UK REGGAE HISTORY
Top Of The Pops TV Show Pt.1
For Black History Month 2021 Reggae Fraternity UK (RFUK) celebrated the ‘Outstanding Reggae Music Achievements’ of artists from the Caribbean, the Windrush Generation and their descendants who appeared on the BBC television programme ‘Top of the Pops’.
My Boy Lollipop" was Millie’s second British single. In 1964 it became her breakthrough blockbuster hit in the United Kingdom, reaching No. 2. Millie made several appearances on Top of the Pops in 1964 performing ‘My Boy Lollipop’. She also made appearances on the rival ITV show ‘Ready Steady Go’. For Black History Month 2021 Reggae Fraternity UK (RFUK) celebrate the ‘Outstanding Reggae Music Achievements’ of artists from the Caribbean, the Windrush Generation and their descendants who appeared on the BBC television programme ‘Top of the Pops’.
1967: DESMOND DEKKER & THE ACES
In the summer of 1967, Desmond Dekker & the Aces’ rude boy anthem, ‘007’ became one of the first Jamaican-produced recordings to breach the UK’s national Pop Singles charts; its unexpected international success prompting an urgent need for material to promote the 7” single.
Consequently, Graeme Goodall, MD of Doctor Bird Records, the company behind its British release, hastily secured the services of respected Jamaican director, Perry Henzell, who wasted little time in filming the group live on stage and in the streets of island’s capital before editing the resultant footage and rushing it to the UK, where on the evening on 3 August, it was aired on the BBC’s hugely popular ‘Top Of The Pops’ TV show.
1969: JIMMY CLIFF
The song Wonderful World Beautiful People was written by Jimmy Cliff. The 30th October 1969 was Jimmy’s first appearance on Top Of The Pops, the song was at No 18 in the UK’s national Pop Singles chart. The song was in the charts for 13 weeks peaking at number 6 on 22nd November 1969.
1970: BOB AND MARCIA
Bob and Marcia were a Jamaican vocal duo, that consisted of Bob Andy and Marcia Griffiths. They had a number 5 UK hit single in 1970 with "Young, Gifted and Black". They followed up with "Pied Piper", which peaked at number 11 in the UK national Pop Singles chart in 1971. Those two releases spent a total of twenty five weeks in that chart in a period of less than eighteen months. On the 12th March 1970 when Young, Gifted and Black was at number 22 in the chart, it first aired on Top Of The Pops to crowds dancing. On the 19th March 1970 Bob and Marcia made their first live appearance on the show.
1971: BRUCE RUFFIN
Bruce Ruffin's greatest success came in the 1970’s as a reggae-pop solo artist and writer. A José Feliciano tune, "Rain", gave his solo career momentum, recorded on Trojan Records, it was a UK number 19 hit in 1971. He first appeared on Top Of The Pops on 13th May 1971 when the song was at number 27 in the UK Pop Singles chart. The song was aired again on 27th May 1971 when it reached number 19 in the charts, this time it was danced to by Pan’s People.
Greyhound began as The Rudies in the late 1960s, with core members Danny Smith and Freddie Notes. After Notes' departure, Glenroy Oakley joined the band and they changed their name to Greyhound in 1970. Soon after, the newly titled outfit began working with Trojan plugger-turned-producer, Dave Bloxham and promptly hit the big time. In June 1971, Greyhound scored a hit with ‘Black And White’, a clarion call for and end to bigotry that peaked at number six in the UK pop chart. Black And White was at number 30 in the chart when it first aired on Top Of The Pops to the crowd dancing. On the 1st July 1971 when the song was at 19 in the chart Greyhound made their first live appearance on the show.
1971: DAVE AND ANSEL COLLINS
In the Spring of 1971, the wildly exuberant 7” single, ‘Double Barrel’ shot to the top of the British pop charts, resulting in Dave Barker and Ansel Collins becoming international celebrities almost overnight. The success of the disc was repeated throughout the world and was followed soon after by the best-selling LP of the same title.
