Lloyd Daley

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Lloyd Daley also known as Matador (born 12 July 1939, Kingston, Jamaica[1]) is a Jamaican electronic technician, sound system pioneer and reggae producer.


Daley worked as a linotype apprentice for short time, while attending Kingston Technical High School, where he graduated in electronics. He built his first amplifier to boost the signal strength of his army surplus walkie-talkie, and he converted this amplifier into a sound system amplifier, and in 1956 started his 'Lloyd's the Matador' sound system at Victoria Avenue, one of the first sound systems in Jamaica, named after bullfighters.[2] He also ran his own shop, 'Lloyds Radio & Television Service', in Kingston.[2] By the end of the 1950s, he used to build up and repair sono devices, improving especially amplifiers, for himself and also for other sound systems including his competitors, Duke Reid, Coxsone Downbeat and Prince Buster. He went on to build one of Jamaica most powerful vacuum tube amplifiers with forty KT88 output tubes in the late 1970s for the 'Jack Ruby High Power' sound system, owned by Lawrence Lindo (Jack Ruby). He also built KT88 Amplifiers for Joe Chin ('Unitone' sound system) and Ken Hamilton ('Duke Hamilton' sound system).

Finding it difficult to get the records played by competing sound systems, he began recording his own at federal studios.[2] His first 45 rpm singles came out in 1958, with some Jamaican R&B and early ska tunes made only for his own sound system. He had produced Roland Alphonso ("Bridgeview Shuffle"), Neville Esson, Owen Gray and Rico Rodriguez by the end of the decade, with reelases appearing on his own Matador and Mystic labels. He released ska tunes in the early 1960s, with instrumental bands such as the 'Matadors All Stars', featuring most of the members of the later formed band The Skatalites in 1959-1960; or with the trumpeter Raymond Harper ("Heart & Soul" in 1962). Later releases were with rocksteady songs by The Overtakers for instance, always employing excellent session musicians.

By the beginning of the 1960s, he married Deanna Deans, daughter of Eric Deans, who later contributed to Daley's work as a songwriter.

In 1966 the police dismantled a part of his sound system, because they said it was disturbing the neighborhood,with the heavy bass-resonance it was producing, so he sold it. He moved his repair service and record shop in 1968 to 43 Waltham Park Road, which he bought and built, using it as a rehearsal facility and Recording Studio, and had success in the early reggae period on his Matador label with artists like Jackie Mittoo ("Dark of the Sun") or The Scorchers ("Ugly Man").[2]

His biggest hit came out in 1969 with Little Roy and his rasta song "Bongo Nyah" which became a long-time Jamaican number one. He then produced other popular singles for artists like The Abyssinians ("Yim Mas Gan"), The Ethiopians ("Owe Me No Pay Me"), Dennis Brown ("Things in Life"), The Wailing Souls ("Gold Digger"), the first recordings of The Gladiators ("Freedom Train", "Rockaman Soul"), Alton Ellis ("Lord Deliver Us" another Jamaican hit), John Holt or The Paragons.

Avoiding the influence of American soul music (everpresent through the rocksteay and early reggae era), Daley mostly produced original compositions, preferring religious (rasta) and socio-political lyrics to love songs.

He also released many instrumental tunes with Johnnie Moore or Lloyd Charmers ("Zylon" was a 1969 hit) and dee-jay versions of his hits with artists like U-Roy ("Sound of the Wise" and "Scandal", both recorded in October 1969). In 1971, Daley released Little Roy's "Hard Fighter" version, recorded by The Hippy Boys, and named "Voo-doo". It was one of the first instrumental dub tunes where drum and the bass had a dominating role.

Most of Daley's productions have been released in the UK by Pama Records on its subsidiaries Crab and Gas, except in 1972, when he made a license deal with Trojan.

However in 1975, disillusioned by recurrent non-payment of royalties, he left the music industry to focus only on his shop and Electronics.[1] In 1970 he incorporated "LLOYD'S RADIO & TV LTD" a limited liability company and sold appliances for "WONARDS".RJR opened his new Business at 43 Waltham Park Rd with Don Toppin & Marie Garth in 1970.He also had advertisements by "Pearl & Deans" (Palace Amusement Co) on 4 Movie Theaters:Carib,Harbour Veiw Drive In,Tropical and Ritz.In 1968 he started out with a 15 minutes (10:15 PM) program on RJR with Charlie Bobcock ("Sound Intensified"),it ran for several years after.


Compilation albums[edit]

  • Various Artists - Scandal - Matador - LP
  • Various Artists - Way Back When - Matador (1979) - LP
  • Various Artists - Lloyd Daley's Matador Productions 1968-1972: Reggae Classics from the Originator - Heartbeat (1992)
  • Various Artists - From Matador's Arena Vol 01: 1968-1969 - Jamaican Gold (1994)
  • Various Artists - From Matador's Arena Vol 02: 1969-1970 - Jamaican Gold (1994)
  • Various Artists - From Matador's Arena Vol 03: 1971-1979 - Jamaican Gold (1994)
  • Various Artists - Shuffle 'n Ska Time With Lloyd 1960-1966 - Jamaican Gold (1995)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Allmusic.com
  2. ^ a b c d Moskowitz, David V. (2006) Caribbean Popular Music: an Encyclopedia of Reggae, Mento, Ska, Rock Steady, and Dancehall, Greenwood Press, ISBN 0-313-33158-8, p. 78

External links[edit]