Text & Fotos by Valentino 45
Dandy aka Robert Linval Thompson has been a very important in the development of reggae as we know it today, having started his musical career learning in the same Alpha Boys School in Kingston,Ja. Bob Marley and Peter Tosh attended. Performing on numerous UK releases on Blue Beat and Ska Beat etc. since 1965 and from 1968 running his own label called Downtown where he enjoyed great success producing and writing hits such as Red Red Wine and releasing over a hundred Records!
Rudy, is a classic Rocksteady draw whose easy, downtmepo Ska riddim has brought not only joy to millions of listeners over the years but also gave people an insight into the nature of a stereotypical rudeboy = Rudy. Rudies seem to spend their day looting and shooting once out on bail, fussing and fighting amongst themselves and generally creating bangarang. While they’re recreational time seems to have consisted of wailing, whining, grinding, meditating, often using Kali to gain higher spirituals insight or enjoying themselves inna dance: Skanking or Rocking Steady! This form of dancing with easy swaying, snapping fingers and knodding heads with lots of improvised movement and incorporating the many syncopated grooves into Ones heart and Soul expressing it through THE SKANK or THE ROCKSTEADY! (click here for what is IMO a good example by The Medway Skins to Can’t You See by Ken Boothe)
Try it for yourself, remember to turn up da base and lay low on the treble:
Sweet and softly – with a tough message this Gem lays itself over any dancefloor with the outstanding vocal of course by Robert “Dandy” Thompson himself and the sureshot Trombone action from one of Jamaica’s greatest living instrumental legends who is still alive today: Rico Rodriguez! At this point I will quote one of his former album titles to best describe this man: Rico – That Man Is Forward (Two Tone Records 1981)!
This attribute is certainly deserved by Dandy whose contribution to reggae is simply outstanding! I would love to pay the same respect to all of the players of instruments on these releases but unfortunately it is rather a difficult task to figure out who played on which Recording at the time, as players would simply be paid in cash: as studio or session musicians not gaining any benefit from this legendary musical cashcow called ROYALTIES!