My friend Kingsley Goodison, also known as King Omar, puts on a wonderful show in Jamaica each year called Tribute to the Greats. He publishes a magazine and program to accompany this show and the publication in 2012 for the 15th annual Tribute to the Greats show contained a wonderful article on the Australian connection that I would like to share. Kingsley has been in the music industry for decades. He is brother to Bunny Goodison, music historian, and Lorna Goodison, author and professor. Kingsley worked for Studio One for many years and he is a legend.
Here is the article from his program:
The Australian Connection
Jamaica’s music scene has attracted people from all over the world from its early beginnings and Tribute to the Greats has acknowledged this in the past. The Cuban connection was with recognition of Rudolph “Baba Mack” McDonald and other Afro-Cuban artistes. The Caribbean connection which celebrated the contributions of Trinidad and Tobago’s Lyn Taitt, Kenrick “Lord Creator” Patrick, Kenneth Lara, and Barbadian Jackie Opel.
For the 15th Anniversary of Tribute to the Greats, it was decided that the Australian connection would be highlighted. Dennis Syndrey, Graeme Goodall, Peter Stoddart, and Lowell Morris will be recognized at the Awards Show and Dance for their contribution to the Jamaican scene.
Graeme Goodall Graeme Goodall: Born in Melbourne, Australia, Goodall first came to Jamaica in the early 1950s, assisting administrators at the fledgling Radio Jamaica to install its broadcast network.
Goodall was with pioneer music producer when he established his first recording studio in the last 150s. When Chris Blackwell started Island Records in 1959, Goodall and music producer Leslie Kong were partners in the company.
Though Goodall founded Doctor Bird Records when he moved to London in the 1960s, many associate him with his work as a sound engineer, especially at Federal Records where he fine-tuned countless hit songs.
He is also credited with helping to get Jamaican music on British pirate radio in 1965, paving the way for ska and later rock steady to make it on mainstream airwaves in that country.
Dennis Sindrey: Australian born Dennis Sindrey began his musical career playing guitar in various clubs and hotels in Melbourne, Australia along with fellow band members Lowell Morris (drums) and Peter Stoddart (piano). The group’s manager and band leader Max Wildman, accepted invitation to come to Jamaica in 1958 and play at the renowned Glass Bucket Club. They christened themselves the Caribs and began their musical sojourn in Jamaica. When the Glass Bucket closed, the Caribs, now including other local musicians became the house band at the Myrtle Bank Hotel.
The Caribs also established themselves as a backing band and performed duties for many artistes signed with Chris Blackwell’s Island Records. While recording their own records at RJR, they became acquainted with fellow Australian, recording engineer Graeme Goodall, a relationship which continued for several years.
The Caribs broke up some years later when Lowell and Max returned to Australia, but Sindrey remained in Jamaica playing guitar for Byron Lee and the Dragonaires and Kes Chin’s Souvenirs. He continued to record with famous producers including Coxsone, Prince Buster, and Leslie Kong. He has played on recordings for the Skatalites, Millie Small, Laurel Aitken, Owen Grey, Jimmy Cliff, and many others. In 1962, he joined with Stoddart and formed the New Caribs and performed at the Sheraton Hotel.
In 1968 Sindrey moved to the US where he continued to be involved with the music business. He met up with Graeme Goodall when a concert series titled “The Legends of Ska” was held in Toronto, Canada. In 2008, Stoddart, Morris, and Sindry held a Caribs Reunion concert in Melbourne which has a vibrant ska scene. Sindrey continues to make music in South Florida.