Toppa Top 10: Top Gunslinger-Inspired Deejays

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April 12, 2011

1.Lee “Scratch” Perry aka Django

Those who only know Lee Perry as a mad genius dub pioneer may be surprised to find him at the top of this list but it was Perry who almost singlehandedly initiated the Western-themed reggae phenomenon in the ’60s. While his “Clint Eastwood” was a response to “Van Cleef,” King Stitt and Clancy Eccles’ tribute to Eastwood’s Good, the Bad and the Ugly rival Lee Van Cleef (“Clint Eastwood is boss for Lee Van Cleef. Clint Eastwood tuffer than Lee Van Cleef”), Perry and his Upsetters went on to record tributes to virtually every notable Spaghetti Western movie, from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly to the comparatively obscure Taste of Killing. The biggest hit of Perry’s early career, at least in the UK where it was even used in a Cadbury’s commercial, was “Return of Django”, the second of two Upsetters tunes inspired by Sergio Corbucci’s film. For more Western-inspired material from Perry’s early days, check the Trojan compilaton The Big Gundown: Reggae Inspired by Spaghetti Westerns.