis – You Are The Fool
  4. Dawn Penn – No No No
  5. Bunny Clarke – Be Thankful
  6. Dennis Brown – Black Magic Woman
  7. Cornell Campbell – You’re No Good
  8. Hugh Mundell – Feeling Alright
  9. I Roy – Bring It To Me
  10. Lacksley Castell – Jah Love Is Sweeter (King Tubby Dub Mix)
  11. Max Romeo – Norman The Gambler

LEM Vol 236

Artwork by unknown circa 1984 “Reggae Inna Dance Hall Style” 12″ x 8″ photoprint

See Jane Win & Strange Harvests. Two Important Books On Our World, Now



Every so often, you can visualize a guest’s emotions as they recount their story over the airwaves to Norman B. You’ll definitely be aware of the huge smile on Caitlin Moscatello’s face as she recounts the wondrous parts of her new book, See Jane Win: The Inspiring Story Of The Women Changing American Politics. And, you’ll also catch a glimpse, albeit audible only, of the sadness, the deflation, the shock felt by so many women across the USA after the outcome of the last presidential election

After November 8, 2016, first came the sadness; then came the rage, the activism, and the protests; and, finally, for thousands of women, the next step was to run for office – many of them for the first time. More women campaigned for local or national office in the 2018 election cycle than at any other time in US history, challenging accepted notions about who seeks power and who gets it. Journalist Caitlin Moscatello reported on this wave of female candidates, closely following four candidates throughout the entire process, from the decision to run through Election Day, See Jane Win takes readers inside their exciting, winning campaigns and the sometimes thrilling, sometimes brutal realities of running for office while female. What she discovers is that the candidates who triumphed in 2018 emphasized authenticity and passion instead of conforming to the stereotype of what a candidate should look or sound like, a formula that will be more relevant than ever as we approach the 2020 presidential election. Caitlin’s exuberance for her story and the women involved is engaging and we urge you not to miss this edition of Life Elsewhere.

Fascinating! Intriguing! Extraordinary! Excuse us if we cannot help but repeat these words over and over when talking about Edward Posnett’s fascinating, intriguing and extraordinary new book, Strange Harvest – The Hidden Histories Of Seven Natural Objects. On reading the title, the first question you feel obliged to ask is why? Then, what? What in the world made this seemingly sensible young man go off to Borneo to find out why eating bird’s nests are considered a delicacy. And, what pursued him to unravel the horrors of plucking feathers from live Eider ducks? Thankfully, Mr. Posnett explains why he journeyed to some of the most far-flung locales on the planet to bring us seven wonders of the natural world–eiderdown, vicuña fiber, sea silk, vegetable ivory, civet coffee, guano, and edible birds’ nest. He wanted to tell human stories against our changing economic and ecological landscape and discover what do they tell us about capitalism, global market forces, and overharvesting? How do local microeconomies survive in a hyperconnected world? Is it possible for us to live together with different species? Strange Harvests makes us see the world with wonder, curiosity, and new concerns. Blending history, travel writing, and interviews, Edward has compiled a fascinating, intriguing and extraordinary book and you need to hear our interview.

Show #339


Dispelling The Myths Of Thomas Cromwell – Redux

After a decade of researching the Royal Archives, the award-winning and New York Times bestselling author, Diarmaid MacCulloch has emerged with the most thoroughly researched and complete biography of Thomas Crowell – a polarizing political figure most know for his unwavering service to volatile King Henry VIII, the demise of Anne Boleyn, and his hand in the Reformation. Thomas Cromwell: A Revolutionary Life sheds light onto a fascinating part of history, one that helped shape the course of English politics and the future of the Protestant religion. Since Crowell’s life met its end on the scaffold in 1540, history has not been kind to this self-made commoner who rose from obscurity to become the architect of England’s split with Rome. However, MacCulloch unveils a more sympathetic figure. Was Cromwell the villain of history or the victim of its creation? A masterful storyteller, not afraid to interject a healthy portion of English wit, MacCulloch dispels popular myths. Despite being unable to control the violent humor of his King, Cromwell made his mark on England, setting her on a path to religious awakening and indelibly transforming the system of government of the English-speaking world. Norman B’s conversation with Diarmaid MacCulloch is certainly not for history buffs alone, as illustrated by the author’s deadpan reference to the current US President’s possible resemblance to the one-time narcissistic, volatile ruler of England.

