Jackie Opel

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Born Dalton Sinclair Bishop (born in Chapman Lane, Bridgetown, Barbados, Jackie Opel (1938–1970) possessed a rich, powerful voice with a high octave range.[citation needed] He was known as the "Jackie Wilson of Jamaica", and was a gifted dancer.

In the early 1960s, he was discovered by Byron Lee, the band master of the Dragonaires, who brought him to Jamaica. There, he started performing with the Skatalites as one of their lead singers. He recorded as a solo artist first on Coxsone Dodd's Studio One label, and afterwards on Justin Yap's Top Deck label and Edward Seaga's Wirl label. His styles included ska, R&B, soul, gospel, and calypso. He is credited with inventing spouge music, a fusion of ska, calypso, and R&B music. Opel performed duos with Doreen Schaffer and Hortense Ellis, and in 1964 was backed by Wailers Bob Marley and Peter Tosh on "Mill Man", "Hairy Mango" and "A time to cry" and maybe some others like "I Don´t Want Her".

Opel eventually moved to Trinidad and then subsequently to Barbados. On 8 March 1970, he died in a car crash in Bridgetown, Barbados.

Commemoration plaque at the Jackie Opel Amphitheatre

Discography (selected)[edit]

US[edit]

  • You Gotta Cry / Shelter The Storm ~ MGM K13391 (1965)

Note: ‘You Gotta Cry’ is in fact ‘Cry Me A River’ renamed to avoid confusion with the Julie London standard.

UK[edit]

  • TV in Jamaica / Worrell’s Captaincy ~ Jump Up 512 (1963)
  • You’re No Good / King Liges ~ Black Swan 421 (1964)
  • Stand by Me (with Hortense Ellis) / Solid Rock ~ R & B 138 (1964)
  • Pity The Fool / The Day Will Come ~ R & B 160 (1964)
  • Cry Me A River / Eternal Love ~ King 1011 (1964)
  • Wipe Those Tears / Don’t Take Your Love ~ Island 203 (1965)
  • Go Whey / Shelter In The Storm ~ Island 209 (1965)
  • Old Rocking Chair / Ska In Vienna Woods (by Skatalites) ~ Island 229 (1965)
  • Done With A Friend / More Wood In The Fire ~ Ska Beat 190 (1965)
  • The Lord Is with Thee / A Little More ~ Ska Beat 227 (1965)
  • Welcome Home / You & I (with Doreen Schaeffer) ~ Ska Beat 208 (1965)
  • Adorable You / New Vow (with Doreen Schaeffer) ~ Ska Beat 209 (1965)
  • A Love To Share / Devoted To You ~ Island 264 (1966)
  • I Am What I am / Devil’s Bug ~ Rio 117 (1966)
  • I Don’t Want Her / Rudie Get Wise ~ Rio 120 (1967)
  • Valley of Green / Hungry Man (by The Deacons) ~ Top Deck 101 (1990?)

Compact disc[edit]

  • "The Best Of Jackie Opel" (Studio One)
  • "Cry Me A River" (Studio One)
  • "A Love To Share: Top Sounds From Top Deck, Vol. 2" (Westside) Split release with Ferdie Nelson
  • "The Memorable Jackie Opel" (Select-O-Hits) Spouge recordings

Compilations[edit]

  • The Vow (with Doreen Schaffer) & Old Rocking Chair from "Foundation Ska" (Heartbeat)
  • Push Wood & Sit Down Servant from "Ska Bonanza: The Studio One Years" (Heartbeat) Later reissued as "Go Ska Go" (Heartbeat)
  • You Send Me from "Gaz Mayall Top! Ska Tunes" (Trojan)
  • Push Wood from "It's Ska Time: 20 original Ska Classics" (Charly)
  • The Mill Man & A Time To Cry (both backed by The Wailers) from "Wailers & Friends: Top Hits Sung By The Legends of Jamaican Ska" (Heartbeat)
  • I Am What I Am, Done With A Friend & The Lord Is With Me from "I Am Going Home: 25 Classic Ska Shots" (bootleg)
  • Pictures Of Smoke from "Ska-ntastic: Vintage Jamaican Ska 1963-66" (Richmond)
  • You're Too Bad from "Studio One Rude Boy" (Soul Jazz)
  • I Love Jamaica from "Trojan Jamaica Box Set" (Trojan)
  • Tears From My Eyes from "Ska Non Stop: Top Sounds From Top Deck, Vol. 8" (Westside)
  • Turn To The Almighty (Take 1), Turn To The Almighty (Take 2) & Sometimes I Wonder from "Ska Down Jamaica Way: Ska Boo Da Ba, Vol. 2" (WSM)

Legacy[edit]

  • An amphitheatre at the centre of the Barbados General Post Office was commemorated in Opel's name.

References[edit]

External links[edit]