It seems as if Australians were involved in some of the first ska songs on Jamaica. A
group of Australian musicians then living in Jamaica accompanied Laurel Aitken on the
double-sided 'Boogie in my Bones'/'Little Sheila' single in 1958. They also joined
Owen Grey on the classic - and now mega-rare -
Owen Gray Sings album. And they
also provided the backing on the more than thirty Jamaican singles which Chris
Blackwell released over the next two years. You will find this information in the usually
reliable books of Thompson,
Reggae & Caribbean Music and De Koningh &
Young Gifted & Black. But I am not quite sure of it. Because in
other, just as thorough books you will read that it concerned a group of Canadians! I
am referring to Barrow & Dalton,
The Rough Guide, Bradley, Bass Culture, Larkin,
The Virgin Encyclopedia, and Katz, An Oral History (see also Canada and

At least one Australian did have a large influence on ska, rocksteady and reggae. I am
referring to Graeme Goodall, a sound studio engineer who worked in Jamaica for
years. At the Federal studios he worked with all of Jamaican top boogie and ska
artists and producers. Goodall engineered practically all of Coxsone's recordings
before he opened the Brenford studios. Then Goodall moved to England, where he
became owner of the Doctor Bird group, with the famous Doctor Bird, Pyramid and
Attack labels.

Dinah Lee

Australian pressing