Joe Gibbs & The Professionals – Kick To Yu Chin from the Belmont 45
Hanging at the Reggae Van on Saturday inspired me to start the week off with some Reggae. I do have a fair amount, and Old King Bravo hooked me up with some more good 45s from JA, and this next side is one of them. I’d like to give a shout out to Mike Schwiegert at Electric Tattoo in Bradley Beach, who hooked me up with a pair of sweet Funk and Soul script tattoos on my feet. If you’re in the Central Jersey area and in need of a tattoo, stop in, they do a mighty fine job. The record I’m gonna get into to get you grooving in your cubicle, on your bike, or while you sit in traffic is Joe Gibbs & The Professionals with “Kick To Yu Chin”, on Belmont Records.
Joe Gibbs (born Joel Gibson) started out as an electrical engineer, eventually opening a TV repair shop in Kingston, and making a progression to selling records out of the back of the shop. From there, under the tutalege of Lee “Scratch” Perry (who Gibbs hired to “oversee” his sessions) and prodding of Bunny Lee,, he would go on to form the Amalgamated record label in 1967, where he released what people may consider the very first rock steady record: “Hold Them” by Roy Shirley. When Perry took off to form the Upsetter label, apparently the split was far from a good one. Perry would go on to release “People Funny Boy”, while Gibbs would answer with “People Grudgeful Boy”. This is neither here nor there, and well, they both went on to have very successful careers and were two tremendously influential Jamaican producers that have put out many a good side. Gibbs has worked with a slew of artists including Ken Parker, Peter Tosh, Errol Dunkley, the Versatiles, the Slickers, the Pioneers, Culture, Junior Byles, Gregory Isaacs, and a host of other notables. The Professionals were Gibb’s Studio band, and featured players like bassists Lloyd Parks and Robbie Shakespeare, drummer Sly Dunbar, guitarists Earl Chinna Smith and Bingi Bunny, organist Ossie Hibbert, and various alumni from the Jets. They put out “State of Emergency” and got a bit of spark on the charts. Prior to this, Gibbs had gotten some notoriety not just in Jamaica, but in England with Culture’s “Two Seven’s Clash”. From here Gibbs went on with further success, joining forces with session leader Erol Thompson (formerly of Randy’s), and doing records with Dennis Brown, plus releasing other instrumental sides with a gaggle of other artists. The Mighty Two were hot, and would release well over a hundred hits while working together. Joe Gibbs was on top of the world, or so you might have thought. You see, there ‘s a little thing called royalties, and Joe Gibbs was not paying them, especially in the case of a Charley Pride song “Somebody Loves You,” covered by J.C. Lodge and produced by Gibbs. The legal red tape involved in the case, which Gibbs lost, would cripple him financially and force him to be out of the picture in Jamaica for a while. He eventually got back to producing in 1993, reformed the Mighty Two, and produced hits from Tanya Stevens, Alton Ellis, Lloyd Parks, and Gregory Isaacs (once again). The addition of Pioneers vocalist Sidney “Luddy” Crooks to his production team was a step in the right direction, and with the help of his son Rocky, was able to release sides and eventually compilations of his early work.
Starting off like a Jackie Chan movie (the flip side would be Jah Grundy’s “Shaolin Disciples”), this 1978 side is right on point. Gibbs chose to start with some chimes, then into the sleepy riddim which featured the Professionals horn section, and an isolated organ keeping time with the rhythm section. For sure, this Version could back up a scene in some weeded out Kung Fu flick, and Gibbs choice of a martial arts theme was right along many records put out by Jamaican artists, even paralleling his former partner Scratch, who has put out a Kung Fu themed side of his own. The Professionals, on a whole, could challenge any other studio band of the time, and for that matter IMHO, the 70’s. The proof is in the pudding, as Gibbs was a winner throughout the whole decade, and his revolving door of musicians proved that his production could yield hits no matter who sat in and backed the artist up. I’ve got a whole case full of Jamaican 45s, and will start to get them in rotation in the future. I know my man Jah-nee Gill from MTV’s Tempo channel will be pleased. I can hear it now (Respect, Respect!). See you midweek, Keep Diggin’!
PS: Here’s a few snapshots of the Funk/ Soul tattoos I got:
Those tats are insane!! I have to get down there and make an appointment. I am loooong overdue for some new ink.
yeah they are open 7 days i believe. mike is working 6. get on down there. they do walk ins on fri. after 5 and all day sat. and sun. yesterday wasn’t that long of a wait..maybe 30-40 min.
Man, that intro kills! Thanks for dropping the knowledge!
Agreed. Those tats are madness! I’m getting an adapter “branded” on me soon…these made me want to run down to the shop and get it done NOW!
PS. Amalgamated is such an nice label name!
These dub sides sound pretty good today. At the time they were released, they were considered a little “soft” for being reworkings of old rhythms (in this case, “Love Is Not A Gamble”.
A bunch of Gibbs 7″ version sides are found on a CD, “No Bones For The Dogs”.
Nice tat dude, but i cant stand feet!!
oh my goodness!
i absolutely love your tattoos.
honestly, i’m thinking of getting ‘a beautiful mistake’ tattooed on the inside of my left foot just where your ‘soul’ tattoo is at.
i was wondering, did your artist give you any trouble about getting it done there?
many of my friends are saying that they will not do a tat there for me because the skin cells will sluff off and the tat will be gone within a matter of weeks.