It is taking longer than expected to fetch the next song to play. The music should be playing soon. If you get tired of waiting, you can try reloading your browser.

Please check our Help page for information about troubleshooting Pandora on your browser.

Please ensure you are using the latest Flash Player.

If you are unable or do not wish to upgrade your Flash Player,
please try a different browser.

Please check our Help page for information about troubleshooting Pandora on your browser.
Your Pandora One subscription will expire shortly.
More Info
No Thanks
Your Pandora One trial will expire shortly.
Your Pandora One trial subscription will expire shortly. Upgrade to continue unlimited, ad-free listening.
Upgrade Now
You've listened to hours of Pandora this month. Consider upgrading to Pandora One.
More Info
No Thanks
Hi . Pandora is using Facebook to personalize your experience. Learn MoreNo Thanks
 Upgrade  sign up   |   help   |  
Change Skin

Free personalized radio that
plays the music you love

Now Playing
Music Feed
My Profile
Create a Station
People who also like this

Augustus Pablo

As any business person will tell you, the way to success is through the discovery of a niche or a previously unexploited market. Still, few business people, and even fewer musicians, would have believed that there was a market for the sound of the melodica. What next, they would have sniggered, a kazoo? Yet Augustus Pablo would take this child's toy and launch a revolution in Jamaican music. Not only was Pablo's melodica unique, it would sweep the entire island's scene and become an integral part of the music of the era. But Pablo was no one-trick pony, he was also a virtuoso keyboardist and his playing permeated the island across myriad of his own releases and as a session man for others. He was equally talented on the other side of the recording desk and his production work was as inspired as his playing.

Augustus Pablo was born Horace Swaby on June 21, 1954, in St. Andrew, Jamaica. He attended Kingston College (not a college in the American sense, but a high school), sneaking into the school's chapel with other musically inclined friends to practice on the organ. It was here at Kingston College where Swaby also made the connections that would help launch him into the music industry. Amongst his classmates was Clive Chin, whose family ran Randy's, Kingston's premier record store. The Chin clan included Herman Chin Loy, a cousin of Leslie Kong, and who started his own career in the music industry by working for his famous cousin. Like many small ethnic enclaves around the world, Jamaica's vibrant Chinese community often intermarried and thus businesses and families often intertwined. Chin Loy had struck out on his own in 1969, setting up his own record store and label, both called Aquarius. Thus in 1970, when the 15- year-old Swaby decided the time was ripe to begin his own musical career, Aquarius was his first stop. The fact that the teen was a friend of Clive Chin insured that he was given an audition, but it was his keyboard work that convinced Chin Loy to take him into the studio. The upbeat "Iggy Iggy" was the result of their first session and was credited to Augustus Pablo, a moniker Chin Loy frequently employed on his studio's instrumentals.

Over the next year, Pablo (the teen soon took the name as his own), cut several more singles for Chin Loy, "Still Yet," "The Mood," and "Snowball & Pudding," amongst them. But it was "East of the River Nile" that had the most startling impact. The instrumental featured a duet between Pablo's melodica and Glen Adam's organ, set to a seething rhythm the producer had bought from Lee Perry. Its haunting Oriental-esque melody ignited a fire on the island and launched the Far Eastern style. Minor key melodies surged from the grooves and the exotic now found a home in the Caribbean. Pablo briefly joined Mikey Chung's band, Now Generation, as keyboardist. Meanwhile, his old schoolmate Clive Chin was now working for the family business as a producer. (He had big shoes to fill, his older brother Vincent had made his mark producing such superstars as Alton Ellis and the Skatalites). Now that Clive was set up, Pablo left Now Generation and joined his friend in the studio. Their first fruits, in a round about way, was the seminal "Java." Chin was already at work with another one of their schoolfriends Dennis Wright, the song's rhythm tracks were done but Wright was having trouble with the vocals and Chin decided to leave if for the day. Then Pablo entered the studio. While waiting in the hall, he'd come up with a melody line and suggested trying it out. Chin turned the tape recorder back on, Pablo picked up his melodica, and the rest is history. "Java" was a smash and the rhythm was one of the most influential of the day, versioned almost into oblivion. It was the beginning of an incredibly successful partnership, as Chin and Pablo recorded a stream of hits. It was a busy time as aside from recording with Chin, Pablo was also cutting singles for a number of other producers. He helped another member of the Chin clan, Clive's uncle, Leonard Chin, launch his Santic label with "Pablo in Dub." Santic provided Pablo with his first opportunity to have a go at production, and he debuted with Paul Whiteman/Blackman's single "Say So." Pablo continued recording for other producers, joining Lee Perry for "Hot and Cold," linking with Gussie Clarke for "No Entry" and "Born to Dub You," cuttinh "Fat Baby" and "the Killer" for Keith Hudson, and hooking up with Bunny Lee for "The Great Pablo" and "Pablo's Desire." The latter track, a version of John Holt's "My Desire," was another smash hit.

