Clement Dodd more

Biography

Jamaican Performing & Recording Artists

From: Jamaica
Best Known for: Famous Reggae Producer

Bio: He built his recording studio after acquiring 13 Brentford Road in Kingston Jamaica 1960, calling it STUDIO ONE.

He began with a resident band called The Skatalites, replacing them over the years with the Soul Brothers, then the Soul Vendors, and finally The Sound Dimension after 1970. He was using mono recording equipment from 1955 to 1963, later upgrading to a 2-track stereo machine. By owning Studio One, Dodd avoided the high cost of studio rental time, he was able to record numerous takes/attempts of a song; ensuring satisfaction with the final product. He hired Jamaicas finest musicians (some of which are mentioned in the opening paragraph, by holding open auditions at Studio One every Sunday).

During the early sixties, Studio One was putting out hits like a conveyor belt at a supermarket, catching the eyes and ears of up and coming artists and producers then and today. Most of the reggae songs that one hears today are versions or simulated copies of Coxsones former hits. The string of successful ska hits began to attract competition for Dodd in the middle sixties with the development of the much slower beat called Rock Steady, which was dominated by his rival Duke Reid.

During the seventies Reggae icons like Bob Marley, Burning Spear, Dennis Brown, Slim Smith, John Holt, Marcia Griffiths, The Heptones, The Gaylads, Horace Andy, Dennis Alcapone, Freddie McKay and many others all enjoyed hit records with Dodd, and by continuously re-releasing his older material, he was able to maintain his market presence and appeal with his younger audience. When the Jamaican music scene changed from Rock Steady to Dancehall, he made the same successful transition with artists like Willie Williams, Lone Ranger, Sugar Minott, Freddie McGregor, Michigan & Smiley, Johnny Osbourne, and a host of other artists. When the dancehall scene exploded in the mid-eighties, Dodd and Studio One could not compete and he closed 13 Brentford Road for good and relocated to Brooklyn New York.

The year 2002 will mark Coxsones 46th anniversary in the music industry. In 1991, his 35th anniversary year, 2 huge shows were held in his honour, recognizing his contribution to Jamaicas musical heritage. This show produced a whos-who in Jamaican music, all paying tribute and respect. Coxsone primarily worked with Jamaican artists, but in early 2000, he signed British-born singer Alpheus to his stable, the first outside of Jamaica.

Depending on who one speaks with, you will always get a different opinion of Coxsone Dodd. Some artists are in disagreement over monies they claim were due to them from previous recordings with Dodd, but the reality confirms that if it was not for Clement Coxsone Dodd, many of todays and yesterdays artists would be unknown to this day. If an artist truly wants to learn all about the Reggae music and the recording industry, then Mr Dodd’s musical college is the place to start.

Clement Coxsone Dodd, a true Jamaican pioneer and legend.

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