Reggae Greats Perform Bob Marley- Birthday Countdown Special #5


When going through my garage and hard-drives to look for artists that have covered Bob Marley songs, I quickly figured out that 2 artists really enjoy doing his songs.  Albert Griffiths of the Gladiators and Lee Scratch Perry.  Both do a Bob song in every show I have by them, which out of 100’s of shows by various reggae artists those are the only 2 that I can say that about. Some artists have a closer connection to Bob like Judy Mowatt and Jacob Miller while others pay tribute to him during their shows.  All tracks are downloadable from the main site Radio page and for easy listening a youtube vid was made. Happy Birthday 2012 Robert Nesta Marley

01. Sly and Robbie Rastaman Chant

02. Jacob Miller I Shot The Sheriff San Fran.  7.22.75 featuring JOHN CIPOLLINA

03. Joe Higgs, Get Up Stand Up Reseda, CA, Country Club, 1981-10-27

04. Freddie McGreggor –  War –  Hopi Land Reservation, AZ,  July 1984 SDB

05. Freddie McGreggor – Crazy Baldheads Hopi Land Reservation, AZ,  July 1984 SDB

06. Forever loving Jah w BUNNY RUGS, CAT COORE & FREDDIE MC GREGOR reseda 81


08. Ken Boothe – Long Beach Arena, Long Beach,CA 2-19-95 AUDM  No Woman , No Cry

09. The Gladiators – New Orleans, LA  6-29-83 SDB  Rude boy ska

10. The Gladiators – 1983-07-03 Wolfgangs, San Francisco, CA SBD Small Axe

11. Lee perry london 11-22-84  nice time

12. Mighty Diamonds – Keep On Moving Tokyo, Japan SBD -1985-05-12

13. Meditations 1999-04-24 Blackman Redemption

14  Jacob Miler – Talkin Blues San Fran.  7.22.75 featuring JOHN CIPOLLINA

15 . Joe Higgs – La Jolla, CA 1991-03-10 SBD – Sun Is Shinning

16. Sinead O’Connor NYC 12-09-2005  War

17  U-Roy California 1990 Soul Rebel

18  Gladiators – Dubby Conquer 2000_Marysville

19. Gladiatiors – Stand Alone Live Unreleased

20 Lee Scratch Perry 11 13 2006 Neumo’s Seattle Heathen

21. Dennis Brown – Kaisers Cafe, JA 1-5-91 SDB Heathen, War NMT, Get Up Stand Up

22. Big Youth – 1981-04-19 Santa Cruz, CA SBD Get Up, Stand Up

23. Judy Mowatt – SOB’s 1983-11 Concrete Jungle NYC

24 Judy Mowatt – One Love with Peter Tosh SOB’s 1983-11

25 Johnny Nash Stir it Up 1973-June-08

26. Skatalites 1990Feb7 Kuumbwa SBD Simmer Down

27. Redemption Song w BUNNY RUGS & IBO COOPER  Reseda, CA, Country Club, 1981-10-27

28. Monty Alexander –  Redemption Song  2008-11-15






Bob Andy and Alton Ellis Live and Direct from California 1980’s

Bob Andy and Alton Ellis Live and Direct from California

With the great recent blog on Bob Andy by Michael Watson called Ghost on Wax: Bob Andy’s Incomparable Song Book and my recent blog on Alton Ellis: The Godfather of Rocksteady, I thought I would share a few rare live tracks by these legends. These recordings have circulated with collectors for years and my guess is they originate from Roger Steffens collection. Big credit and thanks to him for his generosity towards reggae fans and collectors over the past 3 decades.


Bob Andy
Hollywood Palace
2/3/85 live in Los Angeles

Feeling soul

Feel the feeling

Fire Burning


Alton Ellis

Hollywood Palace
2/3/85 live in Los Angeles

I’m Still In Love with You/Breaking Up/I’m Just A Man

Sitting In The Park

Alton Ellis

1984-06 Live in Los Angeles

Still I Don’t Love You

Going Home (Bob Andy’s song)




Alton Ellis The Godfather of Rocksteady


Get Ready To Rock Steady

Many consider Alton the greatest Jamaican singer, and in Jamaica his voice is  even bigger than Bob Marley. Dennis Alcapone had this to say about Alton. “Alton was a bigger artist in Jamaica than Bob Marley. Everybody, even Bob, would love if he could sing like Alton Ellis. All of them would sit back and listen to Alton because Alton was the king.” His soulful voice spanned all genres of Jamaican Music from Ska, to Rocksteady , and Reggae as  Alton helped lay the foundation for Jamaican Music.

