Echo Minott’s 40th Anniversary in The Music Business - Lord Sassafrass reflects on his lifelong friendship with Echo Minott
Noel Phillips a.k.a. “Echo Minott” was born and grew up in Maverley and he attended my mother Gertrude Dixon’s basic level school that she started when she lived in Trenchtown. Lord Sassafrass’s mother started a school at their home called Maverley Basic School. Mi know Echo’s mother and the family name was Marshall. He used to live five houses around the corner from me on Amsterdam Road first, and I lived on Denver Crescent. He was younger than me and I know Echo as a lickle baby. Me give him a hard time growing up because he say he want to be a DJ. I tell him I don’t want to see no DJ around me – all mi want to see is singers. So him come and sing and I say that no good! Every time him sing, I give him a hard time. I tell him the song is no good. When him tun big, he tell me, “I know what you was doing! Every time you would run me, I’ll come back harder Sass.” He say he know, and that’s why he’s where he is now. Up to this day, he still call me Teacher.
I gi’ Echo Minott the mic on Black Scorpio Sound System man! The first song he buss in a dance was “Farmer Man” that he recorded for producer Junjo Lawes. Echo was a little tough kid that always run competition with me. Him say he can play soccer better and him can run faster than me, so me and him always clash from him lickle – that guy. One time he thief my lyrics book, where I write down all the songs I sing. I go over his house and find the book. I wasn’t mad! Great him a go get great now man! Echo Minott go to Black Scorpio, Jammy$, and Volcano Record label as a singer and got big singing songs. He was one of the first singers to record at Jammy$ after Jammy split off from King Tubby. His voice is unique because he used to sing in a calypso style on reggae songs. People would even think that he come from Trinidad. You can hear this style on his song “What The Hell The Police Can Do,” when he sings the phrase about how he and his girl were fighting. Minott created huge dancehall hits like Lazy Body,” “Been Around The World,” “Cheo Cheo” with General Trees, and “Cool and Deadly.” The Black Scorpio super hit by Echo Minott called “Lazy Body” was recorded by Chris Meredith and Paul Blake’s Drummer. Surprisingly, there is no guitar in it at all. When first asked to voice the song, Echo Minott did not want to sing on it at all. He did not want to record for Jack because he was much more interested in working with Jammy$. The song became a monster hit for Black Scorpio. Now Echo Minott is a producer, and he works on big stage shows, and travels the world.
The Matador - Sonic Pioneer of Jamaican Music book is now available in the form of "expanded distribution" for order at Book Stores and distributors via Amazon - worldwide.
Check it out using the button below !
By Dan Polletta
PUBLISHED - February 7, 2020
TOPICS - Arts & Culture
In 1982, Rich Lowe was a student at John Carroll University hosting a reggae program on the campus station, when a recording he had purchased at a record convention caught his eye.
“I was playing some of these Jamaican seven-inch singles. One of them had a hand stamp that said, ‘Daley’s Television and Radio Repair Service.’ It was just very, very intriguing to see a hand stamp on a record. I didn't understand what that was until years later,” Lowe said.
Lowe, who spent nearly four decades as the host of the weekly reggae program, “Night of the Living Dread,” on Case Western Reserve University station WRUW, began looking into the story behind the name stamped on the recording. Lowe discovered that “Lloyd,” was Lloyd Daley, an important sound system operator, producer and electronics engineer, who, beginning in late 1950s, was one of the first to document Jamaican music during what was known as the “shuffle period.” Lloyd continued to produce recordings into the 1980s and worked with many important performers including Dennis Brown, Count Ossie and Alton Ellis.
However, Lowe found that almost no interviews existed with Lloyd himself. Lowe learned why, as he began the research that led to his new book about Lloyd, "The Matador" (Jamaica Way Publishing).
Lowe described Daley as a "middle-class, clean cut well-dressed guy who produced deep Rastafarian music," who became disillusioned with the music business. Daley said others had pirated his work, as well as that he feeling that he didn't receive the credit he deserved as an important figure in Jamaican music. There were also numerous run-ins with powerful figures who tried to eliminate Daley from the scene, including destroying his equipment, according to Lowe.
Daley’s strong personality often led him to butt heads with others, which earned him his nickname.
