Eight top Jamaican singers and singing groups are now trying their hand competing in the “Festival Song” competition of the 1966 Jamaica Festival.
The Blues Buster, Count Owen, Techniques, The Paragons, Joe Higgs, Derrick Harriott, The Maytals and Winston Samuels are finalists from a group of 30 entries. Since Monday evening June 6, they have been appearing at theatres throughout the island with the Popular Music and Mento competition of the festival and have been receiving encouraging applause from audiences.
The winning songs as being chosen by the audiences at shows on which the artist perform. The song will be known as “The 1966 Jamaica Festival Song” and will be used throughout the Festival.
“A Happy Man” is the Blues Busters’ presentation, while “Remember Me” is offered by The Paragons, “Festival Is Great” by Count Owen, “All For Mankind”, by Joe Higgs, and “Our Time Fe Celebrate” by Derrick Harriot. The Techniques are presenting “Foot Stomping”, The Maytals “Bam Bam” and Winston Samuels “I’ll Forever Stand”.
Musical accompaniment is being supplied by Byron Lee and The Daragonaires and Granville Williams and His Orchestra.
Most of the Artists have been on the local musical stage for several years, most of them having had several No. 1 tunes on local hit parade charts.
From The Jamaican Gleaner
The Jamaica Festival’s New Festival Song competition has been won by the popular singing group “The Maytals”. They won by island-wide acclaim.
Announcement of this was made Friday at the Desnoes and Geddes Hospitality room where a -count-down- had been progressing for the better part of the day. At a special ceremony, the winners and runners-up were congratulated by Mr Hugh
Nash, Festival Officer and Mr Jim Lim, Sales manager
of Desnoes and Geddes Ltd, who sponsored the Island-wide contest at a cost of £500. Mr Adrian Robinson was chairman of the function.
The Maytals won with what appears slated to be a popular number, “Bam Bam.”
Runner-up was Derrick Harriott with ‘Our time fe celebrate” while In third place was the Blues Busters with “A Happy Man “. The Maytals won £250 as their first prize. Derrick
Harriott won £100 for his second spot and the Blues Busters will share £50 for the third place position, £20 each went to the other five finalists who In order of placing were Winston Samuels who sang “I’ll forever Stand”, The Techniques with “Foot-stomping,” Count Owen with “Festival in the Air” The Paragons with “Remember Me” and Joe Higgs with “For all Mankind”.
The Festival Song Competition, was designed to allow the top recording artistes in the island a form of competition parallel to the amateur artistes who compete in the
Pop and Mento Contest and to provide an opportunity for finding a theme song which can be used in the Street Festivities of the Jamaica Festival, such as the Festival Street Parade
The top recording artistes in the island were invited to participate and after eliminations the eight finalists were chosen. They then sang their compositions to audiences all over the country wherever the Festival Pop and Mento Contest Shows were held. The voting for the winners was by ballot by the audiences at each theatre where the show was presented.
On Friday the votes were counted at Desnoes and Geddes by a two-way tie up with the radio stations.
The song is to be recorded by the Festival Office for general distribution before the Jamaica Festival which begins Thursday, July 28.
From The Jamaican Gleaner
“I did “Bam Bam” for Festival. When you wrote for Festival you had to write and blot out, write and blot out. First you had to know what a Festival song was. The Festival people told that the song must be short and spicy and have good words and as anyone hear it for the first time they must be able to sing it the same time. So it shouldn’t have too many words. And it mustn’t be a love song like “O baby I love you”. “Bam Bam” means I don’t trouble no man, but if he trouble me it will be like a fight. You know stand up for myself. It’s sort of a revolutionary song.”
“Toots” Hibbert from the book Reggae Routes by Kevin O’Brien-Chang.
As far as I know the other finalists never recorded their entries.