Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Jamaica, Can I have your votes please? pt. 1

Not very likely that Jamaica, home of Reggae music, will ever participate in our beloved contest anytime soon, but then, no one imagined Jamaica at the Winter Olympics either.
In the 60's and early seventies some of the great Eurovision hits found their way to the Caribbean island so famous for its music and were covered by local singers from the 60's to (almost) present day.
Don't expect Bob Marley style militant Jah praising revolutionary stuff though, it's often more reggae of the Lovers Rock variety.
'Puppet on a string' must have been a popular tune in Jamaica as at least 15 artists from Jamaica have covered the song.

Byron Lee is the most active of them all, having 5 coverversions to his name.
Although very popular at home, his only worldwide claim to fame is 'Only a fool' with the Mighty Sparrow, a 1969 song that became a big hit in the mid 70's.
He has released many cds featuring reggae, soca and soft pop.

Byron Lee's Mighty Eurovision songs:
Walk away (Warum nur warum) - with the Mighty Sparrow
- on LP Sparrow meets the dragon from 1969 , also includes 'Only a fool'
Al di la - with the Dragonaires
- on LP The sounds of Jamaica (Towers Hall productions)
Love is blue - with the Dragonaires
- on a 7" single (on his own Dynamic label) - b side to Elisabeth Serenade
Eres tu - with the Dragoniares
- Mellow version with only the chorus sung (in English) on CD Soft Lee 4.
Puppet on a string * - with the Dragonaires
- The most covered Eurovision song in Jamaica, from the CD 'No woman no cry'.

* Puppet on a string versions will be featured frequently in this blog in 2007 to celebrate Sandie Shaws birthday and the 40th anniversary of her Eurovision victory. Year Of The Puppet.
Check out Jamaican versions by Ken Boothe, Tyrone Taylor, Enos McCloud and Paul Sinclair.

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