Sonia Pottinger

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Sonia Pottinger
Birth name Sonia Eloise Pottinger
Born 21 June 1931
Leith Hall, St. Thomas, Jamaica
Died 3 November 2010(2010-11-03) (aged 79)
Kingston, Jamaica
Genres Reggae
Occupations Producer
Years active 1965–1985
Labels Treasure Isle

Sonia Eloise Pottinger OD (21 June 1931 – 3 November 2010)[1][2][3][4][5] was a Jamaican reggae record producer.

The most important Jamaican woman involved in music business, Sonia Pottinger was the first female Jamaican record producer and produced artists from the mid-1960s until the mid-1980s.[1]

Married to music producer Lyndon Pottinger, she opened her Tip Top Records Shop in 1965 and started to record musicians in 1966. The first single she issued was "Every Night" by Joe White & Chuck.[1][3] Other artists recorded during this period include Roland Alphonso. Throughout the rock steady and early reggae eras, she became very prolific with hits by The Ethiopians ("The Whip"), Delano Stewart, The Melodians ("Swing And Dine"), Ken Boothe, Alton Ellis and Toots & the Maytals, released on her Gay Feet, Tip Top, Rainbow, and High Note labels.[1] In the early 1970s her work was less prolific, but in 1974 she bought the Treasure Isle label from long-time friend Duke Reid shortly before his death. Her rights to the label's recordings were challenged by the Jamaica Recording and Publishing Studio Limited (the company created by Reid's rival Clement "Coxsone" Dodd), Reid's son Anthony and his company Treasure Isle Records International Limited, and Edward "Bunny" Lee, but the case was decided in her favour in 2009.[4]

In the 1970s, she produced albums by Bob Andy, Marcia Griffiths, Culture, U Roy and Big Youth. Her most well known production is Culture's Harder Than The Rest album, released in 1978.

In the dancehall era show produced Archie & Lynn's "Rat in the Centre". She retired from the music business in 1985.[1]

Sonia Pottinger died at her home in Kingston on 3 November 2010, after suffering for some time with Alzheimer's disease.[3][4] A thanksgiving service in her honour was held on 19 November 2010, attended by Minister of Culture Olivia 'Babsy' Grange and major figures from the Jamaican music industry including Judy Mowatt, Alvin Ranglin, Donovan Germain, and Tommy Cowan.[6]

Partial discography[edit]

  • Various Artists – Dancing Down Orange Street (High Note, 1969)
  • Various Artists – Musical Feast (Heartbeat Records, 1991)
  • Various Artists – The Reggae Train (More Great Hits From The High Note Label) (Heartbeat, 1996)
  • Various Artists – Put on Your Best Dress: Sonia Pottinger's Rock Steady 1967–1968
  • Various Artists – Queen Patsy & Stranger Cole (Fabulous Songs of Miss Sonia Pottinger Vol.1) (Rock A Shacka, 2007)
  • CultureHarder Than The Rest (High Note, 1978)
  • Culture – Culture in Dub (High Note / Heartbeat, 1978)
  • Culture – Cumbolo (High Note, 1979)
  • Culture – International Herb (High Note, 1979)
  • Culture – Trod On (High Note / Heartbeat, 1993)
  • Culture – Production Something (High Note / Heartbeat, 1998)
  • Various Artists – Old Hits of the Past (High Note)
  • Joe White & Chuck Josephs – Every Night (Gay Feet)
  • Joe White & Chuck Josephs – My Love For You (Gay Feet)
  • The Hippy BoysDr No Go (High Note)
  • Various Artists – Time To Remember (High Note)
  • Phyllis DillonOne Life To Live (Treasure Isle)
  • Bob AndyLots of Love And I (High Note)
  • Sonia Spence – In The Dark (High Note & Sky Note)
  • Claudell Clarke – How Great Is Our God (Glory)
  • Otis Wright – Sacred Songs (High Note, 1969)
  • Otis Wright – Soul Stirring Gospel (Glory)
  • Otis Wright – Man of Galilee (Glory)
  • Various Artists – Chorus Time (Glory)
  • Various Artists – Hottest Hits Vol.1 (Treasure Isle). Compiled and produced by Sonia Pottinger
  • Various Artists – Hottest Hits Vol.2 (Treasure Isle). Compiled and produced by Mrs Sonia Pottinger
  • Various Artists – Treasure Dub Vol.1. Mixed by Errol Brown. Produced by Sonia Pottinger
  • Various Artists – Treasure Dub Vol.2. Mixed by Errol Brown. Produced by Sonia Pottinger
  • Justin Hinds & the Dominoes – From Jamaica with Reggae. Produced by Sonia Pottinger

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Thompson, Dave (2002) Reggae & Caribbean Music, Backbeat Books, ISBN 0-87930-655-6, p.316
  2. ^ "Sonia Pottinger, Jamaica's first female music producer, is dead", Jamaica Observer, 5 November 2010, retrieved 6 November 2010
  3. ^ a b c Campbell, Howard (2010) "Sonia Pottinger Leaves Rich Legacy", Jamaica Gleaner, 7 November 2010, retrieved 7 November 2010
  4. ^ a b c Walters, Basil (2010) "Sonia Pottinger remembered: Ja’s first female record producer passes", Jamaica Observer, 7 November 2010, retrieved 7 November 2010
  5. ^ Katz, David "Sonia Pottinger obituary", The Guardian, 18 November 2010 12.43 EST, retrieved 22 December 2013
  6. ^ Walters, Basil (2010) "Sonia Pottinger broke the glass ceiling", Jamaica Observer, 21 November 2010, retrieved 21 November 2010