Manzie

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b. Dudley Swaby, 7 August 1953, Alston, Clarendon, Jamaica, West Indies. In his formative years Swaby and his family moved to Kingston where he completed his education at St. Martin’s School. The school…
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Artist Biography by

b. Dudley Swaby, 7 August 1953, Alston, Clarendon, Jamaica, West Indies. In his formative years Swaby and his family moved to Kingston where he completed his education at St. Martin’s School. The school was located behind Coxsone Dodd’s recording studios in Brentford Road and Manzie encountered the Wailers, Alton Ellis, and Ken Boothe as they rehearsed in the back yard. He claimed that these artists aroused his musical aspirations and later prompted him to give up his government job and pursue a career as a record producer. His initial hit, Rupert Reid’s ‘See The Dread Deh’, was recorded at Randys. The song provided the foundation to two early Jah Woosh releases, ‘Free Up Mi Ganja’ and ‘She Tek A Set’. The latter became a minor Jamaican hit, although Manzie enjoyed international success with Junior Byles. Their work together surfaced through the Black Wax Crew, notably on 1975’s ‘Chant Down Babylon’ in combination with Rupert Reid. This was followed by ‘Pitchy Patchy’, in 1976. Other songs from this period include ‘Remember Me’ and ‘Know Where You’re Going’. In the mid-70s Manzie launched his Ja Man label, recording Leroy Smart (‘Baby I Love You’), Bim Sherman (‘Mighty Ruler’), Errol Holt, (‘Shark Out Deh’), U. Brown (‘So Long’), Clint Eastwood (‘Boom Boom’) and Brigadier Jerry (‘Wild Goose Race’). Many of these sessions were co-productions with Leroy ‘Bunny’ Hollett. By 1978 Hollett and Manzie had decided to pursue individual careers, Hollett formed the Field Marshall label while Manzie formed the Manzies label. He recorded artists including Rod Taylor and General Echo (incidentally the DJ shared a release with Manzie’s protégé Rupert Reid, ‘Sex Educational Class’/‘Africa Shall Be Free’, in 1979). In 1980, Manzie released Echo’s version of, ‘Boom Boom’ alongside the rare compilation Rocking And Swinging. Manzie maintained an illustrious career in Jamaica until 1982 when political turmoil resulted in his relocation to New York, USA where he set up his own yellow cab company. In 1998, the Blood & Fire label acknowledged Manzie’s contribution to Jamaican music with the release of a Junior Byles compilation, 129 Beat Street Ja-Man Special 75-78 (a reference to the address of his recording studio at the time), that also lent its title to the b-side of ‘Pitchy Patchy’ in 1976.