Roots Knotty Roots: The Discography of Jamaican Music

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9780970966322: Roots Knotty Roots: The Discography of Jamaican Music

Roots Knotty Roots – The Discography Of Jamaican Music. This new edition has been updated and revised to include discography details for 44,000 titles released in Jamaica, the UK, the USA and Canada on singles (7", 10" & 12") from 1950 – 1985.

Roots Knotty Roots is the most advanced reference work of its kind ever published – the result of many years of serious research and study by the editors with help and assistance from leading collectors worldwide. Sorted alphabetically by Artist and Title, it is the ideal companion volume to the various historical texts on Jamaican Music.

Jamaican recordings present a complex web of tangled credits and identifications that can make the collector’s job very difficult. Here the editors, with valuable help from leading experts, have taken on the challenging task of sorting out the myriad credit errors or miss-identifications that have baffled collectors and created confusion for many years.

Roots Knotty Roots provides a full complement of details for every title (when available) including the matrix or label number, the producer and the date of release for both the original Jamaican release and it’s UK mate. A separate section of US / Canadian issues appears as the second part of this massive data file which runs to 600 pages of detail.

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About the Author:

Michael Turner has been writing about Jamaican music in The Beat magazine for over a decade; in recent years he has authored the "Reggae Obsession" column, exploring little known and untold stories from Jamaican music history. While living in Louisiana, Michael hosted the program "Jump Jamaica Way," at WWOZ-FM – the New Orleans's Jazz & Heritage radio station. About ten years ago, Mike began to compile a database of Jamaican singles. He estimates conservatively that well over two thousand hours were logged just compiling and cross-referencing the original database that later evolved into Roots Knotty Roots. At some stage in the process, he realized that the database reveals the real story of Jamaica’s musical history better than any prose. When not obsessing about music, Mike is an emergency room physician.

Robert Schoenfeld is a cofounder and managing director of Nighthawk Records, one of the first US based indie labels to make a serious commitment to reggae. Robert made his first visit to Jamaica in 1974 and immediately began scouring record shops in Montego Bay. By 1979, he felt comfortable enough with the culture and patois to begin a professional relationship with several important Jamaican artists who later formed the basis of the Nighthawk Records reggae catalog. In 1981, the label began a series of recording sessions in Kingston working closely with Sylvan Morris and the Roots Radics at the Harry J Studio, and with Mervin Williams at Aquarius Studio. That work resulted in a series of critically acclaimed albums produced for the Itals, the Gladiators, Culture, Justin Hinds, Winston Jarrett and other artists. Robert and the Nighthawk label continue to work with many of those same artists to the present day, sustaining the label’s commitment to the roots of traditional Jamaican music.


"A reference tool for journalist, DJ and musicologist alike. A first rate stab at a colossal task." -- Jeremy Collingwood, Record Collector Magazine (London), May, 2002

An essential volume and a much-needed addition to the ranks of music scholarship. -- Ron Wynn, City Paper, Nashville, TN

This is an A-to-Z gathering of primary sources that tells an unadorned story of the Jamaican record industry. -- Michael Kuelker, Reggae Festival Guide, 2001

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