“Heavy Heavy Reggae”: Surprisingly Light

A fellow music fanatic once let me check out a stack of old 45s from Jamaica he had just acquired, and one of the singles that caught my ear was a dance-oriented track from the early reggae period that had a curiously lowdown sound even with all the uptown trappings – “Heavy Heavy Reggae” by the Roosevelt Singers out of the Harry J Recording Studios:

Originally released in 1971 on the Roosevelt label, this single was also released the following year in the UK under a variant title on the Sioux label:

Heavy Reggae - The Roosevelt Singers

Harry J Fun Facts:

– Harry Zephaniah Johnson, famed Jamaican reggae record producer, was of African, Sicilian, and Scottish descent.

– The Staples Singers classic 1972 hit, “I’ll Take You There,” features an introduction that was actually lifted from “The Liquidator” by The Harry J All-Stars (a 1969 Top 10 UK hit).

– Harry J’s studio appears in the 1977 feature film, Rockers.