Record label manager and music journalist Laurence Cane-Honeysett fell in love with reggae in 1969, before he “hit double figures”, when Desmond Dekker was top of the charts with ‘Israelites’. The label he loved most was Trojan, one of the major British reggae labels, launched in 1968 to put out singles from both Jamaican and British-based producers. Arthur ‘Duke’ Reid, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Dandy Livingstone and Jimmy Cliff were all put out on Trojan.
Laurence says: “A decade later I was spending what little spare cash I had to acquire every ska, rock steady or early reggae record I could lay my hands on and during those heady days, long before the internet and eBay, this involved trawling around London, seeking out second hand record shops and jumble sales in the hope of finding a bundle of rarities at a knock down price.”
Laurence loved Trojan so much that he ended up getting a job there and over the years has been sent or given some amazing historical items produced by Trojan throughout the 1960s and 1970s. “Of these, none is more precious to me than an original genuine plastic, gold-painted medallion, which back in the day could be acquired by those who signed up to the Trojan Records fan club. Generously donated by former fan club member, Brian Chin, this much-loved piece of extremely lightweight jewellery really is an extremely rare and special item that while clearly not being the classiest piece of record merchandise ever produced, holds a particularly special place in my heart and all those nostalgic for the days when Trojan and reggae regularly topped the British charts.”
Do you have British reggae memories? If so, we’d love to see the stuff you’ve saved over on our People’s History of Pop collection page.