Feel So Fine: The Birth Of Jamaican Ska – 2LP

Various Artists
FORMAT: Audio CD - 2 Disc
Release date: 15 Jun 2015

"Full of life and zest...every single track exemplifies the sub-title of this 28-track collection: 'The birth of ska'." **** Echoes


CAT No: FVDV220UPC TEXT: 5055311072203

Full details

The 28 tracks which comprise Feel So Fine are key recordings in the development of reggae’s precursor, ska. Throughout the ’50s and into the ’60s, the most popular style at Jamaican sound systems was the hard-hitting New Orleans ‘shuffle blues’ sound, and the holy grail for the big operators were the obscurities that could serve as ‘exclusives’ for their sets, obtained from trusted importers or from forays to the US mainland. By the close of the ’50s this practice was threatened by significant developments, most notably the demise of this style of R&B as American music evolved into what would ultimately become soul.

Sound system operators started taking the only possible route to ensure the continued popularity of their sets: become record producers and start creating their own ‘exclusives’. So it was that men such as Arthur ‘Duke’ Reid and Clement Seymour ‘Coxson’ Dodd began producing local talent, utilising Jamaica’s first commercial studios. Initially, there was little to distinguish these early home-grown recordings from New Orleans R&B records, but by the dawn of the ’60s, Jamaican ‘shuffle blues’ or ‘boogie’ had developed its own unique sound. Debate still rages as to the first locally-produced recording clearly distinguishable in style from its American forerunner, but the Coxson Dodd-produced ‘Easy Snapping’ is the most likely candidate. Other significant works from this period include the first commercially available disc to feature a rasta drumming ensemble, namely ‘Oh Carolina’.

As Jamaica’s burgeoning recording industry developed, a select number of local performers acquired star status, and other entrepreneurs including Simeon ‘Little Wonder’ Smith, Leslie Kong and Chris Blackwell swelled the ranks of aspiring record label owners. Soon, Jamaican music had a clear identity of its own and by 1964, ska (or, if you happened to live in Britain, ‘blue beat’) had become an international sensation. Yet within a year or so of its heyday, ska had been succeeded by rock steady, which late in ’68, gave way to reggae, the style with which Jamaican music is still most commonly associated. A lot has changed since those pioneering days. The music contained on Feel So Fine provided a major part of the solid foundation upon which the island’s recording industry has since prospered and developed. Although now over half a century old, this music continues to provide immense pleasure to thousands the world over. And few can deny that the 28 classics on Feel So Fine are undoubtedly great.




  1. Easy Snapping (Clue J and His Blues Blasters)
  2. Oh Carolina (The Folkes Brothers with Count Ossie Afro-Combo)
  3. Shufflin Jug (Clue J and His Blues Blasters)
  4. Leave Earth (Derrick Morgan with Clue J and His Blues Blasters)
  5. More Whisky (Laurel Aitken with Duke Reid and His Group)
  6. Sad Over You (Chuck and Dobby)
  7. Don Cosmic (Don Drummond)


  1. Humpty Dumpty (Eric Morris and Drumbago’s All Stars)
  2. Oh Ma, Oh Pa (The Melody Enchanters)
  3. Over The River (The Jiving Juniors with Hersang and His City Slickers)
  4. Ba Ba Black Sheep (Cecil Byrd and Sir Dee’s Group)
  5. Feel So Fine (Derrick and Patsy with Drumbago’s Band)
  6. Freedom (Clancy Eccles with Aubrey Adams and His Dew Droppers)
  7. In And Out The Window (Monty and Roy with Drumbago’s Orchestra)


  1. Hurricane Hattie (Jimmy Cliff and The Beverley’s All Stars)
  2. We’ll Meet (Roy and Millie with The City Slickers)
  3. Money Can’t Buy Life (Eric Morris and Buster’s Group)
  4. In My Heart (Derrick Morgan)
  5. Millie Girl (Owen Gray with Prince Buster and The Voice Of The People)
  6. They Got To Go (Prince Buster and His Torch Lighters)
  7. Schooling The Duke (Don Drummond)


  1. They Got To Come (Prince Buster and The Voice Of The People)
  2. Jezebel (Owen Gray and The Coxsonaires Orchestra)
  3. Housewife’s Choice (Derrick and Patsy with The Beverley’s All Stars)
  4. Pack Up Your Troubles (Eric Morris with D. Cosmo and Drumbago All Stars)
  5. Forward March (Derrick Morgan with The Beverley’s All Stars)
  6. Time Longer Than Rope (Prince Buster)
  7. Reload (Don Drummond)