• Alvin Campbell

Heroes of Jamaican Popular Music (JPM)

Updated: Apr 2, 2021

Prince Buster singer/songwriter/producer/promoter/performer

Mohammed Yusef Ali , Prince Buster, was born in Kingston in 1938 and was a promising boxer until 1961 when he took a job as a security person for "Coxsone" Dodd's Downbeat sound system.

Buster sidelined as a DJ, but his work with his fists earned him the title 'Prince'. Soon Busta, enthused by ska, produced artists like the Folkes Brothers and Eric "Monty" Morris on his own imprint while still making classic hits for himself like 'Wash Wash'. The Bluebeat label and the music Buster produced on it first broke ska in the UK and gave it the second name that it still holds to the present time. He converted to Islam and changed his name to Mohammed Yusef Ali after a meeting with the boxer Muhammad Ali in the UK.

Sonia Pottinger producer

Perhaps the single most important woman involved in the seminal stage of Jamaica's recorded music business, Mrs Pottinger's produced artists from the mid-1960s until the mid-1980s. She first opened her Tip Top Records Shop in the mid-1960s and started to record musicians in 1966. Among the many artists Pottinger recorded were: Baba Brooks, The Ethiopians, Delano Stewart, The Melodians, Ken Boothe, Alton Ellis and Toots & The Maytals. In the 1970s, she further produced albums by Bob Andy, Marcia Griffiths, Culture, U Roy and Big Youth.

In 1974 she bought Treasure Isle from a long time friend Duke Reid and had continued to reissue songs from that label. Among her most memorable hits is Marcia Griffith's version of 'Dreamland.'

Derrick Harriott producer/writer/performer/promoter

Born in Kingston, Derrick Harriott began his career as a member of the Jiving Juniors singing group before going solo. Over the years, Harriott has produced hits for artists including the Ethiopians, Keith & Tex., Big Youth, The Chosen Few, Dennis Brown, Scotty and Winston McAnuff.

He has had numerous hits as a solo performer, including the self-composed 'I Was Born A Loser' and the classic 'Born To Love You'.

Harriott was the first producer to use the renowned King Tubby's recording studio and the first to record Dennis Brown. He was also a major promoter through his Musical Chariot disco based at the VIP club and then the Sombrero Club and promoted show that featured artists of the calibre of the Wailers, among others.