This blog posting on the documentary Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae has gotten some hits in the past few weeks. The film is must see because the music from this period of Jamaican history is beautiful. It is my favorite genre of reggae music.

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I was lucky enough to be in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada to see the opening of the film Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae by Swiss director Stascha Bader. What a wonderful film. Just amazing. The film narrated by Stranger Cole captures rocktsteady legends reuniting to cut an album of legendary hits and perform a reunion concert. The impressive lineup included Stranger Cole, U-Roy, Hopeton LewisSly Dunbar, Ernest Ranglin, Judy Mowatt, Marcia Griffiths, Rita Marley, Dawn Penn, Ken Boothe, Derrick Morgan, Leroy Sibbles, the Tamlins, Gladstone Anderson, Hux Brown, Bongo Herman, and Scully Simms. Moss “Mossman” Raxlen, the Montreal based reggae producer recorded the reunion session at Tuff Gong Studios in Kingston, Jamaica.

The king of the toasters U-Roy performs “Stop that Train.” This version is amazing and steeped in deep…

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Here are my favorite albums from December 2012

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[Click on the album covers to listen to some samples or to purchase the album]

Samuel YirgaGuzo [Real World Records 2012]

Various ArtistsDjango Unchained [Universal Republic 2012]

Jah CureWorld Cry [SoBe Entertainment 2012]

Various ArtistsStrictly the Best, Vol. 46 [VP Records 2012]

Various ArtistsStrictly the Best, Vol. 47 [VP Records 2012]

Cypress Hill & RuskoCypress Hill X Rusko [EP] [Cooperative Music 2012]

Jah 9Mr. Right [Rorystonelove 2012]

Jah 9Jungle [Rorystonelove 2012]

Damien JuradoMaraqopa [Secretly Canadian 2012]

Irie LoveThis Is Irie Love [Irie Aloha Records 2012]

Wayne WonderMy Way [Singso Music 2012]

Morgan HeritageThe Return EP [VP Records 2012]

J BoogSmoke Bomb Bud [Washhouse Hawaii 2012]

Amy WinehouseAt the BBC [Universal Republic 2012]

Benjamin SchoolsChina Man Vs China Girl [Freaksville 2012]

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I have been researching the best songs of 1955. It was a great year. The sounds coming out of Memphis and New Orleans were incredible. Rockabilly, doo wop, jazz, country, blues, and folk music were churning out impressive hits while rock and roll scorched the musical earth. Hot licks from Little Richard, Elvis Presley, and Bill Haley ignited the rock and roll movement. And of course, Chuck Berry lit up the scene with his jaw dropping Maybellene!

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File:Maybelline.jpg

Top Ranking Songs of the Past: 1955

Nappy Brown – Don’t Be Angry

Chuck Miller – The House of Blue Lights

Smiley Lewis – I Hear You Knocking

Johnny Cash – Folsom Prison Blues

Chuck Berry – Maybellene

Bill Haley & the Comets – (We’re Gonna) Rock Around the Clock

Little Richard – Tutti Frutti

Buddy Holly – Down the Line

Fats Domino – Ain’t That A Shame

Carl Perkins – Honey Don’t

The Penguins – Earth Angel

Eddy Arnold – Cattle Call

Bo Diddley – Bo Diddley

Bobby Darin – Splish Splash

The Turbans – When You Dance

Hank Thompson – Don’t Take It Out On Me

The Robins – Smokey Joe’s Cafe

Frank Sinatra – Love and Marriage

Chuck Berry – No Money Down

Elvis Presley – Baby, Let’s Play House

Nappy Brown – Piddily Patter Patter

Webb Pierce – In the Jailhouse Now

Muddy Waters –…

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Top Ranking Songs of the Past

The Top Ranking Songs of the Past is a series of the essential tracks selected from over the past 58 years. Beginning in 1955 and moving through to the present, the selector chooses musical discs from around the world in various genres, including jazz, blues, soul, rock and roll, reggae, and country and western. Please feel free to make song suggestions to the selector.

Table of Contents

1955

1956

1957

2009 

2010

2011

2012

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Top Ranking Albums of 2012

Top Ranking Albums of 2012

Busy SignalReggae Music Again [VP Records 2012]

RebelutionPeace of Mind [Controlled Substance Sound Labs 2012]

The Beach BoysThat’s Why God Made Radio [Capitol Records 2012]

SOJAStrength to Survive [ATO Records 2012]

Bruce Springsteen Wrecking Ball [Columbia 2012]

Slightly StoopidTop of the World [Stoopid Records 2012]

Jimmy CliffRebirth [Sunpower 2012]

Willie NelsonHeroes [Legacy Recordings 2012]

Various ArtistsReggae Gold 2012 [VP Records 2012]

Neil Young – Psychadelic Pill [Reprise Records 2012]

Bob DylanTempest [Columbia 2012]

Top Ranking Albums of 2012

Top Ranking Albums of December 2012

[Click on the album covers to listen to some samples or to purchase the album]

Samuel YirgaGuzo [Real World Records 2012]

Various ArtistsDjango Unchained [Universal Republic 2012]

Jah CureWorld Cry [SoBe Entertainment 2012]

Various ArtistsStrictly the Best, Vol. 46 [VP Records 2012]

Various ArtistsStrictly the Best, Vol. 47 [VP Records 2012]

Cypress Hill & RuskoCypress Hill X Rusko [EP] [Cooperative Music 2012]

Jah 9Mr. Right [Rorystonelove 2012]

Jah 9Jungle [Rorystonelove 2012]

Damien JuradoMaraqopa [Secretly Canadian 2012]

Irie LoveThis Is Irie Love [Irie Aloha Records 2012]

Wayne WonderMy Way [Singso Music 2012]

Morgan HeritageThe Return EP [VP Records 2012]

J BoogSmoke Bomb Bud [Washhouse Hawaii 2012]

Amy WinehouseAt the BBC [Universal Republic 2012]

Benjamin SchoolsChina Man Vs China Girl [Freaksville 2012]

Kelan Philip Cohran & the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble – Kelan Philip Cohran & the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble [Honest Jon’s Records 2012]

The Cactus ChannelThe Haptics [Hope Street Recordings 2012]

Big BoiViscous Lies and Dangerous Rumors [Def Jam 2012]

Skillin JahSkillmatic [GanJah Records 2012]

SerynThis Is Where We Are [Seryn 2011]

Buddy Miller and Jim LauderdaleBuddy and Jim [New West 2012]

Kendrick Lamargood kid, m.A.A.d. city [Aftermath 2012]

The MaldivesMuscle for the Wing [Spark and Shine 2012]

WaxahatcheeAmerican Weekend [Don Giovanni 2012]

Matthew DearBeams [Ghostly International 2012]

Public EnemyThe Evil Empire of Everything [King Midas 2012]

Top Ranking Albums of December 2012