Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

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“Little Nut Tree”: Rocksteady Revamped as Reggae

In 1968 The Melodians recorded two versions of the same song – “Little Nut Tree.”

What a difference a year can make.

The first version – recorded with underappreciated and pioneering producer, Sonia Pottinger, after the group had enjoyed a succession of hits on Duke Reid’s Treasure Isle label – is definitely on the rocksteady side of the reggae divide:

Little Nut Tree I – The Melodians

[Pssst:  Click on the triangle above to play “Little Nut Tree” by The Melodians.]

Later that year The Melodians headed to Coxsone Dodd’s Studio One label for a “one-off” session that resulted in a new arrangement of “Little Nut Tree” in the ‘herky jerky’ style of reggae that was being popularized then by such groups as The Ethiopians:

Little Nut Tree II – The Melodians

Little Nut Tree - The Melodians

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