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Tapper Zukie

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Tapper Zukie

Ital Records Ltd Man from Bosrah promo shot

Real Name: David Sinclair
Born: July 2nd 1955
Place of Birth: Kingston, Jamaica
Official website: not known

Zukie began as a DJ in his early teens, influenced by U-Roy and Dennis Alcapone. In order to curb his youthful tendencies towards trouble, his mother sent him to England in 1973, where producer Bunny Lee organized some live shows and recording sessions under the aegis of the UK-based entrepreneur Larry Lawrence, for whom he cut his debut, "Jump And Twist". He also recorded material for Clement Bushay that later emerged as Man A Warrior. On his return to Jamaica he again worked for Bunny Lee, though Zukie's ambitions to become as famous as U-Roy led him to record "Judge I Oh Lord" for Lloydie Slim, and "Natty Dread Don't Cry" for Lee. Zukie's frustration at Bunny Lee's indifference eventually resulted in an altercation with the producer. The police were called, but their differences were settled when Lee offered him some rhythms on which he could DJ himself. These, and others Zukie obtained from Joseph "Joe Joe" Hookim, were recorded in a spare hour at King Tubby's studio, and eventually issued as MPLA in 1976.
In 1975, Zukie returned to the UK to find that he had gained something of a cult following owing to the belated popularity of Man A Warrior.

An arrangement with Klik Records saw the release of "MPLA" as a single, which met with immediate success, and Klik persuaded Zukie to let them release the whole album, which finally established his name in the higher echelons of DJs. Other recordings dating from the same period included a batch of singles for Yabby You, including "Don't Get Crazy" and "Natty Dread On The Mountain Top". While in the UK, he appeared alongside new-wave heroine Patti Smith, who proved to be an admirer of Man A Warrior. The album was later reissued on Smith's and partner Lenny Kaye's Mer label, while Smith later contributed sleeve-notes to Man From Bosrah. Zukie also produced a number of artists during this period for his own Stars label, including Junior Ross And The Spear ("Babylon Fall", "Judgement Time"), Prince Allah ("Bosrah", "Daniel" and "Heaven Is My Roof") and one all-time classic for Horace Andy, "Natty Dread A Weh She Want". In addition, he released two dub albums, Escape From Hell and Tapper Zukie In Dub. His protégés, Knowledge, were signed to A&M Records but subsequently dropped. His fortunes improved further with the release of Peace In The Ghetto and Tapper Roots, as well as popular singles such as "She Want A Phensic" and his first big Jamaican hit, "Oh Lord".

Returning to Jamaica, Zukie became active again in his local community. Largely silent during the late 80s, he returned with a vengeance in the 90s, producing huge hits for stars such as Dennis Brown and Beres Hammond, and opening his own compact disc centre on Eastwood Park Road in Kingston in 1994.

Encyclopedia of Popular Music
Copyright Muze UK Ltd. 1989 - 2005
Source - BBC Music Profiles

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