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Stranger Cole

Stranger Cole was born Wilburn Theodore Cole in 1945 in Kingston, Jamaica, receiving the nickname "Stranger" because he resembled no one else in his family. Cole began his recording career with producer Duke Reid, scoring a hit with his 1962 debut, "Rough & Tough," a full-tilt ska number with a wild harmonica solo. His Louis Jordan revival song, "Run Joe," was a hit in 1965, and featured members of the Techniques on harmony vocals. Stranger frequently used duet partners, most notably Patsy Todd and Ken Boothe, and later in his career, Gladstone Anderson (their version of "Just Like a River" is one of Cole's finest songs), stemming from an apparent shyness in the studio, but Cole developed into a soulful vocalist, and his songs radiate a kid of joyful personality that is rare in most reggae. Cole left Reid as the ska era waned, becoming sort of a maverick, cutting sides with several Jamaican producers, including Sonia Pottinger, Lee "Scratch" Perry (including the wonderful single, "Run Up Your Mouth"), and Bunny "Striker" Lee, before relocating to England in 1971, where he toured extensively. Cole moved to Toronto, Canada, in 1973, where he released three albums on his own label, The First Ten Years of Stranger Cole (1978), Captive Land (1980), and The Patriot (1982). In 2003, Trojan Records released Bangarang: The Best of Stranger Cole 1962-1972, a long overdue retrospective of this fine Jamaican singer's career. ~ Steve Leggett
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: This Is Reggae Music - The Golden Era 1960 - 1975

Disc 1

1. Iron Bar

2. Fat Man

3. Rough And Tough

5. My Boy Lollipop

6. Penny Reel-O

7. Phoenix City

10. Rudy Got Soul

11. Down By The Train Line

12. Cry Tough

13. 007 (Shanty Town)

15. The Loser

16. Train To Skaville

17. Ba Ba Boom

18. Stop That Train

21. True, True, True

22. Israelites

23. 54-46 That's My Number

24. Everything Crash

Disc 2

1. Do The Reggay

3. Engine 54

5. Cuss Cuss

7. Tighten Up

8. Return Of Django

9. Shocks Of Mighty

10. Monkey Man

12. Ride Your Donkey

13. Red, Red Wine

14. Wonderful World, Beautiful People

15. Pressure Drop

16. Don't Let Me Suffer

17. Rivers Of Babylon

18. Liquidator

19. Johnny Too Bad

21. Double Barrel

22. Many Rivers To Cross

Disc 3

1. You Can Get It If You Really Want

2. Montego Bay

3. Come Into My Life

4. Pop A Top

5. Blood And Fire

6. 400 Years

7. Duppy Conqueror

8. Vietnam

9. Singer Man

11. Give Me Power

12. Small Axe

13. Pomps And Pride

14. Bongo Man

15. Let Your Yeah Be Yeah

16. Guava Jelly

17. Black And White

18. I Feel Good All Over

19. Hypocrite

20. Stick By Me (And I'll Stick By You)

21. Cherry Oh Baby

22. African Herbsman

Disc 4

1. Better Must Come

3. A Place Called Africa

4. Trenchtown Rock

5. One Love, One Heart

6. I Can See Clearly Now

7. This Is Reggae Music

8. Brand New Second Hand

9. Lively Up Yourself

10. Stir It Up

11. Money In My Pocket

12. Funky Kingston

13. The Time Has Come

14. Everything I Own

15. Westbound Train

16. Cool Iron

17. Justice To The People

18. S90 Skank

19. Black Man Time

20. Bad Da

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