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  Five chapters of all new content on mento, plus the best of every style of reggae! 
  600 pages of great artists and great songs, telling the complete story of reggae. 
  Click here for more information. You'll love it!  




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1950s
artists:
  Lord Fly   Count Lasher    Lord Tanamo    Count Sticky  Lord Messam 
 Count Owen    Lord Flea    Lord Lebby    Harold Richardson & The Ticklers  
  Arthur Knibbs    Chin's Calypso Sextet, A. Bedasse, E. F. Williams & Ivan Chin  
Later
artists:
 The Jolly Boys    Stanley Beckford    The Hiltonaires   Lord Antics 
 Sugar Belly    Mento Bands Performing At Jamaican Hotels and Elsewhere 
 Carlton James and The Rod Dennis Mento Band   Naaman Lee 
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mento:
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Mento related:  Bob Marley & The Wailers & mento   Toots & The Maytals & mento   Mento & Jazz    Foreign Mento 
 Harry Belafonte and mento    Edric Connor, Louise Bennett and Jamaican folk music    Mento Souvenirs 
  
Mento News and What's New on This Site 

Site updated: 6/17/17

You can also use the feed for this news

Yet more sad news, as mento and ska great Lord Tanamo has passed away
4/23/16


More sad news, as Jolly Boy Joseph 'Powda' Bennett has passed.
8/29/14


Sad news comes as the last of the great golden-age mento producers, Ivan Chin, has passed.
7/26/14


A double CD collection of golden age tracks called "Mento, Not Calypso" includes some some previously uncollected tracks that make this collection quite necessary to own.
7/12/13


Break out the cake, it's this web site's tenth birthday!
1/31/13


Tis the season for the release of a brand-new/old digital single of Christmas mento from The Jolly Boys.
11/18/12


A new page has been added to cover mento from countries other than Jamaica.
7/14/12


A new page has been added to fully describe an old, truly one-of-a-kind mento album.
6/2/12
 

 

Content is frequently added to this site. Page updates are listed below 

Page

Updated

Covers Versions of Mento Songs 

06/17/17

Lord Tanamo 

06/12/17

More Middle Period Single Scans

06/12/17

Sugar Belly

04/06/17

Mento Souvenirs

04/06/17

Chin's Calypso Sextet

01/28/17

More Middle Period Single Scans

10/04/16

Count Lasher

09/18/16

Bands At Hotels and Elsewhere

08/28/16

Foreign Mento

08/02/16

More Middle Period Album Scans

08/02/16

What is Mento? 

04/16/16

Edric Connor, Louise Bennett & Folk

12/04/15

Can I Buy Mento?

08/23/15

Count Sticky

04/12/15

Count Owen

01/06/15

The Jolly Boys 

08/29/14

Stanley Beckford

06/19/14

Mento and Jazz

06/17/14

More Golden Age Single Scans

06/07/14

Harold Richardson

05/18/14

Naaman Lee

03/08/14

Lord Messam

09/02/13

More Golden Age Album Scans

08/10/13

Lyrics

08/10/13

Lord Fly

07/12/13

More Golden Age Single Scans

07/12/13

More Resurgence CD & Record Scans

06/15/13

Lord Flea 

11/03/12

Arthur Knibbs

08/26/12

Welcome 

07/14/12

The Hiltonaires

06/12/12

An old, one-of-a-kind album

06/03/12

Bob Marley & The Wailers and mento

04/21/12

Lord Antics

12/17/11

What Mento Isn't 

11/17/11

Toots & The Maytals and mento 

10/08/11

Lord Fly

08/02/11

More Favorite Song Clips

07/17/11

Mento Video

06/26/11

Related Sites

05/31/11

Lord Lebby

04/17/11

Carlton James

03/12/11

Harry Belafonte and mento 

04/26/09

Mento Shirts

12/31/08

Jamaican Music Roadmap

01/28/07

Download Screen Backgrounds 

07/28/05


The unstoppable Blue Glaze Mento Band has a new CD with guests familiar to reggae fans, including Toots, Bunny Wailer, Stranger Cole, Sticky Thompson, Dean Fraser and Lee Jaffe.

