Two Kings, Book Quotes: “Is the two ah we are King Edwards – Me and George. Two Kings” (Vin Edwards).
“Is me love the sound system. I would sit outside of The Silver Slipper Club and was jus’ listening to Tom the Great Sebastian because I couldn’t pay to go inside. Some- times in the night, when I want go to listen sound, I walk and go listen Tom’s. He used to play the type of music that I like. Guys that love good music used to go there, and girls used to like to go there cuz it was safe” (George Edwards).
“We had a lot of creative ideas that we applied to King Edwards Sound System. George brought in a musical ‘ting that used to happen in America, starting on the road in New Orleans. In America, the people that played instruments would start in New Orleans, then move up to New York, and then move state by state on the road… What George did was to set a route for music to travel and play at many locations over ten to fifteen days. George’s all island tour would start in town – Spanish Town or Old Harbour or May Pen, and then come right back into Kingston. That was a good idea, that was George’s idea. In those days when we have eight hundred people in a dance, it a big dance” (Vin Edwards).
“Most important – to play sound system, you have something in your heart to love music. If ya don’t have that love, you can’t play it. This was how we conduct a dance: to get ready for a dance, we usually have four guys to help us, the guy who plays the sound and three other guys that lift the box. We draw our Hercules amplifier… After it reach twelve midnight, and if the dance ram – when I say ram, it means full, you don’t hassle the people too much. You have to play and watch what the people them doing. When you are playing half-time, now and then, you give them a one “Feel So Good.” I might play that one ten times in the night because Shirley and Lee is the best record that they make” (George Edwards).
ISBN: 978-1-7323825-6-5 Two Kings will be available worldwide via Amazon.com in Spring 2023
*The following is an excerpt from the forthcoming book by Rich Opre Lowe, Two Kings, Jamaica’s King Edwards “The Giant” Sound System The Era of The King, The Duke, & The Sir. *Soon to be available worldwide on Amazon.com
George and Vin Edwards recall outstanding dances that held long-lasting positive memories. To no surprise, the brothers recalled special nights where they stamped their mark on Jamaica’s music history. Understandably, details begin to thin as original dancegoers advance in age, and others pass away. Remember that there is little physical evidence of the one-time dances; only memories have endured. The following is one such dance memory held by Vin Edwards: (Vin Edwards) Some dances would be organized like a picnic, arranged for children, age eighteen down. Some of the present Jamaican don’t know nothin’ about these things! In the country, they used to have “night and day pic- nics.” It would be picnic in the day, and then they have dance in the night for the bigger people. They did this all over Jamaica, but in my district in the Parish of Saint Mary, it was at Wood Park. The picnic would be held at a community of interest, with a post office, church, gas station, town center, a playing field, and buses running through it. We didn’t have electric current in those days. Wood Park would attract people from many districts like Derry, Bellfield, Donnington, Pembroke Hall, Bartley Town, Farm Pen, Walker, Cocks Piece, Hartland, and Wallingford. The picnic would have an area where we would play cricket. We didn’t have much football in my district, so we play cricket. They would build a booth, mostly for younger people, as more shade from the sun, than for rain. This booth would be built by cutting down the riverside materials to gather bamboo as the structure and coconut leaf as a cover. When it come down into night, the bigger people move into the dance hall when King Edwards was playin’. They call that a “night and day picnic.” (Rich Lowe, December, 2022)