Words by Jesse Serwer—
With Jamaican independence celebrations just days away, VP Records is set to drop its Out of Many, 50 Years of Reggae compilation on Tuesday, July 31. The three-disc set, which features one song from each of the 50 years since Jamaica gained its independence, begins and ends with the same tune: “Independent Jamaica” originally recorded by Lord Creator in 1962 and covered, on the compilation’s only previously unreleased track, by Peetah Morgan (of Morgan Heritage) and Hollie Cook.
What’s interesting here is that, despite the song’s patriotic sentiments and the original’s status as Jamaica’s official independence song, both versions feature non-Jamaican vocalists. Though living in Jamaica at the time he recorded “Independent Jamaica” with VP Records founder Vincent “Randy” Chin in 1962, Lord Creator was from Trinidad. And you can read all about Hollie Cook’s British and Lucian roots in our exclusive interview with her here. Stream Hollie and Peetah Morgan’s version of “Independent Jamaica,” then check out the original below, and head over to NPR’s website to hear disc one of the Out of Many comp.
Hollie Cook and Peetah Morgan, “Independent Jamaica”