Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

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Category: Studio One

“Can’t You See”: Rare (?!) Wailers

Back in 1966 when The Wailers were three vocalists (and not a backing band for reggae music’s most famous artist), Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Bunny Wailer were under contract to Coxsone Dodd‘s Studio One label.  Recently, after re-watching the 1992 Peter Tosh documentary, Red X, I suddenly got the urge to

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‘Scully’ & His Green Thumb

At one point in its week-long tribute to master percussionists, Noel ‘Scully‘ Simms and Uzziah ‘Sticky‘ Thompson, Zero to 180 quoted Discogs.com’s bold claim that Simms is “arguably the first Jamaican artist to release a record single” — but then played the indignant card by loudly noting Discogs’ failure to

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‘Scully’ Advises: Take It Cool

$521 on Ebay confirms my suspicion that the swaggering rocksteady tunefulness of 1967’s “Take It Cool” was a breakout moment, artistically speaking, for master percussionist and sometime-vocalist, Noel ‘Scully‘ Simms:  “Take It Cool”     Mr. Foundation (i.e., Noel ‘Zoot’ Simms)    1967 Would you believe someone paid the staggering sum of $700

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“Sticky”: Mouth Percussionist

David Katz‘s biography of Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, People Funny Boy, provides some very useful biographical details about master percussionist, Uzziah ‘Sticky‘ Thompson: “For the rest of [1967], Perry worked closely with a variety of artists for [Joe] Gibbs, including future percussionist, Uzziah ‘Sticky’ Thompson, then a popular deejay known as Cool

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Scully & Sticky: Percussion Pioneers

Scan the musician credits on classic Jamaican popular music from the 1960s and 70s (i.e., ska, rocksteady, reggae & dub), and odds are in your favor that you will see the name of at least one of these two percussionists: Noel ‘Scully’ Simms & Uzziah ‘Sticky’ Thompson. Scully    

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“Black Onion”: Healing Organ

According to Doctors Across Borders, “when compared to every other natural remedy for auto-immune disorders,” black cumin (also known as black onion seed) “is the most effective” and “has the power to restore harmony.” Keyboardist, songwriter, and musical director, Jackie Mittoo, gets an organ workout, thanks to his musical compatriots

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“Ital Vibes”: Vibraphonic Reggae

Reggae is another realm of popular music where the vibraphone so rarely makes a foray.  As a result, Jamaican vibraphonist, Lennie Hibbert, pretty much has the field all to himself, as the intersection of reggae and the vibes essentially begins and ends with this one soul. Hibbert’s theme song –

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Claymation Christmas (Is Here)

Someone went to great effort to animate “Christmas Time Is Here” by The Heptones in this charming claymation-style video: “Christmas Time Is Here”     The Heptones     196? This song provokes the question:  where exactly does rocksteady end and reggae begin?

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“Tea for Two”: Heptones at Studio One

Tip of the hat to Joe’s Record Paradise, Silver Spring’s legendary music store (that also sells 8-tracks, cassettes, 78s, books, magazines, videos – and includes a shrine to one-time Silver Spring resident, Root Boy Slim, plus lots of other great DC music memorabilia) for a sweet deal on a stack

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“You Don’t Love Me”: Where Blues and Reggae Intersect

Thanks to Steve Hoffman‘s blues show on WPFW, today I was able to make the connection (as many others have done before me) that the inspiration for Dawn Penn‘s massive 1967 rocksteady hit, “No No No,” came directly from Willie Cobbs‘ hugely influential 1960 blues single, “You Don’t Love Me”

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