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Blues Records Discography, 1943 onwards
  WHO'S WHO OF GROUPS & SOLO ARTISTS ISSUED IN BRITAIN  

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(UK) SUGAR Complete Label
45 rpm Singles & LPs
1969-1970

     This is a hitherto unpublished singles list, originally compiled by Paul Pelletier in the 1980s, here updated with the unpublished LP listing added. Whilst Paul has generally avoided small, West Indian oriented labels (they require a specialised approach rather than the mainstream aims of RIS), Sugar has been less of a challenge because during its short life it was under the wing of two major companies.

     It seems Pye was happy to take on just about anything offered it, but the deal with Decca was more surprising. Decca was still tightly controlled by its founder, the accountant-minded Sir Edward Lewis, and he must have agreed to the deal, possibly because he was persuaded by Sugar label boss Charles Ross and others that Reggae was going to be the next big thing, and Decca didn't want to miss the bandwagon - hadn't they famously missed out on The Beatles (although The Rolling Stones were a worthy consolation prize). But if Sir Edward was initially fooled by West Indian born Ross (who had once owned one of the labels called Flame in Jamaica), the marriage was brief and Decca proceeded on its slow death through the 1970s without a specialised Reggae outlet.

     There is a mystery about Charles Ross - did Decca pull the plug on him or did he simply vanish? Given the small roster, did Ross promise more than he could deliver? No trace of Ross can be found after 1970, but it has been suggested he went to New York, a hub of the music business and with a significant Jamaican population. Does anybody know?

     There is also something of a mystery about ESS 104 by Pitts Henry, which was probably issued in September 1969. The single is not listed in "New Singles" but it is listed elsewhere, with the artist credited as Ray Ellington and only the A-side, "Ooh la la", shown. The B-side was written by Ray Ellington and first appeared as an Ellington release on the A-side of Ember S114 in 1960, properly spelt as "Très jolie" (note the correct French accent, grave not acute). Given that Ellington's real name was Henry Pitts Brown, the true identity of "Pitts Henry" is revealed. The interesting question remains as to how an established artist like Ray Ellington got involved with Charles Ross? Stretching the imagination, did Ellington (who had briefly recorded for Decca in the 1950s although his main outlet then was on EMI's Columbia label) help Ross get the Decca deal? Ray Ellington was well known, his musical interludes through the 1950s on BBC Radio's "The Goon Show" had ensured that, Charles Ross was not.

     The relevant hand-written Decca ledger (see Introduction) shows that a seventh release was planned as SU 107 in July 1970 but transferred to the main Decca singles series. This single, by Zorro Five, had no obvious connection with Charles Ross - it was licensed from an obscure source (Brigadier) and the music publishing was credited to Decca's own Burlington Music rather than Ross's Mother Mistro. One can surmise that Decca initially wanted to prolong Sugar's active life with or without Charles Ross, but in the end decided to ditch the unsuccessful label; however, they clearly had some material in hand because the Charles Ross Reggae Combo album was issued in August 1970 as the label's swansong. In the event, the Zorro Five release on Decca suffered the same fate as the Sugar singles - it went un-noticed. (Incongruously, the page for Sugar singles is in the depths of a bulky, Dickensian looking Decca ledger which had been used since the end of 1948 to list the voluminous Brunswick 78s and later 45s until that series ended in 1967; the later Brunswick "Soul" series was added to the ledger between 1972 to 1977.)

     Any additional information is welcome.
Guy Pelletier

Added 02-Sep-2013; Updated 04-Oct-2013

(British) SUGAR ESS 100 7-inch 45 rpm Singles Series, 1969
Pressed & Distributed by Pye

ESS 101

Aug-69

CLAUDE SANG

Daffodil
I hear music

ESS 102

Aug-69

JOE WHITE

My guiding star
If I needed someone

ESS 103

Aug-69

FRENZ

It's a secret
Dusty shoes

ESS 104

c. Sep-69

PITTS HENRY
  
[actually Ray Ellington - see comments above]

Ooh la la
Tres jolie

 

(British) SUGAR SU 100 7-inch 45 rpm Singles Series, 1970
Pressed & Distributed by

SU 101

30-Jan-70

FRENZ

Mee lei moi
I hear music

SU 102

30-Jan-70

RAYMOND MORRISON

Girl I want to hold you
Money can't buy life

SU 103

27-Feb-70

JOE WHITE

Yesterday
I am free

SU 104

27-Feb-70

RICHARD ACE

Sound of the reggae
Got to build a wall

SU 105

10-Apr-70

CLAUDE SANG

I'm in love again
You'll never fool me again

SU 106

10-Apr-70

THREE COINS

Come and do the right thing
It's so long

SU 107

 

ZORRO FIVE [see comments above - scheduled 03-Jul-70
  but transferred to Decca F 23042]

Reggae Shhh!
Reggae meadowlands

 

(British) SUGAR SUS (Stereo) / SUM (Mono) 1 onwards 12-inch 33⅓ rpm Long-Play Series, 1970
Pressed & Distributed by

SUS 1
SUM 1

May-70

CLAUDE SANG

The World Of Reggae, Vol. 1
I'm in love again / Don't you think of me / Lonesome without you / Got to find a way /
You'll never fool me again //
No need to be lonely / One step beyond / Daffodil / Birds of Britain / Way of life

SUS 2

Aug-70

CHARLES ROSS REGGAE COMBO

The World Of Reggae, Vol. 2
Traces of my dream / Funny / Born and bred in Jamaica / My guiding star /
Sound of the Reggae / Yesterday //
I'm in love again / It's so long / Sugar cane / You'll never fool me again /
Don't you think of me / I'm free

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