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SNWMF '05
PERFORMERS



 

 

DENNIS ALCAPONE
Dennis Alcapone

Famed Dancehall toaster (dee-jay) known today as Dennis Alcapone was born Dennis Smith, on 6th of August 1947, in Clarendon Jamaica, West Indies.

Alcapone, like many young men in the 1960’s was musically inspired by U-Roy;, he became the frontsman toasting for the sound system called El Paso Hi-Fi in 1969. The sound had a following and grew in popularity gaining a reputation for creating road blocks whenever they played out. Alcapone’s popularity and success grew, getting the attention of U-Roy.

Like U-Roy, Alcapone also recorded tracks for Keith Hudson, cutting more than a dozen sides for the producer in 1970-71 beginning with 'Shades Of Hudson' (1970), 'Spanish Omega' (1970), 'Revelation Version'
(1970), and 'The Sky's The Limit' (1970). and 'Macca Version'. Dennis moved on to Duke Reid’s Treasure Isle label and between 1970-72 he had massive Jamaican hits with 'Wake Up Jamaica', 'Teach The Children', ‘Number One Station', 'Mosquito One', 'Rock To The Beat', 'Love Is Not A Gamble','The Great Woggie' (1972), and 'Musical Alphabet'.

Before Alcapone moved to England in 1973, he was sought after and in demand.

 

 

He made over 100 singles and released three albums, for Coxsone Dodd (Forever Version), Bunny Lee (Guns Don’t Argue). He also worked with other producers like Lee Perry, Joe Gibbs, Prince Buster, to name a few.

Alcapone’s popularity as a DJ grew even further when he won a reputable DJ competition in Jamaica and rode the wave of success to England. There the competition proved to be stiffer since the authentic Jamaican dancehall and its DJ’s were ever growing. So Dennis tried his hand at self-producing, working with the likes of Dennis Brown, Augustus Pablo and Delroy Wilson.

In the mid to late 80’s while in England, Dennis worked with the renowned Mad Professor (Neil Fraser) at Ariwa Dub Factory in London, and began touring over Europe, North America and The Orient. During this time Alcapone returned back to Jamaica where he was victorious in the Heineken Startime show with his hit song 'Teach The Children', which was incorporated into part of Jamaica’s literacy programme.

Dennis appeared at the Womad Festival in Cornwall and Helsinki 1969, and other venues like the Summerjam reggae festival in Germany.

Dennis Alcapone is worldly recognized as a legendary Jamaican deejay , famous for originating the “sing-jay” style; a cross between singing and toasting, a style that is half-sung and half-spoken. He is also acknowledged for being the first Jamaican deejay to emulate notorious and infamous 'bad men' of that era. This kind of labeling is quite common among the industry as a whole nowadays.

Dennis Alcapone; a true pioneer of the original Jamaican dancehall scene.

- Bio courtesy of Afiwi.com

Music of Dennis Alcapone - Track List


 

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