Video clips of Blue Glaze and Toots Hibbert recording this album can be seen here.
10/8/11


A good new mento CD by The Tallawah Mento Band has been released .
3/12/11


36 photos of The Jolly Boys February 24, 2011 NYC gig at the Hiro Ballroom have been posted.
2/26/10


The new Jolly Boys CD, "Great Expectation" is now available, and its a hit!
10/10/10


A new CD, called "Sweet Sweet Jamaica" has been released by Gilzene and The Blue Light Mento Band was released.
12/19/09


A new compilation, "Sound Man Shots" on the Complete Roots label, gives us 19 mento sides on CD -- more than half not available elsewhere -- plus more.
9/27/09


Courtesy of Dan Neely, video of a June 2009 performance of Toots And The Maytals' "Sweet And Dandy" by The Blue Glaze Mento Band has been posted to the "More Resurgence CD Scans page" here.
6/19/09


The Jamaica Association of Vintage Artistes and Affiliates (JAVAA), has announced its a second group of ten inductees into its Hall Of Fame. Included are producer Stanley Motta and Frat's Quintet.

Also inducted were Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Prince Buster, Sonny Bradshaw, Otis Wright, Alton Ellis, Byron Lee, and the Merritone Music label. Last year's inductees can be seen below.
6/19/09


More than 50 years after its release, Capitol Records finally released Lord Flea's "Swingin' Calypsos" LP (along with its follow-up single) as bonus material on a Harry Belafonte CD called "The Early Years At Capitol Records".
3/25/09


Video of five songs from a live 2003 performance by the late Stanley Beckford with The Blue Glaze Mento Band (featuring the late Vincent Price) have been added to the Stanley Beckford page.
2/14/09


YouTube mento video links have been added to various pages on the site and are collected on the Mento Videos page.
9/27/08


Lord Flea and Louise Bennett are amongst the first 12 stellar inductees in the Jamaica Music Hall Of Fame. From the July 14th Jamaica Observer, by Basil Walters:

The Jamaica Association of Vintage Artistes and Affiliates (JAVAA), celebrated its fifth anniversary on Friday with the first induction for the Jamaica Music Hall of Fame, saluting a wide array of musical icons from mento to reggae. The salutation was not only for on-stage performers, but also for those behind-the-scene unsung heroes and one noteworthy institution. It was a well attended history-making ceremony held on the lawns of the Pegasus Hotel.

Seven of the individual inductees were honoured posthumously. These were legendary folklorist/poet, Louise "Miss Lou" Bennett-Coverly; master drummer and founder of the Mystic Revelation of Rastafari (MRR), Oswald Williams, aka Count Ossie; pioneer mento/calypsonian, Norman Thomas, better known as Lord Flea; founder of the Alpha Boys' School, Sister Mary Ignatius Davies; legendary producer/director, Vere Johns, who founded the famous Opportunity Hour talent contest, legendary record producer, Clement 'Sir Coxsone' Dodd of Studio One fame; and giant record producer Arthur 'Duke' Reid. The original Wailers - comprising Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, Junior Braithwaite, Beverly Kelso and Cherry Green - were also inducted. Of the group only Bunny Wailer, Kelso and Green are alive. Don Drummond, Roland Alphonso, Tommy McCook and Jerome 'Jah Jerry' Hinds (all deceased) from the immortal Skatalites were also honoured.
7/14/08


Lyrics and a sound clip have been added for "Robusta Banana" on the Count Lasher page.
6/28/08


A new mento t-shirt is available. It features an illustration of mento musicians taken from a vintage 1950s Jamaican album jacket.
3/22/08

An interesting program of calypso and mento was presented at NYC's Lincoln Center for four performances in March:

Monty Alexander, who is a revered public figure in his native Jamaica as well as a renowned jazz musician in this country, brings together an ensemble of musicians from neighboring islands and cultures to celebrate the musics of the Caribbean. The first 30 minutes of the set will focus on Trinidad/Calypso, with guest appearances by leading exponents of the form. The second 30 minutes will focus on Jamaica/Mento and will include a 4-man singing group who play banjo, guitar, rumba box and maracas.

