Prince Buster

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Prince Buster_table_infobox_0

Prince BusterODPrince Buster_header_cell_0_0_0
Background informationPrince Buster_header_cell_0_1_0
Birth namePrince Buster_header_cell_0_2_0 Cecil Bustamente CampbellPrince Buster_cell_0_2_1
BornPrince Buster_header_cell_0_3_0 (1938-05-24)24 May 1938

Kingston, JamaicaPrince Buster_cell_0_3_1

OriginPrince Buster_header_cell_0_4_0 JamaicaPrince Buster_cell_0_4_1
DiedPrince Buster_header_cell_0_5_0 8 September 2016(2016-09-08) (aged 78)

Miami, Florida, U.S.Prince Buster_cell_0_5_1

GenresPrince Buster_header_cell_0_6_0 Prince Buster_cell_0_6_1
Occupation(s)Prince Buster_header_cell_0_7_0 Prince Buster_cell_0_7_1
Years activePrince Buster_header_cell_0_8_0 1961–2016Prince Buster_cell_0_8_1
LabelsPrince Buster_header_cell_0_9_0 Prince Buster_cell_0_9_1

Cecil Bustamente Campbell OD (24 May 1938 – 8 September 2016), known professionally as Prince Buster, was a Jamaican singer-songwriter and producer. Prince Buster_sentence_0

The records he released in the 1960s influenced and shaped the course of Jamaican contemporary music and created a legacy of work that would be drawn upon later by reggae and ska artists. Prince Buster_sentence_1

Early life Prince Buster_section_0

Cecil Bustamente Campbell was born in Orange Street in Kingston, Jamaica, on 24 May 1938. Prince Buster_sentence_2

His middle name was given to him by his family in honour of the Labour activist and first post-Independence Prime Minister William Alexander Clarke Bustamante. Prince Buster_sentence_3

In the early 1940s Campbell was sent to live with his grandmother in rural Jamaica where his family's commitment to the Christian faith gave him his earliest musical experiences in the form of church singing as well as private family prayer and hymn meetings. Prince Buster_sentence_4

Returning to live at Orange Street while still a young boy, Campbell attended the Central Branch School and St. Anne's School. Prince Buster_sentence_5

While at school Campbell performed three or four times a week at the Glass Bucket Club, as part of Frankie Lymon's Sing and Dance Troupe; rock 'n' roll-themed shows were popular during the 1950s, with the Glass Bucket Club establishing a reputation as the premier music venue and social club for Jamaican teenagers at that time. Prince Buster_sentence_6

Upon leaving school he found himself drawn to the ranks of followers sound system of Tom the Great Sebastian. Prince Buster_sentence_7

Jamaican sound systems at that time were playing American rhythm 'n' blues and Campbell credits Tom the Great Sebastian with his first introduction to the songs and artists that would later influence his own music: The Clovers' "Middle of the Night", Fats Domino's "Mardi Gras in New Orleans", the Griffin Brothers featuring Margie Day, and Shirley & Lee. Prince Buster_sentence_8

Career Prince Buster_section_1

Campbell became more actively involved in the operational side of running a sound system after he was introduced to Clement 'Coxsone' Dodd, a musically inclined businessman who operated one of Kingston's most popular sound systems. Prince Buster_sentence_9

Campbell found himself fulfilling a variety of roles for Coxsone: providing security, handling ticket receipts, identifying and sourcing music as well as working in the essential role of selector. Prince Buster_sentence_10

The knowledge he gained about the financial and logistical aspects of staging a sound system dance was put to good use when Campbell made the decision to start his own sound system called 'Voice of the People'. Prince Buster_sentence_11

Campbell approached his family and a radio shop owner called Mr Wong for financial backing; both parties agreed. Prince Buster_sentence_12

Campbell's 'Voice of the People' sound system was soon operational and within a short time had established itself as a rival to the sound systems of Coxsone and Reid. Prince Buster_sentence_13

Campbell applied to the Farm Work Program (guest worker scheme for the US agricultural sector) with the intention of buying music for his sound system but on the day of departure was refused entry into the scheme. Prince Buster_sentence_14

Knowing that he wouldn't be able to personally source records from the US, Campbell decided to record his own music. Prince Buster_sentence_15

He approached Arkland "Drumbago" Parks, a professional drummer at the Baby Grand Club who had arranged and recorded a special (exclusive recording) for the Count Boysie sound system. Prince Buster_sentence_16

Drumbago agreed to help and Campbell immediately began rehearsing with the musicians at the Baby Grand Club, including the guitarist Jah Jerry, who played on Campbell's first recording session. Prince Buster_sentence_17

1960s Prince Buster_section_2

In 1961, Campbell released his first single "Little Honey"/"Luke Lane Shuffle" featuring Jah Jerry, Drumbago and Rico Rodriquez recording under the name of Buster's Group. Prince Buster_sentence_18

In that same year, he produced "Oh Carolina" by the Folkes Brothers, which was released on his Wild Bells label. Prince Buster_sentence_19

