Pressure Sounds
7" (heavyweight) Single
March 16, 2010

Artist & tune

  • Freddie McKay - Rock A Bye Woman / Rock A Bye Version
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Freddie McKay (born 1947, St. Catherine, Jamaica) was a singer whose career spanned the rocksteady and reggae eras. He first recorded for producer Prince Buster in 1967, and gained his first hit, "Love Is A Treasure", for Duke Reid's Treasure Isle in that same year. He then moved from Treasure Isle to Coxsone Dodd's Studio One and enjoyed a fruitful spell with the legendary producer. He recorded a number of popular songs for Studio One backed by The Soul Defenders, including "High School Dance", "Sweet You Sour You", and "Picture On The Wall", the latter also being the title track of his 1971 debut album.

Without doubt the singer was one of the best exponents of the more soulful side of Jamaican roots music, but for whatever reason didn't manage to take his place in the major league of Jamaican singers. Nevertheless he commanded a faithful following and continued to make excellent records right up to his untimely death in 1986. Freddie McKay died of a heart attack.

In 1974 Freddie McKay aka Freddie McLean released the single "Rock A Bye Woman". The latter is a rare self production with a passionate vocal, an uptempo feel and punchy horns. It's underpinned by a truly wicked riddim track, which three years later was utilized by Horace Andy for his "Ital Vital" tune. On the flispide the listener is treated to a riveting 'high pass filter' style version. This is one of the best singles from one of reggae's great unsung heroes, now reissued by Pressure Sounds.