Pablo's partnership with Lee was particularly fruitful and he cut numerous instrumental B-side version for the producer, nine of which are featured alongside their vocal or DJ A-sides, on the Ras compilation Pablo & Friends. Pablo had already come to the conclusion that no matter how big the hit nor how many sessions he played on, he would see little of the actual returns. Thus, he and his brother set up their own label, Rockers. The name was taken from the siblings sound system, which was already up and running. Over time, other imprints followed, Hot Stuff, Pablo International, Rockers International, and Message. Initially, Pablo's singles for his own label were instrumental versions of Studio One classics. "Skanking Easy," "Frozen Dub," "Don Drummond," "Pablo's Theme Song," and many more followed in re-creating songs of yore. And there's no doubt about the influence the studio's superb musicians had had on the young Swaby. Many of these song were less versions than tributes to these talented men. The U.K. label Greensleeves would bundle up many of the best self-productions from these early days for the Original Rockers compilation. Yet some of Pablo's best work was still being done with Clive Chin. In 1974, Chin and another family member, Pat Chin, oversaw Pablo's classic album Rebel Rock Reggae -- This Is Augustus Pablo. A masterpiece of mood and atmosphere, the instrumentals swing across the musical spectrum from Hollywood musicals to classic Jamaican hits. The album is actually a compilation and rounded up much of the artist's recent work for the Chin family, including his two earlier singles for Leonard. The following year, Pablo began collaborating with King Tubby, who had begun supplying Rockers with some of the label's most sublime mixes. The pair christened their partnership with Ital Dub, which was produced by Tommy Cowan and Warwick Lyn (another former employee of Leslie Kong). This album remains one of the most innovative of the decade. Fifteen years later, the U.K. label Pressure Drop gathered up alternative versions and outtakes from the Ital sessions for El Rockers, an album that sounds nearly as formidable as Ital Dub itself.

1975 also saw Pablo make an equally big splash as a producer, when Fred Locks' "Black Star Liner" became an instant hit in Jamaica and also made significant inroads in the U.K. With the single's success, Pablo now became a much sought-after producer, and worked with many of the island's greatest names. He sat behind the desk on sessions with Horace Andy, Freddie McKay, Jacob Miller, and I-Roy, amongst many others. An album's worth of his productions were showcased on 1976's King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown album, one of the era's most legendary dub albums. Many of Rockers' releases featured phenomenal dub companions, including Africa Must Be Free by 1983 (Hugh Mandel), One Step Dub (Junior Delgado), and Eastman Dub (the companion to Tetrack's Let's Get Started). Pablo returned the favor by recording exclusive cuts for King Tubby's sound system. Over the years, both Rockers itself, as well as other labels, have released excellent compilations of the label's greatest moments. The U.K. label Greensleeves' Classic Rockers is of particular note. For rarities, check out Golden Memories, released by Rockers. Of course, Pablo was equally in demand as a session player and he appears on scores of albums from this period, playing keyboard, melodica, or both. As a musical force, he was unstoppable.

