The umpteenth book about Bob Marley written by Jeremy Collingwood and a book about Jamaican record producer Lloyd “Matador” Daley are published almost simultaneously. Bob Marley is Jamaica’s most renown artist whose name greatly appeals to reggae fans as well as music lovers worldwide, which makes that books about him easily find their way to the average reggae-minded fan. However, the long-time devoted reggae fan whose interested in the history of Jamaica’s popular music definitely makes a far better choice by purchasing Rich Lowe’s book about Lloyd Daley, the sonic pioneer of Jamaican music, aptly titled “The Matador”.
The author first learned of Daley in 1982 while looking through used records at a Cleveland record convention. He discovered that Mr. Daley was reclusive, and in his later years, he was reportedly angry over issues of piracy that he had experienced at the height of his career. After searching for him through old business locations, Rich Lowe decided to make contact. It was a long shot, but finally Mr. Daley decided to engage in a dialogue and also connected him with many of his musical associates with whom he had collaborated over the course of his career.
The story presented in the book, which offers a rare peek in into Jamaican music history, is the result of Rich Lowe’s frequent email correspondence and phone conversations with Lloyd David Edward Daley between 2014 and 2018, the year Mr. Daley died from cancer. “The Matador” is an interplay of memories from Jamaican entrepreneur Lloyd Daley, interviews with numerous musicians as well as man’s family and friends, and historical context provided by author Rich Lowe.
Lloyd Daley built some of the most powerful amplifiers on the island of Jamaica, he worked at The Times Store as a lithographer, he had an electronics repair business, he formed the Matador Sound System, and he was a top selling music producer. Mr. Daley, a distinctive and determined man, had to have a rough exterior to survive at the center of the sound system eruption in the mid 1950s in Jamaica, recording as a producer in the golden eras of Jamaican Boogie-Shuffle, Ska, Rock Steady and Reggae music. As a producer, Daley had consistency, quality, and was selective. He recorded artists of the era who have come to be recognized over time: Members of The Skatalites, Dennis Brown, The Gladiators, The Wailing Souls, The Heptones, Little Roy, Freddie McKay, Alton Ellis, The Ethiopians, The Hippy Boys, The Abyssinians, Count Ossie, The Viceroys, and many more. The Matador is a man that never stood for no foolishness. As a sound system owner, Lloyd Daley battled with giants of the day like King Edwards, Coxson Dodd, Duke Reid, and Bells the President.
Essential read and thus highly recommended!!!