“He was feisty. He was the type of person who had great willpower, so that's where he got the name, ‘The Matador,’ because he was this young guy taking on these other powerful people, like a bullfighter would take on a bull,” Lowe said.
Despite numerous requests from major music publications, Daley retreated from public view, refusing to do interviews.
Though he knew Daley wasn’t amenable to interviews, in 2014, Lowe sent a letter to Daley’s home in Kingston asking for the opportunity to speak to him in the hopes of writing a book about him. To Lowe’s surprise, he received a reply a week later.
“I don't know why he opened up to me. In some sense, I think he was waiting for the right person to come along with what he called ‘the vibes.’ He said ‘it was the vibes that caused me to open up to you more.’ We talked for four years almost on a daily basis. He told me just about everything,” Lowe said.
During their frequent phone conversations and email correspondence, Lowe witnessed firsthand why Daley was known as “The Matador.”
“He was always feisty. If I asked a question the wrong way, he might get really mad at me. That's who he was, and that's why he didn't open up to others. He would flatly refuse to communicate with other people,” Lowe said.
Lowe came to understand quickly the best way to speak to Daley.
“I was polite. I was honorable. I never did anything to offend his position in music. I was very delicate in how I dealt with things, but also, conversely, very honest and open and blunt sometimes. I would ask him the direct questions, Lowe said.
In addition to his extensive conversations with Daley, Lowe interviewed numerous musicians as well as Daley family and friends for his book. Time after time in those interviews, Lowe’s subjects told him they couldn’t believe that Daley was willing to speak with him, given his reluctance to share details of his life.
Although Daley died prior to the completion of “The Matador” in 2018, Lowe feels the reggae great appreciated the opportunity to share his story.
“He was pleased with the progress of this book. I think he got a chance to share his history. I think he was very happy about it. I know that this is part of his legacy,” Lowe said.
"The Matador – Sonic Pioneer of Jamaican Music" is now available internationally via Amazon in paperback, Kindle and eBook formats.
(January 14, 2020)
Lloyd Daley, reclusive and prolific Jamaican music producer, featured in
revealing new biography - The Matador, by Rich Lowe
Lloyd “The Matador” Daley passed away on March 18, of 2018. Now - two years after his passing, a new book The Matador – Sonic Pioneer of Jamaican Music reveals the impact he made on Jamaican music that continues to this day. Author Rich Lowe revisits Daley’s memories of building some of the most powerful amplifiers on the island of Jamaica, forming the Matador Sound System, and becoming a top selling music producer in the golden eras of Jamaican Boogie-Shuffle, Ska, Rock Steady and Reggae music. Daley spent the last four years of his life working on this book project with Rich Lowe.
Lloyd Daley produced Jamaican music that was consistent and brimming with quality. He recorded artists of the era who have come to be recognized over time: Members of The Skatalites, Dennis Brown, The Gladiators, The Wailing Souls, The Heptones, Little Roy, Freddie McKay, Alton Ellis, The Ethiopians, The Hippy Boys, The Abyssinians, Count Ossie, The Viceroys, and many more. As a sound system owner, Daley battled with giants of the day like King Edwards, Coxson Dodd, Duke Reid, and Bells the President.
Unlike many other producers of the era, Daley was deeply involved in many of the technical aspects of Jamaican music production. He was reclusive, and in later years, reportedly angry over violations and piracy that he had experienced. Rich Lowe shares, “I was aware that even after sixty years since the start of his musical journey, that there was the possibility of speaking with Mr. Daley directly about his music. I decided to attempt contact. It was a long shot, and I don’t know what made him decide to engage in a dialogue. Much later, he would describe it as ‘vibes.’”
Mr. Daley put his trust in this book. Sound system owner Prince Jackie Robinson noted to the author, “You must be a special person for Mr. Daley to share this information with you. He never does that.” Robinson then laughed heartily and continued: “The Matador was The Matador. Is a man that never stand for no foolishness.”
The Matador – Sonic Pioneer of Jamaican Music is now available internationally via Amazon in paperback, Kindle and eBook formats.
A new book about Lloyd Daley, The Matador – Sonic Pioneer of Jamaican Music is available internationally via Amazon in paperback, Kindle and eBook formats.
