Wednesday, January 31, 2007

VII: Year Of The Puppet - Jamaica - Ken Boothe

In the Eurocovers post 'Jamaica, can I have your votes please? pt. 1 (november 14, look in archives) I already mentioned that Puppet On A String was a bit of a classic in Jamaica.
The song was recorded by various reggae greats in the 60's, 70's and even in the 21st century. A few of them will feature in The Year Of The Puppet and the first one is by Ken Boothe, who actually díd record the song in the 60's, 70's and the 21st century.

Ken Boothe was born in Kingston Jamaica (1948). His first single is from 1963 but it was his first LP 'Mr Rocksteady' that brought him fame and the first of many nicknames.

The single Puppet On A String from 1967 was included on this breakthrough album. On his own website it says " ….the title many regard as one of Boothe's best exponents of song, ‘Puppet On A String’. " It was a huge seller in Jamaica in 1967 So it's a bit strange that it's missing from most Ken Boothe Best Of compilations.

When Boothe reworked the 1972 Bread hit Everything I own in his rocksteady style it gave him his biggest worldwide hit including a U.K. # 1 in 1974. The song was later covered by Boy George, who covered the Boothe version rather than David Gates' Bread original.

In 1978 Boothe released an LP 'Showcase' featuring a new recording of Puppet On A String extended with 'part 2 version', in total 6 minutes of laid back reggae.
In the early 21st century Boothe made a move to gospel music but in 2004 his concert at Cabaret Sauvage, Paris featured all his classic hits. This live show was released on CD.

In 2005 he created some new lyrics for Japanese DJ Infinity 16, mainly babbling along to his mix CD 'Real Warriors'

In his career Boothe has received several important awards for his music including the Bob Marley lifetime achievement award and the Order of distinction from the Jamaican gouvernment.

Ken Boothe - Puppet On A String discography
1967 single (Studio One SO 2012) b side is Look Away Ska by Roland Alphonso
The single was released in Jamaica and the UK with the same label number
1967 2nd edition single has 'Version on a string' on the b-side (Instrumental)
1968 LP 'Mr Rocksteady' (Studio One SO 3101)1978 LP 'Showcase' (Sonic Sounds SSR 001)all tracks of 'Showcase' and more on CD Sings Hits From Studio One And More (1998)
2004 CD 'Live in Paris 2004' (DikSud/(A) la folie - Fifty Five/Sony-BMG)
2005 CD 'Infinity 16 - Real warriors (Infinity 16 - INFCD-002S.002C, Japan)

1967 original version
1967 version on a string
1978 version + part 2 version
2004 live version
2005 DJ Infinity 16 version

More Jamaican Puppets to follow…

LOOKING FOR…I've found details on 12 Jamaican male artists who have recorded the song but none by a female singer. There's one possible though: I'm looking for confirmation on a recording by Joyce Bond, who has a puppet on her 1968 LP 'Soul and Ska' (Sue records Jamaica / Island records UK).
Can anyone confirm this is the Eurovision puppet, and if so, does anyone have the song?

These reggae artists have recorded Puppet On A String, the Eurovision song. I don't have them all, but I have confirmation that it is the Martin/Coulter song.
Ken Boothe
Eric Donaldson
Fab 5
John Holt
Byron Lee and the Dragonaires
Enos McCloud (McLeod)
Max Romeo
Tyrone Taylor
Tony Tuff
Paul Sincliar
Rob Walker
Lynn Taitt and the jets (Instrumental)
El Natty combo (Argentina, instrumental)

These I'm not sure, their Puppet could well be another song. Any help is welcome
Joyce Bond
Dandy (Livingstone)
Dwight Pinkney
Delroy Wilson

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