Eddy Ford - Whip them

A: Eddy Ford – Whip them

B: Eddy Ford – If you had known


1972, the year this Eddy/Eddie Ford track was released, was an election year in Jamaica. And although most run-ups to elections on the little island are notorious because of the increase of (political) gang related violence, as was the case in the early 70’s I’m sure, this particular fight between the conservative JLP and the leftwing PNP was also fought on another level. A musical one..

PNP leader Michael Manley received the “rod of correction” from none other than Haile Selassie himself during the latter’s visit to Jamaica, and he used this as a symbol many a time in his political campaigns. Waving his rod he quickly found himself a big following (also among rasta’s, – who were frowned upon – whom he promised a better treatment) and a new nickname: Joshua. Come ’72, Manley not only used his rod to get votes, he smartly decided to use music too. His campaign slogan was taken from the impeccable Delroy Wilson track “Better must come” and a slew of tunes related to Joshua or the Rod were soon recorded by anyone supporting PNP. From Max Romeo, to Lee Perry via Niney to…Eddie Ford.

Calling for peace between quarrelling parties, this Eddie Ford approach is a soulful one. And that’s exactly what won me over. But maybe mr Gibbs (a JLP supporter, by the way) wasn’t too happy with it? Another version of this, called ‘Whip them Jah Jah” was also released on the Jogib label, adding shouts, a nice break (Kenneth Power/Ken Parker overdubs?) and a female backing choir. Both version are hard to get by these days. There aren’t much (or should I write ‘none’) samplers out there which feature either take of the song, which is a shame if you ask me. It is exactly this kind of tune that is worth unearthing: almost forgotten, but quality tunes from day dot.

“If you had known” is a fine piece of Jamaican soul. Nothing more, nothing less. It was also released on an Island 7inch and it sounds very familiar somehow. Is it an R&B cover? And while we’re at it, who exactly is Eddie Ford? Anyone?


Label: Jogib (Ja)
Release date: 1972
Riddim: original

(originally posted on 16-07-11)



  • pressurebeat says:
    9 November 2014 at 21:48



    the_voice_of_reason said…

    Eddie Ford also recorded “Guess This Riddle” for Duke Reid.

    “Too Late Shall Be Your Cry” appears to be based upon a gospel tune, that was popular in the Caribbean – as a secular tune this version is not dissimilar to one by the Draytons Two from Barbados on their LP “Raw Spouge”, while St Vincentian gospel singer Shirley V Browne uses a more religious lyric.

    Turning to the A-side, this is a “country reggae” sound. It uses the melody and lyrics of the old folk/mento song “Dip Dem Bedward”, also recorded in 1976 by the Starlites as “Dip Them Jah Jah” for Alvin “GG” Ranglin. The song can apparently be traced back to a folk prophet (and charlatan) called Bedward, who rose to prominence in August Town, St Andrew, in the 1840s.


    Pressure Beat said…

    Will seek out the gospel versions as well.

    And yes, the A side is indeed Dip dem. Couldn’t find a youtube link of that so left it out. Didn’t know the Starlites version, though. Sounds like hotel circuit reggae > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCWZV1eJ9hw

    Thanks for the input Voice of Reason. That’s deep knowledge on display there.


    the_voice_of_reason said…

    Stanley Beckford of the Starlites/Stanley and the Turbines did play along the north coast on the hotel circuit as you suggest, but his roots were very much in the mento tradition, and his high-pitched vocals were very reminiscent of Alerth Bedassie from Chin’s Calypso Sextet. He died of throat cancer in 2007, having performed for over thirty years. That vocal style was never fashionable in Kingston, where r’n’b held sway in the 1940s and 1950s, but many “country” performers like Astley “Stage Lion” Dixon, the Prince Brothers, the Ewartonians and Easton Clarke sing in a very high register.

    The best known in the “mainstream” might be Leo Graham, who sang in a very country style on his discs for Perry and Gibbs


    rastalandes said…

    Another version of this,called ‘Whip them Jah Jah” was also released on the Jogib label, and on JOGIBS RECORDS. The B side is called I and I a-go Whip Them performed by Kenneth Power. Good voice.



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