Cruise International Records,
Allerton Grange Vale,
Johnny Clarke Stop Them Jah 7inch vinyl
Clarke’s career thrived and he is said to be one of Jamaica’s top talents despite a rocky start and never going ‘global’.
Born in Whitfield Town in 1955, like other Jamaican greats, his career began on the talent show stage with a win in 1971.
From this, producer Clancy Eccles recorded Clarke’s first single God Made the Sea and the Sun although Clarke soon moved on, claiming Eccles failed to make the track a success through lack of marketing. Clarke found fame in 1973 with Rupie Edwards and had hits with Julie, Ire Feelings and Everyday Wondering. Also working with other producers, Clarke reached the pinnacle of his career in the mid-late 1970s with Bunny Lee, famed for his influence on rocksteady, the move to reggae and his trademark ‘flying cymbals’ sound. Clarke and Lee had a stream of hits, including None Shall Escape the Judgement, with Clarke heralded as one of Jamaica’s most outstanding vocalists and cultural writers, opening the dancehall genre to singers as well as DJs. In fact, he was said to be the first dancehall singer, influencing the likes of Sugar Minott.