Lloyd Daley – “The Matador”
Lloyd David Edward Daley (born 12 July 1939, died 18 March 2018), produced Ska, Reggae, Rock Steady, and Dancehall music in Jamaica under the title of “The Matador.” In addition to music production, Daley was an electronics engineer and he operated a dance hall sound system in Kingston, Jamaica, starting in the mid-1950s. Lloyd Daley operated this dominant sound system in the city where dancehall music was born – Kingston, Jamaica.
At a young age, Mr. Daley formed his own electronics business where he repaired televisions and radios, built amplifiers, repaired motors, and installed video cameras, among many other projects. Over time, Mr. Daley created his sound system“Lloyd’s The Matador,” by employing sophisticated engineering techniques and selecting specific songs for play, and this system, with its tremendous capabilities, would ultimately play in every parish in Jamaica. As Lloyd’s The Matador Sound System played, Mr. Daley “clashed” with greats of the 1950s and 1960s, such as like Duke Reid, Sinclair “The Lion,” Bells the President, Count Boysie, King Edwards, and Coxson. Mr. Daley was always in search of something more, and he was a determined man who often sought out challenges and competition. Defiance often led to conflict, and The Matador—by definitionas suggested by his name—was prepared to manage this conflict to his advantage.
Mr. Daley operated at the center of the sound system eruption in the mid 1950’s in Jamaica, recording as a producer in the golden eras of Jamaican Boogie-Shuffle, Ska, Rock Steady and Reggae music. As a producer, Daley had consistency, quality, and was selective. Lloyd Daley recorded artists of the era who have come to be recognized over time: Members of The Skatalites, Dennis Brown, The Gladiators, The Wailing Souls, The Heptones, Little Roy, Freddie McKay, Alton Ellis, The Ethiopians, The Hippy Boys, The Abyssinians, Count Ossie, The Viceroys, and many more. As a sound system owner, Lloyd Daley battled with giants of the day like King Edwards, Coxson Dodd, Duke Reid, and Bells the President.
In addition to Daley’s music accomplishments, he also had a close connection with iconic Jamaican orchestra leader Eric Deans, whose daughter Deanna Deans, married Daley in 1967.
The “Deans” name is legendary, Eric Deans was a multitalented musician who earned a reputation as the top orchestra leader in the 1940s and 1950s Kingston club scene.
A new book about Lloyd Daley, The Matador – Sonic Pioneer of Jamaican Music is available internationally via Amazon in paperback, Kindle and eBook formats.
“One of the unsung heroes at the time of course was Lloyd ‘The Matador.’ He was very, very good because Lloyd used to build all these sound system amplifiers.”
- Graeme Goodall, Federal Recording Studio Engineer
“Big sounds were never, ever friendly with each other. They only pretended until they meet in the same dance hall and then it is a different thing.”
- Lloyd “The Matador” Daley
email@example.com ReggaeJamaicaway.com YouTube: Jamaica809
Hugh Hendricks of Hugh Hendricks and The Buccaneers
[Hugh Hendricks Interview – Rich Lowe]
I started my band in 1968. That is when we had Ska, going into Rocksteady. This was in New York City at the time. I first went to New York City in June of 1963 at age 20. I had to come to the U.S. before I was 21, so that I could come on my mother’s VISA, so I could get my green card. Actually I didn’t want to come to the U.S. and leave Jamaica! In 1965 I bought a house and there was a piano in the house. The lady asked if she could leave it because it was going to be too expensive to remove. That was the piano that we started to learn music from. I never did music in Jamaica as I was an electrician. I was about 21 year old and we got some guys from the local high school (Wingate High School) and started playing around and bought some equipment. This was in Brooklyn and none were professional musicians.
We did some Soca with The Mighty Sparrow. He was coming to Madison Square Garden and I was the only Jamaican member of a band that was with the local Union in New York and you had to perform at to Madison Square Garden as a Union band. They couldn’t use his musicians, so I had to perform with Phyllis Dillon and Eddie Lovette. I got into Calypso and Soca, but it was Calypso at that time. Some of Sparrow’s musicians came back to New York, so I got some of his horn men. My horn section was basically Trinidadians and then Lester Sterling. Lester stayed with me for a long time starting in the early 70’s. He’s an original from The Skatalites. At that time they didn’t put The Skatalites back together and most of them migrated to the U.S. I knew Lester when he used to play with Byron Lee. He used to do my arranging for the horn section. Because of him, we started to play a lot of Ska. Harry Belafonte had a studio in the west side of Manhattan in the 60’s and Eighth Avenue that we used to use. Johnny Nash had recorded in Jamaica and a good friend of mine – Bill Garnett, was the engineer at the session.