Show #338 V1

A Conversation With Rudy Tambala – Redux

Rudy Tambala is a smart guy, he’s well read, he’s articulate and he enjoys a spirited conversation. He’s sincere when he states, “Rock ’n’ roll is fucking sex! It’s the rhythm of your blood. It’s the most vital force. Without it, there isn’t any existence on this planet!” The irony of his words adds to the fascination of listening to a man whose creative talent has been on display for over three decades. Rudy Tambala first came to critical acclaim as one half of the influential duo, A. R. Kane. Released thirty years ago Lollita, their mesmerizing 12” EP for the enterprising 4AD label, remains as fresh and innovative now as it did way back then. During Norman B’s exclusive interview with Rudy, the forthright musician reveals how he and his bandmate, Alex Ayuli created their extraordinary and frequently emulated sound. He talks enthusiastically of the beginnings of A. R. Kane, detailing the creation of the noted Lollita artwork. Rudy shares his thoughts on current music, design and why style is important, “It’s not what you play it’s the way you hold your guitar. It not what you wear it’s how your hair looks…it’s a youth thing.” He says wryly. The legacy of A. R. Kane continues with his new band, Jübl and Rudy gives us an insider’s take on the demands of his new project. This is an interview full of warmth and candor. The conversation flows seamlessly from previously unheard details about recording techniques to spot-on observations about the business of life. Make a Donation Button


Vices & Taboos


Much of the health advice we receive today tells us that in order to be healthy, we must consume a Spartan diet, exercise with the intensity of an Olympic athlete, and take a drug for every ailment. We constantly worry about the foods we should or shouldn’t be eating and the medical tests we have neglected to take. And all that worry costs us dearly–financially, emotionally, and physically according to naturopathic physician Dr. Harry Ofgang and health journalist Erik Ofgang in their new book, The Good Vices. The sub-title is From Beer To Sex, The Surprising Truth About What’s Actually Good For You. Clearly, the Ofgangs have a sense of humor, but we questioned if sex or beer should be labeled as vices. Make sure you listen to hear their answers.

Aging, sex, and death. When combined together, these three emotive words become taboo for many people. In Jill Ciment’s latest novel, The Body In Question she thrusts the question of age and sex and death to the forefront of her imaginative and provocative story set in central Florida. A sensational murder trial is about to get underway. Two of the jurors: Hannah, a married fifty-two-year-old former Rolling Stone and Interview Magazine photographer of rock stars and socialites (she began to photograph animals when she realized she saw people “as a species”), and Graham, a forty-one-year-old anatomy professor. Both are sequestered (she, juror C-2; he, F-17) along with the other jurors at the Econo Lodge off I-75. As the shocking and numbing details of the crime are revealed during a string of days and courtroom hours, and the nights play out in a series of court-financed meals at Outback Steak House (the state isn’t paying for their drinks) and Red Lobster, Hannah and Graham fall into a furtive affair, keeping their oath as jurors never to discuss the trial. During deliberations, the lovers learn that they are on opposing sides of the case. Suddenly they look at one another through an altogether different lens, as things become more complicated. After the verdict, Hannah returns home to her much older husband, but the case ignites once again after public outrage over the verdict. Then, the judge receives an anonymous letter telling of “two fellow jurors who had sexual contact.” This happens as her husband is dying. Ciment reveals in our conversation, her own story of aging, sex, death and how she used her experiences for her moving and powerful book.

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You can hear all the volumes over at Mixcloud

Show #327

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