Crack Of Dawn – 1976 – Crack Of Dawn

I’ve been a fan of Funk My Soul since shortly after starting my FaceBook page Fat City Vinyl & Music Blog – I rather randomly came across FMS one day and was impressed with not only the records shared, but the depth of knowledge about all facets of soul & funk music and have since been introduced to many artists and recordings I was not previously familiar with, or had only heard of in passing. My page (also on Instagram and YouTube as Fat City Vinyl) and FMS share a similar format and mandate to share great music from our collections which we are inspired by – while funk and soul are certainly on the decks at Fat City Vinyl it is my long time love of Jamaican music that has resonated with many visitors; accordingly when asked to share a record from my collection with the audience of FMS I immediately thought of Crack Of Dawn, a historic Canadian release rooted in 1970’s soul and funk but also with a strong reggae and Jamaican connection. Thank you Funk My Soul for continually promoting quality music and for giving me this opportunity to speak to your fans!

Tracks
A1 Keep The Faith 2:44
A2 Board Walking 3:02
A3 Somebody’s Watching You 3:10
A4 The Key 2:50
A5 Oh What A Feeling 2:45
B1 It’s Alright (This Feeling)2:39
B2 I Can’t Move No Mountains 2:32
B3 Boobie Ruby 2:20
B4 Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is 2:49
B5 Stand Tall 2:49

Inside this unassuming cover is a serious slice of Toronto area funk and soul with a strong reggae connection and history.

Crack Of Dawn was the first black Canadian group signed to a major label; the band (primarily made up of young Jamaican- and West Indian Canadians) revolved around two brothers, Carl and Rupert Harvey, plus Carl Otway on drums and fronted by Glen Ricketts (active to this day as a solo reggae artist).

Carl Harvey (guitar & bass) is one of the unsung legends of Canadian music; inspired by Jimi Hendrix he took up the guitar and between Crack Of Dawn and his own solo work (he recorded a solo album, Ecstasy Of Mankind, in the late 70’s which was reissued by the Makasound label in 2005 after a history of unauthorized releases), he made frequent trips back to Jamaica, recording for producer Bunny “Striker” Lee and racking up credits on numerous albums including Kaya Dub with Lee’s house band the Aggrovators and Johnny Clarke’s King In The Arena. He frequently backed up keyboard maestro Jackie Mittoo, appearing on Jackie’s albums In Cold Blood and the Canadian release Let’s Put It All Together – it was Mittoo in fact who spotted a bootleg copy of Ecstasy Of Mankind in the UK and alerted Harvey. Carl also played on Willi Williams’ Messenger Man LP and produced the worldwide pop/reggae hit Hands Up by Sway; in the early 1980’s he joined Toots & the Maytals, beginning a long association with the group and appearing on the Grammy winning 2004 release True Love as well as sharing stages around the world with the top names in the rock music industry.

Crack Of Dawn lays down a strong dose of soul and funk with a subtle Christian message on opener Keep The Faith and the Stevie Wonder styled The Key (which appeared as a single along with the bubbling Chuck Jackson penned It’s Alright). A cover of Crowbar’s 1971 hit Oh What A Feeling adds a thrumming stadium rock touch while Glen Ricketts contributes original songs Somebody’s Watching You, the salaciously funky Boobie Ruby and the Marvin Gaye style growler Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is. Rupert Harvey closes the album with his own Stand Tall with a funk-reggae feel.

A radically different band lineup released Horizons in 1981; the Harveys had departed with Rupert helping to found successful 80’s Toronto reggae band Messenjah (with Carl producing their 1987 album Cool Operator) and releasing two solo albums as Ojiji.

 

Thank you Fat City Vinyl & Music Blog for your amazing contribution and for introducing me and  FMS visitors on this brilliant album. 

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20 Comments
  • Zoe
    Posted at 21:51h, 09 April 2017 Reply

    Awesome LP. Thanks to Fat City Vinyl & Music Blog that brought it into surface.

  • Salino
    Posted at 09:38h, 10 April 2017 Reply

    Those clips are so promising. Thank u so very much.

  • Darman
    Posted at 09:48h, 10 April 2017 Reply

    Yessssssssss Never heard it before. Superb post folks.

  • JamalR
    Posted at 11:52h, 10 April 2017 Reply

    stunning vocals
    great arrangement 😇😇

  • Alessandro
    Posted at 12:22h, 10 April 2017 Reply

    Oh man, this is exactly what I was looking for. So goooood.

  • Ray Hamilton
    Posted at 16:05h, 10 April 2017 Reply

    What an awesome and talented group of people.

  • Freddie
    Posted at 00:13h, 11 April 2017 Reply

    wow – never heard of this group and that’s a shame. thanks for your efforts.

  • Lorentzo
    Posted at 00:27h, 11 April 2017 Reply

    The era of the best music ever

  • Fener
    Posted at 09:47h, 11 April 2017 Reply

    Thank you for this wonderful share which I’d like to explore more.

  • Gigi
    Posted at 12:01h, 11 April 2017 Reply

    Amazing. Love love love from Italy. Happy Easter.

  • Sean Allen
    Posted at 10:03h, 12 April 2017 Reply

    Quality post. ” Keep The Faith” and “Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is” are my favs.

  • joe
    Posted at 10:53h, 12 April 2017 Reply

    Thanks for bringing me hours of joy! A beautiful piece .

  • Uma
    Posted at 09:58h, 13 April 2017 Reply

    Just so dam sexy…

  • Erin
    Posted at 10:50h, 13 April 2017 Reply

    I’m feelin it………

  • Daphnee Ross
    Posted at 09:54h, 14 April 2017 Reply

    totally out of sight❤

  • klaus
    Posted at 17:29h, 14 April 2017 Reply

    Magic pure magic

  • Raymond
    Posted at 14:22h, 15 April 2017 Reply

    wooow dude a gold area

  • Aaron England
    Posted at 19:05h, 15 April 2017 Reply

    Delicious!!! Amazing site.

  • Lonnie
    Posted at 18:48h, 18 April 2017 Reply

    This joint is kind of dope!

  • Christopher
    Posted at 22:21h, 18 April 2017 Reply

    Looks delish! Thanks Nikos! 🙂

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