Mento, Not Calypso!

Various Artists
FORMAT: Audio CD - 2 Disc
Release date: 12 Aug 2013

'A mighty fine one' 4/5 Record Collector

“50 mento favourites, most from the pre-reggae style’s heyday...definitive selection” 4/5 Songlines

“excellent double CD collection of vintage Jamaican music…certainly worth investigating, with many excellent performances and some extremely rare material” Blues & Rhythm

CAT No: FVDD163UPC TEXT: 5055311001630

Full details

The Original Sound Of Jamaica

Though often erroneously regarded as simply a variation of Calypso, Jamaican Mento is a distinct musical style that developed independently from its similarly styled Trinidadian cousin.

The genre remained Jamaica’s most popular form of indigenous music from the post war years up until the development of Shuffle Blues and its immediate successor, Ska, in the early sixties. Its roots can be traced to both African and European musical traditions, with its rhythmic structure and lyrical content (generally focusing on current news and carnal relations) having a profound influence upon the subsequent development of Reggae.

The distinctive sound produced by early exponents of the style was a result of the combination of vocals, banjo, acoustic guitar, hand percussion and a rumba box, all frequently enhanced by homemade saxophone, clarinet or bamboo flute.

Mento, Not Calypso! features some of the earliest recordings in the genre, dubbed directly from the original Jamaican 78s, with many featuring on CD for the first time. Compiled by Mento aficionado, Mike Murphy, the 2CD set is unquestionably the most definitive collection of the style yet to see issue and as such will appeal to those seeking to discover the origins of modern Jamaican music as well as the less discerning buyer simply wishing to enhance their summer barbecue!

Mento, Not Calypso! is the latest instalment in Fantastic Voyage’s exploration of the origins of reggae, and follows on from the release of two highly successful compilations of the US Shuffle Blues, which was so influential on Jamaican musicians, and Youths Boogie, which compiles Jamaican R&B and early Ska.



  1. Mambo Jamaica (Sir Horace and His Merry Knights)
  2. The Brown Skin Gal (The Tower Islanders)
  3. Red Head (The Montego Beach Hotel Calypsonians)
  4. Montego Calypso (The George Moxey Quartet)
  5. Mango Walk/Give me Back Me Shilling/Mr Parney/Sweetie Charlie (The Jamaican Calypsonians)
  6. Mary’s Lamb/The More We Are Together (The Jamaican Calypsonians with Hubert Porter)
  7. Calabash (Count Lasher & Charlie Binger’s Six)
  8. Wheel And Turn Me (The Jamaican Calypsonians)
  9. Give Her Love (Chin’s Calypso Sextet)
  10. Limbo (The Wigglers)
  11. Not Me (The Denzil Laing Trio)
  12. The Talking Parrot (The Mighty Panther with The Jamaican Calypsonians)
  13. Kitch (Baba Motta and His Orchestra)
  14. Penny-Reel (Calypso Quintet)
  15. Calypso Whai Whai Whai (Dan Williams and His Orchestra)
  16. Green Guava (Lord Tickler with The Jamaican Calypsonians)
  17. Hard Hearted Lover (The Ticklers)
  18. The Ole Man’s Drive (George Moxey and His Calypso Quintet)
  19. Honeymoon (Local Calypso Quintet)
  20. Hold ’Im Joe (The Montego Beach Hotel Calypsonians)
  21. Advice To Men (The Tower Islanders)
  22. Transportation Kingston Style (Dan Williams and His Orchestra)
  23. Donkey City (The Jamaican Calypsonians)
  24. Take Her To Jamaica (Count Owen and His Calypsonians)
  25. Calypso Cha Cha Cha (Count Lasher and His Calypsonians)
  26. Mambo La-La (Lord Power and His Calypsonians)


  1. Morgan’s Mento (Sir Horace and His Merry Knights)
  2. Special Amber Calypso (Lord Power and His Calypsonians)
  3. Limbo (Lord Tickler with The Jamaican Calypsonians)
  4. Brown Skin Gal (Count Owen and His Calypsonians)
  5. Solus Market (Reynolds Calypso Clippers)
  6. Etheopia (The Jamaican Calypsonians)
  7. Industrial Fair (Chin’s Calypso Sextet)
  8. Dalvey Gal/Parson (Count Lasher’s Calypso Quintet)
  9. Miss Goosie (The Jamaican Calypsonians)
  10. Mattie Rag/Brown Skin Gal (The Jamaican Calypsonians)
  11. Parish Gal (The Ticklers)
  12. Cinemascope (The Mighty Panther with The Jamaican Calypsonians)
  13. Back To Back, Belly To Belly (The Montego Beach Hotel Calypsonians)
  14. Miss Daisy/Brown Skin Girl (The Jamaican Calypsonians)
  15. Trek To England (Count Lasher’s Calypso Quintet)
  16. My Brother Calamity (Joseph Clemendore with George Moxey and His Calypso Quintet)
  17. Adam And Eve (Chin’s Calypso Sextet)
  18. Mary Ann/Brown Skin Gal (The Denzil Laing Trio)
  19. Perseverance (Count Lasher and His Calypsonians)
  20. Ugly Woman (The Jamaican Calypsonians)
  21. Run Mongoose/Linstead Market (The Jamaican Calypsonians)
  22. Water The Garden (Count Lasher’s Calypso Quintet)
  23. Bloodshot Eyes (The Montego Beach Hotel Calypsonians)
  24. Money Is King (Local Calypso Quintet)
  25. Hold ’Im Joe (The Tower Islanders)