Entertainment

Miss Pat: My Reggae Music Journey Book Tour in Jamaica

by Howard Campbell

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Pat Chin, co-founder of Randy’s Records and VP Records, says it is critical she tells her story as a reggae pioneer to young Jamaicans, because many have little knowledge of the music’s history.

Chin is here promoting her book, Miss Pat: My Reggae Music Journey, which was released in the United States in March, 2021. She has done radio and television interviews, and signings at a number of locations including University of the West Indies and Alpha Institute.

At each stop, Chin recalls how she and her husband Vincent started a small retail record store in 1958 that evolved into VP Records, the world’s largest distributor of reggae.

“I hope Jamaicans will really want to hear my story because I’ve been here 64 years doing reggae music. Some of the younger generation don’t know what a jukebox is, and don’t know what kind of struggle we had to get reggae on the radio,” she said.

Pat Chin with professor Donna Hope
Pat Chin with professor Donna Hope, lecturer at the University of the West Indies. Occasion was the August 26 launch of her book, Miss Pat: My Reggae Music Journey, at the school’s Mona campus in Jamaica.

At the UWI, ‘My Reggae Music Journey’ was officially launched by professor Donna Hope. Chin also donated funds to assist two students (Teain Henry and Ashane Robertson) pursue scholarships at the Alpha Institute, formerly the Alpha Boys School.

She donated copies of her book to the Jamaica Library Service and National Library of Jamaica.

While Vincent and Pat Chin got involved in music in 1958, it was not until four years later that they opened Randy’s Record Mart in downtown Kingston. Jamaica had just gained independence from Britain.

“There was a lot of merry-making and excitement in the streets. It was a productive time…everyone was happy and people were putting out good Jamaican music,” she said.

With Kimberly Patterson
Pat Chin with Kimberly Patterson of BET TV drama series, The Family Business.

The Chins’ story is captured in her 209-page book which details the transformation of Jamaican popular music from small-time hustle to a multi-million dollar industry.

While they had success with Randy’s, the husband-and-wife team soared with VP Records which they opened in 1979 shortly after moving their family to Queens, New York. The label became a hub for dancehall’s biggest names and traditional reggae acts like Beres Hammond, the company’s marquee artist.

Vincent died in 2003 but Pat has helped guide the business with her sons Chris and Randy, and daughter Angela.

 

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