SInce the last post on Boston area reggae I regretfully haven’t answered many questions about the labels and artists that were brought up. I have, on the other hand, continued to run into interesting releases on the likes on Mastermind and MJH Records, as well as the pieces pictured above.
Clockwise from the left we have a Waynie Ranks 12″ on Taurus records with a Courtney Morris cut Extacy on the flipside. The only address/phone number listed is the VP distribution info in Queens, but I’m pretty sure its a Boston production given that all of the artists and producers feature elsewhere on local releases of the time. Taurus also likely has a connection to the mainstay Blue Hill Avenue record shop bearing the same name which is sadly the last of the Jamaican/Caribbean record shops that is still open today. Record shops catering to the city’s West Indian population were for some time a thriving cottage industry in the area–they were certainly still a common feature of the landscape still while I was growing up in Dorchester during the nineties. The next disc is another Leroy Webb and Twin Dread production from 1991–‘Gwan Skylarking’ featuring rhythms by Mikey White and a host of local vocalists like Major Jackson, Errol Strength, Lady Lee and Ras Coley. The record was mixed by Junior Rodigan and Michael McDonald at Phillip Smart’s famed HC&F Studio in Freeport, Long Island. Taurus II records lists an address on River St. not far from the aforementioned record shop.
The I-Tones were a pretty successful reggae act in the Cambridge area for a time and put out a number of records including an LP called ‘Something We Share’ in 1987. This song apparently had a video that you can see here. Another of their bigger tunes was a nice rendition of Love is a Pleasure by Freddie Kay that came out on a 45. Healin of the Nations’ ‘Love is the Answer’ LP is the final label scan, coming out on the HUB Records imprint. This album received a lot of praise from the Boston Globe at the time of its release (1982) and is one of the more solid boston released full length that I have heard yet. Danny Tucker shows up in the credits as a background vocalist on 400 Years–making this an even more interesting find and reminding me of how I really need to track down that Take Us Home 45.