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October brings the release of single #10 for the Rhythm Express – another step back in time. “My Boy Lollipop” is said to be the first recording incorporating ska rhythm patterns in the rhythm track – credited to Jamaican icon Ernie Ranglin. Ranglin and Rhythm Express hooked up in January launching a year-long recording project featuring some of Canada’s most notable singers and musicians. This time out the honor falls in band newcomer Aria Zenua’s hands. Zenua captures the original innocence and youthful beauty of the original with Millie Small along with Everton “Pablo” Paul drums, Shane ‘Shaky J’ Forrest guitar/bass/engineer – Bill King producer/arranger/keyboards and Christopher Butcher trombone and Bobby Hsu alto saxophone.

The album Soul Explosion ’69 arrives later this month with a big night a festivities at Toronto’s Lula Lounge October 15.

Here’s a bit of Wiki- background on the song:

"My Girl Lollypop") is a song written in the mid-1950s by Robert Spencer of the doo-wop group The Cadillacs, and usually credited to Spencer, Morris Levy, and Johnny Roberts. It was first recorded in New York in 1956 by Barbie Gaye. A later version, recorded in 1964 by Jamaican teenager Millie Small, with very similar rhythm, became one of the top selling ska songs of all time.

The song was discovered by Island Records founder, Chris Blackwell, who, with his associate Chris Peers, was trying to find songs for his young artist Millie Small to record. Changing the spelling to read "lollipop" instead of "lollypop", Millie's version was recorded in a similar shuffle/ska/bluebeat-style, and in 1964 it became her breakthrough blockbuster hit in the United Kingdom, reaching No. 2. The song also went to No. 1 in Republic of Ireland and No. 2 in the United States (on the Smash Record label). Considered the first commercially successful international ska song, Small's version of "My Boy Lollipop" sold over six million records worldwide and helped to launch Island Records into mainstream popular music. It remains one of the best-selling reggae/ska hits of all time.[8]

The record's arrangement is credited to Ernest Ranglin, who also plays guitar on the recording. The saxophone solo from the original version was replaced by a harmonica solo. It is unclear who played the harmonica – urban legend credited Rod Stewart for many years, but he has denied it. Instead, it was almost certainly either Pete Hogman or Jimmy Powell, both of The Five Dimensions. Pete Hogman and Five Dimensions guitarist Kenny White both maintain it was Pete Hogman, while Jimmy Powell asserts that it was he who played this solo.[9]

British reggae DJ David Rodigan has stated that watching Millie Small perform the song at the Ready Steady Go! TV show as a school boy initiated his lifelong passion for Jamaican music.[10] The song featured in the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony in London. It has also featured several times in the British TV series, Heartbeat.


released February 1, 2016



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