Nora Dean

b. c.1952, Jamaica, West Indies. From the ska days to the present, there have been numerous female reggae performers who have recorded erotic songs, including the Soul Sisters, Patra, Lady G and Lady Saw. Dean began her recording career in 1970 with producer Byron Smith at Treasure Isle’s rooftop studios in Bond Street. Her initial hit was a ribald version of the Techniques’ rocksteady hit ‘You Don’t Care’, retitled ‘Barbwire’. The song was an instant hit, proving especially popular in the dancehall. The follow-up, with the suggestive title ‘Night Food Reggae’, proved equally popular. The song was also a success for Des’ All Stars, although altered to reflect the male perspective. With producer Bunny Lee she recorded a version of Doris Day’s ‘Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)’ as ‘Kay Sarah’, succeeded by ‘How Could You Do This’. In the 50s the Chordettes, the Fontane Sisters and originally the Teen Queens all had hits in the US Top 20 with ‘Eddie My Love’, which inspired a cover version by Dean in 1974. The song was later recorded by Hortense Ellis with Bunny Lee for inclusion on Jamaica’s First Lady Of Songs. Also released that year was the easily forgettable ‘Judge Dread Is My Lover’, which surfaced on the Magnet label in the UK. In the mid-70s she enjoyed success with ‘Scorpion’ and ‘What’s Your Plan’, which was followed by a lean period. In 1980 she resurfaced performing in a lovers rock style.

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