VP Records Matriarch Pat Chin Pens Memoir

Pat Chin VP Records

Pat Chin

by Howard Campbell

NEW YORK – A memoir tracing Pat Chin’s remarkable 60-year career in the music business, will be released this summer. The yet-titled book also looks at how the VP Records matriarch juggled commerce and raised a family.

Chin, 82, said she began work on the project one year ago. It gives insight into  the sexism she faced in a male-dominated industry, especially in the early days of VP Records which she co-founded in 1979 with her husband Vincent.

“My book will shed some light on that. It’s a story I felt should be told,” she said.

Pat was a trainee nurse when she met Vincent (also known as Randy) in the late 1950s. He fixed jukeboxes throughout Kingston, Jamaica’s capital, and was about to enter the music business as a producer.

Her grandparents, who were from China, settled in Portland, a parish in eastern Jamaica, during the early 1900s. Vincent’s father was Chinese and his mother black.

They made a formidable team by establishing Randy’s record label and recording studio in downtown Kingston. It was the hub for top artists like The Wailers, Lord Creator, The Skatalites, Augustus Pablo and Burning Spear.

Miss Pat, as she is known in music circles, believes more Jamaicans should document their country’s music history.

“People will write it and don’t write it good. I hope as we go further we’ll have many more people writing about our culture to preserve it. We have to preserve it,” she stated.

Vincent Chin died in 2003 at age 65, but he lived long enough to see the independent company he and his wife started 41 years ago, become a powerhouse, with their children Chris, Randy and Angela holding senior positions.

VP Records has distributed the biggest names in dancehall/reggae, from Beenie Man to Beres Hammond, Garnet Silk, Lady Saw, Etana, Wayne Wonder and Sean Paul.

Pat Chin says generosity was her husband’s most commendable trait.

“My husband was a sociable person, he never under-rated people. He mingled a lot with the ones who never have it.”

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