Sheila Rickards (Shella Record) – Jamaican Fruit of African Roots

The story behind not only this track, but the  people involved, is amazing. Sheila Rickards (who had at the time of recording was simply referred to as ‘Shella Record’) was the lady responsible for the vocal on a 1975 King Tubby dub, however the original version was never released in its native Jamaica. That was until the story was picked up some years later by Chris Flanagan, and the folks responsible for the (aptly named) Shella Records.
”This reissue (if you can call it that) is the culmination of a 10 year obsession to try and find out more about the song’s enigmatic singer Sheila Rickards. It all started in a musty Canadian thrift store with the discovery of an incredible 10 cent record credited to one ‘Shella Record’…”

For all the detail you will ever need and to find out more about the possibility of a pre-order, you can head over to the label’s website and drop them a line. Until that becomes available you can check the audio samples below, each one taking a short look at an element of the release (namely the original, the dub, and the incredible acapella).
As if that wasn’t enough to be getting on with, it also seems that the people responsible for tracking down Bunny Lee – the man responsible for the recording – filmed the entire journey.
 
”The search has been filmed from the outset and will culminate in the documentary film Shella Record, A Reggae Mystery. Please stay tuned to this site for more details.”
To summarise; this track is incredible. A massive amount of acknowledgement should go out to all involved in bringing this rarity to the foreground of reggae music once again. If you can, make sure you grab a copy, and they might get the reward they deserve.

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