Toppa Top 50: Fifty Great Jamaicans

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King Tubby

Donovan “King Tubby” Ruddock’s contribution to the art of mixing recorded music cannot be overstated. The concept of arranging music from the mixing board was not a known practice when this electrician-turned-audio-engineer (and operator of Tubby’s Hometown Hi-Fi sound system) first started twirling knobs and reinventing reverb and delay. His studio wound up creating some of the best music of the 70s and 80s with the help of his apprentice engineer, Scientist: Tubby would often give session work to other engineers so he could fix a TV or a toaster, as it was guaranteed money as opposed to music, but in the process he gave opportunities to others who passed the torch. —Dave Susser