Randy’s Clive Chin Interview

Randy's Record ShopI was surfing around today and found this very interesting interview with Randy’s Clive Chin (son of founder Vincent “Randy” Chin) who is helping to steer the company for the next 50 years of reggae goodness. He relates more then a few good stories including memories of Alton Ellis, early sound system days, how the company got started, how he started working with Errol Thompson and more. It’s a wonderful read.

Here’s a small excerpt:

Your father recorded a very young Alton Ellis. Do you have any early memories of him?
Yes yes. Alton was a very close ally to him. A very close friend. He was also a co worker because Alton used to work at Issa as well in the mid 50s. But it wasn’t really in jukebox – it was a different department. Probably in the engineering or mechanical I don’t know. I didn’t really ask Alton what kind of work he was doing there but he did acknowledge that both him and my father was working there.

That was very odd because Alton did some of his early recordings – not ska or reggae but blues like what you call bluebeat – a song by the name of Let Me Dream, My Love Divine. Him and Eddie Parkins as a duet just like how they did Muriel for Studio 1. But then it went on, and he did some solo recordings, some massive tunes – because Mouth A Massy was a BIG TUNE around ’63 – ’64. Then he did Ska Beat and he also did another duet with John [Holt] called Rumbumpers – another big tune. But they were very very close, you know?

Even when Alton came back from England in the early 70s. That’s when I personally had the opportunity to meet him now. Was in 1973. Because I did a song with him – it was a cover song by the Cornelius Brothers called Too Late To Turn Back Now – and me and him had a good time working on that track. We build up a good relationship. Because I knew his sister before personally meeting and working with him. I recorded Hortense on a track called Woman Of The Ghetto – a great track. But good memories of Alton.

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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.