The album ‘Black Slavery Days: The Sound of Saint Anns,’ originally produced by Jack Ruby in 1975 and subsequently released on Lister Hewan-Lowe’s Clappers label (recently re-issued by Honest Jons) is one of those records that collectors are always looking for. The album, recorded entirely in St, Anns (birthplace of both Winston Rodney and Bob Marley) includes black empowerment anthems inna roots reggae style by the Skulls, The Mercenarys, The Arrows, Original Survivors, with riddims provided by The Clappers All-Stars.
Clappers is well-known for releasing only the rarest, most underground, most sought after records around. To my knowledge, they have only released <10 albums in more than 30 years, including Yabby You’s African Queen (many thanks to Randall Grass at Shanachie for that nugget). I have previously shared another Clappers classic, 1975’s ‘Jack Ruby Hi-Fi.‘
On the Clappers albums, everything is communicated on the hand drawn cover. Here is what is written on ‘Black Slavery Days: The Sound of Saint Anns:’
Many groups have originated out of Ochi Rios. e.g. Burning Spear. Lots of them are totally unknown until a militant Record Company that is anti corporate decided to give the Black Breadrin a break in this time. The group Arrows is a perfect e.g. Arrows features the great Burning Spears brother Elias Rodney. Many record companies refuse to touch their songs. But we at Clappers defend Black Militancy, Seen!
Black Slavery Days was a big hit on the Ochi Rios sound system scene. Sounds such as Soulsville Sounds System used to feature it in their set. Skulls lead singer, Tony Thomas worte all their tunes. Tony used to sing with the original Justin Hinds & the Dominos group.
THE ORIGINAL SURVIVORS, Lead vocalist Jah Blue Evans began his reggae career in the original Burning Spear group. Their sound is typical of what this album is about.
“The Sound Of Saint Anns” (T. S. O. S. A.) also released as
“Black Slavery Days: The Sound Of Saint Anns”
Record date : 1975
The Skulls – Black Slavery Days
T.S.O.S.A. – 9 To 5 Dub
The Skulls – Tird World
The Mercenarys – Third World Shuffle
The Arrows – Seek Fire
The Clappers All Stars – How Can A Man Dubwise
The Original Survivors – Come Away Jah Children
T.S.O.S.A. – Theme For Ras’g
The Arrows – Old Broom
The Original Survivors – Beautiful Land
Producer : Jack Ruby
Engineer : Phillip Robinson & Karl Pitterson
T.S.O.S.A (St. Ann, JA)