Manage episode 357335004 series 2898977
Stranger Cole doesn't recall a time before he started singing and writing music; it was always a part of his life. As a teenager in Jamaica in the early 60s, he took several of his songs to record producer Duke Reid, who liked his songwriting, but not his voice. He had Eric Monty Morris sing Stranger's song "In and Out The Window." After the song became a hit, he let Stranger sing a few of his songs. The next two, "Rough and Tough" and "When You Call My Name" (With Patsy Todd) were also big hits. These songs are STILL well-known songs from this era.
The hits kept on coming for Stranger with "Uno Dos Tres" (With Ken Boothe), "Bangarang" (The first recorded-reggae song), Yeah Yeah Baby (With Patsy Todd) and many more.
This week we are honored to speak with Jamaican ska icon, Stranger Cole. We talk about his vast and fascinating history with music, which includes playing with The Skatalites, performing at the Sombrero Club (featured in the 1964 BBC documentary, This Is Ska), working with Duke Reid, and how he stumbled into singing the first reggae song.
We also talk about his move to Toronto, Canada in the 70s, where he opened the Kensington Market record store Roots Records. We talk about the recording of his debut LP, "Forward" In The Land Of The Sunshine, and we ask what it's been like traveling all over the world in recent years, and getting backed by young and eager, ska-studious bands wherever he travels.
He also explains how doing "rewinds" makes for a better live show.
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