Alton Ellis came from Trenchtown, the same part of Kingston that was home to stars like Bob Marley. He and  his younger sister Hortense got their start as kids competing on Kingston talent shows like “Vere John’s Opportunity Hour.” In 1959, as half of the duo Alton & Eddie, he recorded the R&B-style scorcher “Muriel,” which became one of the first hit records for the pioneering local producer Clement Dodd.

Alton had many hits with Coxsone and also Duke Reid like  “Girl I’ve Got A Date,” “I’m Just a Guy” and his 1966 classic “Get Ready Rock Steady,” that ushered in a whole new style of music called Rock Steady. It is said that when the track was recorded Jackie Mitto had to fill in for the regular bass player and since that was not his regular instrument he had trouble keeping up with the fast ska beat, so he elected to slow down the tempo. Alton had several other major successes in 1966, including “Cry Tough” and the smash “Girl I’ve Got a Date,” the latter of which became his biggest hit and signature song.


Rock steady had  a mellower, slower more soulful sound that formed the bridge between the hard-driving brass of ska and  reggae. It was perfect for Altons sweet tenor voice.“Alton ruled the rock steady era,” Mr. Alcapone said. But Mr. Ellis’s influence did not stop there.

In 1969 his track “Get Ready Rock Steady” was used for “Wake the Town,” featuring DJ U-Roy which started the DJ revolution with it massive popularity. The instrumental track to Alton’s  composition “Mad Mad” became one of the most covered recordings in reggae history, and his 1967 composition “I’m Still in Love With You” was covered several times, most recently by the dancehall artists Sean Paul and Sasha, reaching No. 3 on Billboard’s Hot Singles chart in 2004.


Having been so ripped of by Jamaican producers, Alton moved to Canada then to England where he created his own Alltone label. He was also awarded Jamaica’s Order of Distinction in 1994 and was inducted into the International Reggae and World Music Hall of Fame in 2006.

A real pioneer of Jamaican Music and Hailed as the King Of Rock Steady, Alton may have been eclipsed by Marley and Reggae but to many he is truly greatest singer to come from Jamaica.

 Here is a very rare live clip of Alton Ellis.


Justin Hinds Ska Legend


Justin Hinds Ska Legend

Justin Hinds was and is considered one of the best singers from the ska era of Jamaican Music. A native of Sheer Town, Justin’s beautiful and unique tenor voice made him the most popular artist in Jamaican in 1963 with his #1 hit for Duke Reid  “Carry Go Bring Come” that is said to have been done in just one take. From 1963 to 1966 Justin and his band the Dominos released a prolific  70 singles that included hits like “King Samuel,” “On The Last Day”, “Jump Out of the Frying Pan,” “The Ark” and “Rub Up Push Up.”



He continued with hits in the rock steady era and parted with Reid in 1972.  In 1976 he released one of reggae best albums Jezebel produced by Jack Ruby with hits like Natty Take Over, Prophecy and a remake of Carry Go Bring Home.  


He followed that LP with another classic Just In Time in 1978. Nighthawk Records in the US also released a great LP Travel With Love recorded at Tuff Gong Studios in 1984 which featured tracks like Get Ready Rock Steady, Travel With Love, and Weeping Eyes. Justin became less active after 1984 and did not ever leave Jamaica until 1997 to play shows in the US. Here is a very rare clip of Justin performing on that tour. 


In 1992 he did return to the studio the last time for the album Know Jah Better but did stay active in with his collaboration with Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards and Wingless Angels project.  Keith Richards said this about Justin, “ When he comes to mind or when you hear his voice, you get a nice warm glow.  He was always incredibly attuned to what was going on around him,. And the thing I she wasn’t really reggae.  He was more rocksteady or ska – that’s what he was into”.   And in the session with Keith and the Wingless Angles Justin was very into the Nyabinghi sound.  The main purpose for these roots session with Keith was to chill out, drum and smoke ganja Nyabinghi  style.  This years Grammy’s will be the first time a Nyabinghi  album will be up for a Grammy with the Wingless Angles 2 being nominated.

