Tuesday, September 08, 2009

A good tune never gets old, it just gets recycled

"Forward and payaaka, manhangle and den go saaka."
The above bit of Jamaican Patwa, or creole, opens the deejay song, "DRAW YOUR BRAKES," one of the more arresting tunes on the 1972 soundtrack to "THE HARDER THEY COME" -- the album that helped spark my interest in reggae as a youth.
The song is by SCOTTY, aka David Scott, a former singer with The Chosen Few. It wasn't until later in life that I learned Scotty was toasting over an established hit from 1967, "STOP THAT TRAIN," by KEITH & TEX.
Keith Rowe and Texas Dixon for producer Derrick Harriott in the late 60s before both singers emigrated -- Dixon to Canada and Rowe to the United States.
This weekend, I created an iPod playlist celebrating the original song and some of the notable songs based on its backing track, or RIDDIM.
I open the playlist with the original, followed by "STOP THAT MAN (aka EASY RIDE)," an organ-led instrumental version released in 1969 by IKE BENNETT & THE CRYSTALITES.
The Scotty deejay version from 1971 follows the instrumental.
The playlist continues with "COOL BREEZE," a deejay song by BIG YOUTH from 1973.
I ended the playlist with "STOP THAT TRAIN," a twin-deejay version from 1983 by CLINT EASTWOOD (the Jamaican deejay, not the actor/director) and GENERAL SAINT.
There are other songs using the "Stop That Train" riddim, but I don't have them. If I do ever acquire them, I'll add them to my playlist.
A good tune, it seems, never gets old.


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