Studio One Presents Burning Spear Turns 50

by Howard Campbell

KINGSTON, Jamaica – It was 1970 and Winston Rodney was making a trod by his native St. Ann parish in rural Jamaica, when he bumped into Bob Marley. He informed Marley, then a member of The Wailers, of his musical aspirations.

Marley, who was additionally from St. Ann, directed him to Studio One the place The Wailers recorded their preliminary songs seven years earlier. Rodney, often called Burning Spear, took his recommendation and went to Kingston the place he impressed producer Clement “Coxson” Dodd, who directed him on Studio One Presents Burning Spear, the singer’s first album.

Studio One Presents Burning Spear turns 50


That is the fiftieth 12 months for the reason that launch of that groundbreaking set which accommodates songs like Door Peep Shall Not Enter, He Prayed and Ethiopians Reside it Out. Whereas he grew to become world-famous for subsequent works akin to Marcus Garvey and Man in The Hills, Spear has all the time acknowledged his tenure at Studio One.

“Wi study loads from Missa Dodd. Studio One is the school an’ for those who paid consideration yuh study an entire heap,” he informed this author in 2002.

Among the ‘academics’ at Studio One performed on Studio One Presents which is powerful on Afrocentric themes, according to Spear’s Rastafarian religion. Leroy Sibbles performed bass on most of its songs together with the haunting Door Peep Shall Not Enter.

He was taken by the magical chants of Burning Spear who took his moniker from the identify given Jomo Kenyatta, the Kenyan freedom fighter.

“I’m glad that I used to be concerned with that mission. I can bear in mind enjoying on a lot of the tracks with individuals like (trumpeter) Bobby Ellis,  (trombonist) Vin Gordon and (drummer) Fil Callender. He (Spear) got here with two concord singers and so they had this distinctive chanter’s sound,” Sibbles recalled.

Studio One Presents Burning Spear was launched at a time when roots-reggae was nonetheless a brand new sound. Jimmy Cliff, The Wailers and Toots And The Maytals had been the style’s early standard-bearers.

Though his debut album didn’t make worldwide waves, Spear enthused Dodd sufficient to report a second assortment of songs.  Rocking Time, his follow-up album, was launched in 1974 and made him a good larger identify amongst followers in underground circles in Jamaica and its Diaspora.

Now 78, Burning Spear is scheduled to carry out on the June 16-18 Sierra Nevada World Music Pageant in Booneville, California.