The mighty Jah Stitch is a legend in Jamaica,making the move as so many ghetto youth’s
have tried, from Bad Man to Music Man. He embraced the DJ Culture that he himself was
an integral part of and put not one, but two musical stamps on the format. His initial Big Youth
sounding chants, grow from working alongside the man on the mic. Big Youth being a fellow
artist that started around the same time as Mr Stitch. The second almost spoken vibe came
about after a well documented incident that led to him being shot. He lived to tell the tale
and cut some of the finest Roots, DJ cuts, with his new vocal style that many have copied
but few have surpassed.

Jah Stitch (Born. Melbourne James,1949, Kingston, Jamaica) started out at a young age
listening to the tunes playing out around Princess Street. He came from the same singing
yard as singers Roy Shirley, Stranger Cole and The Heptones. His induction to the Sound
System scene was put into action when he and a young friend called Finger, started their
sound system named Fingertone. This would evolve into the now legendary Lord Tippertone
Sound System, Jah Stitch’s role as leading DJ would often lead many of his fellow sparing
partners, to prominence in the DJ Field. Another important meeting around this time, would
be with producer Bunny Lee. They would met at various studio’s in the Kingston area, where
he would be picking up various dubs for playing purposes on the sound system. A friendship
was started,with suggestions of rhythms that could be suitable for voicing over. Bunny Lee
seeing that reggae was moving towards this musical style, became heavily involved and
was one of the main exponents in promoting and selling the music. Although Bunny Lee
would be responsible for many of Mr Stitch's releases, it fell to producer Errol Holt to release
Stitch's debut single 'Danger Zone'. Jah Stitch’s split from the Tippertone Sound System and
then starting with the Black Harmony Sound, caused some resentment in an already
turbulent time in Jamaica. This would lead to the now infamous and aforementioned incident,
where Jah Stitch would end up being shot next to Bob Marley’s shop in Kingston’s Beeston
Street. Word travelled around that the shooting was fatal, even as far as England where
Bunny Lee had taken some of Jah Stitch’s material to be released. Miraculously even with
a bullet passing through the side of his mouth and out the other side he didn't die.
A picture taken at the hospital with John Holt and Ken Boothe was sent out to reconfirm this fact.
This would lead to what we touched on earlier, the second stage of Mr Stitch's career, on
leaving hospital he cut the aptly named 'No Dread Can't Dead' where his style is almost
spoken, over crucial rhythms and again to fine effect.

We have selected some of his best known tracks to show his knack of working a killer
rhythm and dubbed vocal with an almost call and response story telling style. The opening
and title track to this set Dread Inna Jamdown sees him working over John Holt's 'In The
Springtime'. The second cut Dem Seek Natty Everywhere works another John Holt classic
'Forgot To Say I Love You'. Make A Joyful Noise uses Jackie Mitto's 'Drum Song' as a back drop. Serious Thing plays with Johnny Clarke's 'Playful Forget wise'. The Best By Any Test utilises Ken
Boothe's 'Moving Away', where Natty Dread Skanking roles over the Midnight Special/Rock rhythm. From Dusk Till Dawn adds a little something nice to the classic 'Three Piece Suit' rhythm, Hold
on Tight turn's around Johnny Clarke's version of 'I'll Be Lonely' and Love For Everyone uses
Johnny's brother's Fish Clarke's cut of the same name. Pat Kelly's 'Kiss Me Each Morning' gets
turned into Rock To The Beat and Jackie Mitto's instrumental 'Autumn Season' becomes Natty
Going On So and Live Together In Harmony incorporates Pat Kelly's timeless 'No Love'.

After some hits in the 1970's, the 1980's would see a short name change to Major Stitch.
But we feel that his best loved monicker Jah Stitch serves the man well. So sit back and
enjoy some fine DJ Cuts from the unstoppable Mr Stitch.... No Dread Can't Dead... indeed...


CD Track Listing

1. DREAD INNA JAMDOWN
2. DEM SEEK NATTY EVERYWHERE
3. MAKE A JOYFUL NOISE
4. SERIOUS THING
5. THE BEST BY ANY TEST
6. NATTY DREAD SKANKING
7. FROM DUSK TO DAWN
8. HOLD ON TIGHT
9. LOVE FOR EVERYONE
10. ROCK TO THE BEAT
11. NATTY GOING ON SO
12. LIVE TOGETHER IN HARMONY
13. TUNE INTO JUMPERS*
14. CHANNEL 1 LESSON*
•CD Bonus Track

Vinly Track Listing

Side 1
1. DREAD INNA JAMDOWN
2. DEM SEEK NATTY EVERYWHERE
3. MAKE A JOYFUL NOISE
4. SERIOUS THING
5. THE BEST BY ANY TEST
6. NATTY DREAD SKANKING

Side 2
1. FROM DUSK TO DAWN
2. HOLD ON TIGHT
3. LOVE FOR EVERYONE
4. ROCK TO THE BEAT
5. NATTY GOING ON SO
6. LIVE TOGETHER IN HARMONY



Musicians Include:
Carlton 'Santa' Davis, Sly Dunbar, Carlton Barrett: Drums
Robbie Shakespeare, Aston 'Family Man' Barrett: Bass
Earl 'Chinna' Smith: Lead Guitar.
Tony Chin: Rhythm Guitar.
Winston Wright: Organ.
Bobby Ellis: Trumpet.
Vin Gordon: Trombone.
Tommy McCook: Tenor Saxophone.
Lennox Brown: Alto Saxophone.

All tracks copyright control
Recorded at Harry J's, Randy's Studio 17
& Channel 1, Dynamic Sounds, Kingston Jamaica.
Produced by: Bunny Lee.
Design By: Voodoo London.
Photography: Jah Floyd Archive
Manufactured under licence from E. Lee.
Made in the U.K.