Sunday, June 3, 2007

Di Little Boy In Di Yard

The name Dudley Sibley is not one that readily comes to mind, except you are familiar with the daily happenings at Sonic Sound, Studio One or Jamaica Association of Vintage Artistes and Affiliates (JAVAA). Yet, here is an artiste who was good enough to have hit the British and local charts in the 1960s with his first recording, `Gunman`. (1966)
Dudley migrated from his rural district in the parish of Saint Mary to Kingston in the late 1950s. Having to overcome the adversity of not having his mother or father around, he was taken care of by a friend of his aunt who eventually took him to stay in the Kencot area of the city. Dudley made friends with Trevor Wilson, brother of Delroy Wilson who at the time was creating waves in the Jamaica's music. Trevor encouraged Dudley move in with his family in Trench Town and from there Dudley was taken to the famous Studio One. Making himself worthwhile, Dudley started doing janitorial work at the studio, including the cleaning of Sir Coxsone Dodd's car.
With an ambition to be a recording artiste, Dudley sneaked into the studio when he could and with the help of the likes of Jackie Mittoo and BB Seaton, was able to record his first song, `Gunman`. Interestingly, when Sir Coxsone heard the recording and asked who it was, he was told that it was `Di little Boy In Di Yard`.
The song became a hit in Jamaica but was eventually banned, in keeping with government's policy against what was deemed anti government sentiments at the time. `Gunman`, with its thumping Rocksteady beat made its way on the British chart, reaching the number eight position. Several other good songs followed, `Run Boy Run`, `Hole In Your Soul`, `Having A Party`, `Time Is The Key` and `My Whole World Ended`.
Unable to sustain the kind of momentum to keep his career going, Dudley suffered from mental depression and was admitted to the Bellevue Hospital for a brief period. He eventually checked himself out and resumed his singing career as well as entering theological college and graduated with a diploma in theology. Dudley is currently working on a soon- to- be released album which will also include some gospel recordings. His compilation entitled `Dudley Sibley: A Studio One Pioneer`, is a must for all who value good Jamaican music. Coming soon too is the Vintage Boss Productions, DVD feature entitled `Di Little Boy In Di Yard: The Dudley Sibley Story`.

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