Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

Category: Lyn Taitt & the Jets

"Put Down Your Fire"
Zeroto180

Kingstonians’ $800 Rocksteady

Heavy 1968 rocksteady from the studio of Karl ‘Sir JJ‘ Johnson, with Lyn Taitt, possibly, on guitar.  But the real mystery lies with the vocalists themselves, The Kingstonians, specifically the basso profundo: Q:  Are the tapes being slowed down, or does the bass vocalist really sing that deep? “Put Down

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"Girl You Ruff"
Zeroto180

Rocksteady Reggae — Cowbell’s Golden Era

Will Ferrell’s inspired sketch idea as a cowbell-wielding member of Blue Oyster Cult named Gene Frenkle may have lost some of its freshness, however Ferrell deserves credit for galvanizing interest in this long-neglected member of the percussion family.   Five years after that Saturday Night Live sketch originally aired, Paul Farhi

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“Mother Benge”: Rocksteady Shakes Hands with Reggae

Very little seems to be known about this great single from the late rocksteady/early reggae era other than the artist name (Cliff & the Diamonds), the producer (Joe Abrahams), and song title (“Mother Benge”) – check out the hip musical non-sequitur that opens the song: “Mother Benge”      Cliff & the

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"Second Fiddle"
Zeroto180

1973: The Year Pop Reggae Broke

You can count on one hand the number of times that reggae singles by Jamaican artists have cracked the Top 40 here in the States:  “Israelites” by Desmond Dekker in 1969 (#9) and  “Double Barrel” by Dave Barker and Ansel Collins in 1971 (#22).  Two times [*actually, three – see

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