The Info List - Prince Buster

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CECIL BUSTAMENTE CAMPBELL OD (24 May 1938 – 8 September 2016), known professionally as PRINCE BUSTER, was a Jamaican singer-songwriter and producer. The records he released in the 1960s influenced and shaped the course of Jamaican contemporary music and created a legacy of work that would be drawn upon later by reggae and ska artists.


* 1 Early life

* 2 Career

* 2.1 1960s * 2.2 1970s and beyond

* 3 Legacy * 4 Death * 5 Selected album discography * 6 UK hit singles * 7 References


Cecil Bustamente Campbell was born in Orange Street in Kingston , Jamaica
, on 24 May 1938. His middle name was given to him by his family in honour of the Labour activist and first post-Independence Prime Minister William Alexander Clarke Bustamante . In the early 1940s Campbell was sent to live with his grandmother in rural Jamaica where his family's commitment to the Christian faith gave him his earliest musical experiences in the form of church singing as well as private family prayer and hymn meetings. Returning to live at Orange Street while still a young boy, Campbell attended the Central Branch School and St. Anne's School.

While at school Campbell performed three or four times a week at the Glass Bucket Club, as part of Frankie Lymon 's Sing and Dance Troupe; rock 'n' roll-themed shows were popular during the 1950s, with the Glass Bucket Club establishing a reputation as the premier music venue and social club for Jamaican teenagers at that time. Upon leaving school he found himself drawn to the ranks of followers that supported the sound system of Tom the Great Sebastian . Jamaican sound systems at that time were playing American rhythm 'n' blues and Campbell credits Tom the Great Sebastian with his first introduction to the songs and artists that would later influence his own music: the Clovers ' "Middle of the Night", Fats Domino 's "Mardi Gras in New Orleans", the Griffin Brothers featuring Margie Day , and Shirley both parties agreed. Campbell's 'Voice of the People' sound system was soon operational and within a short time had established itself as a rival to the sound systems of Coxsone and Reid. Campbell applied to the Farm Work Program (guest worker scheme for the US agricultural sector) with the intention of buying music for his sound system but on the day of departure was refused entry into the scheme. Knowing that he wouldn't be able to personally source records from the US, Campbell decided to record his own music. He approached Arkland "Drumbago" Parks, a professional drummer at the Baby Grand Club who had arranged and recorded a special (exclusive recording) for the Count Boysie sound system. Drumbago agreed to help and Campbell immediately began rehearsing with the musicians at the Baby Grand Club, including the guitarist Jah Jerry, who played on Campbell's first recording session.


In 1961, Campbell released his first single "Little Honey"/"Luke Lane Shuffle" featuring Jah Jerry, Drumbago and Rico Rodriquez recording under the name of Buster's Group. In that same year, he produced "Oh Carolina " by the Folkes Brothers , which was released on his Wild Bells label. The drumming on the record was provided by members of the Count Ossie Group , nyabinghi drummers from the Rastafarian community, Camp David, situated on the Wareika Hill above Kingston. After becoming a hit in Jamaica, "Oh Carolina" was licensed to Melodisc , a UK label owned by Emil Shalet. Melodisc released the track on their subsidiary label Blue Beat ; the label would go on to become synonymous with 1960s ska releases for the UK market.

Campbell recorded prolifically throughout the 1960s; notable early ska releases include: "Madness" (1963), "Wash Wash" (1963, with Ernest Ranglin on bass), "One Step Beyond " (1964) and "Al Capone " (1964). The documentary This is Ska
(1964), hosted by Tony Verity and filmed at the Sombrero Club, includes Campbell performing his Jamaican hit "Wash Wash". In 1964 Campbell met World Heavyweight Champion boxer Muhammad Ali who invited him to attend a Nation of Islam
Nation of Islam
talk at Mosque 29 in Miami. That year Campbell joined the Nation of Islam
Nation of Islam
and also started to release material, including a version of Louis X 's "White Man's Heaven is a Black Man's Hell," on his own imprint label called "Islam". In 1965 he appeared in Millie in Jamaica
(a film short about Millie Small\'s return to Jamaica
after the world-wide success of "My Boy Lollipop") which was broadcast on Rediffusion\'s Friday evening pop show Ready, Steady, Go! Campbell had a top twenty hit in the UK with the single "Al Capone" (no. 18, February