Chin's | CHIN'S Calypso CD 1

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World: Island Reggae: Rocksteady Moods: Type: Vocal
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CHIN'S Calypso CD 1

by Chin's

Calypso/Mento recorded for Chin's Radio Service at 48 Church St. in Kingston Jamaica,in the 50s. personally recorded by the artist. A classic, vintage recording.
Genre: World: Island
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Honeymoon
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3:13 album only
2. Monkey's Opinion
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3:40 album only
3. Look Before You Leap
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3:29 album only
4. Riddle Me This
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3:14 album only
5. Guzoo Doctor
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3:33 album only
6. Why Jamaican Man Tan So
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3:31 album only
7. No Money No Music
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3:01 album only
8. Woman's Style
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2:26 album only
9. Jamaican Bananas
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3:13 album only
10. My New Year Rules
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3:41 album only
11. Mussu And John Tom
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3:24 album only
12. A Food Wedding
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3:22 album only
13. Woman's Tenderness
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3:19 album only
14. Adam And Eve
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3:02 album only
15. Melda
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3:14 album only
16. Why Blame Calypso
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3:29 album only


Album Notes
CHIN'S RADIO SERVICE of 48 Church St. Kingston
Jamaica, in the 50s. Producer Ivan S Chin

All Rights Reserved, un-authorized copying prohibited.

Chin's Calypso/ Mento Recordings are Classics.
Recorded 1955 to 2009

Chin's Calypso/ Mento Recordings are displayed
in the Jamaican Museum

Most songs are originals composed by EF Williams
And Alerth Bedasse and performed Exclusively
By The Chin's Calypso Sextet Band.
There is a great advantage in purchasing Chin's Original
CDs,they were recorded by Chin's in the 50s to 78 records
and from 2004 recorded to CDs by Chin's in Canada, all these Chin's CDs are Hand Made originals, recorded by Ivan S Chin in the 50s to 78 records, prepared and recorded to CDs again by him from 2004 to 2009.They are treasures to keep.

Sold by CD

Dan Neely
Guest Posts: n/a

New mento reissue

I have the great pleasure of announcing that Ivan Chin, the original
owner and proprietor of Chin's Radio Service, (Jamaica's third major
record label) has started re-releasing his catalogue of 78 recordings on CDs, from 2004.
For those interested in the roots of Jamaican music, these recordings
are essential. While some will be well-known amongst longtime fans of
Jamaican music - simply because these songs were commonly versioned by
later ska, rocksteady and reggae artists - much of it will be
unfamiliar to even the most ardent listener, as many of Chin's
recordings were topical and lost their relevancy as times changed.

These recordings were made between 1955 and 1957. Because they were
made in very small runs, original copies are very rare today. Their
reissue, therefore, sheds new light on the the musical era that
predated ska.

Chin's recordings are available from CD Baby:

Also, if you're interested in seeing label scans from Chin's and other
labels please visit:

- Dan

From Ivan Chin MEMORIES of the FIFTIES.

To all Jamaicans living abroad and all my Jamaican friends, let me leave this poem with you, I do not know who wrote it , but I think it may mean something to you.

As I think of the hills and the clear blue sea, memories of Jamaica rush back to me, as I think of the rivers and fertile earth, I remember the land of my birth.

I re-live in my mind, a distant past and my heart laments the times I've lost, I think of a time and a place I feel gone, but etched in memories surreal.

I long to return to a simpler way in that sunshine land I used to play and the most primitive ways and means, these are the things that fill my dreams.

The beaches, the mountains, a caressing breeze, cane fields, banana and coconut trees, long and winding country roads and country busses with heavy loads, the hand cart man selling his wares.

The Jolly Bus and penny ha- penny bus fare, a fudge man riding to and fro shouting icicle, ice-cream cake and choca mo. The market stalls filled with fruits, the laughter, the innocence of my youth.

Things that I Miss and long for so, things that remind me of long ago, at nights I recall the star filled sky and peenie wallie's flittering by, in whispered tones we'd spend the night, telling duppy stories that filled with fright.

On a windy day the kites would soar, while angry waves lashed at the shore, swaying trees in the howling wind.
God how much I miss these things, the way the rain slowed everything down, the earthy smell as it hit the ground.

Refreshing the land and watering crops, the exciting clangor on the zinc roof tops, oh Jamaica, I miss your ways, I miss your climate and sunny days, in a foreign land where I've come to rest, spurned by an economic quest.

Though no turning back, on this travelled way, for you my homeland, I'll always pray, my memories of you will never depart. JAMAICA JAMAICA THE BEAT OF MY HEART.
By Daniel Neely.

Local recordings sounded like they are hard to find, even fewer know anything about the musicians who recorded this music. Chin's Calypso Group seems to have recorded almost exclusively for a company called Chin's Radio Service.

