The Trojan Story!


We’re gonna start a new semi-regular feature of the site. It’s called NOW HEAR DIS and will feature something that you need to hear. Most likely it won’t just be a song (but could be if it really needs to be heard!) but an interview, or radio show, podcast – something of a special interest. So here is the first one for your listening pleasure.

All this week the BBC are repeating the 2006 documentary, ‘Tighten Up – The Story of Trojan Records’. The series, presented by DJ/ Filmmaker/ Clash confidant Don Letts, comprises four 30 minute shows.

Widely dubbed Reggae‘s Motown, Trojan played a major role in introducing Jamaican music to the world at large and during the late sixties and early seventies chalked up nearly 30 hit singles as well as launching successful album series, most notably ‘Tighten Up’, ‘Reggae Chartbusters’ and ‘Club Reggae’. During this time the company helped launch the careers of numerous Jamaican acts in Britain and beyond, with Jimmy Cliff, John Holt, Ken Boothe, Bob & Marcia and Dave & Ansel Collins just of few of those to make their mark on an international stage via Trojan.

This series tells not just the story of Trojan Records, but also reveals how Jamaican music arrived in the UK. Discover how it all began and how the influx of young Jamaicans into post-war Britain kick-started a West Indian music scene in the UK. Find out how the British skinheads helped propel Ska and Reggae into the mainstream Pop charts and how the music adapted to UK tastes to become internationally successful. Learn too how the whole empire came crashing down, only for Punk and 2Tone to lead to a resurgence, helping confirm Trojan as one of the coolest and most important labels for Reggae music.

With contributions from Ken Boothe, Bunny Lee, BB Seaton, Derrick Harriot, Dandy Livingstone, John Holt, Ansel Collins, Rico Rodriguez, Bob Andy, Derrick Morgan and many more.

To check it out, go to the following:

I've been involved in the Los Angeles music scene since at least 1995 going to shows, promoting, spinning records and running labels. Ska and Early Reggae are my passion among other things of course.