1-2 Weeks
Reggae Going International 1967-1976


2011 release. Edward O'Sullivan Lee "but my friends call me Bunny or Striker Lee" was born in Kingston, Jamaica on 23rd August 1941. He started in the music business plugging records for Duke Reid at Treasure Isle, Coxsone Dodd at Studio One and Leslie Kong at Beverley's. "I used to do plugging? when I say plugging I used to get their records played on 'Teenage Dance Party' and we'd dance so if you had a record to plug you'd put it on and dance to it and show the latest moves." As ska began to wane in popularity Bunny began to use the many contacts and friends that he had made plugging other producers' productions to produce his own records in the brand new rock steady style. "So I was around the business but I didn't actually start for myself until 1967. I only had twenty pounds to give to Lyn Taitt and Lyn Taitt got four men and we did 'Music Field' with Roy Shirley. So those guys helped me when I just started." Many, many more producers, musicians and artists helped out Striker as he rose to the top... but Bunny always returned the favour. "Yes. Carly and Family Man (Carlton & Aston Barrett) those brothers were my rhythm section for a while? they started in the Sixties and people used to call them 'Bunny Lee and his wrong chord musicians' but after we started making the hits everybody started using them." And the hits kept on coming. In 1969 'Wet Dream' by Max Romeo, in the faster reggae style, was released on Bunny's Unity label in the UK where it spent twenty five weeks in the National Charts. It was banned by the BBC and Alan Freeman used to describe it as "a record by Max Romeo" on Sunday afternoon's chart run down on Radio One. Striker's propensity for hit making was unprecedented and in 1969, 1970, 1971 and 1972 he was awarded the title of Jamaica's Top Producer. In 1971 he won Jamaica's first Gold Record for Eric Donaldson's 'Cherry Oh Baby' which was the runaway winner in that year's Festival Song Competition. Alternative instrumental or vocal versions of popular songs had by now become a prevalent part of the musical scene "we couldn't afford for every song to get a different set of musicians so we use the same rhythm over again..." and Bunny Lee and King Tubby were pivotal players in the next giant step forward towards the music that would become known as dub. "In those days I never used to put the version on the record so you'd have to go to Tubbys to hear the dub play. Tubbys started to get popular and I started to get Tubby to mix and used him as an engineer." Together with Soul Syndicate drummer Carlton 'Santa' Davis Striker originated a new style of rhythm based on the Philadelphia disco sound termed 'flying cymbals' that became known as 'flyers'. "Yeah? I used to get Kentucky Fried Chicken and when it came they'd say 'put up the flyers for Striker' meaning the chicken wings? which I loved? and they used to say 'Striker. When you a go fly?'" The first Bunny Lee hit recording in this new style was Johnny Clarke's interpretation of Earl Zero's 'None Shall Escape The Judgment' and his 'flyers' rhythms dominated the scene throughout 1974 and on into 1975. His two dub albums showcasing these rhythms, 'King Tubby The Dub Master Presents The Roots Of Dub' and 'King Tubby The Dub Master Presents Dub From The Roots' with photographs of the King at the controls of his Dromilly Avenue studio, were the first vinyl releases to promote King Tubby with music lovers both in Jamaica and internationally. As a creator of musical trends Striker was second to none and, for the best part of a decade, the rest of the business hung on his every word and tried to copy his every move. Over the years Striker has been one of the few enduring constants in an ever changing cast of characters and, although he rarely records nowadays, he is still one of the most important people in the Jamaican music business. His rhythms and songs are endlessly recycled and sampled. He has spent the last three decades licensing, re-licensing issuing and re-issuing his copious catalogue through a plethora of different record companies in Jamaica, England, America, Canada, Japan, France, Holland and Germany. In October 2008 at Kingston's National Honours and Awards Ceremony Striker was awarded the Order of Distinction in the rank of Officer for "more than forty years of dedicated service to the music industry."