Records on the Chin's Label are some of the best of the era and contains topical tunes,folk tunes and "Bawdy" tunes that prefigured today's slackness with lyrics that could
make even today's dancehall performers blush.

The story of the Chin's group begins even before records were being manufactured in Jamaica. In the 20s and 30s itinerant street singers walking the streets of Kingston were common, the most famous of these was the duo of slim Beckford and Sam Blackwood,or simply, Slim and Sam.

Older heads from Kingston recall Slim and Sam selling penny sheets called (tracts)with new lyrics to popular tunes of the day. Inspired by Slim and Sam, Everard Williams and Count Alert also sold tracts from as early as the late 40s.

Williams the group's leader,worked at the J. Wray and Nephew Company,(famous for their over proof white rum),
where he seems to have been a man of some importance.

Count Owen told me for example, that he could with some frequency, secure lucrative gigs for small bands. As a street singer, Williams was revered as one of the Island's best calypsonian.

Williams maintained a high level of activity throughout the 50s and wrote tunes for many of Jamaica's best know artists, including Harold Richardson (what a hard time)"(country Gal") Mapletoft Poulle (take me back to Jamaica), Federation and others.

Count Alert is more mysterious, as with many singers in the 1950s, he was better known by his stage name, than his proper name. Alert's proper name seems to have "Bedasse".

The name seen on the labels of virtually all of the 78s from Chin's, he is also named in the song, "Calypso Pepperpot",( Chin's C1011), where reference is made to "Alert Bedasse").

The duo was documented on as many as 38 records. Despite his leadership of the duo in the streets, however, Williams' roll in the band changed when they started recording:

He became a sideman. It is widely acknowledged by those who knew him, that Williams never sang a lead on records.

Don't let the Chin's records "vocals by" credit fool you. Unlike the labels of other companies, on Chin's this is a lyric writing credit, not a performance credit, as Williams
seemed to bring his renown to Chin's, more than anything else.

Daniel Neely is a Ph.D. Student at New York University writing his dissertation on mento music. Contact him at .

Chin's/Calypso/Mento 78 records are collectors items, trading on E-Bay at very high prices. See recent sales on
the 16th.of January 07.

Night Food Recipe 78 was bought for US$158.18 Honeymoon was
bought for US$126.00 Samson and Delilah was bouhgt for
US$122.51, all those records were made in 1955 and sold
for three shillings and sixpence at the time.

Prediction is that these original, Handmade, Genuine, Chin's CDs, will be in demand all over the world in a few years.

The Chin's Calypso Sextet Band consisted of a Rumba Box,a Bamboo Saxophone, a Bamboo Flute, a Banjo, a floor Bass Guitar with four strings, a regular Guitar, two heavy sticks called clave, which they knock together, and a pair of Maracas.

Most of the instruments were made with local materials, the Maracas was made from a fruit called Calabash, with some Jancrow beads put in as shaker.

Most of the musicians were from the country districts but
lived in Kingston, Everard F. Williams was the lyrics composer and band manager, Alerth Bedasse was the musical
arranger, singer and director of the band.

All the recordings were done with a recording machine that used a cutting needle to cut grooves into 10inch 78 rpm vinyl resin discs. The microphones used were the large old ribbon types, RCA and Shure, they were very good.

There were no acoustic rooms for recording, the recordings were done in the store at nights, after the store was closed, the floor was concrete, the ceiling was low and made with gypsum.

92 recordings on these seven CDs are exclusively Chin's,

Most of the discs were sent to Decca Records in England for mastering and pressing. Decca in 2003 transfered all those masters to CD format, after 40 years, and sent them to Toronto, where they are now being put together on 7 CDs,

Some of these recordings were sent to Melodic and marketed through Kalypso, where the first 45s were produced.

Over the Years, many people kept Chin's Calypso 78 Records as collector's items, some migrated to England, USA, and Canada, and took the records with them, those records were in demand all over the World, they were very hard to find, the people who had them did not want to part with them.

The musicians in the Chin's Calypso Sextet Band were the salt of the earth Jamaicans of the old days, they played calypso/ mento music from their hearts, they put everything they had into their music.

Most of the lyrics were done in Jamaican English PAT WA (PATOIS ).

When you own Chin's CDs, it is like owning pieces of art. You not only get the music, you also get from those recordings, a sense of life as it was, during those early years, long ago in Jamaica.

Here are some E-Mail Comments received.

The Cds are very good and I am amazed at how good the sound quality is, it is good that you have released this music so that younger people can enjoy the deep root of Jamaican Music.

-----------------I am a 20 year male who lives in Japan, I was very surprised to get an e-mail directly from you, first I got to know your music by "Boogu Yagga Gal" CD, since then I have been a big fan of you.

I am really happy with a whole bunch of your music in "Chin's Calypso CD" Your music are all my lifetime treasures. Thanks a lot for your good music again.

