Studio One

Studio One is one of Jamaica's most renowned record labels and recording studios, having been described as the Motown of Jamaica. The record label was involved with most of the major music movements in Jamaica during the 1960s and 1970s including ska, rocksteady, reggae, dub and dancehall.


Studio One was founded by Clement "Coxsone" Dodd in 1954, and the first recordings were cut in 1963 on Brentford Road in Kingston. Amongst its earliest records were "Easy Snappin" by Theophilus Beckford, backed by Clue J & His Blues Blasters, and "This Man is Back" by trombonist Don Drummond. Dodd had previously issued music on a series of other labels, including World Disc, and had run Sir Coxsone the Downbeat, one of the largest and most reputable sound systems in the Kingston ghettos. In the early 1960s the house band providing backing for the vocalists were the legendary Skatalites whose members (including Roland Alphonso, Don Drummond, Tommy McCook, Jackie Mittoo and Lloyd Brevett) were recruited from the Kingston jazz scene by Dodd. The Skatalites split up in 1965 after Drummond was jailed for murder, and Dodd formed new house band Sound Dimension with Mittoo, Headley Bennett, Ernest Ranglin, Vin Gordon and Leroy Sibbles among a fluid line-up, to record his backing tracks. These seminal recordings: "Real Rock", "Heavy Rock", "Jamaica Underground", "Ten To Ten", formed the basis of reggae music in the late 1960s, being versioned and re-versioned time after time. The label and studio were closed when Dodd relocated to New York City in the 1980s.

Studio One artists

  • The Skatalites
  • The Ethiopians
  • Bob Marley and the Wailers
  • Lee "Scratch" Perry
  • Burning Spear
  • Toots & the Maytals
  • John Holt
  • The Abyssinians
  • Culture
  • Willie Cole
  • Horace Andy
  • Ken Boothe
  • Freddie McGregor
  • Dennis Brown
  • Jackie Mittoo
  • Gladiators
  • Michigan & Smiley
  • Soul Vendors
  • Lone Ranger
  • Wailing Souls
  • Dillinger
  • Delroy Wilson
  • Heptones
  • Johnny Osbourne
  • Marcia Griffiths (of the I-Threes)
  • Sugar Minott
  • Carlton and The Shoes
  • Alton Ellis

Noted rival Prince Buster began his career working for Dodd's sound system. In addition, record producer Harry J recorded many of his best-known releases at Studio One.


One online review of "Respect to Studio One" (33 tracks) released by Heartbeat adds "Stax-Volt" to the American R&B comparison and describes Studio One's founder Clement "Coxsone" Dodd as "reggae's Phil Spector, its Berry Gordy, and its Dick Clark all wrapped into one." The liner notes written by Chris Wilson explain, "It is important to understand why Studio One is so venerated. The obvious common ingredient in all the classic songs that Studio One has released over the last thirty-five years is Clement Dodd. From his earliest days as a producer he has understood the complexities of making a hit. Mr. Dodd values good singing, good songwriting, good horn lines and fierce bass lines...When the band would balk at recording a new artist with an unorthodox style, Mr. Dodd would tell them to bear with him and try it."

External links

-- Courtesy (Wikipedia) --