Producer Clive Chin, son of Randy’s Records founder Vincent “Randy” Chin, has a great story about how his father recruited the Trinidadian singer Lord Creator to voice an ode to Jamaica’s independence. “[Creator] came to the island in 1962 to perform with a set of musicians from Guyana and Trinidad, and my father liked what he heard and said, ‘why don’t you do a song for my label–but do an independence song,’” recalls Chin, from his home in New York. “This is how the business relationship started between my father and Creator, with the song ‘Independent Jamaica’–that was a huge hit,” he says. “And the first flagship single that Chris Blackwell of Island Records put out in Britain was ‘Indpendent Jamaica’.”

That anecdote aptly conveys the influence that a small record mart and recording studio, founded in 1958 in downtown Kingston, had on the history of Jamaican music. Randy’s store eventually spawned Randy’s studio and label, and a move to New York in the 1970s saw the family establish reggae mega company VP Records.

Released on VP’s recently launched historical reissue imprint, 17 North Parade, Reggae Anthology: Randy’s 50th Anniversary collection is a dual CD and DVD collection that highlights both hits and rare cuts from this influential label and studio. Featuring Bob Marley & The Wailers, Dennis Brown, Peter Tosh, Alton Ellis, John Holt, and other greats, Disc One, 1960-1971, includes the early politically charged ska tunes, such as the aforementioned “Independent Jamaica” and the Skatalites “Malcolm X,” plus a youthful Toots & The Maytals’ hit, “John And James.” Disc Two, which covers studio works from 1971-1976, includes Horace Andy, Gregory Isaacs, and the great Dennis Brown.

The collection is rounded out by noted reggae authors Steve Barrow and David Katz’s liner notes and a complementary 40-minute DVD loaded with interviews, making Randy’s 50th Anniversary an in-depth audio/visual look at reggae during its most creative period.

Randy’s 50th Anniversary
Disc One–1960 to 1971
01 Lord Creator “Independent Jamaica”
02 Alton & Eddie “Like A Dream”
03 Roy & Paulette “Since You’re Gone”
04 Rico Rodriquez “Rico Special”
05 Lord Creator & Norma Fraser “We Will Be Lovers”
06 Lord Creator “Don’t Stay Out Late”
07 Basil Gabbidon “Goodbye Pretty Darling”
08 Cornell Campbell “Make Hay”
09 Charlie Organaire “Royal Charlie”
10 Joanne Gordon & Roland Alphonso “Blow Roland Blow”
11 Baba Brooks “Portrait Of My Love”
12 The Skatalites “Malcolm X”
13 Alton Ellis “Mouth A Massy”
14 John & Alton “Rum Bumpers”
15 The Maytals “John And James”
16 Delroy Byfield “Yagga Yagga”
17 Don Drummand “Machine Shop”
18 Stranger & Ken “Home Home Home”
19 Lord Creator “Such Is Life”
20 Bob Marley & The Wailers “Sugar Sugar”
21 Peter Tosh “You Can’t Fool Me Again”
22 The Gaylads “Wha She Do Now”
23 Count Machukie “Warfare”
24 Randy’s All Stars “End Dust”
25 Ethiopians “True Man”

Disc Two–1971 to 1976
01 Augustus Pablo “Java”
02 I-Roy “Hospital Trolley”
03 Junior Byles “King Of Babylon”
04 Horace Andy “Don’t Go”
05 Jimmy London “A Little Love”
06 Dennis Brown “Cheater”
07 John Holt “For The Love Of You”
08 Alton Ellis “Too Late To Turn Back Now”
09 Donovan Carless “Be Thankful”
10 Hortense Ellis “Woman Of The Ghetto”
11 Senya “Children Of The Ghetto”
12 Gregory Isaacs “Lonely Soldier”
13 Black Uhuru “Going To Zion”
14 Lloyd Parks “Ordinary Man”
15 Impact All-Stars “Ordinary Man Version 3”
16 1 African Brothers “Hold Tight”
17 Keith Popin “Righteous Man”
18 Errol Dunkley “Created By The Father”
19 The Gladiators “The Race”
20 The Heptones “My Guiding Star”
21 Hubert Lee “Something On Your Mind”
22 Charlie Ace & Dirty Harry “Country Boy”
23 Carl Malcolm “No Jestering”
24 Knotty No Jester “Big Youth”
25 Carl Malcolm “Fattie Bum Bum”

Pictured: Randy and Clive Chin. Photo by David Corio