“Rub-a-Dub Style: The Roots of Modern Dancehall is being offered as a free download as an appreciation of Jamaica - its people and its culture, for the 2012 celebrations of the 50th anniversary of Jamaican independence. By making this new book available as a free download, my goal is to reach a wider readership and promote a greater understanding and appreciation of the efforts that these artists and musicians put into creating such a powerful and dynamic expression of Jamaican culture.”
Beth Lesser and partner David Kingston first got involved with Reggae when they started a fanzine for Augustus Pablo’s organization Rockers International in 1980. The ‘Zine was named Live Good Today after a song by Prince Jazzbo. When Pablo generously suggested they include other artists, Beth and Dave published the first edition of Reggae Quarterly which, although its focus was on Pablo’s artists, began to venture into dance hall territory.
Around the same time, David Kingston began hosting Reggae Showcase on CKLN radio in Toronto, under the name Lord Selector. From there, Beth and Dave began a ten year adventure in the Jamaican dance hall scene which included getting married at a Youth Promotion dance at Sugar Minott’s house in 1986. During those ten years, apart from publishing the magazine, Beth and Dave visited Jamaica and New York regularly to pick up records for the radio show, do interviews for the magazine and take pictures, many of which appeared on LP and CD covers.
In 1989, Ms Lesser was asked to write what became the first book to examine the digital revolution in Jamaican music, King Jammy’s, published by Black Star in Finland. An expanded edition was later published by ECW Press, Toronto, Canada, in 2002. A few years later, Soul Jazz Records requested that Ms Lesser write a book about the 80’s that could showcase her photographs from the period. Dance Hall: The Rise of Dance Hall Culture came out in 2008.
Following the death of Sugar Minott in 2010, Beth set out to write a biography of the legendary singer that would focus not on his individual recordings, but on the work he did with the community and the people he taught and inspired- a tribute to an old friend and a man who influenced the course of reggae music. It is published by Small Axe in the UK.