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Reggae Legends: Lee "Scratch" Perry

Sound Travels with one man in mind this week as we explore the music of one of Jamaica's craziest, and perhaps most creative producer, Lee "Scratch" Perry.

And he's still at it to this day, working with many of the newer artists in the reggae world. He is a reggae giant famous for his eccentricities and rightfully credited for a long career in every era of reggae's existence and a pioneer of the production techniques we now know as dub. While there is plenty to talk about in his explorative, genre defining days at his equally legendary Black Ark Studio, we'll start with the early stuff.

That's what I played for you all today; the wet-behind-the-ears Lee Perry. Young, brash and cocksure, the young Lee Perry was always a producer but during these early years, you can tell he also fancied making a name for himself as a performer. In the songs I played today, we heard Perry's early instrumental and vocal-oriented cuts, many clearly owe a debt to the soul sounds coming out of America in the 60's, and a good deal of this material is quite similar to American groups like Booker T & The MG's or even James Brown. 

In coming days we'll see Perry's sound shift, change and mutate toward what reggae on the whole would become with Perry guiding more than a few of those changes....


An Early Lee "Scratch" Perry Tracklist

"Django Shoots Again"

"Jungle Lion"

"Eight For Eight"

"Medical Operation"

"Drugs and Poison"


Production Manager | Radio Milwaukee