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 1960s 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. Alcapones 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
Reids 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
|He made over 100 singles and released three albums,
for Coxsone Dodd (Forever Version), Bunny Lee (Guns Dont Argue). He also worked with
other producers like Lee Perry, Joe Gibbs, Prince Buster, to name a few.
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 DJs were ever growing. So Dennis tried his hand
at self-producing, working with the likes of Dennis Brown, Augustus Pablo and Delroy
In the mid to late 80s 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 Jamaicas 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
Dennis Alcapone -