Jamaican/Belizean Reggae Artiste
Susan was born ALLISON ANNE CADOGAN in Kingston, Jamaica to Belizean father the Rev. Claude Cadogan and Jamaican mother, Lola Veronica Cadogan (nee Dujon), a classical soprano.
Coming from a musical and religious family, she began singing in the church as a teenager. Anne, as she was called, never had a thought of ever being a professional singer but in mid 1974 her first single “Love my life” was recorded at The Black Ark studios in Kingston for producer Jerry Lewis. She was then asked by studio owner Lee ”Scratch” Perry to sing his version of 'Hurt so good' and so began her foray into the world of reggae music.
In early April of 1975 “Susan” (renamed by Lee Perry) shot to stardom when the single “Hurt so Good” raced up the BBC Charts in London. Susan was summoned to London and made the first of several appearances on "Top of the Pops", the famed weekly television chart show. "Hurt so good' peaked at #4 with a bullet before legal matters changed its course and later that year, signed to Magnet Records, her follow-up single “Love me Baby” produced by Peter Waterman was released and peaked at #21 on the charts. Then followed her now Collector's item LP “Susan Cadogan” produced by Perry and the LP “Doing it her way” produced by Waterman.
It is of note that before her British debut, the single "Hurt so Good" was #1 on ZDK Radio in the island of Antigua and Susan visited and did several shows there and in St. Kitts and Nevis.
Susan was then produced by OB International (Owen Brown) in Jamaica and the hit singles “Piece of my heart” and “Tracks of my tears” saw her named Female Artiste of the year in 1981. Her duet with Jamaican singer Ruddy Thomas “You know how to make me feel so good” produced by Hawkeye Records (London) was #1 for 8 weeks on the British Reggae Charts and broke into the BBC charts on the Virgin label. She has recorded 12 albums and numerous singles to date including many duets with Ruddy Thomas, Bunny“Rugs” Clarke, Glen Adams, Ken Boothe and Olly Riva.
Through the years Susan has worked with several international bands and producers some of whom are The Mad Professor (Ariwa Records UK), The Slackers Band (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Creole Records (Bruce White), Crabs Corporation of Argentina for Record Kicks (Italy), Glen Adams (Brooklyn, N.Y.) Mitch Girio of King Kong Records in Canada and most recently with The Magnetics Band out of Italy and Dr. Ring Ding (Richie Alexander) of Germany.
The EP “Take me Back”, produced by Mitch Girio was named among the top releases of 2016 in Europe. Susan is constantly recording and her new album "The girl who cried" also produced by Girio is now on the market released by Secret Records of London. Secret Records have also released the 1989 album "Chemistry of love" in a double package with "The girl who cried". Susan also recorded the album "Storybook Revisited for Secret Records in 2019.
Susan has been touring Europe and the UK for several years and most recently appeared on several shows from June through December 2019, touring Italy and Germany with The Magnetics Band. She also appeared on "THIS IS SKA" in Rosslau on June 22nd 2019 with The Magic Touch Band, on MADNESS "House of Fun" on December 1st in Minehead and on December 14th 2019 on "The Christmas Reggae Festival" in Reading, UK. The Covid pandemic caused the cancellation of future shows during 2020-2021 and in 2022 Susan was forced to cancel engagements due to personal health issues.
In April 2023 Susan made her first appearances in 4 years at The London International Ska Festival to great applause and response and also did shows at The Pizza Express (Soho, London), Skamouth, Birmingham, Portsmouth, Skabour and others .... all were very well received.
Many years have passed but Susan still has her expressive, fine soprano voice and a deep love of her art evident in her new music and on her shows, where her professionalism, dynamic stage presence and natural aptitude are loved by all. She has been hailed by many as the “Queen of Lover's rock” but her recordings and performances embody all beats of Jamaica's beautiful rhythms..
She remains one of Trojan Records foremost female artistes through 49 years in the industry and her plans are to continue to perform live and do more recordings and collaborations for as long as she is physically able.
2024 marks 50 years since Susan Cadogan's first recording and the beginning of her music career.
SUSAN CADOGAN, hailed by many as having the "sexiest voice in reggae" remains one of Jamaica's finest exports to the International music scene. Her musical journey continues.....
2024 will mark 50 years since I stepped into THE BLACK ARK studios of LEE "SCRATCH" PERRY and started singing away! What a momentous day that was for me and I never guessed the change it would bring in my life. I have been recording and doing live work off and on since then but from 2009 have concentrated on touring and doing live gigs to date.
I really enjoyed the past shows that I did in the UK in May through October 2023 after being away for 4 years due to the impact of Covid and some major spinal surgery. I had to stop again to have knee replacemnt surgery but am safely through and ready to continue this love affair I have with music!
I really feel such love...the drums and bass...the rhythms, just do something to me that I can't explain! I may not have the greatest, loudest, biggest voice but whatever it is that Lee Perry saw in me, I am and will be eternally grateful for his great productions and for dubbing me "Susan".
