Trojan marches to Jamaica 60
Don Drummond

One of the companies that gave reggae a voice in the United Kingdom, Trojan Records, will celebrate Jamaica's 60th anniversary of Independence with two commemorative releases. Titled Rise Jamaica!, the compilations are a double-CD and four-vinyl set containing hit songs and collectibles from the early 1960s.

Both are scheduled for release on August 5, one day before Jamaica's Independence Day. The CDs contain 50 songs from 1962 including Miss Jamaica and Hurricane Hattie by Jimmy Cliff, My One Desire (Owen Gray), Be Still and Forward March (Derrick Morgan), and Independent Jamaica (Lord Creator).

Interestingly, included in the CD collection are songs by saxophonist Roland Alphonso (Chick Chick, As Teardrops Fall and Neck Tie) and trombonist Don Drummond (Sam The Fisherman and Twelve Minutes to Go), who became famous as members of The Skatalites Band.

The vinyl collection has 28 songs including Miss Jamaica and My Desire, as well as The Hop by Morgan and My Happy Home by Roy and Patsy. Disc two comprises dub plates produced by Arthur "Duke" Reid for his Trojan sound system.

Many of the songs on the CDs and albums were either hits in Jamaica and the UK, or underground favourites played at blues dances (basement parties staged by Jamaicans in the 1960s) or by rebellious white youth known as Skinheads.

Co-founded in 1967 by Jamaican Lee Gopthal and Island Records' Chris Blackwell, Trojan Records is synonymous with reggae in the UK. The label helped market and distribute some of the biggest Jamaican songs in that country including Double Barrel by Dave Barker and Ansel Collins, Everything I Own by Ken Boothe as well as John Holt's 1,000 Volts of Holt album.

The company observed its 50th anniversary in 2018 with a series of events including a documentary that premiered on October 12 that year at the London Film Festival.

Jimmy Cliff
Derrick Morgan
Lord Creator
Howard Campbell

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