Toppa Top 50: Fifty Great Jamaicans

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Coxsone Dodd

When Clement Seymour “Sir Coxsone” Dodd died in 2004, the New York Times described him as the “pioneer of the Jamaican pop music scene”, and that seems as good of a description as any of the Kingston-born sound man, producer and label owner. In the 1950s, after gaining clout as the operator/founder of Sir Coxsone’s Downbeat, one of the original sound systems, Dodd in the 60s opened Studio One, the first black-owned recording studio in Jamaica. Its affiliated record label would launch the careers of Bob Marley, Lee “Scratch” Perry and countless other acts, handing the world some of its most timeless and re-recorded riddims. —Jesse Serwer