The drumming on the record was provided by members of the Count Ossie Group, nyabinghi drummers from the Rastafarian community, Camp David, situated on the Wareika Hill above Kingston. Prince Buster_sentence_20

After becoming a hit in Jamaica, "Oh Carolina" was licensed to Melodisc, a UK label owned by Emil Shalet. Prince Buster_sentence_21

Melodisc released the track on their subsidiary label Blue Beat; the label would go on to become synonymous with 1960s ska releases for the UK market. Prince Buster_sentence_22

Campbell recorded prolifically throughout the 1960s; notable early ska releases include: "Madness" (1963), "Wash Wash" (1963, with Ernest Ranglin on bass), "One Step Beyond" (1964) and "Al Capone" (1964). Prince Buster_sentence_23

The documentary This is Ska (1964), hosted by Tony Verity and filmed at the Sombrero Club, includes Campbell performing his Jamaican hit "Wash Wash". Prince Buster_sentence_24

In 1964 Campbell met World Heavyweight Champion boxer Muhammad Ali who invited him to attend a Nation of Islam talk at Mosque 29 in Miami. Prince Buster_sentence_25

That year Campbell joined the Nation of Islam and also started to release material, including a version of Louis X's "White Man's Heaven is a Black Man's Hell," on his own imprint label called "Islam". Prince Buster_sentence_26

In 1965 he appeared in Millie in Jamaica (a film short about Millie Small's return to Jamaica after the world-wide success of "My Boy Lollipop") which was broadcast on Rediffusion's Friday evening pop show Ready, Steady, Go! Prince Buster_sentence_27

Campbell had a top twenty hit in the UK with the single "Al Capone" (no. Prince Buster_sentence_28

18, February 1967). Prince Buster_sentence_29

He toured the UK in spring 1967 appearing at the Marquee Club in May and later toured America to promote the RCA Victor LP release The Ten Commandments (From Man To Woman). Prince Buster_sentence_30

"Ten Commandments" reached #81 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming his only hit single in the United States. Prince Buster_sentence_31

By the late 1960s Campbell was once again at the forefront of a musical change in Jamaica; the new music would be called rocksteady. Prince Buster_sentence_32

Campbell tracks like "Shaking Up Orange Street" (1967) were arranged with the slower, more soulful rocksteady template as used by Alton Ellis ("Rock Steady") and many others. Prince Buster_sentence_33

The album Judge Dread Rock Steady was released in 1967, and the title track "Judge Dread" with its satirical theme and vocal style proved to be popular to the point of parody. Prince Buster_sentence_34

In 1968 the compilation album FABulous was released, opening with the track "Earthquake" (which revisited the theme of Orange Street) and including earlier hits. Prince Buster_sentence_35

The album has regularly been reissued in the UK. Prince Buster_sentence_36

1970s and beyond Prince Buster_section_3

His career slowed up in the 1970s as the predominant style moved away from ska and rocksteady towards roots reggae, in part because as a Muslim he found it difficult to tailor his style towards a Rastafari audience. Prince Buster_sentence_37

However he did make an appearance in the 1972 movie The Harder They Come, which featured Campbell in a cameo role as a DJ. Prince Buster_sentence_38

He subsequently moved to Miami to pursue business interests including running a jukebox company. Prince Buster_sentence_39

From 1973 Campbell effectively retired from the music business, with only a handful of compilation albums issued. Prince Buster_sentence_40

Even with the new interest in his music following the 2-Tone-led ska revival in the UK in 1979 he remained out of the limelight. Prince Buster_sentence_41

Following an acclaimed appearance at the first Reggae Sunsplash event in July 1984 in London he resumed performing with the Skatalites as his backing band towards the end of the 1980s, and resumed recording in 1992. Prince Buster_sentence_42

In 1994 a UK court ruled in favour of John Folkes and Greensleeves after they brought a lawsuit against Campbell and Melodisc (CampbelI by this time had acquired Melodisc) concerning authorship of "Oh Carolina". Prince Buster_sentence_43

Campbell had a top 30 hit in the UK with the track "Whine and Grine" (no. Prince Buster_sentence_44

21, April 1998) after the song had been used in an advert for Levi's. Prince Buster_sentence_45

In 2001 Campbell was awarded the Order of Distinction by the Jamaican Government for his contribution to music. Prince Buster_sentence_46

He performed at the 2002 Legends Of Ska festival in Toronto. Prince Buster_sentence_47

Other appearances include: Sierra Nevada World Music Festival in 2003; the 2006 Boss Sounds Reggae Festival in Newcastle upon Tyne, the 40th Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland with the Delroy Williams Junction Band, and the 2007 UK Rhythm Festival. Prince Buster_sentence_48

Campbell resided in Miami, Florida. Prince Buster_sentence_49

Legacy Prince Buster_section_4

The UK ska revival at the end of the 1970s that started with the 2-Tone label from Coventry introduced Campbell's music to a new generation of listeners. Prince Buster_sentence_50

