In 2012, after more than half a century of DJing, the legendary Duke Vin passed away.
Duke Vin had one of the best collections of Jamaican music in the world and was famous for having what was believed to be the only existing original copy of the Derrick Harriott produced, reggae tune, “The Tickler”. As a selector, Duke Vin favoured rhythm & blues, ska, rocksteady and reggae from the 50s, 60s and 70s.
Duke Vin began his career in the early 1950s as a selector for Tom The Great Sebastian — the first major Sound System in Jamaica. He moved to London later in the decade, introducing England to Jamaican rhythm & blues and ska through his own Sound, which was the first in the UK. Duke Vin continued to play at the Notting Hill Carnival, on Gaz Mayall's Rockin' Blues Sound, until a few years ago.
During the 1960s, Duke Vin played at London's top West End clubs: the original Marquee club on Oxford Street and in its new premises on Wardour Street, as well as The Flamingo, also on Wardour Street.
Right On! was honoured to present Duke Vin on Saturday 13th September 2003 at The Thirteen Club in Gerrard Street, Chinatown. It was a rare chance to hear him play in a West End club — a stone's throw from the location of The Flamingo where he played in the 1960s. He played a 2.5 hour set on the decks, with The Matador on the mic, and the capacity crowd were captivated.