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Michigan & Smiley - Rub A Dub Style

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Added by Erdem in Dub / Reggae


Michigan and Smiley were a Jamaican singing combo of the late seventies first wave of Dancehall music, founded by Papa Michigan (born Anthony Fairclough) and General Smiley (born Erroll Bennett) and included Yellowman, Eek-A-Mouse, Lone Ranger, General Echo, and others. They first recorded at Clement Coxsone Dodd’s famous Studio 1, pressing their first number one hit, “Rub a Dub Style”, which featured their innovative call and response style vocals overdubbed on the classic Studio 1 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 1 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 phrasology. 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” rhythm. This track was featured on their second, and perhaps best 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.

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