A Bit Like You And Me Radio

May 14, 2013

Dandy Livingstone - Rudy, A Message to You (1967)

Born in Kingston, Jamaica on December 14th, 1943, this Jamaican musician moved to the United Kingdom when he was fifteen years old. After jamming with a friend in his apartment building, a neighbor secretly recorded him and distributed the sessions on Planetone Records, effectively getting his name “out there” without his even realizing it. When the London-based record company Carnival Records was looking for a Jamaican duo, Dandy Livingstone applied for the spot by double-tracking his audio. It worked; soon Livingstone was releasing records using this technique under the misleadingly duo name of Sugar & Dandy. His success led him to signing with multiple record companies and recording songs such as “What a Life,” “Suzanna Beware the Devil,” and his hit heard below. He also spent a lot of time successfully producing other artists. Around 1971, Livingstone briefly moved back to Jamaica, but returned to the UK in 1973. He hadn’t performed live since 1972, but was scheduled to perform at the International Ska Festival in London, 2012. Although Livingstone reportedly was present for the soundcheck before going on stage, he never actually performed. Livingstone, still alive today, has released more than ten full length albums.

Written and originally recorded by today’s artist, this song is primarily remembered for the cover version recorded by The Specials in 1979. Interestingly, the trombone player Rico Rodriguez played on both Livingstone’s and The Specials’ versions. Livingstone’s version of the song featured the B-Side “Nite Klub” and never charted. Besides the cover by The Specials, the song has also been covered by the Barenaked Ladies, Amy Winehouse, and sampled by the punk band Propagandhi.

album art

Dandy Livingstone - Rudy, A Message to You (1967)

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Lyrics:

Stop your runnin' about
It's time you straighten right out
Stop your runnin' around
Making problems in town

Rudy, a message to you
Rudy, a message to you

You're growing older each day
You want to think of your future
Or you might wind up in jail
And you will suffer

Rudy, a message to you
Rudy, a message to you

Stop your runnin' about
It's time you straighten right out
Stop your runnin' around
Making trouble in the town

Rudy, a message to you
Rudy, a message to you

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