Studio One (record label)

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Studio One
Founded 1954 (1954)
Founder Clement "Coxsone" Dodd
Genre Ska, Rocksteady, Reggae
Country of origin Jamaica

Studio One is one of Jamaica's most renowned record labels and recording studios, having been described as the Motown of Jamaica. The record label was involved with most of the major music movements in Jamaica during the 1960s and 1970s including ska, rocksteady, reggae, dub and dancehall.


Studio One was founded by Clement "Coxsone" Dodd[1] in 1954, and the first recordings were cut in 1963 on Brentford Road in Kingston.[1][2] Amongst its earliest records were "Easy Snappin'" by Theophilus Beckford, backed by Clue J & His Blues Blasters, and "This Man is Back" by trombonist Don Drummond. Dodd had previously issued music on a series of other labels, including World Disc, and had run Sir Coxsone the Downbeat, one of the largest and most reputable sound systems in the Kingston ghettos. In the early 1960s the house band providing backing for the vocalists were the legendary Skatalites whose members (including Roland Alphonso, Don Drummond, Tommy McCook, Jackie Mittoo and Lloyd Brevett) were recruited from the Kingston jazz scene by Dodd. The Skatalites split up in 1965 after Drummond was jailed for murder, and Dodd formed new house band Sound Dimension with Mittoo, Headley Bennett, Ernest Ranglin, Vin Gordon and Leroy Sibbles among a fluid line-up, to record his backing tracks. These seminal recordings: "Real Rock", "Heavy Rock", "Jamaica Underground", "Ten To Ten", formed the basis of reggae music in the late 1960s, being versioned and re-versioned time after time. The label and studio were closed when Dodd relocated to New York City in the 1980s.[2]

Studio One artists[edit]

Studio One has recorded and released music by (and had a large hand in shaping the careers of) artists including:

Noted rival Prince Buster began his career working for Dodd's sound system. In addition, record producer Harry J recorded many of his best-known releases at Studio One.[1][2][3]


One online review of "Respect to Studio One" (33 tracks) released by Heartbeat adds "Stax-Volt" to the American R&B comparison and describes Studio One's founder Clement "Coxsone" Dodd as "reggae's Phil Spector, its Berry Gordy, and its Dick Clark all wrapped into one." The liner notes written by Chris Wilson explain, "It is important to understand why Studio One is so venerated. The obvious common ingredient in all the classic songs that Studio One has released over the last thirty-five years is Clement Dodd. From his earliest days as a producer he has understood the complexities of making a hit. Mr. Dodd values good singing, good songwriting, good horn lines and fierce bass lines...When the band would balk at recording a new artist with an unorthodox style, Mr. Dodd would tell them to bear with him and try it."

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Ian Thomson (15 June 2009). The dead yard: tales of modern Jamaica. Nation Books. ISBN 978-0-571-22761-7. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c Kelefah Sannah (6 May 2004). "Coxsone Dodd, 72, Pioneer of the Jamaican Pop Music Scene, Dies". New York Times.  (online)
  3. ^ Michael Diebert (6 March 2001). "From Kingston to Brooklyn: Sir Coxsone Turns On the Power". Village Voice.  (online)

External links[edit]