Today is the International Women’s Day, a day of global celebration of women. As a tribute and a celebration to all the Queens in reggae music I’ve compiled a mix with some of my favorite tunes from female singers. Most of the tracks are well-known, but hopefully I’m able to broaden the horizon for a few.
Reggae songstresses have always been out there. Marcia Griffiths – the Queen of Reggae – has been active since the 60’s. At that point in time she was in great company with stars such as Joya Landis, Phyllis Dillon and Hortense Ellis.
Marcia Griffiths continued to record in the 70’s under her own name and as part of the I Threes, a group that used to sing back-up vocals for Bob Marley. The other singers in the I Threes were Judy Mowatt and Rita Marley.
In the late 70’s and early 80’s female deejays also entered the scene. The most successful is by no competition Sister Nancy, who scored a huge hit with the hypnotic Bam Bam. During these years the lovers rock genre also gained attention with singers such as Janet Kay, JC Lodge and the late Deborahe Glasgow.
In the 90’s Lady Saw made a name for herself with rude lyrics and lewd stage shows. She has been hugely successful and is labeled the Queen of Dancehall these days.
But she has fierce competition from other women, rude or otherwise. Today there are more female reggae singers than ever, a fantastic development that I’d like to see continue.
A Celebration to All Reggae Queens is a continuous mix with no full tracks and some added sound effects. If you enjoy what you hear, please support the Queens, producers and labels and buy the music. All of them are easy to find on CD or mp3. I apologize for the poor sound quality on some tracks. A bunch of the 60’s and 70’s tunes are taken from vinyl.
Listen in the player below and download by clicking the link (right click, save as). You can also listen via Mixcloud.
Artist – song title (riddim)
1. Nora Dean – Barbwire (You Don’t Care)
2. Joya Landis – Moonlight Lover (Moonlight Lover)
3. Marcia Griffiths – Feel Like Jumping (54-46)
4. Susan Cadogan – Hurt so Good
5. Judy Mowatt – Down in the Valley
6. Sister Nancy – Bam Bam (Stalag)
7. Rita Marley – One Draw 12” mix (One Draw)
8. JC Lodge – Telephone Love (Rumours)
9. Deborahe Glasgow – Champion Lover (Rumours)
10. Dawn Penn – You Don’t Love Me (No, No, No) (You Don’t Love Me)
11. Lady Saw – Sycamore Tree (Joyride)
12. Tanya Stephens – It’s a Pity (Doctor’s Darling)
13. Dezarie – Poverty
14. Alaine – Deeper
15. Tami Chynn – Over and Over (Guardian Angel)
16. Queen Omega – Jah Dawta (Soprano)
17. Sena – Outcry in the City (Stronga)
18. Etana – I Got You
19. Queen Ifrica – Times Like These (City Life)
20. Ce’Cile – Take My Heart (Major)