19.2.21

RIP Ewart Beckford (U-Roy)

RIP U-Roy (d.17-02-21) b. Ewart Beckford, 1942, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies.) U-Roy, began as a sound system DJ in 1961, spinning records for the Doctor Dickies set, later known as Dickies Dynamic, in such well-known Jamaican venues as Victoria Pier, Foresters Hall and Emmett Park. His inspiration was the DJ Winston Count Machuki, who worked for Coxsone Dodd and subsequently on Prince Buster's Voice Of The People sound system.
By the mid-60s he was DJ for Sir George The Atomic, based around Maxfield Avenue in Kingston. Around 1967 he began to work with King Tubby as DJ for his Home Town Hi-Fi. From this association developed the whole modern DJ style; Tubby's work at Duke Reid's studio, where he was disc-cutter, led him to discover dub. He found that by dropping out the vocal track and remixing the remaining rhythm tracks he created new ‘versions’ of much-loved tunes. He began to record a series of special acetate recordings or dub plates for exclusive use on his sound system. The space left by the absent vocal tracks enabled U-Roy to improvise his own jive-talk raps or toasts when the sound system played dances. The effect in the dancehall was immediate and electrifying.

In 1969 U-Roy was invited to play for Dodd's Down Beat sound system, playing the number 2 set; the number 1 set had King Stitt as DJ. U-Roy became dissatisfied with playing the latest Coxsone music only after Stitt had first exposed it to dance patrons, and returned to Tubby's.

He then began his recording career in full, recording two discs for Lee Perry, Earth's Rightful Ruler and OK Corral, before moving to producer Keith Hudson, for whom he made the outstanding Dynamic Fashion Way.

U-Roy then began recording for Duke Reid, using as backing tracks Reid's rocksteady hits from 1966-67; their success was unprecedented. His first record for Reid, Wake The Town, which used Alton Ellis’ Girl I've Got A Date as backing, immediately soared to the top of both Jamaican radio charts. His next two releases, Rule The Nation and Wear You To The Ball, soon joined it. These three releases held the top three positions in the Jamaican charts for 12 weeks during early 1970. Other sound system DJs were quick to follow U-Roy, including Dennis Al Capone and Scotty. The radio stations refused to play DJ music just to give singers a chance, so big was the demand. U-Roy recorded 32 tracks for Reid, in the process versioning almost every rocksteady hit issued on the label and releasing two albums. By 1973 he was recording for other producers, including Alvin Ranglin, Bunny Lee, Glen Brown and Lloyd Charmers as well as self-productions. However, the rise of the next DJ generation including Big Youth signalled the partial eclipse of U-Roy.

In 1975 he made a series of albums for producer Prince Tony Robinson which were leased to Virgin Records in the UK, wherein the DJ revisited Reid's earlier hits in the then prevalent rockers style. He appeared at the London Lyceum in August 1976, backed by a band featuring Channel One stalwarts Sly Dunbar (bass) and Ansell Collins (organ). He operated his own sound system, Stur-Gav, featuring Ranking Joe and selector Jah Screw. When they left after the sound system was broken up during the turbulent 1980 Jamaican election, it was rebuilt with new DJs Charlie Chaplin and Josey Wales, and Inspector Willie as selector.

U-Roy continued to record sporadically throughout the '80s, recording Hustling, a single for Gussie Clarke, in 1984, and two excellent albums for DJs turned producers Tapper Zukie and Prince Jazzbo, in 1986 and 1987 respectively. In 1991 he played a successful ‘revival’ concert at the Hammersmith Palais, London.

