Monday, September 10, 2012

Alton Ellis | Get Ready for Rock Reggae Steady

Listen to "Mad, Mad, Mad"

Listen to "I'm Just a Guy"

Get the whole 20-track collection here.

As I said yesterday, I spent a good portion of my Sunday this week up on White Plains Road in the Bronx, where I plucked a number of fabulous items from a Nigerian drug store and a couple of black music focused record/CD/cassette stores.

Today's selection was found at Millennium Records (4045 White Plains Road), the last place I visited before hopping on the train back home to Astoria. I asked the guy behind the counter, Pablo, who seemed like the owner of the place, how well the store was doing and was happily surprised when he told me that he does a pretty brisk business.

"We have a few white guys who come up here for the records; we sell a lot of those," he told me. "And the current R&B section is very, very popular." The majority of CDs he had for sale were from the Caribbean or the U.S.--at least, so I thought. "Many of these," he said, pointing to an area of what looked like ska and reggae, "are actually from overseas; London."

"And they sell?" I asked.

"Oh, yes," he said, smiling. It was not a long conversation but, I have to say, it was one of the most life-affirming I've had in recent memory. Imagine! A music store that is actually doing brisk business. And providing a real cultural service for the community that surrounds it. I picked up the Alton Ellis he had, as well as another CD that I will likely post in the next week or so.

Alton Ellis, aka "The Godfather of Rocksteady," started his career as a singer in 1959 as one half of the duo Alton and Eddy (the other half being Eddy Perkins). After scoring a couple of hits, Perkins moved to the U.S., leaving Alton in Kingston, where he found work as a printer. When he lost his job, he took up music again in earnest, initially working with others as part of a group or duo.

This retrospective CD (from 1999) begins with Alton's first solo recordings in 1967 and follows his career for another seven or so years--the latest track here is from 1974. If you like it, stick around; I'll be posting a number of things this week and next that I found on White Plains Road yesterday.


Barron said...

Looks great, but the link doesn't work.

Gary said...

Link seems to be working now; please try again!

Barron said...

I'll try again later. This what I see:

Oops! Google Chrome could not find

This webpage is not available
The server at can't be found, because the DNS lookup failed. DNS is the network service that translates a website's name to its Internet address. This error is most often caused by having no connection to the Internet or a misconfigured network. It can also be caused by an unresponsive DNS server or a firewall preventing Google Chrome from accessing the network.
Here are some suggestions:
Reload this webpage later.
Check your Internet connection. Restart any router, modem, or other network devices you may be using.
Check your DNS settings. Contact your network administrator if you're not sure what this means.
Try disabling network prediction by following these steps: Go to the wrench menu > Settings > Show advanced settings... and deselect "Predict network actions to improve page load performance." If this does not resolve the issue, we recommend selecting this option again for improved performance.
Add Google Chrome as a permitted program in your firewall's or antivirus software's settings. If it is already a permitted program, try deleting it from the list of permitted programs and adding it again.
If you use a proxy server, check your proxy settings or contact your network administrator to make sure the proxy server is working. If you don't believe you should be using a proxy server, adjust your proxy settings: Go to the wrench menu > Settings > Show advanced settings... > Change proxy settings... > LAN Settings and deselect the "Use a proxy server for your LAN" checkbox.
Error 105 (net::ERR_NAME_NOT_RESOLVED): Unable to resolve the server's DNS address.

Gary said...

I get that sometimes using Google Chrome. I would first try accessing it through another browser (Firefox, Safari or Internet Explorer).

It might be some sort of setting issue in Google Chrome, I don't know.

I'm accessing it through Firefox now and it's fine.

Ross Brown said...

Grrr, not working, both with Chrome and Safari. Desperate to listen to this. Help?