TIMELINE EXPLORE OUR HISTORY

This timeline shows an interactive journey through Jamaica's rich and ever-shifting musical history; encompassing it's birth, growth and myriad of characters that has made it a genre admired by the world.

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1951

image In 1951 Stanley Motta opened the first Jamaican recording studio on Hanover Street in downtown Kingston where he began to cut mento sides by local artists. The studio released records on his Motta's Recording Studio label.

1954

image In 1954 Ken Khouri started Jamaica's first record label, "Federal Records".

1955

image Harry Belafonte recorded "Day-O" (later changed to "The Banana Boat Song (Day-O)") for RCA Victor on this date in 1955.

1956

image "My Boy Lollipop" was originally released by Barbie Gaye in late 1956. Millie Small released a cover of the song in March 1964 which was a massive hit, reaching number two both in the UK Singles Chart and in the U.S. Billboard Hot

1957

image Laurel Aitken's first recording was 'Roll Jordan Roll' voiced in 1957 for Caribbean Distributing. It sounded similar to ska but it had a more spiritual feeling. In fact, it was recorded long before Coxsone and Duke Reid started reco

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