1978 brought the fabulous East of the River Nile album, which was recorded at Lee Perry's Black Ark studio. Meanwhile, Pablo took his place on the other side of the board for a trio of singles with the young singer Hugh Mandell (aka Jah Levi). This partnership then expanded and Pablo joined his young protégé on record for both the Africa Must Be Free by 1983 and Time and Place albums. However, the shift in musical tastes in the early '80s saw Pablo's flame begin to flicker. He continued recording prodigiously both behind and in front of the recording deck and released numerous singles and a number of albums. 1982 saw the appearance of Earth's Rightful Ruler; in the States, Shanachie released Rockers Meets King Tubby in a Fire House, a fine album which paired Pablo, Tubby, and Prince Jammy for a wild ride through classic rocker and cultural offerings. By 1986, the artist's star was in the ascendant again, helped by the release of his own Rising Sun album, and his production of Junior Delgado's Raggamuffin Year album and its attendant smash-hit title-track single. A phenomenal dub album of the set appeared four years later. These successes prompted Island Records to strike a deal with Rockers to distribute a number of the label's 12" singles. Although the arrangement didn't last long, it did see an international release for singles from Junior Delgado, Delroy Wilson, Carlton Hones, and a pair of Pablo's own -- "Eastern Promise" and "Sukiyaki." This inevitably led to an international tour the next year for his debut appearances outside the island, which was captured for posterity on the Live in Tokyo album. Back in Jamaica, 1987 had also seen the release of Rockers Comes East, a stunning set that created quite a stir at the time as Pablo took his own sound squarely into the digital age.

1990 brought Blowing With the Wind, which found the artist shifting direction yet again with the addition of nyahbingi drum beats and Johnny Moore's trumpet. As the decade deepened, Pablo remained a stalwart of the scene by producing a number of hit records, including such classics as Dawn Penn's "Night and Day" and Yami Bolo's sublime "Jah Made Them All" album. He also continued to release his own music, guest star on other's records, and oversee his back catalog, which remained in demand. What's truly miraculous was that Pablo managed to keep up this pace for so long. His health had always been very delicate due to a nerve disorder he suffered for much of his life. On May 18, 1999, his body finally gave out; he was only 40. However, although the artist may be gone, his legacy is in no danger of fading away. Compilations of both his own work and his productions appear with astonishing regularity, and it's difficult to find an album from the late '70s that he did not guest star on. His importance to Jamaica's music scene can be seen by the numerous stars who appeared at a tribute concert held a year after his death that included some of the island's greatest DJs, singers, and musicians. ~ Jo-Ann Greene
full bio

