Lloyd Daley

With the Jamaican music scene of the late '50s and early '60s having been dominated by a few producers, like Clement "Coxsone" Dodd, Duke Reid, and Prince Buster, the latter half of the '60s was ripe for a new and large array of studio auteurs. The island's musical terrain, like the one in the U.S., had, to a large extent, been steered by the men and women behind the scenes (stateside producers such as Mitch Miller, Phil Spector, Smokey Robinson, and Thom Bell come to mind). And while Jamaican solo artists and groups like the Wailers, Alton Ellis, Ken Boothe, and the Uniques grabbed the headlines, it was the island's producers who really helped corral the disparate elements and moved the music from its Jamaican R&B and ska beginnings through to the rocksteady, reggae, and dancehall eras. Predating such well-known '80s and '90s producers as Prince Jammy, Henry "Junjo" Lawes, Sly & Robbie, Bobby Digital, and Philip "Fatis" Burrell, the rocksteady and reggae producers from 1966-1978 included such equally legendary names as Joe Gibbs, Bunny Lee, Lee Perry, and Sonia Pottinger, as well as lesser-known, yet no less important figures like Keith Hudson, Winston "Niney" Holness, Clancy Eccles, and Harry Mudie. Out of this heady environment came Lloyd "Matador" Daley, a producer who set himself apart by eschewing the influence of U.S. soul (an integral ingredient in the development of rocksteady and reggae) in favor of more homegrown material with a distinct rasta/social bent -– spiritual and political themes often being preferred over lyrics touching on romance and good times. In this regard, Daley was one of the most original musical figures in Jamaican musical history, having helped pave the way for the rasta-centric roots period of the '70s. Daley's time on the scene may have been relatively brief (1968-1975), but his impact on the island's musical landscape was substantial.

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