Commemorative box set for Studio One
A box set commemorating the 50th anniversary of Studio One and the 80th birthday of the studio’s founder Clement ‘Coxson’ Dodd, is scheduled to be released in January.
Clement Dodd Jnr and Morna Dodd, two of the legendary producer’s children, told the Jamaica Observer recently that a team of musicologists have already began preparing the multisong project.
“His contribution to Jamaican music has not been emphasised at all within the whole Reggae Month so we believe it is appropriate we target January at the time of his birthday,” Dodd Jnr said.
Dodd senior died in 2004 in Kingston from a heart attack at age 72. He established his Downbeat sound system in the late 1950s and launched his Studio One label in 1962 with the album, I Cover The Waterfront.
In 1963, he purchased The End, a former nightclub at Brentford Road in Kingston. Dodd transformed the venue into a recording studio where he began recording that year.
Studio One was similar to American independent labels like Motown and Stax. Many top Jamaican acts recorded their early music at Dodd’s camp, such as The Wailers, Alton Ellis, the Skatalites, Bob Andy, Marcia Griffiths, the Heptones, Horace Andy, Freddie McGregor, and Sugar Minott.
The Studio One catalogue is a formidable one that has yielded numerous compilation and reissue albums through Heartbeat Records in the United States and Soul Jazz in England.
Since his father’s death, Dodd Jnr says there has not been much activity in terms of releasing Studio One music, especially in North America.
“With Mr Dodd around, Studio One was always manufacturing and shipping but there’s been a bit of a lull which has hurt the brand,” he said.
“When Alton Ellis passed and Sugar (Minott) passed, there was this huge demand for their material and because it’s not readily available then a preponderance of piracy will come in,” he added.
Dodd Jnr was born in Kingston but raised in Britain. He is also a producer who has released songs and albums through his Basement Records.
Last August, the Jamaican Supreme Court ruled in his favour in a revocation suit against his stepmother Norma Dodd and sister Carol.
The ruling gave Dodd Jnr rights to the distribution and marketing of the Studio One catalogue. He is also eligible for royalties from Jamrec, the Studio One publishing company.
Dodd had filed suit in the Supreme Court in 2006, claiming his name was wrongfully removed from his father’s will which was made in December 1987.