Michigan & Smiley  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Michigan and Smiley were a Jamaican singing combo of the late seventies first wave of dancehall music, consisting of Papa Michigan (born Anthony Fairclough) and General Smiley (born Erroll Bennett). They first recorded at Clement "Coxsone" Dodd's famous Studio One in Jamaica, pressing their first number one hit, "Rub a Dub Style", which featured their innovative call and response style vocals, overdubbed on the classic Studio One rhythm, "Vanity". Their next single, perhaps a larger hit, "Nice Up the Dance" was a version of the quintessential Studio 1 rhythm, "Real Rock". These singles, with four other tracks, also versions of classic Studio One rhythms, were released as their first LP, Nice Up the Dance. The names of these two singles were quickly incorporated into the lexicon of dancehall phraseology. Their call and response style was likewise influential on the future developments of the music, blending together straightforward singing styles and toasting. By 1982, they caught the attention of seminal dancehall producer, Henry "Junjo" Lawes, who recorded their biggest hit, "Diseases" over the then immensely popular "Mad Mad" riddim. This track was featured on their second LP, Downpression. They went on to cut an album for Channel One Records, Step by Step. The last of their hit records was "Sugar Daddy", pressed on RAS Records, which featured yet another reworking of "Mad Mad". The duo continued to record and make appearances at festivals into the early nineties, yet never again achieved the status of their early eighties career.



  • Rub a Dub Style (1980) Studio One
  • Downpression (1982) Greensleeves
  • Live at Reggae Sunsplash (1982) Trojan (with Eek-a-Mouse)
  • Sugar Daddy (1983) RAS
  • Back in the Biz (1991) VP
  • Reality Must Rule Again (1992) VP
  • Uptown/Downtown (1995) VP

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Michigan & Smiley" 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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