King Stitt – The First KING of the Danchall

King Stitt: The First King of the Dancehall

After posting this article about reggae legend Daddy U-Roy yesterday my daddy linked me on facebook saying that he thought another old time deejay, King Stitt, was the one who started ‘toasting’ in the Jamaica dancehall. ‘Toasting’ today, is equivalent to deejaying or rapping. When these pioneers chanted over the pure riddim on vinyl.. dub music and dancehall deejaying began its journey to 2011.

So I went to more sources and of course King Stitt and U-Roy are two names that you have to mention if you talking about how dancehall music began.

King Stitt aka Lee Van Kleef was born 2 years before Daddy U-Roy. He was born Winston Sparks on September 17, 1940 in Kingston. He was known as “The Ugly One” because he was born with a facial disfigurement but as if it was his reason and right to be a star and his face be known, King Stitt began his music career in 1956 with Sir Coxsone Dodd’s Downbeat Sound.

So really and truly it is not quite outright who created the toasting style and here are are few more interesting points about these two world music greats:

-they’re both Virgo’s and one is called ‘Daddy’, the other ‘King’..both titles of leaders, nurturers, governors; without a doubt they are both responsible for the dancehall style

-they both were on Sir Coxsone Dodd’s set at the same time. King Stitt was on the lead set while U-Roy played on the 2nd set

-After 1968 King Stitt recorded extensively with Clancey Eccles on his Clandisc Label. Eccles is another Jamaican music pioneer who sits in an indecisive decision on who created the word ‘reggae’ (some say Toots and the Maytals)

-King Stitt is the oldest living deejay

-King Stitt was the first deejay to be crowned in Jamaica. A dance was held called “The Crowning of King Stitt” and he became the first reigning ‘King of the Dancehall”

-King Stitt himself in the interview posted above says that another person Count Machuki was the first Deejay in Jamaica.

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