Lloyd Daley  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Lloyd Daley also known as Matador (born 12 July 1939, Kingston) is a Jamaican electronic technician, sound system pioneer and reggae producer.

Lloyd Daley entered the music business very young, as an electronic technician, with his "Lloyds Radio & Television service" shop in Kingston.

In 1956, he launched "Lloyd The Matador" at Victoria Avenue, one of the first sound systems in Jamaica, named after the bullfighters. By the end of the 1950s, he used to build up and repair sono devices, improving especially amplifiers, for himself and also for other sound systems including his competitors, Duke Reid, Coxsone Downbeat and Prince Buster. His first 45 rpm singles came out in 1958, with some Jamaican R&B and early ska tunes made only for his own sound system. He had produced Roland Alphonso ("Bridgeview Shuffle"), Neville Esson, Owen Gray and Rico Rodriguez by the end of the decade. He released ska tunes in the early 1960s, with instrumental bands such as the "Matadors All Stars", featuring most of the members of the later formed band The Skatalites in 1959-1960; or with the trumpeter Raymond Harper ("Heart & Soul" in 1962). Later releases were with rocksteady songs by The Overtakers for instance, always employing excellent session musicians.

By the beginning of the 1960s, he married Deanna Deans, daughter of Eric Deans, who later contributed to Daley's work as a songwriter.

In 1966 the police dismantled his sound system for unknown reasons, and he had to sell it. He moved his repair service and record shop in 1968, to 43 Waltham Park Road using it as a rehearsal facility, and start encountering success in the early reggae period on his "Matador" label with artists like Jackie Mittoo ("Dark of the Sun") or The Scorchers ("Ugly Man").

His biggest hit came out in 1969 with Little Roy and his rasta song "Bongo Nyah" which became a long-time Jamaican number one. He then produced other popular singles for artists like The Abyssinians ("Yim Mas Gan"), The Ethiopians ("Owe Me No Pay Me"), Dennis Brown ("Things In Life"), The Wailing Souls ("Gold Digger"), the first recordings of The Gladiators ("Freedom Train", "Rockaman Soul"), Alton Ellis ("Lord Deliver Us" another Jamaican hit), John Holt or The Paragons.

Avoiding the influence of American soul music (everpresent through the rocksteay and early reggae era), Daley mostly produced original compositions, preferring religious (rasta) and socio-political lyrics to love songs.

He also released many instrumental tunes with Johnnie Moore or Lloyd Charmers ("Zylon" was a 1969 hit) and dee-jay versions of his hits with artists like U-Roy ("Sound of the Wise" and "Scandal" both recorded in October 1969). In 1971, Daley released Little Roy's "Hard Fighter" version, recorded by the Hippy Boys, and named "Voo-doo". It was one of the first instrumental dub tunes where drum and the bass had a dominating role.

Most of Daley's productions have been released in the UK by Pama Records on its subsidiaries "Crab" and "Gas", except in 1972, when he made a license deal with Trojan.

However in 1975, disillusioned by recurrent non-payment of royalties, he left the music industry to focus only on his shop.[1]


Compilation albums:

  • Various Artists - Scandal - Matador - LP
  • Various Artists - Way Back When - Matador (1979) - LP
  • Various Artists - Lloyd Daley's Matador Productions 1968-1972: Reggae Classics from the Originator - Heartbeat (1992)
  • Various Artists - From Matador's Arena Vol 01: 1968-1969 - Jamaican Gold (1994)
  • Various Artists - From Matador's Arena Vol 02: 1969-1970 - Jamaican Gold (1994)
  • Various Artists - From Matador's Arena Vol 03: 1971-1979 - Jamaican Gold (1994)
  • Various Artists - Shuffle 'n Ska Time With Lloyd 1960-1966 - Jamaican Gold (1995)

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Lloyd Daley" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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