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Duke Reid
Duke Reid
Duke Reid was one of the founding fathers of the Jamaican music business, perhaps second in importance only to his chief rival, Clement "Coxsone" Dodd, both as a record producer and entrepreneur. Much like Dodd, Reid started his career in music as a DJ, then a sound system owner, then a label head (most notably of Trojan and Treasure Isle), then a highly accomplished producer who masterminded some of the greatest Jamaican music of the '60s. His career spanned the earliest days of ska to the rocksteady era, and on through the early '70s, when he helped lay the groundwork for the DJ/toaster era. In his prime, Reid cut a striking, flamboyant profile and was notorious for his tough-guy persona, the product of his previous career as a policeman. He usually carried a loaded revolver and ammunition belt, all prominently displayed, and sometimes a hand grenade or a machete for extra effect. His business tactics could be similarly hard-nosed, but Reid was no mere thug; his genuine skill as a producer remains the cornerstone of his legacy, in particular his work during rocksteady's heyday.
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