REGGAE NEWS - OCTOBER 2009
Winston Riley invests $50m in studio, museum project
Posted by October 30 2009 at 19:17
Category : Others
Veteran producer, Winston Riley, is investing just over $50 million in a studio and museum he intends to open before year-end on Orange Street, downtown Kingston.
The building is being constructed on the same site that housed Riley's record label, Techniques Records, which he said was burnt down by arsonists last month. The new property, Riley told Splash, will be rebranded Techniques Records and Museum, which, in addition to producing songs, will be a depository showcasing the history of reggae and dancehall music.
"We're going to teach everybody the history of reggae music, from when it started, come right up," said Riley. "Nothing will be like this in Jamaica."
Riley, who was founder of rocksteady vocal group The Techniques before he became a successful producer, is funding the venture out of pocket. He said the aim is to turn the location into a tourist attraction and help re-establish downtown Kingston, the once vibrant commercial district which attracted many overseas vistors, as part of the island's tourism product.
"All type of persons come (to Jamaica) and ask questions - white, black, brown etc. We are going to have books, displays, graffiti etc outlining to them all the top musicians who built this thing," said Riley, adding that locals are being targeted as well.
The successful musician, who was born and bred in downtown Kingston, said he is unphased by the negative perception of the crime-torn district, dismissing suggestions that his multimillion dollar investment may be too risky for that part of town.
"This is my place," he said of downtown. "It can go back to where it once was...it starts here."
Indeed, a few decades ago, along the same road on Orange Street where Riley's new studio and museum is being built, used to be a corridor of record shops and studios. The 'beat-street', as it was known, was home to Studio One, Rockers International, Niney the Observer and Joe Gibbs to name a few.
Riley is originally from neigbouring West Street, where he formed The Techniques in 1962. The group left the Treasure Isle label in the late 1960's, after which Riley set up his own Techniques Label - originally based on West Street but relocated to Orange Street in 1991. He went on to become one of the most successful Jamaican producers of all time, producing a string of hits in the 1980's. The producer said it was always his intention to remain in downtown and invest in the area through reggae music.
"This is my dream," he said to Splash, while watching labourers do work on his new site.
By Julian Richardson
source : jamaicaobserver.com
Sonia Pottinger - a true Jamaican musical heroine
Posted by October 25 2009 at 16:11
Category : Others
On the heels of National Heroes Day, Jamaica's renowned female music producer, Sonia Pottinger, OD, triumphed in the Supreme Court, which ruled on Wednesday that she is the rightful owner of the famed Treasure Isle record catalogue.
The highest court of the land was convinced that this collection of recorded music, one of the richest in Jamaica's history, originally belonging to legendary producer Arthur Stanley 'Duke' Reid, was sold to her in 1975. The Honourable Justice E Brown dismissed other claims to the contrary, including that of Anthony Reid, son of the late Duke Reid, as well as that of other notable producers.
Given that legal victory, one cannot help but ponder just what message Pottinger was sending when she named the various labels she created as SEP (Sonia E Pottinger), Gayfeet, High Note and Glory Records.
The grand dame of Jamaican music who in February was honoured at the Excellence in Music, and Entertainment (EME) Awards, has been experiencing success since she opened her Tip Top Records Shop in 1965.
From that year, the widow of the late Lyndon Pottinger - himself a record producer - was the matriarch of the local music industry until the mid-1980s. During the rocksteady to early Reggae periods she produced music for some of reggae's finest artistes beginning with her release of Every Night by the duo, Joe White and Chuck.
For Yesterday's Notes, that marked the start of Sonia Pottinger's prolific era of hits that gave us gayfeet (for dancing) such as The Whip by the Ethiopians, Delano Stewart and the Melodians' Swing And Dine, as well as a slew of others from Ken Boothe, Alton Ellis, Marcia Griffiths, Phyllis Dillon, Culture, Bob Andy, U Roy, Big Youth and Toots and the Maytals.
Almost on the eve of her victory in the Supreme Court, this 'musical heroine' struck a high note when she landed an online distribution deal with the US-based Independent Online Distribution Alliance (IODA). The deal will see her musical treasures being distributed worldwide distribution through IODA's network of digital retail outlets, mobile retailers and subscription services.
This will pave the way for more glory to Sonia E Pottinger as under the three-tier agreement, IODA will distribute the songs through Notable Music which represents her own High Note and Treasure Isle Records.
As early as next year, Notable Music will re-release her entire catalogue of Tip Top reggae music. What a glorious reward for Jamaica's first female record producer.
source : jamaicaobserver.com