Selected Discography


Track List: Greek Theater - Berkeley 1984

1. Water Pumping (Live)

2. Frozen Soul (Live)

3. Swing Easy (Live)

4. Cassava Piece (Live)

5. Lovers Rock (Live)

6. Satta Massagana (Live)

7. Real Rock (Live)

8. East Of The River Nile (Live)

9. Africa Must Be Free (Live)

10. Earth's Rightful Ruler (Live)

11. King Alpha & Queen Omega / Drum Song (Live)


Track List: The Rockers Story: The Mystical World Of Augustus Pablo

Disc 1

1. East Of The River Nile

2. False Rasta

3. 555 Crown Street

4. 555 Dub

5. Love Won't Come Easy

6. Take It Easy

7. Frozen Dub

8. Baby I Love You So

9. Cassava Piece

10. King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown

11. Skanking Easy

12. Skanking Dub

13. Blackman Heart

14. Africa Must Be Free( By The Year 1983)

15. Park Lane Special

16. Keep On Dubbing

17. Selassie Verandah

Disc 2

1. El Rockers

2. Changing World

3. Havendale Rock

4. Why Do Black Men Fuss & Fight

5. Rockers Meet King Tubby Ina Fire House

6. Ap Special

7. Earth Wind & Fire

8. Think Twice

9. Israel In Harmony (12' Extended Version W/ Dub)

10. Vibrate On

11. Silent Satta

12. Black Forces

13. Ital Sip

14. Thundeclap

15. Let's Get Started

16. Pablo Dread Ina Red

Disc 3

1. Earth's Rightful Ruler

2. Jah Light

3. Entrance To Jah World Extended 12' Version W/ Dub)

4. King's David's Melody

5. Short Man Dub

6. Revolution Is Coming

7. Java

8. Upful Living

9. Rude Boy

10. Creation Blues

11. Drums To The King

12. One Day

13. Zion Way Dub

14. Eastern Code

15. No War

16. Drum Song

Disc 4

1. Augustus Pablo

2. Iggy Iggy

3. Pablo In Dub

4. Hap-Ki-Do

5. Stop Them Jah (Extended 12' Mix)

6. Humble Yourself 7

7. Humble Version

8. Foxhole

9. Son Of Man Dub

10. One In The Spirit (Extended 12' Mix)

11. Twin Seal (Extended 12' Mix)

12. Can't Keep A Good Man Down (7' Mix)

13. Can't Keep A Good Dub Down

14. Freedom Fighter

15. Third Eye Version

16. Zion A Fe Lion

17. Abashanti Dub

18. Full Up 12' (Extended Version)

Disc 5

Track List: At King Tubbys

1. Foggy Pablo

2. Best Dub

3. Maka

4. Barbwire Dub

5. Musical Pablo

6. Minstral Pablo

7. Desire Dub

8. Rough Pablo

9. House Is Not A Dub

10. Put It On Dub

11. Blind Dub

12. No Jestering Pablo

13. Ride Me Dub

14. Every Dub I Own


Track List: In Fine Style

1. Far East

2. Phillip's Showcase

3. East Man Sound

4. Levi Dub

5. Up Warika Hill

6. Mountain View Dub (Version One)

7. Mountain View Dub (Version Two)

8. Pablo In Fine Style

9. Raw Dub

10. Cool Shade Dub

11. Ras Menilik Congo (Harp)

12. Roots Dub

13. False Rumour

14. Zambian Style

15. Rockers Rock (Version)

16. Chock Full & Dub

17. Kid Ralph


Track List: The Melodica King

1. Cassava Piece

3. 555 Crown Street

4. 555 Dub Street

5. Rockers Rock

7. New Style

8. Meditation Dub

10. Silent Satta

12. East Of The River Nile

15. Memories Of The Ghetto

16. Skanking Easy

17. Black Gunn

21. Braces Tower Dub


Track List: Original Rockers

3. Cassava Piece

7. Thunder Clap

8. Park Lane Special

9. New Style

10. Ap Special


Track List: East Of The River Nile

1. Chant To King Selassie I

2. Natural Way

3. Nature Dub

4. Upfull Living

5. Unfinished Melody

6. Jah Light

7. Memories Of The Ghetto

8. Africa (1983)

9. East Of The River Nile

10. Sounds From Levi

11. Chapter 2

12. Addis-A-Baba

13. East Africa

14. East Of The River Nile (Original)

15. Memories Of The Ghetto Dub

16. Jah Light Version

17. Islington Rock

18. Meditation Dub


Track List: King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown

1. Keep On Dubbing

2. Stop Them Jah

3. Young Generation Dub

4. Each One Dub

5. 555 Dub Street

6. Brace's Tower Dub

7. Brace's Tower Dub No.2

8. King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown

9. Corner Crew Dub

10. Skanking Dub

11. Frozen Dub

12. Satta Dub


Track List: This Is Augustus Pablo

1. Dub Organizer

2. Please Sunrise

3. Point Blank

4. Arabian Rock

5. Pretty Baby

6. Pablo In Dub

7. Skateland Rock

8. Dread Eye

9. Too Late

10. Assignment No 1

11. Jah Rock

12. Lovers Mood

13. Java

14. Guiding Red

15. Marabi


