Charlie Chaplin
Tamoki Wambesi
September 29, 2014

Track list
  1. Dance Hall Vibes
  2. Crisis
  3. Waldo
  4. Walk With Jah feat. Jim Kelly
  5. Air Is Polluted
  6. Come Back Baby
  7. Cherry My Love
  8. Quenchie feat. Ken Bob
  9. Ann Marie
  10. Foreign Man Skank
  11. Tribute To Super Don
  12. Dance Hall Stylie
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 4/5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5
Charlie Chaplin (born Richard Bennett) grew up in Spanish Town. As a child, he didn't really have it in his mind to deejay, but he never strayed far from the music. "I used to look up to Bob Marley because Bob Marley used to send me go buy him cigarette and him spliff them thing there, when him a play [foot] ball. So, me used to kinda involve ina the music them way deh. But me never know me woulda be an artist 'till me start listen Stur-Gav. Ranking Joe used to deejay that time. When him deejay and dance done, like 5 o'clock ina morning, him always call me and give me the mic. The dance empty but me still talk pon the rhythms dem. So, people start hear the tape and start talk to U Roy and them take me on officially."

At first, Chaplin wasn't ambitious. He wasn't even looking for a recording career. Luckily, it came and found him. Producer and lead singer with The Royals, Roy Cousins, approached him and offered to take him to the studio. "Me just a do it for 'do' sake, cause me never make no money. Me never money motivated. Me just fascinate fe go ina the studio, do a couple of songs, and him release them, put them out." Roy Cousins released several albums like "Presenting Charlie Chaplin", "Red Pond" and "One Of A Kind" and a lot of singles.

In the early 80's, most deejays were moving away from the slackness. But the slack lyrics weren't being replaced by the cultural sounds of the 70's, but by a new style that spoke of current events, from local runnings to national social and economic conditions. Reality lyrics began where culture left off, dealing with whatever was happening in the community - ganja smoking, going to sessions, dancing, being harassed by gatemen, being harassed by the law, unemployment - all the little stumbling blocks of life 'a yard'. Chaplin quickly emerged as one of Jamaica's most popular entertainers and like Josey Wales he was also a serious threat to King Yellowman's throne. Chaplin was/is renowned for his cultural, non-slack lyrics and is still respected for actually paving the way for deejays to chat conscious lyrics even when it strayed beyond the popular subject matter of the day. The current culturally aware deejays owe a great deal to Charlie Chaplin. In 2013, he was awarded the Order of Distinction by the Jamaican government.

The album 'Quenchie' was released in 1984 and is a collection of tunes drawn from several sources. Air Is Polluted and Ann Marie comes from the album "Presenting Charlie Chaplin", while Foreign Man Skank, Walk With Jah and Tribute To Super Don can be found on the album "One Of A Kind". Four cuts are from a Stur-Gav live session (1983-Live At Maypen Clarendon?): Waldo, Dance Hall Vibes, Cherry My Love, and Dance Hall Style.. After the live segment Dance Hall Vibes, underpinned by a wicked Studio One riddim, the album continues with Crisis, one of the artist's top tunes he recorded for Roy Cousins: "Well people, I & I come again, to teach you roots & culture my friend...". The next live segment Waldo runs across the "Taxi" riddim and Charlie turns it into his version of "Bam Bam".

Jim Kelly (brother Junior Kelly) became known as a resident deejay on the Killamanjaro Sound System, previously deejaying for Roots Unlimited. He was shot and killed in Spanish Town, Jamaica in 1983. Here he teams up with Charlie for the fabulous tune Walk With Jah. Charlie was also capable of bringing fine lovers tunes, check out Come Back Baby. Quenchie starts as an humorous answer version to Yellowman's "I'm Getting Married/Divorced In The Morning" and features singer Ken Bob, a former member of vocal trio The Eternals. Foreign Man Skank rides the riddim from "Love Won't Come Easy", while Tribute To Super Don is underpinned by the alltime classic "Pick Up The Pieces" riddim.

Truly classic and rootical!