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Clement 'Coxsone' Dodd

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Clement Seymour “Sir Coxsone” Dodd, CD (Kingston, Jamaica, January 26, 1932 – May 5, 2004) was a Jamaican record producer who was influential in the development of ska and reggae in the 1950s, ’60s and beyond. He received his nickname “Coxsone” at school; because of his teenage talent as a cricketer, his friends compared him to Alec Coxon, a member of the famous 1940s Yorkshire County Cricket Club team.

Dodd used to play records to the customers in his parents’ shop. During a spell in the South of the United States he became familiar with the rhythm and blues music so popular there at the time. In 1954, back in Jamaica, he set up the Downbeat Sound System, being the owner of a amplifier, a turntable, and some U.S. records, which he would import from New Orleans and Miami. With the great success of his sound system, and in a highly competitive environment, Dodd would make trips through the States looking for new tunes to attract the Jamaican public. Dodd opened five different sound systems, each playing every night. To run his sound systems, Dodd appointed people like Lee “Scratch” Perry, who was Dodd’s right hand man during his early career, U Roy and Prince Buster.

When the R&B craze ended in the United States, Dodd and his rivals were forced to begin recording their own Jamaican music in order to meet the local demand for new music. Initially these recordings were exclusively for a particular sound system but the records quickly developed into an industry in their own right.

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