Sally Brown Publishing

Sally Brown Publishing, previously Half Pint Press, was established by Heather Augustyn to publish books on ska and Jamaican music at an affordable price for readers. Though Augustyn has published a number of books with other publishing companies, such as McFarland and Rowman & Littlefield, these books can be costly because they are meant for the library and academic markets. Therefore, Augustyn chooses to self-publish when possible to reach a wider audience at a lower price point.

The name “Sally Brown” was chosen as the name for the company after the Laurel Aitken song, because when it comes to chronicling the history of Jamaican music and ska musicians for the purposes of preservation and representation, Heather Augustyn, like Sally Brown, “she don’t mess around.”

The logo for Sally Brown Publishing was illustrated by the legendary Hunt Emerson whose iconic Beat Girl has become associated with the Beat, as well as a symbol of ska itself, alongside Jerry Dammers’ illustration, Walt Jabsco. As detailed in Augustyn’s book, Rude Girls: Women in 2 Tone and One Step Beyond, Emerson’s illustration of the Beat Girl was based upon Brigitte Bond. Bond was a recording artist on the Blue Beat label whose photo with Prince Buster became template for Emerson’s logo design. She was also the first known transgender ska artist and as such, the perfect representation of unity and love in the ska revival era.

To create the Sally Brown logo, Emerson based his version on the Beat Girl, as well as a photo of Heather Augustyn from the Supernova International Ska Festival in 2021. This photo featured clothing designed after the uniform worn by Jamaican women who debuted the ska dance during tours of the United States in 1964 at locations such as the Peppermint Lounge in Miami, and the Shepheard’s Club at the Drake and the World’s Fair in New York.

In short, the Sally Brown Publishing logo is based on women in ska from all eras. It is a symbol of how ska evolves, but remains true to its roots. In the words of 17th century Swiss mathematician Jakob Bernoulli, “Eadem mutato resurgo,” or translated from Latin, “Although changed, I arise the same.”