Toppa Top 10: Reggae’s Ten Greatest Drummers

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 +1
April 29, 2014

+1: Wilburn “Squidly” Cole


At age 13, Squidly recorded the drums on Barrington Levy’s Channel One hit “Black Roses.” He later would play with the Melody Makers and over time became the go-to drummer for the Marley brothers, recording classic cuts on albums for Ziggy, Stephen and Damian. Besides a long list of Jamaican artists, Squidly has credits with Lauryn Hill and also Amy Winehouse.

Since a list of 10 barely scratches the surface when it comes to recognizing all the talented drummers who have contributed to reggae, here are a few more names worthy of an Honorebel mention:

Winston “Sparrow” Martin – A drummer who played with Bob Marley on Catch a Fire tracks including “Stir It Up,” Martin since 1989 has been the musical director of Alpha Boys School in Kingston, and is also the recipient of a Musgrave medal in music.

Phil Collinder – Played drums on the Abyssians’ seminal 1969 Studio One classic “Satta Massagana”

Tony “Ruption” Williams – The longtime drummer for reggae fusion innovators Third World

George “Dusty” Miller – The drummer for the prolific studio and touring band, The Firehouse Crew

Basil “Prince” Shirley – The drummer for Buju Banton’s Shiloh band