Byron Lee may seem like kind of a musical slut, being at different times a mento, calypso, ska, reggae or soca artist, depending on what would likely sell. That's a little harsh for someone who was around and active through it all. You could poo-poo the fact that he wormed his way into the 1964 New York Worlds Fair via his connections with his former manager, the future Prime Minister of Jamaica Edward Seaga, then the head of Jamaica's Social Welfare and Economic Development. Wah, wah, wah. There are a couple reasons to forget all about of that. One is that his music is good. Real good. All shapes and sizes, from the corny to the wacked out, but all seriously tight. The closest I've heard to a stinker is his cover of "Live and Let Die", a later cut, but even that is a solid jam. But, the biggest reason to salute Lee, and it is a big one, is that he was the first Jamaican artist to incorporate the electric organ and the electric bass. Try to imagine sixties and seventies reggae without them.
~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~Listen:
Byron Lee and the Dragonaires - Jamaican Ska mp3 at Probe is Turning-On the People (scroll to session 263)
Byron Lee and the Dragonaires - Pupalick mp3 at Mophonics
Byron Lee and the Dragonaires - Frankenstein Ska mp3 at Excavation
Byron Lee and the Dragonaires - Get Out of My Life Woman mp3 at The Melting Pot
Byron Lee and the Dragonaires - Shaft mp3 at Pixie Radio
Byron Lee and the Dragonaires - Conga Line mp3 at ATumblr (?)
Byron Lee and the Dragonaires - Live and Let Die mp3 at Rock Trotter
Byron Lee and the Dragonairs - Three good ones at The Melting Pot
This is Ska - Documentary from 1964 at YouTube Featuring Byron Lee and the Dragonaires, also backing Jimmy Cliff, Prince Buster, the Maytals, The Charmers, Stranger Cole, Roy and Yvonne, and the Blues Busters. Excellent.