Report as inappropriate
Big respect to the i Pablo may his spirit rest in peace in the musical heavens mmattos
Report as inappropriate
Report as inappropriate
One of the best musicians of our time R.I.P Breathren ur music is inspirationa l . . . . . . . . . R A S T A F A R I
Report as inappropriate
Hi, Crum Snatcher just passing truh mon...
Report as inappropriate
What a blessing for his son Addis to follow in his dads footsteps.JA H BLESS!
Report as inappropriate r z a
Play the CHUKIN it WHISTLE BRETHEREN ....MALATICA IT UPP......... . . . . .




TROJAN LEGENDS 3pc box set is the TRAUM....... .
LEEE u got mt credit again
Report as inappropriate
Report as inappropriate
Always love the Kings Music for life!
RIP bless the soul!
Report as inappropriate
Dub is the best
Report as inappropriate
Yes Rasta! I-ficially the hardest dub. Respect
Report as inappropriate
Rasafarian see
Report as inappropriate
Much Respect!!!
Report as inappropriate
wow????????? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Report as inappropriate
Mr. Melodically.
Report as inappropriate
i would like to dedicate this deep mellow to all who suffer and seek happiness. . . may this deep mellow bring you peace in your heart...
Report as inappropriate
paul.dextraz e . . . . g e t off the gas bro....its about Pablo...lear n to read...YOU FAIL!!!!
Report as inappropriate
Dont need to get high, just listen to 555 Crown Street!
Report as inappropriate
paul.dextraz e
Wait a minute, Augustus Pablo and King Tubby are two different people. Why am I seeing a bio of King Tubby under the title of Augustus Pablo?!?! Pandora Fail!
Report as inappropriate
works for background and intermission or transitional to different beat or sound. I like it in the background when music not the primary context
Report as inappropriate
smoke a fatty to this 8D
Report as inappropriate
Ive heard harmonicas, fiddle and soforth in reggae so why not a melodica?
Report as inappropriate
Report as inappropriate
PandorA not respond
Report as inappropriate
long time lover of Augustus Pablo.....wi s h I had a n ' t find one
Report as inappropriate
Original Rockers was such a great album...
Report as inappropriate
First time listening... g o o d sound
Report as inappropriate
food for the soul.....
Report as inappropriate
man this is some strong java!
Report as inappropriate
Soooo, I'm no math whiz but if he was born in 1954 and passed away in 1999, wouldn't that make him 45?...not 40?
Report as inappropriate
Thank you pandora!
Report as inappropriate
Two thumbs up like Fonzie. I want a melodica now :D
Report as inappropriate
His music makes you irie without even burning.
Report as inappropriate
food for the mind, thx!!!! big uppps
Report as inappropriate
Without Pandora I never would've heard of this guy. Thanks again! :D
Report as inappropriate
whattarudeso u n d
Report as inappropriate
play that funky music Jamaican boy
Report as inappropriate
sunrats are here to stay!!!!!!!!
Report as inappropriate
Puts me in such a nice vibes. :)Great talent!
Report as inappropriate
love that melodica!
Report as inappropriate
Pablo lives!! legendary
Report as inappropriate
Report as inappropriate
allmotortune r
music from jamaica all the love that i found...
Report as inappropriate
Praise Jah!
Report as inappropriate
i am alright is a gem. top rank with alton ellis, desmond dekker, and the rest of the pre-marley reggae kings. big up massive sound.
Report as inappropriate
I searched hi nd lo for this King
thanx Pandoa, and to the "digers", bigupand respect
Report as inappropriate
pure groove
Report as inappropriate
ya tu saves

Don't have a Pandora account? Sign up

We're sorry, but a browser plugin or firewall may be preventing Pandora from loading.

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please upgrade to a more current browser.

Please check our Help page for more information.

It looks like your browser does not support modern SSL/TLS. Please upgrade your browser.

If you need help, please email:

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please upgrade to a more current browser
or install a newer version of Flash (v.10 or later).