In 1979 the band Madness released their first single on 2-Tone, a tribute to Campbell called "The Prince". Prince Buster_sentence_51

The B-side was a cover of the Campbell song "Madness" from which they took their name. Prince Buster_sentence_52

Their second single, released on the Stiff label ("The Prince" would be the only single released by Madness on the 2-Tone label), was a cover of Campbell's "One Step Beyond", which reached the UK Top 10. Prince Buster_sentence_53

On their self-titled debut album, the Specials covered "Too Hot" and borrowed elements from Campbell's "Judge Dread" (in the song "Stupid Marriage") and "Al Capone" (in the song "Gangsters"). Prince Buster_sentence_54

The Specials also included a cover of "Enjoy Yourself" on their second album More Specials. Prince Buster_sentence_55

The Beat covered "Rough Rider" and "Whine & Grine" on their album I Just Can't Stop It. Prince Buster_sentence_56

Campbell's song "Hard Man Fe Dead" was covered by the U.S. ska band the Toasters on their 1996 album Hard Band For Dead. Prince Buster_sentence_57

In 2002, electronic duo Mint Royale sampled Prince Buster for their single "Sexiest Man in Jamaica" on their album Dancehall Places. Prince Buster_sentence_58

In September 2002 the tune debuted at #20 on the UK singles chart. Prince Buster_sentence_59

Death Prince Buster_section_5

Campbell died on the morning of 8 September 2016, in a hospital in Miami, Florida, after suffering heart problems, according to his wife. Prince Buster_sentence_60

He had reportedly been in poor health for some time after a series of strokes, including one in 2009 that left him unable to walk. Prince Buster_sentence_61

Selected album discography Prince Buster_section_6

Prince Buster_unordered_list_0

  • I Feel the Spirit (1963), Blue BeatPrince Buster_item_0_0
  • Fly Flying Ska (1964), Blue BeatPrince Buster_item_0_1
  • National Ska – Pain in My Belly (1964), Blue BeatPrince Buster_item_0_2
  • It's Burke's Law (1965), Blue BeatPrince Buster_item_0_3
  • Ska-Lip-Soul(1965),Prince Buster_item_0_4
  • What A Hard Man Fe Dead (1967), Blue BeatPrince Buster_item_0_5

Prince Buster_unordered_list_1

  • Judge Dread Rock Steady (1967), Blue Beat/Prince BusterPrince Buster_item_1_6
  • Ten Commandments (1967), RCA VictorPrince Buster_item_1_7
  • Wreck A Pum Pum (1968), Jet StarPrince Buster_item_1_8
  • She Was A Rough Rider (1968), Blue BeatPrince Buster_item_1_9
  • The Outlaw (1969), BluebeatPrince Buster_item_1_10
  • Big Five (1971), MelodiscPrince Buster_item_1_11
  • Dance Cleopatra Dance (1972), Blue ElephantPrince Buster_item_1_12
  • The Message Dub Wise (1972), Melodisc/FabPrince Buster_item_1_13
  • Sister Big Stuff (1976), MelodiscPrince Buster_item_1_14

Prince Buster_description_list_2

Prince Buster_unordered_list_3

  • The Original Golden Oldies Vol. 1 (1967), Prince BusterPrince Buster_item_3_15
  • Original Golden Oldies Vol. 2 (1967), Shack RecordingsPrince Buster_item_3_16
  • FABulous Greatest Hits (1968), FabPrince Buster_item_3_17
  • Tutti Frutti (1968), FabPrince Buster_item_3_18
  • The Prophet (1994), LagoonPrince Buster_item_3_19
  • King of Ska (2000), Prince Buster/Jet StarPrince Buster_item_3_20
  • Rock A Shacka Vol. 5 – Dance Cleopatra (2003), UniversalPrince Buster_item_3_21

Prince Buster_description_list_4

Prince Buster_unordered_list_5

  • Prince Buster on Tour (1967), Blue BeatPrince Buster_item_5_22
  • King of Blue Beat (2001) (reissue of "Prince Buster Live On Tour"), Wah WahPrince Buster_item_5_23
  • Prince of Peace (2003), Island – Prince Buster with DeterminationsPrince Buster_item_5_24

UK hit singles Prince Buster_section_7

Prince Buster_table_general_1

DatePrince Buster_header_cell_1_0_0 Song titlePrince Buster_header_cell_1_0_1 UK Singles Chart peakPrince Buster_header_cell_1_0_2 Weeks on chartPrince Buster_header_cell_1_0_3
23 February 67Prince Buster_cell_1_1_0 "Al Capone"Prince Buster_cell_1_1_1 18Prince Buster_cell_1_1_2 13Prince Buster_cell_1_1_3
4 April 98Prince Buster_cell_1_2_0 "Whine and Grine"Prince Buster_cell_1_2_1 21Prince Buster_cell_1_2_2 3Prince Buster_cell_1_2_3

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: Buster.