Brian Jobson (bass player and producer on Wingless Angles 2) said this about Justin. ” he was one of a kind, really. And he was the first one from our area, as it were, before Ernie Smith and Bob Marley and Burning Spear Most of the musician before that were from Kingston or lived in Kingston, but he lived in the country and just went to Kingston and did his stuff, and always came back and had his little place in Steer Town. He was like the Don or Godfather of the community there”

Brian’s brother Wayne Jobson said this about Justin, “Basically Justin Hinds was the godfather of Jamaican music- one of the all-time greats.  He helped to invent ska in the early day with Carry Go Bring Come and then later on he helped to develop rock steady with The Higher The Monkey Climbs and then he really helped to bring reggae to the world with the Jezebel album with Jack Ruby, who was Burning Spears producer.”

Justin appears in this great documentary by a student Mark Gorney called Before Reggae Hit The Town. A rare clip is included here.

Justin Hinds passing away quietly at his Jamaican home on March 16, 2005.  He suffered from lung cancer. His music and impact on those that knew him will live on.


Joe Higgs, The Father of Reggae

 From my Joe Higgs Tribute Page . Below is a piece by Marcia Higgs and also info. from Wiki.

Who is JOE HIGGS and why was he dubbed

– Marcia Higgs

According to reggae music history, in the early 1950s through 1960s, when it was virtually impossible for the residents of TRENCH TOWN and other neighboring communities to even be considered for “menial” jobs in Jamaica’s main-stream work force, it was JOE HIGGS that these “other” underprivileged ghetto outcasts would ultimately turn to for musical guidance. Though a youth himself at the time, this self-taught musical prodigy was said to have converted his 19 THIRD STREET, TRENCH TOWN, tenement backyard into a sort of musical training camp, where he would teach his peers some of the lessons
he had learned. These music lessons, or “jam-sessions” as they were commonly called, were often rigorous in voice technique, breath control, harmony structuring, effective song-writing, and of course, learning to play the “box” guitar.

 Joe Higgs (born Joseph Benjamin Higgs, 3 June 1940 – 18 December 1999) was a reggae musician from Jamaica. In the late 1950s and 1960s he was part of the duo Higgs and Wilson together with Roy Wilson. He was a popular artist in Jamaica for four decades and is also known for his work tutoring younger musicians including The Wailers and Jimmy Cliff.

Higgs was instrumental in the foundation of modern Jamaican music, first recording in 1958 for producer and businessman (and later Jamaican Prime Minister) Edward Seaga, both as a solo artist and with Roy Wilson. He is often called the “Godfather of Reggae”. His first release (with Wilson) was “Oh Manny Oh” in 1958, which was one of the first records to be pressed in Jamaica and went on to sell 50,000 copies. Higgs and Wilson also recorded for Clement “Coxsone” Dodd in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The partnership with Wilson dissolved in 1964 when Wilson emigrated to the United States. Higgs then concentrated on a solo career and also worked with Carlos Malcolm and the Afro-Jamaican Rhythms, before joining Lynn Taitt’s The Soul Brothers as lead vocalist.

Higgs mentored young singers in his yard and began working with Bob Marley in 1959. In fact, it was at one of the informal music lessons Joe Higgs held in Trench Town, that Bob and Bunny Livingston met Peter Tosh.[3][4] Marley acknowledged later on that Higgs had been an influential figure for him, while Higgs described their time together: “I am the one who taught the Wailers the craft, who taught them certain voice technique”. It was Higgs who introduced the Wailers to Dodd in 1963 Higgs has also been described as the “Father of Reggae” by Jimmy Cliff. For a while Higgs toured with Cliff, acting as his bandleader as well as writing songs for Cliff including “Dear Mother”, and also performed with The Wailers on their US tour when Bunny Wailer refused to go on the tour in 1973. Higgs wrote “Steppin’ Razor” in 1967 as his entry in the Festival Song Contest, later recorded by Tosh without crediting Higgs. Higgs later won a court case to establish his rights as composer but never received any profits from the song’s success.