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please install Adobe Flash (v.10 or later).

[110, 79, 77, 92, 82, 116, 127, 123, 77, 125, 96, 119, 79, 123, 67, 98, 127, 93, 102, 70, 90, 91, 65, 91, 114, 98, 122, 82, 64, 97, 105, 69, 102, 72, 124, 122, 122, 127, 120, 69, 106, 80, 113, 102, 126, 89, 90, 102, 102, 82, 90, 107, 127, 91, 125, 117, 110, 82, 66, 85, 101, 105, 106, 109, 119, 84, 116, 121, 125, 125, 106, 68, 74, 106, 127, 125, 82, 112, 111, 68, 81, 64, 70, 76, 86, 121, 88, 90, 75, 118, 120, 70, 108, 110, 121, 94, 122, 94, 113, 89, 121, 109, 83, 125, 108, 94, 91, 95, 122, 117, 91, 107, 101, 125, 123, 78, 115, 84, 82, 84, 91, 66, 93, 74, 64, 99, 94, 104, 90, 122, 82, 109, 77, 127, 117, 109, 80, 97, 95, 111, 74, 104, 100, 91, 98, 124, 69, 117, 103, 118, 101, 126, 123, 76, 82, 112, 115, 125, 94, 70, 122, 100, 67, 115, 118, 76, 126, 93, 90, 69, 94, 76, 68, 67, 77, 70, 111, 118, 101, 71, 106, 69, 67, 114, 91, 113, 120, 66, 79, 79, 68, 121, 91, 75, 69, 90, 77, 110, 93, 86, 65, 106, 70, 84, 127, 105, 79, 78, 98, 64, 118, 97, 118, 111, 74, 110, 79, 118, 92, 118, 102, 124, 85, 65, 94, 75, 64, 90, 69, 92, 93, 92, 81, 66, 83, 113, 93, 69, 100, 102, 121, 79, 106, 118, 109, 96, 80, 67, 90, 87, 109, 107, 108, 106, 119, 81, 120, 113, 115, 125, 70, 106, 108, 66, 126, 72, 94, 111, 91, 111, 127, 124, 95, 102, 126, 70, 111, 104, 104, 71, 67, 89, 65, 75, 80, 66, 77, 94, 75, 109, 109, 109, 66, 65, 99, 80, 81, 86, 78, 76, 118, 124, 93, 81, 85, 119, 64, 119, 64, 126, 122, 74, 102, 122, 100, 115, 108, 117, 118, 104, 110, 88, 105, 126, 112, 69, 124, 64, 88, 100, 96, 102, 105, 89, 125, 96, 108, 106, 68, 110, 90, 100, 94, 69, 81, 116, 113, 71, 96, 82, 80, 92, 89, 90, 112, 67, 67, 112, 82, 70, 123, 101, 76, 90, 121, 70, 109, 107, 98, 91, 121, 70, 72, 102, 70, 100, 83, 90, 66, 71, 81, 90, 84, 123, 69, 107, 90, 75, 120, 87, 67, 114, 79, 85, 75, 121, 104, 104, 70, 83, 81, 120, 102, 71, 126, 74, 97, 115, 94, 121, 91, 79, 89, 107, 121, 80, 106, 119, 86, 119, 106, 107, 92, 102, 83, 92, 114, 123, 102, 122, 120, 96, 68, 91, 69, 123, 110, 81, 94, 107, 98, 110, 115, 99, 71, 103, 115, 104, 115, 87, 92, 126, 71, 96, 116, 89, 102, 107, 113, 68, 113, 76, 72, 81, 84, 68, 73, 66, 88, 100, 91, 111, 109, 107, 121, 82, 97, 110, 117, 103, 83, 111, 89, 118, 120, 78, 67, 112, 100, 104, 98, 95, 122, 103, 90, 86, 117, 75, 65, 75, 98, 86, 123, 91, 71, 116, 120, 118, 114, 90, 82, 81]