Words by Jesse Serwer—
Years before Vybz Kartel had everybody asking where he gets his Clarks, ’80s dancehall deejays like Errol Scorcher, Ranking Joe and Little John had their own tributes to Jamaica’s favorite British footwear brand. Sometime around 1980, Scorcher voiced a DJ version of Barrington Levy’s “Sister Carol” for Henry “Junjo” Lawes which came to be called “Put On Me Clarks,” after its most memorable line. A half-decade later, in 1985, teenage dancehall phenom Little John recorded told listeners to “hol’ up yuh foot and show yuh Clarks Booty” on King Jammys’ Father Jungle Rock riddim.
Clarks Originals is an official partner of Record Store Day this year, creating special Record Store Day designs for some of the Desert Boots in their Spring/Summer collection, including one made from vinyl. Check out the full lookbook here.
In a show of synergy, Greensleeves Records is paying homage to Clarks’ significance in Jamaican culture with a 12″ featuring a Jamaican colorway Desert Boot on the cover and Scorcher and Little John’s classic tunes, paired together on vinyl for the first time. The single, available at record stores participating in Record Store Day on 4/20, is one of several limited edition vinyl releases Greensleeves and VP Records are issuing for the annual event. (Others include a reissue King Tubby Meets The Upsetter At The Grass Roots Of Dub, available on vinyl for the first time in a decade). Check out both tunes below, and watch a video Clarks produced for Record Store Day here.