Higgs won the Jamaican Tourist Board Song Competition in 1972 with “Invitation to Jamaica”, released as a single on his own Elevation label, and much of his best-known solo work was issued in the 1970s. Singles included “More Slavery” (released on Micron), “Creation” (Ethnic Fight), “Let Us Do Something” (Elevation), and “World Is Upside Down” (Island). His debut album, Life of Contradiction, had been recorded in 1972 for Island Records, but as Island boss Chris Blackwell felt that it would be difficult to market it remained unreleased until 1975, when it was issued by Micron Music and has been described as “a seminally sophisticated work combining reggae, jazz, and rhythm and blues influences to create a new texture that would have a profound effect on the best Jamaican music to follow”.  As well as The Wailers, Higgs also helped several other singers and groups including The Wailing Souls. His second album, Unity Is Power, was released in 1979 and further singles followed on Cliff’s Sunpower label and Bunny Wailer’s Solominic imprint.His 1983 single “So It Go”, with a lyric critical of the Jamaican government of the day was banned from airplay and led to harassment which would eventually lead to Higgs relocating to Los Angeles, where he lived for the rest of his life. Two further albums were released in the 1980s, Triumph (1985) and Family (1988), and in 1990 he recorded Blackman Know Yourself on which he was backed by the Wailers Band, and includes covers of the Marley/Lee Perry songs “Small Axe” and “Sun Is Shining”. In 1995, his final album was issued, Joe and Marcia Together, a collaboration with his daughter.

A majority of Higgs’ songs were connected to his impoverished life in Trenchtown where he grew up. Higgs considered that it was out of the poverty and violence of Kingston’s shantytowns such as Trenchtown and Johnstown that the reggae music had grown. Before reggae hit big on the western music scene with Bob Marley, it was understood as a “ghetto music”. Higgs was the very first artist out the ghetto music scene to have lyrics which primarily dealt with every day troubles. In his own words:

“Music is a matter of struggle. It’s not good that it’s known you’re from Trenchtown. Reggae is a confrontation of sound. Reggae has to have that basic vibrant sound that is to be heard in the ghetto. It’s like playing the drum and bass very loud. Those are the basic sounds. A classical reggae should be accepted in any part of the world. Freedom, that’s what it’s asking for; acceptance, that’s what it needs, and understanding, that’s what reggae’s saying. You have a certain love come from hard struggle, long suffering. Through pain you guard yourself with that hope of freedom, not to give up…””

Higgs died of cancer on 18 December 1999 at Kaiser Hospital in Los Angeles.[2] At the time of his death he was working with Roger Steffens on an official biography, and had been working on a collaboration with Irish artists for the Green on Black album.He was survived by twelve children, including his daughter Marcia, who is a rapper, and son Peter, a studio guitarist.

In 2007, the Joe Higgs Music Awards were established in his honour.

Tons more pictures and live music on my website tribute to Joe Higgs  HERE



 Here is a  great interview from the Reggae Beat Radio show from KCRW in Santa Monica, CA

01 Joe Higgs - Interview Reggae Beat Radio.mp3 01 Joe Higgs – Interview Reggae Beat Radio.mp3
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02 Joe Higgs - Interview Reggae Beat Radio.mp3 02 Joe Higgs – Interview Reggae Beat Radio.mp3
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Bob Marley & the Wailers – 1979-11-01 Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Bob Marley & Wailers
Maple Leaf Gardens
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
November 1, 1979


After playing at smaller cozy venues previously in Toronto, 1979 was totally different. The Wailers were now one of the world’s biggest live attractions, and despite the suspicion that may still have existed among the more conservative elements of Toronto society, their concert had to be at Maple Leaf Gardens. They returned to the Gardens on November 1 of 1979, this time in support of the Survival album — and no one, perhaps least of all Marley, had any inkling that this would be his last visit to Toronto.

* Carlton Barrett gives a raving psychedelic drum solo during the extended live rendition of “The Heathen”.

Source: AUD
Lineage: AUD > ? > FLAC

CD 1:
1. Positive Vibration (5:31)
2. Wake Up And Live (4:42)
3. Them Belly Full (But We Hungry) (4:04)
4. Concrete Jungle (6:03)
5. I Shot The Sheriff (4:45)
6. Ambush In The Night (4:11)
7. Running Away (1:54) ->
8. Crazy Baldhead (3:56)
9. The Heathen (6:18)

CD 2:
10. War (4:18) ->
11. No More Trouble (1:48)
12. One Drop (4:29)
13. No Woman, No Cry (5:58)
14. Africa Unite (3:14)
15. Exodus (7:18)
16. Jammin’ (5:27)
17. Get Up, Stand Up (5:16)
18. Is This Love? (4:37)

MP3 Files HERE

Lossless FLAC Files HERE