U-Roy is the man who is responsible for putting the DJ on the map, both as recording artist in Jamaica and as a major indirect influence on the US rappers. As such his importance is immense

9.2.21

1987 photo-shoot of our HQ/Gift shop

We've kindly been sent a photoshoot of PCRL HQ and Gift shop in 1987 made by Bharat Patel. He can now be found at '575' type575.co.uk









30.1.21

Trevor Ranks

Trevor Ranks in one of our nicer studios that the DTI took away


Horace Andy, Ken Boothe, Sammy Levy, Stingray Crew (Trevor in red)


Trevor on-air 1992

*** Interview found here on Facebook made by DJ Paris Walker :- Link ***


10.4.20

RIP Mr William Randle

RIP - Old friend
Sadly we lost  a PCRL contributor Mr William Randle on the 4th, April, 2020. Bill started on the Station in the early 1990's as a guest on Mickey Nold's breakfast show.

It was soon apparent that Bill and his wife Dawn were live soul music fanatics, supporting Motown shows all around the UK and soon became personal friends with the late Edwin Starr who introduced them to many Motown related producers and performers when visiting the UK and on Bill & Dawn's holidays in the USA. I saw this as a great opportunity to have Bill interview them for my radio shows.

Over time we made over 30 artiste/producer specials together for PCRL He would take a reel to reel recorder a few microphones with him on his USA holiday and bring back priceless recordings with him.

These shows have been uploaded to the 'Bill Randle interviews page' on this site. After the Station closed down Bill moved his DJ'ing skills to Bridge FM in Stourbridge, later joined hands with Black Country Radio, here he did a Sunday night easy listening soul show that was syndicated on many other stations all over the World. He did the show their for around  7 years. Bill died from motor neuron disease that sadly effected his talking towards the end. We all will all miss he greatly - Mickey Nold
Sorry about the jitters (Windows 95 back then)

26.12.19

20th Anniversary Of Curtis passing

Today were going on a trip down memory lane. The radio show below was broadcast in six thirty minute segments over six weeks in the early 1990's on my Basement Soul show on PCRL, here in Birmingham. Bill Randle came to me with the idea of doing a tribute to Curtis Mayfield's large body of work. Mayfield had recently been paralyzed by a freak stage accident at a charity show he was doing in New York and the world was in shock. So Bill wrote his piece we cranked-up the reel-to-reel recorder and started splicing the tapes, that's how it was done in those days, no digital editing suites, if you cut the tape in the wrong place you had to record it again.
Anyway the years have gone by and the tapes were getting older and dustier so I decided to transfer the analogue tapes to digital, this was in 2009 and Steve Williams expressed some interest in running the recording on his UK Vibe jazz site, but sadly nothing came of that. The years went by and Bill Randle who has now started his own radio show on Bridge FM in Stourbridge, said; "Wouldn't it be great to put a link to his new web Blog for the recording", also the time is right and with war breaking out again in the Middle East it's time again for that message: "We Gotta Have Peace".  So here it is in Full... enjoy Track listing:
Impressions - Gypsy Woman I'm The One Who Loves You It's Alright 
Major Lance - The Monkey Time 
Gene Chandler - Nothing Can Stop Me 
Walter Jackson - It's All Over 
Impressions - Talking 'bout My Baby Keep On Pushing You Must Believe me Amen People Get Ready The Woman's Got Soul You've Been Cheating 
5 Stairsteps - Little Young Lover 
Impressions - I Can't Satisfy 
Fascinations - Girls Are Out To Get You 
Impressions - We're A Winner This Is My Country Choice Of Colours The Girl I Find Stays On My Mind 
Curtis Mayfield - If There Is A Hell Down Below, Were All Gonna Go Love On Up We've Only Just Begun (live) Underground We've Gotta have Peace Little Child Running Wild Pusher man Freddie's Dead Back In The World To Be Invisible On And On Aretha Franklin - Giving Him Something He Can Feel Curtis Mayfield - When Seasons Change Soul Music Unknown How Do You Like To Be Loved? Your So Good For Me 
with Linda Clifford - Between You Baby & Me 
Curtis Mayfield - Never Stopped Loving Me Toot Toot Hey Baby Baby It's You You've Just Got To Be Real I'm So Proud