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Big Joe

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b. Joseph Spalding, c.1955, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies. Big Spalding began his recording career in the early 70s. His initial sessions were with Harry Mudie, when he cut ‘Run Girl’, ‘Woodcutter Skank’ and ‘Black Stick Rock’. In 1973, with Lloyd Daley, he recorded ‘Glitter Not Gold’, relating the aphorism to everyday life in Jamaica. With producer Winston Edwards he recorded ‘Weed Specialist’, ‘Hog Inna Minty’ and ‘Selassie Skank’. The latter was released in the UK through Dennis Harris’ DIP label and resulted in his biggest hit. The song recalled the celebrations generated by the visit to Jamaica of Haile Selassie, utilizing Roman Stewart’s ‘Try Me’ rhythm. Following his sessions with Winston Edwards, Big Joe moved to Studio One, where he recorded ‘Get Out Baldhead’, ‘Red Rob’ and a DJ version of Larry Marshall’s ‘Nanny Goat’ titled ‘Nanny Version’. Further hits surfaced, reuniting him with Daley and Jackie Brown, before Big Joe set up his own productions and label. He also ran his own Small Axe Hi Fi sound system, playing venues such as Chocomo’s Lawn and Jubilee Lawn. He continued recording through to the early 80s, enjoying hits with ‘Dignity And Principal’ and the Bunny Lee -produced ‘Out Of Sight Out Of Mind’.

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