BBC Radio 6 Music broadcast: 23rd August 2016
Don Letts tells the story of the influential UK-based record label that helped Jamaican music reach a wider audience.
Trojan Records is known as reggae's Motown and had a huge hand in introducing Jamaican music to the British public. In its hey-day of the late 60s to the mid-70s, Trojan chalked up nearly 30 hit singles, released the legendary Tighten Up compilation series and launched Jamaican acts in the UK such as Jimmy Cliff, John Holt, Ken Boothe, Bob and Marica, and Dave and Ansel Collins. The huge volume of records they released in this period made the name Trojan synonymous with classic rocksteady and reggae cuts. In 1970 alone, Trojan released 500 singles, selling over 1.5 million records.
This series tells not just the story of Trojan Records, but also reveals how Jamaican music arrived in the UK. Discover how it all began with Duke Reid's Trojan sound system in Jamaica, and how the influx of young Jamaicans into post-war Britain kick-started a reggae scene in the UK.
Find out how the British skinheads then made ska and reggae popular in the British charts (when the BBC wasn't listening!) and how the music adapted to UK tastes to become number one sellers.
We also reveal why the whole empire inexplicably came crashing down too, only for punk and Two-Tone to give it a resurgence, helping confirm Trojan as one of the coolest and most important labels for reggae music.
With contributions from Ken Boothe, Bunny Lee, BB Seaton, Derrick Harriot, Dandy Livingstone, John Holt, Ansel Collins, Rico Rodriguez, Bob Andy, Derrick Morgan and many more.
The Untouchables - Tighten Up [Sanctuary]
Charlie Binger - Jamaica Is The Place To Go [Trojan]
The Undergrounds - Savito
Fats Domino - Be My Guest [Liberty]
Rosco Gordon - That's What You Do To Me
Roland Alphonso - Nuclear Weapon
The Skatalites - Love Is The Way
Derrick Morgan - Joy Bells
The Skatalites - Guns Of Navarone [Trojan]
Lynn Taitt And The Boys - Storm Warning
Millie - My Boy Lollipop [Fontana]
Prince Buster’s All Stars - Rude Rude Rudee [Rhino]
Brother Dan Allstars - Cool Hand Luke
Duke Reid's All Stars - Judge Sympathy
Alton Ellis - Ain't That Loving You [Trojan]
Brother Dan Allstars - Donkey Returns
Joya Landis - Angel Of The Morning