PRINCE WILLIAMS – CHANNEL SEVEN

Prince Williams - Channel seven

A: Prince Williams – Channel seven

B: Joe Gibbs & the Professionals – Faith version

 

One of the first tunes that got my ear tuned into Joe Gibbs’ productions was a toast over the Nicky Thomas’ hit “Have a little faith.” The first time I heard it was some 10 odd years ago and that was also the amount of time it took me to find a copy. Which was worth it, because the track I then believed was named “Channel Seven” is one of the finest examples of the art that is deejaying.

When I finally found a copy on e-bay, I was over the moon. But then I played it and found out that I had bought a next dj version of the Nicky Thomas hit. Wait, what?! There are two versions? A quick check of compilation albums I own which include the track I was looking for, learned that both Rocky Gibbs & Trojan credit the track to Prince Williams and name it “Channel Seven”, so I wasn’t mistaking when I bought this. On my quest I often came across another tune by Prince Williams. Although a fine side, the Lee Perry produced slackness that is ‘Action Wood‘ sounded nothing alike what I was looking for. Instead, Action Wood sounded a lot more like the version I had just received.

So, either Prince Williams is a very versatile dj, or the tune I was actually looking for was done by someone else. Someone like Dennis Alcapone, perhaps. Because if anything the ‘Have a little faith’ version I was after sounds like him. A hint that is also gestured by the Roots Knotty Roots website, who state it might be Prince Williams impersonating Alcapone. The link between Alcapone’s El Paso soundsystem, who often linked with Gibbs recording artist Lizzy, and Joe Gibbs makes a move like that a bit unlikely.

The sing-talkback style of the Alcapone version is nothing short of sublime. The toaster is following every move Nicky Thomas makes, adding clever and funny remarks to the story being told and, in the process, making sure he gets his friend out of love troubles. The other version, featured here, is less sublime. In fact, the two versions of “Have a little faith” are worlds apart, both in delivery as well as in quality.

Searching for Prince Williams on the web is almost impossible, due to a certain UK royalty who’s always in the news, and my personal library reveils no info at all about the dj. So it’s quite hard to find out anything about the man, his style and his presumed skills on the mic. Prince Williams is either a pseudonym or a dj on a Kingston soundsystem who got lucky in the midst of the dj craze that swept the island in the early 70’s. His cut of ‘Have a little Faith’ is definitely not bad, and I’m glad to have found it. It showcases a witty dj who’s boasting over the tune as if playing on an actual soundsystem instead of being in a studio. With added echo to his voice as if to emphasize that, Prince Williams could have just as easily announced a new date and place for his soundsystem to perform as opposed to what he is actually doing on this disc. Either way, it would have sounded pretty much the same.

 

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Label: Pressure Beat (Ja)
Matrix: DSR-JG-7456
Release date: 1973
Riddim: Have a little faith

(originally posted on 18-09-11)

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1 Comment on PRINCE WILLIAMS – CHANNEL SEVEN

  • pressurebeat says:
    9 November 2014 at 22:58

    COMMENTS FROM THE OLD SITE

    3 comments:

    the_voice_of_reason said…

    Is the deejay on this track not Prince Francis, who cut a dozen or so tunes for Coxsone (“Rocking Machine”, “Ethiopia”, “Rockfort Shock”, “Street Doctor”, “President Rock” and the remarkable “African Skank”)?

    No idea who deejays on the Atra cut though

    9/20/2011

    Pressure Beat said…

    Could be, there are similarities. But then again, there were also a lot of soundsystems playing out and each deejay seems to have tried his luck on record (apart from Brigadier Jerry, who needed some persuasion and only recorded after a decade or so).

    I have no idea who Prince Williams is, really. Here’s another cut he made: http://www.reggaecollector.com/en/detail/index.php?number=44090

    9/21/2011

    nickfa said…

    I might be way off the beaten track here but at times it almost sounds like Scotty

    9/22/2011

    Reply

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