Top of Free Internet Radio content area

Winston Riley

Singer, songwriter, producer, and label owner Winston Riley can boast of a five-decade career that spawned hits that have changed the face of Jamaican popular music several times over. Inspired by American soul groups like The Impressions and The Coasters, Riley founded the sweet harmony group The Techniques while still a teen. The group cut a number of remarkable rocksteady singles, and Riley started his own Techniques imprint with the proceeds from their early successes. Quintessential Techniques collects the output of Riley’s seminal label from its founding in 1968 on through the ‘70s and ‘80s. It includes an astounding diversity of styles, from the relaxed rocksteady of Johnny Osbourne & The Sensations’ “Born to Love You” to the relentless digital textures of Admiral Tibet’s late-‘80s hit “Terrorist.” The collection particularly catches fire as it enters the early dancehall era, which Riley helped define with a series of epochal versions of the deathless Stalag rhythm, including Sister Nancy’s defiant “Bam Bam,” Tenor Saw’s soundclash staple “Ring the Alarm," and Super Beagle’s echo-laden adaptation of Willie Williams’ “Dust a Sound Boy."

Winston Riley (14 May 1943 – 19 January 2012) was a Jamaican singer, songwriter and record producer. The Jamaica Gleaner notes he was one of the most successful reggae producers.

Riley was born in Kingston, Jamaica. He formed the band The Techniques in 1962 and recorded material with that group. He formed his own label in 1968 and produced records for several musicians, including Alton and Hortense Ellis and Johnny Osbourne. Riley's own song, "Double Barrel", performed by Dave and Ansell Collins under his own production, was one of the first international reggae hits, reaching number 1 in the Dutch and UK Singles Chart.

His "Stalag" riddim is the most sampled reggae song of all time. The rhythm was first released in 1973, as the instrumental Ansell Collins track "Stalag 17", named after the World War II film of the same name. It reappeared later as "Stalag 18", "Stalag 19", "Stalag 20" and "Ring the Alarm Quick".

Riley produced General Echo's hugely influential album The Slackest in 1979, and he went on to launch the careers of Sister Nancy, Buju Banton, Cutty Ranks, Lone Ranger and Frankie Paul.

The band Widespread Panic recorded Echo's song "Arlene", and have performed many versions of it at their concerts.


Bam Bam

Members of this Group





There are currently no comments.
Share Winston Riley! Tell your friends about Winston Riley on 977music - share the joy of on-demand artist playlists!