Jolly Boys CD, "Great
Expectation" is now available, and its a hit!
A new CD, called "Sweet Sweet Jamaica"
has been released by Gilzene and The Blue
Light Mento Band was released.
A new compilation, "Sound
Man Shots" on the Complete Roots label, gives us 19 mento
sides on CD -- more than half not available elsewhere -- plus more.
Courtesy of Dan Neely, video of a June 2009 performance of Toots And
The Maytals' "Sweet And Dandy" by The
Blue Glaze Mento Band has been posted to the "More Resurgence CD
Scans page" here.
The Jamaica Association of Vintage Artistes and Affiliates (JAVAA), has
announced its a second group of ten inductees into its Hall Of Fame.
Included are producer Stanley
Motta and Frat's Quintet.
Also inducted were
Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Prince Buster, Sonny Bradshaw, Otis
Wright, Alton Ellis, Byron Lee, and the Merritone Music
label. Last year's inductees can be seen below.
More than 50 years after its release, Capitol Records finally
released Lord Flea's "Swingin' Calypsos"
LP (along with its follow-up single) as bonus material on a
Harry Belafonte CD called "The
Early Years At Capitol Records".
Video of five songs from a live
2003 performance by the late Stanley Beckford with The
Blue Glaze Mento Band (featuring the late Vincent Price)
have been added to the
Stanley Beckford page.
YouTube mento video links have been added to
various pages on the site and are collected on the
Mento Videos page.
Lord Flea and
are amongst the first 12 stellar inductees in the Jamaica Music Hall
Of Fame. From the July 14th
Jamaica Observer, by Basil Walters:
The Jamaica Association of
Vintage Artistes and Affiliates (JAVAA), celebrated its fifth
anniversary on Friday with the first induction for the Jamaica Music
Hall of Fame, saluting a wide array of musical icons from mento to
reggae. The salutation was not only for on-stage performers, but
also for those behind-the-scene unsung heroes and one noteworthy
institution. It was a well attended history-making ceremony held on
the lawns of the Pegasus Hotel.
Seven of the individual
inductees were honoured posthumously. These were legendary
folklorist/poet, Louise "Miss Lou" Bennett-Coverly; master drummer
and founder of the Mystic Revelation of Rastafari (MRR), Oswald
Williams, aka Count Ossie; pioneer mento/calypsonian, Norman Thomas,
better known as Lord Flea; founder of the Alpha Boys' School, Sister
Mary Ignatius Davies; legendary producer/director, Vere Johns, who
founded the famous Opportunity Hour talent contest, legendary record
producer, Clement 'Sir Coxsone' Dodd of Studio One fame; and giant
record producer Arthur 'Duke' Reid. The original Wailers -
comprising Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, Junior Braithwaite,
Beverly Kelso and Cherry Green - were also inducted. Of the group
only Bunny Wailer, Kelso and Green are alive. Don Drummond, Roland Alphonso,
Tommy McCook and Jerome
'Jah Jerry' Hinds (all deceased) from the immortal Skatalites were
Lyrics and a sound clip have been added for
"Robusta Banana" on the
Count Lasher page.
A new mento t-shirt
is available. It features an illustration of mento musicians
taken from a vintage 1950s Jamaican album jacket.
An interesting program of calypso and mento
was presented at NYC's Lincoln Center for four performances in
Monty Alexander, who is a revered public figure in his native
Jamaica as well as a renowned jazz musician in this country, brings
together an ensemble of musicians from neighboring islands and
cultures to celebrate the musics of the Caribbean. The first 30
minutes of the set will focus on Trinidad/Calypso, with guest
appearances by leading exponents of the form. The second 30 minutes
will focus on Jamaica/Mento and will include a 4-man singing group
who play banjo, guitar, rumba box and maracas.
Amongst the performers were be
Joseph Bennett of The Jolly Boys,
Albert Morgan of The
Happy Smilers, Carlton James, reggae's Dean Fraser,
CedricBrooks, Pluto Shervington,
and many others. It was a great night! A show review with photos can
be seen here.
Folk/mento video from 1939 has been added to
the Video page.
A separate page for
Arthur Knibbs has been spun off with new content.
Two new CDs by former
Jolly Boy Allan Swymmer are now
A sixth (and
probably final) CD volume of Chin's Calypso
Sextet has been released by Ivan Chin.
Very sad news, as
Stanley Beckford has lost his battle
Alerth Bedasse, lead singer for
Chin's Calypso Sextet died on March
5th of a stroke. He was 79.
A scan of the rare 50
year old paper sleeve from a
Chin's Calypso Sextet single has been
This web site has turned 4 years old and
has just had its one millionth hit.
An "I Love
Mento" design has been added to the "Mento
Two updates to the
Sextet page: The names of all the band members
have finally been uncovered and
posted. Likewise pictures of this week's reunion between
Ivan Chin and Alerth Bedasse. 1/13/07
Bad medical news for
Stanley Beckford has been
reported by The Daily Gleaner. Information has been added for anyone who would like to
contribute money to Stanley's mounting medical bills.
Mento Video page has been updated
with a clip of The Joy Makers and a complete song by The
Jamaica Folk Singers, taken from an unlikely source.
A RSS feed for
this site has been set up, for those of you that have a RSS reader. Just click on the
icon to subscribe.
Lord Fly page has been spun off, with new
Updated with additional content: 8/26/06.
Louise Bennett has passed at the age of 86. An obituary can
be seen here.
Sextet design has been added to the "Mento
A new page has been
added for the now NYC-based Carlton James and The Rod
Dennis Mento Band. It includes photos and sound clips
Another golden-age mento compilation? Yes!
Does it include
13 tracks not found
on other CDs? Yes!
In late June 2006, Pressure Sounds will release "Take
Me To Jamaica (The Story of Jamaican Mento 1951 to 1958)". A
review has been added to the "Can
I Buy Mento?" page.
The Overtakers are a mento trio out of Negril who will be touring the US &
releasing a new CD in October. For details, watch
Mento in Manhattan?! Yes, thanks to
and that was only part of the
Early this year, a Clash tribute was
released that features a mento rendition of "Junco Partner". For the
inside story, including the NYC-based band members that may be
familiar to fans of this site, visit
this web page.
April 2006, Trojan will release
the two CD collection: "Dip and Fall Back!:
Dr. Kinsey To Haile Selassie - Classic Jamaican Mento".Visit the
Can I Buy Mento? page for more on this