Back in 1973, the skinhead boom was already fading out and the reggae scene was becoming more and more divided into roots reggae and, let’s say, a more commercial/pop reggae to fit in the market. That year, The Old Grey Whistle Test, a BBC2 television music show, presented a special episode featuring well known reggae artists at the Edinburgh Festival. These artists included: The Cimarons, Winston Groovy, Dennis Alcapone, The Marvels, Nicky Thomas and The Pioneers, while the host was no other than Judge Dread himself.
The Cimarons here feature Carl Lewis on vocals, Locksley Gichie on guitar, Franklyn Dunn on bass, Carl Levy on keyboard and Maurice Ellis on drums. They only perform one song, Ain’t no sunshine (when she’s gone), but they are the backing band of the rest of the artists, except The Pioneers who are backed by Malaka.
Their looks, typical early 70’s gear: penny round collars, suede fabrics, platforms, flared (and tight!) trousers.
Winston Tucker, a.k.a., Winston Groovy shows us in this concert that he is one of the smartest and most handsome men in Reggae. Wearing a penny collar shirt with floral pattern, a suit and platforms, he performs I’m a believer, a very nice reggae tune released in the UK in 1973 on the Trojan’s subisidary Explosion.
Then is the turn of Mr. Dennis Alcapone. Over the Drum Song riddim, he performs Cassius Clay and the toast is absolutely brilliant. He also performs Wake up Jamaica, the DJ cut to Joya Landis’ Moonlight Lover.
Dennis wears a pointy collar sheer shirt with floral embroidery(!!!), 70’s polyester jacket, black flares and platforms. Fashion is fashion.
This group consisted of Nell Hinds, Eddie Smith and Alex “Dimples” Hinds and I tend to think that they were the most pop-reggae group in this concert. They perform two songs, one sang by Alex (Jimmy Browne) and one by Nell (One Monkey). I must admit I’m not a big fan of this style but the riddim and their energy is quite contagious.
Ein, zwei, drei! Don’t know their connection to the German language lol, and I can’t find Jimmy Browne on Youtube
What happens to Nicky in this performance? He’s very excited to say the least! Nicky Thomas was definitely one of the most famous artists and Love of the Common People was a big hit; we can tell that by the response of the public, who seem to go crazy when he appears on stage.
Nicky performs two tunes, Is it because I’m black? and Love of the common people, wearing a craaazy jumpsuit and jacket.
The Pioneers are one of my favourite groups and I love them but I find it rather odd that they only perform cover versions when they also had their own tunes. They sing Jackie Wilson’s Higher and Higher and The Temptations’ Papa was a rolling stone backed by the band Malaka, but i’ts nice to see George doing the falsettos.
Hope you have liked the post! And as always in parting, I should end the post with a tune but I think you already have too many above. Remember that you can also follow TBB on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. See you next week!