The set, titled Jamaica 50, is scheduled to be released in July, one month before Independence celebrations in Jamaica. It will be distributed by Dawkins’ Tads Records and contains 50 songs he produced or licensed for distribution during the last 30 years.
“We’re still considering the final list but it’s something we’re excited about. An album like this is timely,” Dawkins told the Observer.
Heading the list of songs is Here I Come, the Dennis Brown anthem Dawkins produced while living in New York City in the late 1970s. Another Dawkins production, Johnny Osbourne’s dancehall classic Budy Bye will also be included.
Some of the songs Dawkins licensed over the years also made the cut. Most of them are dancehall or radio favourites such as Delroy Wilson’s Once Upon a Time, Lloyd Robinson’s Cuss Cuss, and Vanity and Mr DC by Sugar Minott.
More recent hits like George Nooks’ God Is Standing By, Just As I Am from LUST and Ray Darwin’s People Choice, will be on Jamaica 50.
Dawkins returned to Jamaica in 2000, after living in the United States for nearly 30 years. While there, he worked with Brad’s, the leading reggae distributor in New York City during the 1970s. He also played drums in the Dynamites, a show band that backed top reggae acts passing through the Big Apple.
Moving into music production, Dawkins produced an album by the Blues Busters (Blues Busters Top Of The Pops) that did well in Britain. However, it was his production of Brown’s Here I Come — which opened doors for him to work with leading acts of the early 1980s including Osbourne and Gregory Isaacs.
Last year, Dawkins released compilation albums from Brown and Isaacs. Satisfaction Feeling by Brown and Isaacs’ The Ruler (1972-1990) featured several songs he produced by both singers