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Objects from our Past

Published:Sunday | May 6, 2012 | 12:00 AM
The Jamaican Story: Independence Sovereign Album
Children's Jamaican Songs and Games Sung by Louise Bennett

Jamaica has a rich history and, as we celebrate 50 years of Independence, we take a look back at how we got here. With the kind assistance of the Institute of Jamaica, 'Objects from our Past' will highlight a total of 50 objects which are part of the Institute of Jamaica's collection. Today we feature two of these Objects from our Past. Check this space next Sunday for two more.

  • Children's Jamaican Songs and Games Sung by Louise Bennett (Folkways Records FC7256), was recorded in 1957. From the 1930s until her death in 2006, Louise Bennett remains the mother figure and symbol of Jamaican identity, language, folklore, song and national pride. Miss Lou, as she is affectionately known, made several recordings that at once served as entertainment as they foreshadowed the uplift that would later be conveyed through the music of those of our musicians who use music to make social commentary.

  • The Jamaican Story: Independence Sovereign Album (Federal) features a double-disc recording that gives a dramatic presentation of the Jamaican story, from the Taino to the moments of Independence, told through music and historic narratives. Written by Fred Wilmot, then working in Jamaica at the Tourist Board, with narrations by radio personality Adrian Robinson, the recording is a well-conceived and produced document that captures a broad range of the cultural and social movement representing the Jamaicam people. Also featured on the recording are Louise Bennett, The Frats Quartet, Count Ossie and his drummers, guitarist Ernest Ranglin, a Jewish cantor and a revival sect.