On the 8th April 1971 when Double Barrel was at number 17 in the UK pop singles chart it aired for the first time on Top Of The Pops as a video. On the 29th April 1971 when the song hit the number one spot in the chart, Dave & Ansel Collins made their first live appearance on the show.
1972: DANDY LIVINGSTONE
Dandy Livingstone is a British-Jamaican reggae musician and producer, best known for his 1972 hit, "Suzanne Beware of the Devil", and for his song, "Rudy, A Message to You", which was later a hit for The Specials. "Suzanne Beware of the Devil", reached number 14 on the UK Singles Chart.
He first appeared on Top Of The Pops on 14th September 1972 when the song was at number 28 in the UK Pop Singles chart. He appeared on the show again on the 28th September when the song was at number 16 in the chart.
1974: KEN BOOTHE
Ken Boothe's musical career began in the early sixties. During the early seventies, he freelanced for various producers. In 1974, he recorded the hits, "Everything I Own", followed by "Crying Over You" for producer Lloyd Charmers. The legendary singer has to his credit an illustrious string of hits that have dominated the Rocksteady and Reggae music eras, successively.
On the 11th October 1974 when Everything I Own was at number 11 in the UK pop singles chart it aired for the first time on Top Of The Pops as a video. On the 17th October 1974 when the song was at number 2 in the chart Ken Boothe made his first live appearance on the show. He made three further appearances on the show whilst the song was at number 1 in the chart.
1974: RUPIE EDWARDS
Rupert Lloyd "Rupie" Edwards is a Jamaican reggae singer and record producer. In 1974, he released an album (Yamaha Skank) comprised solely of tracks based on the Uniques' "My Conversation" riddim, credited as the first single-riddim album. In 1974 and 1975, he scored hits in the UK Singles Chart with "Ire Feelings" and "Leggo Skanga". Both tracks were based on the same riddim, first used for Johnny Clarke's "Everyday Wondering", and the Ire Feelings album followed in 1975.
Irie Feelings spent 10 weeks in the UK pop singles chart peaking at number 9 on the 14th December 1974. Rupie Edwards made his first live appearance on Top Of The Pops on the 5th December 1974 when the song was at number 10 in the chart.
1975: SUSAN CADOGAN
One of Susan Cadogan’s first recordings for producer Lee Perry, was a cover of Millie Jackson's soul hit, “It Hurts So Good" (featuring bassist Boris Gardiner and the Zap Pow horns). It was released to little effect in Jamaica on Perry's new '"Perries" record label, but was released in the UK by Dennis Harris' DIP International label, and topped the UK Reggae Chart. Magnet Records picked up the single and it went on to reach the top five of the UK pop singles chart, with Cadogan flying to London to promote the single, including a television appearance on Top of the Pops. Cadogan then signed directly to Magnet, who issued the official follow-up, the Pete Waterman-produced "Love Me Baby", which reached number 22 in July 1975.
Hurt So Good spent 12 weeks in the UK pop singles chart peaking at number 4 on the 3 May 1975. Susan Cadogan made her first live appearance on Top Of The Pops on the 10 April 1975 when the song was at no. 34 in the chart.
1976: BARRY BIGGS
Barry Biggs worked as a recording engineer and cameraman with the Jamaican Broadcasting Company, and also spent time as a member of the band the Astronauts, before becoming the lead singer for Byron Lee's Dragonaires. It was at Lee's Dynamic Sounds studio (where he also worked as a producer and engineer) that Biggs recorded his first Jamaican hit, a cover of The Osmonds' "One Bad Apple". He broke through to international success in 1976 with "Work All Day", which had been recorded seven years earlier. Biggs had six hit singles on the UK pop singles chart between 1976 and 1981, the most successful of these, "Sideshow", reaching number 3 in January 1977.
Barry Biggs made his first live appearance on Top Of The Pops on the 2nd September 1976 performing ‘Work All Day’. On the 23rd December 1976 he appeared on Top Of The Pops once again this time performing ’Sideshow’ which was at number 23 in the chart.