Prince Buster  

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Cecil Bustamente Campbell OD (24 May 1938 – 8 September 2016), known professionally as Prince Buster, was a Jamaican singer-songwriter and producer. He was regarded as one of the most important figures in the history of ska and rocksteady music. The records he released in the 1960s influenced and shaped the course of Jamaican contemporary music and created a legacy of work that later reggae and ska artists would draw upon.

Artistic and producing career

In 1960, Buster produced a record for the Folkes Brothers for the Wild Bells label, "Oh Carolina," under his nickname. This record was Jamaica's first to involve an element of African music - the drumming in the record was provided by Count Ossie, the lead nyabinghi drummer from the rastafarian camp, Camp David in the hills above Kingston. It was an instant hit in Jamaica (arguably because of its African drumming - it gave the people of Jamaica a cultural artifact all of their own), and Buster's early records, which were released in the UK by Blue Beat Records contributed greatly to the developing sound of ska. Buster was soon recording himself as well as producing records for others.

From 1963 to the end of the decade, Buster wrote and produced hundreds of songs for Blue Beat. Soon after his initial success, Buster was drawing international attention. He toured Britain extensively during this period, playing to sellout crowds, and appeared on commercial TV broadcaster Rediffusion London's Friday early-evening pop show Ready, Steady, Go! in 1964. He became notorious for releasing "Big Five", a raunched-up re-write of Brook Benton's "Rainy Night in Georgia". He never toured the Netherlands but many other European countries. Although none of his singles charted as highly in the United States, he went on a successful American tour in 1967 to support the little-known RCA Victor LP release "The Ten Commandments (From Man To Woman)". Today, the album (catalog LSP-3792) is a highly-sought-after rarity among collectors of ska and foundation reggae. The album Judge Dread Rock Steady was released in 1967, and the title track "Judge Dread" (w. Lee Perry) with its satirical theme and vocal style proved to be popular to the point of parody.

Besides being a pioneering musician, Buster, like Clement Dodd, was also very interested in business. He started a record store in Kingston in the early 1960s which is still owned and operated by his family today. Later he founded a jukebox company. He also started the Prince Buster Records label, at first as an attempt to keep the Melodisc label viable, but today is used to reissue his music.

Prince Buster had two hit singles in the UK. Al Capone (# 18, 1967) & with an updated version of Whine And Grine, which was used on a TV advert (# 21, 1998).



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Prince Buster" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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