Iconic Shepherds Bush reggae label Greensleeves Records is set to be honoured with a blue plaque at the site of its former shop.
Hammersmith & Fulham Council in conjunction with the Nubian Jak Community Trust (NJCT) will unveil the new blue plaque inside Shepherds Bush tube station on Saturday 1 July at 11am.
Everyone is invited – the event is free. Live music and guest speakers will also perform, with former Greensleeves artist General Saint expected to attend.
Cllr Sharon Holder, H&F Cabinet Member for Public Realm, said:
Greensleeves is one of those labels that define a genre – like Blue Note, Motown or Chess. It was an important part of Shepherds Bush’s musical history and contributed a huge amount to the popular culture of west London during reggae’s brightest period.
“We’re blessed that so many labels and shops called H&F home – such as Peckings, Island and Trojan records – while helping to advance the music of Black artists from both Jamaica and wider afield.”
Find out more about Black artists and the history of H&F in music with our Black History Music Trail.
The plaque will be on the site of the famous record shop, which later led to the founding of the record label in 1977. The company was founded by Chris Cracknell and Chris Sedgwick from a West Ealing shop in 1975. Later it moved to Shepherds Bush Green. They sold the label’s catalogue in 2007 and it was eventually purchased by New York City based VP Records.
The founders – who will unveil the blue plaque on Saturday – said:
We are delighted to have been chosen for a plaque to commemorate the founding of Greensleeves.”
Dr Jak Beula, CEO of Nubian Jak Community Trust, said:
A fundamental part of my youth, just like many people all over the UK from varying backgrounds, was spent listening to the soundtrack of reggae and dance hall classics provided by Greensleeves Records.”
Over the years, Greensleeves has become synonymous with all the latest hits, artists and sound coming from Jamaica, especially rub-a-dub and dancehall. While other reggae labels courted the mainstream, Greensleeves specialised in channelling the sound of downtown Kingston and set out to arm every reggae DJ in the UK and Europe with their records.
Karen Proctor, label manager of Greensleeves Records, said:
For over four decades, Greensleeves Records and all the artists and producers who released music on the label, were pioneers in the ascension of reggae and dancehall to reach global audiences and to impact wider music cultures forever.
“We’re honoured to see H&F Council and the Nubian Jak Community Trust recognise this legacy and finally take its space on the site of the shop where the label was founded. We hope that future generations will remember the incredible contribution that past and present artists from Greensleeves Records have on the creative music and cultural landscapes.”
Artists and producers
Artists who have released music on the label include Augustus Pablo, Wailing Souls, Barrington Levy, Gregory Isaacs, Dennis Brown, Freddie McGregor, Shabba Ranks, Bounty Killer, Red Rat, Elephant Man, Vybz Kartel and many more.
Producers who have worked with the label include Henry ‘Junjo’ Lawes, Linval Thompson, King Jammy and Gussie Clarke.
The label continues to please dancehall and reggae fans worldwide. Greensleeves Publishing has the largest catalogue of reggae songs in the world, including the copyrights of Shaggy's Oh Carolina, Sean Paul’s Get Busy and Break It Off among over 20,000 copyrights.
Last year, Greensleeves released its Reggae Gold compilation to celebrate its 45th anniversary, including tracks from some of its first artists and chart toppers such as Michael Prophet, Eek-A-Mouse and Dr Alimantado.
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