639 Sound Studio - Hugh Hendricks’ Studio
Eventually they had to close the studio and that’s when I decided to start a studio in my home in 1970-71. I went to the audio show with and bought an Ampex tape machine. They had one and at the end of the show they had one on display and they didn’t want to pack it up. I made an arrangement that the last day of the show I would purchase it with Bill Garnett. We had to make our own mixing board. I even had to use a file and a drill to make the slide for the faders. Everything was self-made in my basement. We had nothing like mixing boards like you have today where you go into Sam Ashe and buy one. I had a four-track half-inch. We would record on four tracks and then we would bounce them back down to two. Then we would record the other two, so we had six tracks out of a four-track tape. We always had that heavy bass and drum. When we took our records to master them, the engineers used to ask, “How you get so much bass on these records man?”
Buccaneers Band members (At one stage, worked as a 16-piece band):
Mc and conga player: Fred Tavares
Singers: Bunny Rugs, Honeyboy Martin, Bunny Palamino, Patrick Gordon, Emmanuel Springer, Valentine Steelie Whitaker (keyboardist who also sang)
Drums: Steve Hamilton (Jamaica, played for the Mighty Vikings), Junior Chambers (Original drummer, Belize, Drafted into Army and became a doctor), Bunny Palamino (Former Singer for HHB), Michael Tobias (Very good drummer that used to play with Sparrow. He was the guy who started the new drum beat for Soca. Hugh ended up giving him to Belafonte and he stayed for 8-9 years). “Water” from St. Vincent.
Bass: Hugh Hendricks
Lead Guitar/Rhythm Guitar: Joe Fry (USA), Emmanuel Hector (St Lucia), Lynford Karbi, Eric Frater, Emmanuel Springer, Julian Bevers (Original guitarist from Belize. He later became a doctor)
The Buccaneers usually had a Four Horn Section:
3 original brass players -
Tenor Sax: Wesley Bonito
Alto Sax: Headley White
Trumpet: William Rhodd
Other brass players –
Tenor Saxophone: Lester Sterling, Rudolph Glasco (good arranger, played alto and tenor sax), Joe Alexander (Josh’s brother).
Trombone: “Wayne,” Ron Wilson (From Jamaica), Josh Alexander (from Trinidad)
Trumpet: Anselm Scrubb, Oswald “Ossie” Lawson (who worked with Carlos Malcolm), William Rodd (first trumpeter), a man named “Reese,” Roy Cape (Trinidadian, maintained a big band in Trinidad for many years, also released a book), William Oxley (Sparrows guy, From Trinidad),
Flugelhorn: Shake Keame (Shake was also a poet. He was from St. Vincent, was working in Germany and was asked to be Minister of Culture in St. Vincent and he did it. The government changed 2-3 years later and he was out of job. Shake came to NYC and was a teacher. Hugh hired him and he was a great arranger).
Percussion: (Singers also used to play percussion) Juan Clouden (St Vincent), Patrick Gordon
Keyboard: Ricky Geourzount (Original keyboardist, Hugh’s Brother in law), Owen Romeo (Guyana), Valentine Whittaker (aka Steelie).
(Interview with Hugh Hendricks, 12-11-2016 by Rich Lowe)
Michael Johnson is the Jamaican dancehall dj (rapper) by the name of Lord Sassafrass, who is well known for his work on Black Scorpio Sound System. Early 1970s dancehall lyrics led Sassafrass into the direction of his favored activity in life - horse racing. Crowds loved his references to great Jamaican race horses and jockeys.
The Podcast features the Jamaican Mento tune "Father Killam." Numerous versions of the tune are played along with discussion about the song itself. Ethnomusicologist Kenneth Bilby joins us as we play live versions, rare seven-inch singles and filed recordings from Jamaica. This mento song has an Obeah theme where an Obeahman is trying to catch a ghost or puppy that is causing problems for a woman.
The Podcast is featured on SoundCloud and is 60 minutes in length.
Just click the button below to listen.