‘Kingston Rock,’ recorded in 1974 at Randy’s, is a phenomenal record featuring the vocals of Winston Jarrett and Horace Andy with riddims provided by The Wailers.
Winston Jarrett talks about how this album came about in an interview with Peter I:
Q: How did this project with RCA come up now, what was released in ’74 as ‘Kingston Rock’ with you, members from the Wailers band like the Barretts, plus Horace Andy?
A: Oh, with that guy now (the late) Brent Clarke? He has a brother in England named Sebastian Clarke.
Q: A journalist, yeah.
A: I think he used to put out some magazine with artists an’ things like that, give artists write-up. And he establish a magazine/book that he used to put out, maybe one or two time I hear. I don’t…
Q: He published a book in 1980 entitled ‘Jah Music’ if I’m not mistaken.
A: Now, I mostly know his brother in England but I know Brent Clarke because he was a road manager for Bob Marley & The Wailers in the early days, but they fired him and told him that they don’t want him to be no more manager again. So he come to Jamaica and was down there for a good while, maybe a year or over a year he was down there, so he was living up by Ninth Street, in Trench Town. I used to go up there and check him all the time and all day we are there so he come up with this idea that he was interested in my music an’ t’ing and he want to do an album. And he was making some arrangement to get Family Man and the Wailers to back me up because they didn’t sign no contract with Bob Marley yet at that time. That’s how we come up with that album, we did that album for Brent Clarke and the Randy’s studio, downtown Parade. At Randy’s studio, that’s where we record them songs with me and I think he do a couple – some songs with Horace Andy. I tell you the truth: that is one of my firs’ album I did for Brent Clarke, and up to now he told me that he want to get a big hit and he wanna try to see if he can come up with a big company to distribute it and make some licensing deal or something like that, with RCA-Victor. But I don’t know how – if they turned down the deal with it, so he put it out by himself. I don’t get no royalty from him, no statement, nutten at all and he left Jamaica and I haven’t heard about him. Because I am a member of the PRS – PRS mean ‘Performing Rights Society’, and I am a member of it for fifteen years, also a member of the MCPS – MCPS mean ‘Mechanical Copyright Society’, I am a member of that too. So, when it comes to my royalty, they always send me that statement and I see a lot of songs that come out. Brent Clarke is included and Roy Cousins from Wambesi label and Trojan put out a lot of those my songs them in England. And they take a fifteen percent share out of my royalties, so…
Q: So there wasn’t much to benefit from in other words, doing this ‘Kingston Rock’ album on RCA?
A: Nothing! Not even one – you see how small a lollipop is? Lollipop is a sweetie, not even that I get from Brent Clarke! None of those songs, and I don’t have a copy of it. I was chasin’ to find him, I heard that – somebody told me that he died, I dunno if it’s true. Delilah, the lady that was married to Brent Clarke, she was a secretary of Bob Marley’s Tuff Gong up at Hope Road, Kingston, Jamaica. And they both leave from Jamaica and come to the States and from that I heard nutten about him. Somebody told me two weeks ago that he died.
Q: Pity about such a project, that it just died there. So you were a contemporary with Elvis at RCA, wonder if he took notice (laughs)? Your first and only major label deal just petered out…
A: Yes. So I understand, y’know, I never see the album. I think it name ‘Kingston Rock’, or something.
Q: True. And he changed the title when he reissued the record in about 1987 to ‘Earth Must Be Hell’, on his own Atra label.
A: Yes, yes, I know that label, Atra. Yeah man.
Winston Jarrett – True Born African
Horace Andy – Earth Must Be Hell
Horace Andy – Unity, Strength & Love
Horace Andy – Can’t You See It’s Time
Winston Jarrett – Country Woman
Winston Jarrett – Let The Music Play
Winston Jarrett – Wake Up Suzy
Horace Andy – I Stand Before You
Horace Andy – How Do You Think I Feel
Horace Andy – Treasure Call Love
Winston Jarrett – Isn’t It Wrong
Winston Jarrett – Writing On The Wall
Producer : Aston Barrett & Brent Clarke
Mixing Engineer : Bradley Robertson
Engineer : Errol Thompson & Richard Goldblatt
Vocals : Horace Andy & Winston Jarrett
Backing Vocals : Ann & Annis Peters & Greta Hinkson
Backing Band : The Righteous Flames
Drums : Carlton Barrett
Bass : Aston Barrett
Guitar : Earl Chinna Smith
Piano : Tyrone Downie
Electric Piano : John Rabbit Bundrick
Organ : Earl Wire Lindo & John Rabbit Bundrick & Tyrone Downie
Percussions : Stranger Cole & Winston Jarrett
Recording : Randy’s (Kingston, JA)
Mixing : De Lane Lea (London, UK)
Voice Recording : De Lane Lea (London, UK)
Overdubs Recording : De Lane Lea (London, UK)