Delroy Wilson: Mash Up Illiteracy (1974)

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Delroy Wilson: Mash Up Illiteracy (1974)

In Third World countries music is often the vehicle for social messages and political comment because it gets directly to people who may be unable to read a newspaper or otherwise have access to information.

Reggae singer Delroy Wilson (who died in '95) was one of those who used songs to actually say something . . . although not always so positive. He did also deliver withering Lee Scratch Perry-penned attacks on Prince Buster in song during his youth.

But as he matured he became a musical itinerant wandering from label to label and producer to producer, every now and again scoring a minor classic. His song Better Must Come was chosen by Michael Manley's party as their theme in the '72 elelction in Jamaica.

Wilson also recorded Mash Up Illiteracy, possibly a few times. My copy (pictured) has a production credit to Bunny Lee but some sources say he did a version with Joe Gibbs (although this may be one and the same) and I'm guessing that when it is attributed to Wilson and Dr Alimantado that too is the same song.

So maybe there is just this version, but with various attributions? Ah, it's reggae culture so . . .

But here is Delroy Wilson putting his heart and sentiments on the line for a greater purpose.

For more one-offs, songs with an interesting backstory or just plain oddities see From the Vaults. And there is more reggae in Elsewhere here.

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