I have done some recordings due out soon in collaboration wth a German Producer and I am also working on a new personal release before June..
I look forward fervently to celebrating my 50 years ...50 long eventful, tumultous and fascinating years in this crazy musical maze that just holds me captive!
I give thanks for my many blessings and my safe passage through the past challenges.
One blessed love until....Susan
I am so happy and give thanks that after living through the covid pandemic and two major surgeries that I am able to return to the music and do what I love.
I thank all the promoters for their understanding and goodness to me, its been 3+ years!!
I thank my doctors and nurses and all who have helped me stand and walk again. I know I am not as frisky but I'll be putting my best foot forward as the music and 'riddims' fill my heart and soul.
Give thanks for life and love and MUSIC...Let it play!
Please check under shows for where I will be performing in the UK as of April 7th until July 1st. 2023
Thank you everyone for the love and support always shown to me!
One big and blessed musical love.....Susan xxx
After the many years of Covid restrictions and then a year of surgery recuperation,Susan wil be returning to live performances in the UK as of April 2023.
I HAVE MISSED THE SHOWS AND EXCITEMENT OF PERFORMING WHICH CAME TO A HALT DURING THE PANDEMIC.
NOW THAT THINGS HAVE IMPROVED, I WAS SCHEDULED TO DO MANY SHOWS FROM MAY 2022 UNWARD. I AM SO SORRY THAT DUE TO PERSONAL ISSUES I HAVE HAD TO CANCEL ALL COMING SHOWS AND WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PERFORM AGAIN UNTIL LATE 2022 -2023.
MY THANKS TO PROMOTERS AND EVERYONE FOR UNDERSTANDING AND COOPERATION DURING THIS TIME.
Let the music play!...it's time again for the shows and singing that I love so much coming up next May 2022!! Let the music play and feel free, released and happy! Sing and dance and love the life you live!! In music you find an answer to each and every little challenge life may bring...it's the best and I give thanks to be a part of it all.
Wishing everyone well, stay safe and see you....
I know that festivals/shows/events will be postponed or cancelled due to the world wide pandemic of the COVID19 virus. I commiserate completely with the many promoters, agents, musicians and artistes who will be adversely affected. It is truly a sad and devastating time for everyone. I sincerely hope that things will be okay soon and that we will all be safe and well. One love and continued musical happiness....
The re make of Susan's 1981 track "Dont know why" will soon be on air worldwide and available.
Written by her brother Paul Cadogan, this song has been masterfully rerecorded by Mitch Girio, King Kong Records in Canada. Brendan Bauer plays one of the most mesmerizing bass lines on this track.
Brendan Bauer - bass
Mitch Girio - guitars, organ, percussion
Andrew McMullen - drums, percussion
Ronald Poon - upright piano
The track was voiced in Kingston, Jamaica at The Chalice Band House under the direction of Wayne Armond.
The track is now availableo on Bandcamp and ot on 45 rpm vinyl on the Parking Lots label from Japan.
JAMAICAN REGGAE ARTISTE
Susan Cadogan was born November 2nd 1951 in St. Andrew, Jamaica, the third child of Rev. Claude & Mrs. Lola Cadogan.
Susan spent several years of her childhood in her father’s homeland Belize (then called British Honduras), a quiet and chubby child whose life was touched by music from an early age. Her mother Lola, was a trained soprano who sang at church, official functions and also made a few 78 rpms. Her sister Jean loved music too and between them all, classical, sacred and secular music was always being played and sung in the home and there was also a piano which Susan eventually learnt to play. She loved to rock her baby brother to sleep so she could sing to him the many lullabies passed down by her Mother…she loved music and she loved to sing. After leaving high school and without knowing what she really wanted to do, she started working at the University of the West Indies Library in February 1973 until fate stepped in. This is her story…
In mid-1974, Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (JBC) DJ, Jerry Lewis, convinced Anne Cadogan, a 22 year old Library Assistant at the University of the West Indies Library, to try and sing a song he had written. From her early teens, Anne used to sing along while listening to The Platters, The Drifters and some of her early favorites but she had never dreamed of singing professionally. Nevertheless, she soon found herself at the Black Ark studio of Lee ‘Scratch” Perry recording the song Love My Life for Jerry Lewis. Perry was impressed and asked her if she would record a song for him too… the song was Hurt So Good. She knew the song well as her love of music kept her abreast of popular hits and she willingly recorded the single along with the trio the (soon to be Mighty) Diamonds doing background vocals.
Her life began to change from that night. Perry dubbed her “Susan” saying it was a “sexier” name and gave her tapes of songs to learn and she began to live for the weekends when, on Sundays, she would go to the Black Ark where she recorded track after track for what was to be her first Long Playing Album. The single Hurt So Good, after first creating a storm in the Eastern Caribbean, broke into the British Chart in early 1975 and Susan was called by the British company Magnet Records for promotional purposes and they whisked her away and installed her in Holiday Inn, Marble Arch in London. After some days, while the single was bubbling she made her first professional appearance as Susan Cadogan on the BBC’s “Top of the Pops” weekly record chart show after which the single soared into the top 30. Susan continued to appear on ‘Top of the Pops’ did extensive European radio and television appearances and received abundant press exposure. So began her foray into the frenetic and exacting world of show-biz.
