Small Axe Bookzine 19 – Dennis Alcapone

by Mar 26, 2018Reviews, Writings

Small Axe Bookzine 19 – Dennis Alcapone

Author: Ray Hurford
Publisher:  Muzik Tree
Published: February 2018
Book: A5 Paperback / 50 pages
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Small Axe Bookzine 19 Dennis Alcapone
Small Axe/Ray Hurford

From the late 1970s to this day, Ray Hurford — initiator of all “Small Axe” activities — has been responsible for some great contributions to the writings about reggae music. He published 27 issues of the Small Axe reggae fanzine, covering big names like Augustus Pablo and Gregory Isaacs. Besides the Small Axe reggae fanzine Ray Hurford was also the man behind 28 Small Axe issues from 1978-89 and 5 more in 1999/2000, 21 publications of the Small Axe Files (1991-1992), which focused on one artist or aspect of reggae in every issue, and such acclaimed books like “More Axe”, “More Axe 7”, “More Axe 8”, “Rhythm Wise”, and “The Small Axe Reggae Album Guides”.

Small Axe Bookzine 19 – Dennis Alcapone

The early 1970s marked the beginning of the accent of the deejay, a trend that continued during the roots era, and went on to become dominant throughout the dancehall and ragga phases. This 19th volume in the favorable priced Small Axe Bookzine series features an interview with legendary foundation deejay Dennis Alcapone, who without any doubt was U Roy’s main rival. The highly original stylist  takes in his history regarding the early deejay runnings, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Duke Reid and Coxsone Dodd, Keith Hudson, Striker Lee and the whole nine yards. Added is a selective discography of his albums and 7″ singles.


“No, you see, Coxsone had some rhythm that I like for a long time. Duke Reid also had some rhythm that I like for a long time, but U Roy was in Duke Reid’s stable. So I just go by Coxsone. Well, I went up there and I did ‘Nanny Version’. Well, when I did that one, I just ask him to call me Dennis Alcapone, ’cause that was my nickname back home really. So he used that, and that tune became an instant hit. Most people think it was U Roy, even Duke Reid himself! Because Duke Reid called me and asked me if U Roy help me to do the record. I said ‘No.’ He said ‘Yes Mon, U Roy help you do it.’ I said ‘No!'”