Yea, I Have a Goodly Heritage (Digital Reggae), 2012 89cm x 59cm acrylic on masonite
The first Fitter Family Contest was held at the Kansas State Free Fair in 1920 with support from the American Eugenics Society’s Committee on Popular Education. Competitors submitted an “Abridged Record of Family Traits,” and a team of medical doctors performed psychological and physical exams on family members. Each family member was given an overall letter grade of eugenic health. All contestants with a B+ or better received bronze medals bearing the inscription, “Yea, I have a goodly heritage.”
In 1981 Casio Computer Company (est. 1946), already well-known as a manufacturer of LCD watches and electronic pocket calculators, produced the midsize Casio MT-40 keyboard. It featured a built-in monophonic bass accompaniment pattern based on Somethin’ Else (1959) by Eddie Cochran, a song which mimics Little Richard’s recording of Keep A-Knockin’ (1957), itself a cover version, originally written in the late 1920’s by Perry Bradford.
In 1985 Prince Jammy and Wayne Smith, used the Casio MT-40’s synthesized bass accompaniment pattern of Somethin’ Else as the basis for Under Me Sleng Teng, the premier and flagship song of digital reggae. The Sleng Teng riddim is among the most versioned (rerecorded) of digital reggae riddims, listing around 380 versions.