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Friday, November 05, 2010

Rest In Peace Sonia Pottinger

Many people know my Aunt Sonia Pottinger as accomplished reggae producer.  She was the best in the business from the early 1960's to the mid 80's when she retired. She was however much more than that. She had the kindest heart and the most spiritual person I know.

Mrs. P, was like a mother to me. She helped me through many hard times in my life. I know how the public knew her, but her kids and family new her when she wasn't running to manage Tip Top Records or to the studio to make sure everything was going right.

Short Biography taken from Wikipedia

Sonia Pottinger, married to music producer Lyndon Pottinger, she opened her Tip Top Records Shop in 1965 and started to record musicians in 1966. The first single she issued was "Every Night" by Joe White & Chuck.[1] Other artists recorded during this period include Roland Alphonso. Throughout the rock steady and early reggae eras, she became very prolific with hits by The Ethiopians ("The Whip"), Delano Stewart, The Melodians ("Swing And Dine"), Ken Boothe, Alton Ellis and Toots & the Maytals, released on her Gay Feet, Tip Top, Rainbow, and High Note labels.[1] In the early 1970s her work was less prolific, but in 1974 she bought the Treasure Isle label from long time friend Duke Reid shortly before his death.

In the 1970s, she produced albums by Bob Andy, Marcia Griffiths, Culture, U Roy and Big Youth. Her most well known production is Culture's Harder Than The Rest album, released in 1978.

In the dancehall era show produced Archie & Lynn's "Rat in the Centre". She retired from the music business in 1985.[1]


Sharleen said...

I am sorry for the loss of your aunt, I was very familiar with the work she did when it was rare for a woman to be involved in so much production work. I have many a 45 with her name on them. What a career she had, just amazing. She worked on some of the best reggae music EVER produced and with some of the BEST singers and musicians in Jamaica.

Sharleen said...

I am very sorry for your loss -- in my opinion she produced some of the best music coming out of Jamaica, I have many 45's with her name on the credits. I always used to wonder about her because it was such a rarity for a woman to be a producer and so actively involved in production. She had the opportunity to develop reggae music with some of the best singers and musicians ever... those times !!! were great. I remember what Parade Road was like when all the little stores were all up and down the road. If I had a record player I would pull out all of my well kept 45's tonight. She had an amazing career and was instrumental in creating some of the BEST music to come out of JA. Again, my regrets to you and the family. What a career she had !

iriegal said...

Thank you Sharleen. I know my cousins must be going through a hard time. Sadly I am unable to be in Jamaica at this time. I know she was well loved. I worked for a short time at Tip Top (just one summer actually), but it was good to experience that side of the business.

I loved going to the record studio and seeing how the artist prepared for their songs. Yes I remember the record shops along parade road as well.

Sharon said...

who is this that is saying my mom is your aunt this is sonia ps daughter