Count Matchuki – More Scorcher

21st September 1969 · 1960s, 1969, Music, Reggae

Count Matchuki was the original deejay. The founding father of toasting – and, by extension, the forefather of rap.

I’d guess that even most reggae fans won’t know the name Winston Cooper – aka Count Matchuki – but he was the original deejay. As such, you might argue that he is the founding father not just of toasting but of rap.

In Jamaica the deejay is not the guy who chooses the records (that’s the job of the Selecta) but the guy who raps – toasts – over the top of them. Matchuki (so named for his habit of chewing matches) started out waaaay back in the pre-reggae pre-rocksteady pre-ska RnB 1950s.

He modelled his talkover style – first heard uncredited on Skatalites records, none of which I can track down – on jive-talking black American radio DJs.

This is an early recorded example of Matchuki’s style from 1969, demonstrating his prototype toasting over an ska tune by The Bassies called Things Come Up To Bump.