Last year while in New York, I met up with Lenworth Lyttle, the author of ‘When Dancehall Was Nice, In the 80’s Dancehall – Reggae Recall‘. This was not by coincidence. You see, I first became aware of this book while listening to a Cutting Edge episode where Mutabaruka interviewed Lenworth Lyttle live on air. It was Mutabaruka’s high ratings for the book which inspired me into reaching out to the author directly.
Being based in the UK meant that it was difficult (and expensive) for the book to be shipped overseas, so I decided to make it my mission to get a copy whenever I reached the States.
In September 2015, I did indeed meet up with Lenworth in Brooklyn who gifted me with a copy. However, being the slow reader that I am, it wasn’t until months later that I finally had a chance to begin reading it. This time, it was the sexy beach of Miami, where I began turning the pages. As a dancehall music fan, I found it fascinating to connect the dots and learn so much more about the foundations of dancehall music. The books combination of anecdotal evidence, commentary, and pictures gave me a real sense of overstanding.
“While some may view Dancehall as a mere sub-genre of Reggae music, we the authors see it as a complete entity in itself. It is a culture, it is a way of life, and it is also an entertainment resource for its people.”
Dancehall Was Nice, In the 80’s Dancehall – Reggae Recall pays homage to the many pioneers of dancehall – too many to mention here, but the author takes care and attention in ensuring recognition is given to a whole host of names.
Along with reading about the history of dancehall, I also have two CDs to accompany the journey. Dancehall is more than music, it is a way of life, and this book perfectly demonstrates this.
In the 80s, Dancehall is a must for all Jamaican music enthusiasts interested in overstanding the roots of dancehall and how its sound system culture revolutionized what we see today!
Dancehall is much more than music, as the books says; Dancehall is a way of life.
Nuff respect to Lenworth for the book.
You can find out more at the website here.
When Dancehall Was Nice – In the 80s Dancehall – Reggae Recall
By Lyttle and Thomas