The Lecture Riddim

by Jun 15, 2020

The Fugitives - The Lecture
Soul Agents - The Lecture
The Fugitives

There are two possible contenders for the first cut of this riddim, The Fugitives with “The Lecture” and the Soul Agents with “The Lecture”. One of these is the original cut and the other a copy, but it seems likely that the Fugitives version is the original. Both songs include the lines ‘This is me, Jo Jo, with the Lecture, with the Fugitives’, and this must argue strongly that Fugitives’ version featuring Jo Jo Bennett on vocals is the original.

Jo Jo Bennett

However the Soul Agents’ version has an extra verse in the same style as the rest of the song, and it may be the original. The Fugitives record, probably an early Harry Mudie production, has a very different Rocksteady sound with the bass and piano carrying the riddim punctuated by a very upfront snare drum. Over this Jo Jo Bennett delivers his lecture, telling the youths to love their fellow man and to fight down illiteracy. There is a later instrumental cut to this version of the riddim featuring Jo Jo on trumpet.

Studio One

The Studio One cut with the Soul Agents has a similar delivery but a different sound to the Fugitives version. Studio One also quickly issued a next cut to the riddim, Ed Nangle’s “Good Girl”. This tune was the first to include the trumpet phrases that most later versions would employ. Later Studio One cuts include Jim Brown’s “Seen Deh”, Hugh Griffiths “Tease Me” and Charlotte’s “Banake”.

Interesting Cuts

Outside of Mudies and Studio One there are a number of interesting cuts to the riddim. Josie Wales and Charlie Chaplin both use the riddim twice for nice versions with Henry ‘Junjo’ Lawes and George Phang, and Sugar Minott utilised it for his excellent and infectious “Dancehall We Deh”. But the absolute killer is Shinehead’s “Hello Y’All” on which he gives us a history lesson, several boasts, some great whistling and a lick from the “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”, while he effortlessly rides a great recut of the riddim.

(Source: Ray Hurford & Jean Scrivener’s “Rhythm Wise One & Two”)


Selected tunes from the ’60s, ’70s ’80s & ’90s :

Jo Jo Bennett – Lecture Me
Soul Agents – The Lecture
Dub Specialist – Teasing
Ed Nangle – Good Girl
The Fugitives – The Lecture
Owen Gray – The Lecturer
Charlie Chaplin – We Hot
Charlotte – Banake
Hugh Griffiths – Tease Me
Jim Brown – Seen Him Deh
Josey Wales – Don’t Come Distress Me
Josey Wales – Mi Have Fi Get You
Scion Sashay Success – Can’t Leave Jah Alone
Shinehead – Hello Y’All
Sister Carol – Dedicated To Bob Marley
Sugar Minott – Dancehall We Deh
Yellowman – Strictly Bubbling
Charlie Chaplin – Trust Not Your Own
Charlie Chaplin – Cultural DJ Business

Bobby Melody – Roots Man Music
Carlton Livingston – Herbcutter
Carlton Livingston – Mr. Music Man
Early B – Sunday Dish
Frankie Paul – Not A Pretty Gal
Frankie Paul – String Up A Sound
King Everald – Dreadlocks Time
Nicodemus – Mi Nu Ramp
Pad Anthony – Champion Bubbler
Pan Bird – Mr. Ragga Muffin
Peter King – Ten Commandments Of An M.C.
Tonto Irie – As You Were
U-Brown – Me Have To Get You
Louie Culture – Foundation From Birth
Tanya Stephens – Handle The Ride
Sizzla – Give Them A Ride
Yami Bolo & Cutty Ranks – Pick And Choose
Admiral Tibet – Babylon Brutality
Anthony B – Stronger
Buju Banton – Gal You A De Best
Buju Banton – Jungle To Back A Wall

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