-----------------I received the CDs yesterday and they are now my most PRECIOUS POSSESSIONS.
I can't thank you enough.

People from various Countries are buying these CDs, Japan, Spain, Germany, France, Switzerland, Sweden, England, USA, Canada and Jamaica.

Here are some other E-Mail comments.

I've been an avid blue beat,ska,rock steady and early reggae cd collector for years and always on the search for any mento recordings becoming available in cd format. So your 2001 Boogu Yagga Gal release on Heritage was absolutely mind blowing, and then via CD Baby your four (4)CD set is simply WICKED.

We are arranging an entire 2-3 hour programme on Irie FM
livicated strictly to the CHIN"S 4 CD SET in Jamaica.

To this end we have arranged to interview Alerth Bedasse
and if at all possible would surely love to include the producer himself Ivan Chin.

From Daniel Neely

From the moment I started researching mento music, I have been totally enamored with the songs put out by Chin's Radio Service, recorded in Kingston Jamaica between 1955 and 1957.

These records were some of the very best of the period and because they were recorded for a strictly local market, they reflect a style of mento or ( Jamaican Calypso as it's often called ) that bears little resemblance to the more sanitized and less resqu'e versions commonly associated with tourism.

Most of them have not been available since they were pressed
in the mid 1950s and consequently most of them are now very, very rare. These recordings which range from songs of social commentary to risqu'e ballards to traditional folk songs to love songs, is for anyone interested in Jamaican music, it's history and it's deep roots.

When he made them, Mr Chin preserved an era of music making that quickly became overshadowed by the international popularity of ska, rock steady and reggae and was nearly forgotten except by the numerous artists who covered these songs in the decades that passed.

It is indeed fortunate that Mr Chin has chosen to make these recordings available once again. They cannot be recommended highly enough.

Here are some other comments from collectors who have already bought these CDs.

I was very much impressed with the CDs and also it was reminiscent of my youthful days. These CDs are certainly part of the musical history of not only Jamaica but of the World.I hope that these CDs will be available in the libraries in Jamaica as part of the musical Heritage.

Thank you for your e-mail and taking the time to contact and follow up on the cds. It's good to hear so many tracks
that we've not heard before and also to hear the original

versions of songs often covered in SKA/Reggae etc;e.g."Big Boy & Teacher",. However, I must say that they are very well presented indeed, and with very good printed
documentation ( re history etc ).

We've still got the original 78s of Honeymoon and Money is King, which have always been two of our favourites.I had no
idea until I started surfing the internet that the same artists had recorded such a string of great numbers.

Many thanks for tracking down your old recordings and putting these CDs together.It's such happy music and always makes me want to smile, what a foolish fool that Rufus is.

The Music is great,I went to Jamaica many times in the late 80s to collect records. I found much ska, rocksteady and reggae which I enjoy, but mento was always scarce to find.
Your CDs filled a big gap for me in the history of Jamaican music and the music is just plain great to listen to.

Thanks for your mail and for the great music on those 5 CDs
I've got from you. It is a great pleasure to listen to them.
Although I'm normally a record collector avoiding to buy CDs, this time it was different as this was the only chance
for me to get your mento records.

I would like to thank you again for making these recordings available, for producing them and putting these CDs together. Now I feel like the proud owner of these FIVE PERSONAL HANDMADE DISCS.


For most, when they think of Jamaican music they think only of reggae. I, however, think of the wonderful sounds of mento. This music so reflects the life in Jamaica during the the 50's and 60's. Your 5 CDs are excellent examples of the music at its height in the 50's. Again they speak to the life experiences of those times. What a wonderful addition the Dan Neely liner notes are. The stripped down CD packaging is a welcome change from the over produced packing of so many CDs. When I first opened the package and saw the Cds in ziplock, I KNEW I was in store for something very special. I could feel that the producer had returned to perhaps the method used when these recordings were first recorded and distributed. I know I was very comfortable with your choice of packaging and wish others would follow your lead.

I have been a collector of calypso and mento music for many years, but your CDs have exposed me to so much more I didn't have or even heard. I am so happy that you are still available for those of us you love this music. I know it must have been a labor of love for you. I beleive Dan Neely is correct in saying "these records were some of the very best of the period because they were recorded for a strictly local market". I once corresponded with the late Emory Cook and I asked what motivated him to record the music of the Carribean and he implied - its sharing the traditional artists and their culture. I beleive you too must share that outlook. Your music isn't tourist music, it isn't the "blue eyed calypso" music of the 50's. It remains so Authentic and fresh. Mento, as calypso, can be both serious and funny. I pushed the boundaries for free speech. As do songs such as "Depression" and "Red tomato'.

Thank you for some of your time.

Mr. Chin,
I received the CDs earlier this week along with the certificate.
Thank you very much for your very prompt, very efficient service.
If you are involved with any other music projects please let me know.

