Among the most interesting happenings in the evolution of Jamaica’s music has been the smooth transition from one era to the other and the way the eras have fed off each other, ultimately producing their own distinctive sound.
It is equally interesting to note that despite all the changes that have taken place over the years, each era is still able to hold its own and any vintage session held today, presents the fans with music that can range from ska through rock steady and reggae, all the way to Dancehall.
Jamaica’s most notable vintage stage show, Startime, has over the past 24 years, played the lead role in keeping our musical history up-to-date and our musical pioneers in the spotlight. This beautiful musical tapestry will be on show once again in all its glory come Saturday July 13 at the Mas Camp, when Startime producers MKB, having bowed to public demand with a triumphant return to action last February after a six-year absence, consolidate their positions as Jamaica’s leading promoters of vintage music with another stellar line of ska, rock steady and reggae stars, brought to you by MKB in association with Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum, Stone’s Ginger Wine, Kool 97FM, Ting, CVM TV, Seals & Engravables, Bourne’s Texaco, Christar Villas Hotel, Juici Patties, On Stage TV, Starlight Productions, Happy Ice, Kingston Hireage, Securipro and Interlinc Communications.
These musical genres will be spotlighted as the cast represent some of the finest exponents to have graced the Jamaican musical stage over the past 50 years.
Stamping their class on another historic event will be John Holt, Leroy Sibbles, DJ U Roy, Ernie Smith, The Clarendonians, Errol Dunkley, the Tamlins and cabaret queen Karen Smith.
John “1,000 Volts” Holt came to prominence as a member of the famous Paragons in the mid-60s, and is known universally for his ‘high voltage’ performances. He is notably smoother and more romantic than most of his contemporaries, and is a recognizable forerunner of the lovers rock sub-genre. Across the decades, Holt was one of the first Jamaican artistes to record with a full orchestra, having made numerous acclaimed appearances internationally with full orchestras; and he continues to compose, record, and delight audiences worldwide with his amazing catalogue of hit songs including “A Love I Can Feel”, “Stealing Stealing”, “Stranger In Love”, “Why Can’t I Touch You”, “Stick by Me”, “Tonight”, “Ali Baba”, “I’d Love You To Want Me” and “Never Never Never”.
Leroy Sibbles is acknowleged as one of the most popular and soulful singers of the rocksteady and reggae eras; having superstardom initially thrust on his group the Heptones very early in their career with an endless string of hit recordings led by Leroy, including “Fatty Fatty”, “Party Time”, “Sweet Talking”, “Baby Be True”, “Why Did You Leave Me To Cry”, “Book Of Rules”, “Sea Of Love” and “Pretty Looks Isn’t All” earning them a reputation as one of Jamaica’s most talented vocal trios.
Leroy is also considered one of Jamaica’s great bassists, having played the bass guitar on numerous Studio One hits like “Satta Massagana” and “Declaration of Rights” by The Abbyssinians, and “Doorpeeper” and “Swell headed” by Burning Spear.
A stylish and artistic innovator of the highest order, DJ King U Roy is long considered the king and godfather of the deejay idiom; a toaster par excellence and a big crowd favourite anytime he hits the stage. Many of his recordings sound just as stunning now, over 30 – 40 years after their initial release. His innovations continue to reverberate through reggae and rap. U Roy has remained at the top for longer than any other DJ; and he remains highly respected and
revered by the reggae industry worldwide.
The Clarendonians (Peter Austin and Ernest Wilson) were at one time the leading ska group in Jamaica, during their heyday in the 60s, after winning everal talent contests and coming to the attention of Studio One boss Clement ‘Coxsone’ Dodd while still in their teens. They recorded numerous singles for Dodd – all chart toppers – and will recreate the period and the memories while on stage at Mas Camp on July 13 singing “You Won’t See Me”, “Sho Be Do”, “Rude Boy Gone A Jail”, “Rudie Bam Bam”, “You Can’t Keep A Good Man Down” and You Can’t Be Happy (Until You Love Someone”.
Ernie Smith had his greatest recording period during the 60s and 70s, but he still commands great attention today as a stage performer. His baritone voice, charisma and hit songs are no stranger to Startime fans, and they will be gearing for when he hits the stage with the likes of “Life Is Just For Living” a song which was originally recorded as a beer commercial, and went on to win best song at the 1972 Yamaha Music Festival in Japan, “Pitta Patta”, “One Dream”, “Ride On Sammy”, “Bend Down”, “Duppy Gunman” and “All For Jesus”.
Errol Dunkley became known for his hits as one of Jamaica’s child stars during the heyday of his career in the 60s and 70s; and is unquestionably one of our most outstanding vocal talents; but while he has never achieved the international acclaim of some of his compatriots, Errol has carved a musical niche with hits like “Black Cinderella”, “Movie Star”, “You’re Gonna Need Me”, “Please Stop Your Lying”, “You’ll Never Know” and “Darling Ooh” which places him among the most popular Startime performers.
The Tamlins (Carlton Smith, Junior Moore and Derrick Lara) have been around since the mid-70s and so have their sweet harmony and polished performances, which have kept them in the forefront as one of Jamaica’s most soulful groups. They will certainly thrill the Startime audience with their mega hit “Baltimore”, “Ting A Ling”, “Laying Beside You”, “Go Away Dream”, “Hard Times (Hey Youthman)”, and “My Whole World Is Falling Down”.
Karen Smith is unquestionably the best known performer in the history of Jamaica’s North Coast cabaret circuit. She burst onto the scene during the mid-80s and has held pride of place among our cabaret performers ever since; skillfully transferring her intimate and delightful performances from the hotel environs to the big stage. Karen’s brand new cd “I Still Love You” is getting strong air play and her Startime set come July 13 will be worth going miles to see and hear.
Led by bassist/singer Lloyd Parks, the We the People band have won numerous “Best Backing Band” awards and over the years have included some of our best musicians including Dean Frazer, Nambo Robinson, Tony Green, Keith Sterling, Franklyn “Bubbler” Waul, Chico Chin, Robbie Lyn and Steve “Lenky” Marsden.
According to Parks,” the association with MKB and Startime has which goes back to 1987, has developed into a partnership that is very rewarding for both me and my band.”
Discounted pre-sale tickets are now available at Texaco Grab N Go Mary Brown’s Corner; Hughenden Pharmacy Molynes Road; Bourne’s Texaco Constant Spring Road; Supermed Mall Pharmacy Mall Plaza; Juici Patties Knutsford Blvd; Christar Villas Hotel Hope Road; J.Wray Afrique King Streetdowntown and Portmore Mall Pharmacy.