As we continue with Live & Learn week, where we profile the career and music produced by Delroy Wright for Live & Learn records, I thought it was as good a time as any to share Beth Lesser’s Top 10 songs that have been versioned or sampled. For those who don’t know, Beth has chronicled the early dancehall period in both magazines and books and her photos from this era are some of the best you will ever see. She profiled Channel One during the same period that Delroy Wright, Linval Thompson, Jah Life, and Junjo Lawes were making history there. As I explained in our last installment of the series by Mad Professor, most contributors have submitted their favorite songs that have been versioned/sampled rather than their favorite riddims.
Beth Lesser is a Reggae photographer and author from Toronto, Canada, who followed the birth and rise of the Jamaican early dancehall movement in the eighties as she and Dave Kingston regularly visited Kingston, Jamaica. She published on of the great reggae zines of the modern era Reggae Quarterly. She published a book on King Jammy’s and then Dancehall – the story of Jamaican dancehall culture, which is full of many stunning photos. She also wrote a biography of the legendary singer Sugar Minott called The Legend of Sugar Minott & Youth Promotion. Her latest book titled Rub-A-Dub Style: The Roots of Modern Dancehall could be her best yet and can be purchased at www.bethlesser.com.
Here are Beth’s Top 10 selections for our The Riddims That Hit ‘Em series.
Jah Thomas (Barrington Levy) “Dance Pon the Corner.” Over the “Real Rock” riddim.
Eek-A-Mouse “For Hire and Removal”
Jah Berry (Lopez Walker) “Daily News”
Dillinger “Braces-A-Boy.” Produced by Augustus Pablo.
Noel Ellis & Willi Williams “Rocking Universally”
Prince Jazzbo “Live Good Today” (Sam Carty)
Alton Ellis “Live and Learn”
K.C. White “Don’t Be Untrue” (Bullwackies)
Sugar Minott “Can’t Cross the Border”
The Royals “Pick up the Pieces.” Produced by Roy Cousins.