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Lord Tanamo (born Joseph Abraham Gordon, 2 October 1934, Kingston, Jamaica) is best known as a mento and ska performer and songwriter.
Discovering the Musical World of Lord Tanamo
Lord Tanamo, a Jamaican-born artist, was one of the pioneers of ska music, a genre that emerged in Jamaica in the early 1960s. He was a unique artist who challenged the norms of the arena through his distinctive sound, style and his original take on music. His music defined the traditional ska rhythm, which had a significant role in shaping the genre of music we know today. In this blog post, we will explore the unique life story of Lord Tanamo, delve into his famous musical pieces, genre, and concerts. It is time to discover the musical world of Lord Tanamo!
Born as Joseph Abraham Gordon in 1934, in Kingston, Jamaica. Lord Tanamo was a multi-dimensional artist, a singer-songwriter, a musician, and a record producer. He began his career in the 1950s as a talented drummer and the vocalist in the popular Jamaican Calypso group, The Vagabonds. His commanding stage presence and the ability to handle crowds garnered him much attention. His breakout year came in 1960, with his debut single titled Iron Bar that went on to become his signature hit. The song was an innovative mix of Calypso and Ska, which drew in a lot of music lovers.
In the early days of Ska, Lord Tanamo was the go-to performer at Kingston's Celebration theatre. He released multiple hits such as Rainy Night in Georgia, Come Down, and Aye Aye Aye that became chart-toppers nationally and internationally. His unique voice added a flavor of humor and wit to his songs, and his performances were lively and explosive, earning him the moniker The King of Calypso in Jamaica.
Lord Tanamo genre of music was an amalgamation of Calypso and Ska, which he executed flawlessly. The fusion created a unique sound that he infused with his Caribbean Culture, making it a potent mix that people just couldn't resist. He made several contributions to the formation of the Ska genre by collaborating with significant Ska musicians like Carlos Malcolm and the Skatalites. He left a lasting impression on the music world's collective consciousness, which still sets the standards for musicians today.
One of Lord Tanamo's infamous concerts happened in 1969 at London's Lyceum theatre where he led a successful tour with artists like Desmond Dekker and the Aces and Doctor Alimentado. The performance was one of a kind and added to the East-West cultural exchange that was emerging in the period. His performances were always top-notch, and the audience always left feeling elated.
Lord Tanamo was a genius in the music industry who defined the traditional ska rhythm. His music has undoubtedly influenced generations and continues to do so even today. His best songs remain timeless, and music enthusiasts continue to celebrate his works across various platforms. Although Tanamo is no longer with us, his music and legacy will forever live on.
In conclusion, Lord Tanamo remains a significant figure in the history of Jamaican music. He was a pioneer of a genre, and his unique style and creative input helped shape the landscape of the music industry today. His fun-loving and jovial aura was contagious, and his music continues to be celebrated even today. The King of Calypso may have left us, but his music lives on. We honour him as a musician that influenced generations and continues to define Jamaica's music scene today.
1 - You Never Know
2 - Iron Bar
3 - Come Down
4 - You Belong To My Heart
5 - Downtown Gal
6 - Big Trombone
7 - Yellow Bird
8 - Jamaica Farewell
9 - Musso
10 - I'm In The Mood For Love
11 - A Dash Of The Sunshine
12 - If You Were Mine
13 - Mattie Rag (aka Ol' Matilda)
14 - Rainy Night In Georgia
15 - Keep On Moving
16 - Come Down (pomps And Pride)
17 - Taller Than You Are
18 - I Had A Dream
19 - Mattie Rag (a.k.a. Ol' Matilda)
20 - Mother's Choice
21 - I Am Holding On
22 - I Love You Truly
23 - Island In The Sun
24 - You'll Never Know