Amongst the performers were be Joseph Bennett of The Jolly Boys, Albert Morgan of The Happy Smilers, Carlton James, reggae's Dean Fraser, CedricBrooks, Pluto Shervington, and many others. It was a great night! A show review with photos can be seen here.
1/19/07,   Updated 3/9/08


Folk/mento video from 1939 has been added to the Video page.
12/16/07


A separate page for Arthur Knibbs  has been spun off with new content.
12/2/07


Two new CDs by former Jolly Boy Allan Swymmer are now available.
Updated: 11/18/07


A sixth (and probably final) CD volume of Chin's Calypso Sextet has been released by Ivan Chin.
6/6/07


Very sad news, as Stanley Beckford has lost his battle with cancer.
4/7/07


Alerth Bedasse, lead singer for Chin's Calypso Sextet died on March 5th of a stroke. He was 79.
3/12/07


A scan of the rare 50 year old paper sleeve from a Chin's Calypso Sextet single has been added here.
2
/3/07


This web site has turned 4 years old and has just had its one millionth hit.
1
/31/07


An "I Love Mento" design has been added to the "Mento Shirts" page.
1
/30/07


Two updates to the Chin's Calypso Sextet  page: The names of all the band members have finally been uncovered and posted. Likewise pictures of this week's reunion between Ivan Chin and Alerth Bedasse. 1/13/07


Bad medical news for Stanley Beckford has been reported by The Daily Gleaner. Information has been added for anyone who would like to contribute money to Stanley's mounting medical bills.
12/3/06


The Mento Video  page has been updated with a clip of The Joy Makers and a complete song by The Jamaica Folk Singers, taken from an unlikely source.
11
/13/06


A RSS feed for this site has been set up, for those of you that have a RSS reader. Just click on the    icon to subscribe.
10
/22/06


An overdue Lord Fly page has been spun off, with new content added.
8
/12/06.    Updated with additional content: 8/26/06.



Louise Bennett has passed at the age of 86. An obituary can be seen here.
7/29/06
 

A Chin's Calypso Sextet design has been added to the "Mento Shirts" page.
7
/7/06


A new page has been added for the now NYC-based Carlton James and The Rod Dennis Mento Band. It includes photos and sound clips
Updated: 7
/2/06




 



The new issue of The Beat has an
article, "The Wailers' Mento Roots",
that is largely based on this sites'
"Bob Marley & The Wailers and Mento page.
6/17/06


Another golden-age mento compilation? Yes! Does it include
13 tracks not found on other CDs? Yes! In late June 2006, Pressure Sounds will release "Take Me To Jamaica (The Story of Jamaican Mento 1951 to 1958)". A review has been added to the "Can I Buy Mento?" page.
Revised: 6/25/06
 



 




 



The Overtakers
are a mento trio out of Negril who will be touring the US & releasing a new CD in October. For details, watch their web site.
5/29/06



Mento in Manhattan?!  Yes, thanks to Monty Alexander, and that was only part of the story.
4/26/06
 


Early this year, a Clash tribute was released that features a mento rendition of "Junco Partner". For the inside story, including the NYC-based band members that may be familiar to fans of this site, visit this web page.
4/8/06
 



April 2006, Trojan will release the two CD collection: "Dip and Fall Back!: Dr. Kinsey To Haile Selassie - Classic Jamaican Mento".Visit the Can I Buy Mento? page for more on this upcoming release.

2/22/06

 

Also, visit the News and What's New Archive for previous news listings.

email me at:
mike@mentomusic.com

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