Joe Gibbs

It’s somewhat odd that in a music industry noted for it’s long standing rivalries and feuds between artists, producers and label owners that the community, however short lived, developed between the same parties has created one of the most vibrant and celebrated music industries. Joe Gibbs, and his entire fanbase, can thank those links for some of the greatest rocksteady and early reggae tunes ever created. Gibbs received his start in the music industry with a loan from friend, and For The Suits favorite, Bunny Lee. Mr. Lee helped out with some of the cash to get Amalgamated up and running and then the recording expertise of a young Lee “Scratch” Perry led to a musical education for Gibbs. It also led to Gibbs’ first hit “Hold Them” by Roy Shirley. Some even credit the Shirley track as one of the first rocksteady tunes ever. This is where the feud part starts: after a falling out between Perry and Gibbs, Gibbs had to find a new recording engineer. Lucky for all Gibbs found Winston “Niney” Holness. Coupled with only the best backing bands, either the Hippy Boys or Lyn Taitt and the Jets, and talented vocalists and trios like Ken Parker and the Pioneers, the Amalgamated label went on to put out some of their top tunes. Not bad for a cat who stumbled into the music business and built his own recording studio thanks to an Electronics Engineer degree.

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