BLACK SOLIDARITY String Up The Sound System LP
A1 –Triston Palma* Bad Boys
A2 –Tony Tuff Never Trouble Trouble
A3 –Robert Ffrench Single Life
A4 –Michael Palmer String Up The Sound System
A5 –Puddy Roots Champion Bubbler
A6 –Ashanti Waugh Poilice Police
A7 –Triston Palma* Fancyness
B1 –Phillip Fraser A Little Bit Of Love
B2 –Bill Blast (3) Barrel Mentality
B3 –Cutty Ranks & Triston Palma* Inner City Blues
B4 –Michael Forbes (2) Reggae Fever
B5 –Tony Carver Ethiopia
B6 –Eddie Constantine (2) Strawberry
B7 –Rod Taylor The Lord Is My Light
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Jamaican Recordings
Copyright (c) – Jamaican Recordings
"Ossie had worked in the business for years and had contacts and experience..."
At the beginning of the eighties reggae music became increasingly in tune with what was happening in Kingston’s dancehalls... probably more so than at any time since the sound system operators had started to make their own shuffle and boogie in the late 50’s. The international audience and the critics were too busy looking for a new Bob Marley to appreciate what was happening downtown and failed to acknowledge that this was a return to the real, raw roots of the music. Brash, confidient, young record producers who were totally in tune with the youth audience stepped forward and seized the moment...
Oswald ’Ossie’ Thomas began his apprenticeship in the music business at the age of fourteen and served his time as a record salesman for Bunny ’Striker’ Lee and Winston ’Niney the Observer’ Holness before moving on to Miss Sonia Pottingers Tip Top Records.
"I ended up working in three record stores on Orange Street from 1976 to 1981... Yeah man, Me deh ‘pon me bicycle till I buy my motorcycle! Them days records were coming out left right and centre... everyday!"
It was during his time with Miss Pottinger that Ossie began to produce records for himself and in 1979 Ossie and Phillip Morgan began The Black Solidarity label based deep in the Kingston ghetto on Delamere Avenue. Phillip initially inspired Ossie to start the label and soon Triston Palma, Phillip Frazer and "a youth named Gary Robertson" joined in although Gary later left for Canada.
The Soul Syndicate rehearsed in the Delamere Avenue Area and Tony Chin gave Ossie a cut of a rhythm that he used for Triston Palma's 'A Class Girl'... the label's inaugural release. The record was a sizeable success and paved the way for hit after hit on Black Solidarity. Ossie worked with just about everybody who was anybody during the is critical period of the music's development including vocalists Robert Ffrench, Little John, Sugar Minott, Frankie Paul and most notably Triston Palma.
"But Delamere must be considered as music street sheltering as is does such artists as Junior Byles, Don Angelo, Triston Palma, Phillip Frazer and producer Ossie of the Black Solidarity label..."
And the man who had made his name in the business selling other people’s records now became one of the most important and influential record producers of the era.
With grateful thanks to: Paul Coote, Nick Hodgson & Hasse Huss