Very satisfied.
08 May 2008

Dear Mr. Chin,

I apologize for not having replied yet to your earlier email. I simply couldn't think of the right words to say. While I have been a fan of Jamaican music since the 70's, I had never made it past ska and bluebeat and was only slightly aware of mento, though curious. Accordingly, it was only this year that I became familiar with all the great music you recorded in the 1950's. Through various web searches as I was looking for information on mento, I came across the long article on you, your company and the many musicians you recorded. When I read that discs were available directly from you via CD Baby, it seemed incredible. In an age when the recording industry, driven only by profit margins, pays so little heed or respect by keeping in print the riches hoarded in their vaults, it is refreshing to see a man who, out of pride for his work and its perhaps unintended place in history, would take the time to gather it and make discs himself to offer to the public.

Your discs are a labor of love, and I want you to know how much I appreciate the love that went into them. In the absence of your handmade discs, I might never have heard much of this music and might never have understood the roots of what came later. I have enjoyed my education very much, and the spirit, joy and playfulness that pervades the music you recorded is compelling.

Quite frankly, I'm a little speechless to have gotten your humble email. I mean, you are Ivan Chin, a pioneer of Jamaican music and to me a living legend. So it is I who thank you for the music you made many years ago and that you diligently compiled and offered once again to the public. It is a thrill and a pleasure to listen to your discs, and yes, thank you, I like them very much.

Sending you my very best wishes,

For more information please go to the's site, where Mike Garnice has one of the best site on the internet, with a vast amount of information about the Chin's Calypso History.

You may also reach CD BABY by going to GOOGLE, put in CD BABY, and in search, put in Chin's Calypso where you will find all 7 CDs displayed there, you may also play clips of all the tracks.

You may also Order BY Phone Toll Free 1-800-289-6923
from CD Baby.



to write a review


Well worth the price if you like ska or reggae
If you want to get a feel for the musical roots of ska and/or reggae music, then this is the CD series for you. You can enjoy the beat and the lyrics and even dance to the rythms that surround you as the calypso percussions and singing ring out from the past. A neat glimpse into musical history that is enjoyable to listen to and great to share with those with similar interests.

John Begala

A Door Through Time
This music transports listeners to a place and time they won't reach another way...and connects them to people and a way of life they will never have a chance to become directly acquainted with. Happily and soulfully EXpressive music...and to think this is only one sixth of a larger collection. Lifts you up and leaves you anxious for more - a genuine legacy...thank you Ivan Chin and everybody who played made this music!


very good
I like all the songs, but unfortunately most of the songs had
bad sound as if they were compressed into MP3 format.

Mike Garnice

Priceless, historic and (most importantly) a joy to hear
Please realize that if you had a million bucks, a staff of a thousand and one hundred years to turn the world upside down in search of the original 78 RPM singles, you still could not acquire this collection of historic Jamaican recordings that Ivan Chin is releasing on four inexpensive CDs. How lucky we are that Ivan is still around and was inclined to re-release these tracks 49 years after he fist recorded them. Incredible! There’s a great variety of tracks, including many great songs I’ve never heard before. I hope reggae fans world wide check out these crucial mento sounds. Reggae is roots, but this music is the SEEDS! For more comments, visit

Miles Gehm

A treasure anyone who loves ska and reggae should have
My favorite tracks in order are HONEYMOON, LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP, MONKEY'S OPINION, RIDDLE ME THIS, MELDA. It amazes me that this music is 50 years old, scratchy, and it still makes me (45 year old white guy) smile and tap my foot.

Razor Jack

the holy grail of early Jamaican music
Mike Garnice makes the point perfectly - these recordings are incredibly rare. Without Mr Chin's passion for the music he recorded so long ago, you'd be lucky to hear maybe a handful of these tunes, in a lifetime... and you WOULD be lucky, if you did, because this is fabulous music! Of course, it's old-fashioned and the sound quality is very varied (due to the condition of some of the source material), but this isn't a "the best of mento" compilation - it's treasure that has been long-buried... it's a fascinating window into another time... and it's also damn good fun. These comps probably aren't for the newcomer to this style, but for me, it's like walking into Alladin's cave. Thank you Mr Chin, and to everyone who's been involved in restoring, preserving and making these priceless gems available for all to enjoy. Andy

Wallace Pryor

More priceless music from Ivan Chin
If you love Jamaican music as I do, this CD is essential. If you have a passing curiosity and are looking for slick sound quality, maybe this is not for you. Are you a die hard reggae and/or ska fan? Do you wonder where some of the seemingly obscure musical and lyrical ideas come from? Ivan Chin's recordings will provide some clues that are difficult or impossible to find elsewhere. I have exchanged a few emails with him and have found that he is also a kind and genuine human being.