Susan was eventually signed by Magnet Records, who had the legal rights to Hurt So Good at the time and began working on her second album, Doing It Her Way, with a new producer, Peter Waterman. The follow up single Love Me Baby penned by Waterman & Peter Shelley peaked at #21 on the charts. Hurt So Good eventually peaked at #4 earning a Silver Disc in the United Kingdom, and at #1 in South Africa earning a Gold Disc which Susan never received. She continued doing shows throughout Europe and settled down in London doing nightly Cabaret. She returned home to Jamaica after almost one year.
During this time period, Trojan records regained its rightful ownership of Hurt so Good and released many singles from the work Susan had done for Lee Perry. In 1975 Trojan finally released the Lee Perry produced album “SUSAN CADOGAN”.
After her Magnet contract expired, Susan recorded the singles Piece of my Heart, Tracks Of My Tears, and Don’t Know Why for Jamaican producer Owen ”OB” Brown and was named “Female Artiste of the Year” in 1981 by JBC Radio. Piece of my Heart peaked at #2 on the local charts and Tracks of my tears entered the top 20. Susan appeared on several stage shows working with the Fabulous Five and Sagittarius Bands among others, doing shows at Skateland, Fort Clarence Beach, Little Theater, the then Jonkanoo Lounge, and Shaw Park Hotel. She appeared on some television shows including Alphonso Walker’s “Where it’s at”.
In 1981, fellow artiste Ruddy Thomas introduced her to U.K. based producer Roy “Hawkeye” Forbes-Allen and Susan recorded seven tracks for Hawkeye including three duets with Ruddy Thomas. The single “You Know How to Make Me Feel So Good” topped the London Black Chart for 8 weeks earning them an award for Record of the year and broke into the BBC Chart on the Virgin label.
In 1992 Susan signed a contract with Ariwa Records in London and recorded the album Soulful Reggae produced by Mad Professor (Neil Fraser) but the needed boost to her career did not materialize. Susan toured Europe for a while with Mad Professor and his band The Robotics and after a few months returned to her Library position in Jamaica.
In 1998, Susan was lured back into the recording studio by Ruddy Thomas and the album Stealing Love was recorded for Bruce White of British-based Creole Records with Thomas doing production. The album was released in early 1999 (as a combination album with solo Ruddy Thomas tracks included) on the Rhino Label and a re-recording of You Know How to Make Me Feel So Good was released as a single.
In 2003 Susan released a new album “The Rhythm in You”, produced by Upsetter Glen ‘Capo’ Adams, who had worked with Susan during her 1974 Perry recording days. In the summer of 2003 she went on a 34 date European tour with Adams and the New York Ska band “The Slackers”. She received great audience response as the “Queen of Lover’s Rock” and headlined the Lover’s Rock night of the Lee “Scratch” Perry Meltdown Festival in London in June of 2003 receiving a standing ovation from the audience as they danced and sang along to her megahit Hurt So Good.
In 2004 Sincerely Susan - a collection of covers of some of her favourite classic oldies, again produced by Glen Adams, augmented by three tracks from her 1992 Chemistry of Love project was released. The early response from radio and retail was tremendous, and the album entered the New York Reggae Album Chart at the end of February and climbed to the top 5.
In 2007-8, Susan recorded again for British producer Mad Professor of Ariwa Records and the album “Two sides of Susan” was released by JVC Japan in March of 2008 and by ARIWA in September 2008 in London and Europe. A second album was also recorded during this time which is yet to be released by the company although many singles can be found online. Re-recordings of her classics Perry hits “Nice & Easy” and “Fever” were done for this album.
During the ensuing years Susan sang on several shows in the USA and UK inbetween staying at her hillside home in Jamaica, writing and sometimes recording.
In 2012 Susan was asked by Argentine Band “The Crabs Corporation” to collaborate on some music with them and Susan co-wrote the track “Day after Day” and wrote “Music is in love” for them through Record Kicks of Italy.
In 2013 Susan collaborated with “Friendly Fire Band” of Birmingham, UK in the production of the track “W(h)ere is the Love”. She wrote the lyrics and recorded the track in Kingston, Jamaica. It was mixed in London and released in May 2013 and a re-mix was also subsequently released.
In June 2013, Susan also recorded a duet with Jamaican veteran Ken Boothe. This brilliant track “Love Story” superbly played, produced and arranged by Wayne Armond (lead guitarist of CHALICE band ), has shown why both artistes are still going strong today through decades in the industry.
From October to November 2013 Susan appeared on several shows in the UK including the first ever UK Skamouth Festival in Great Yarmouth and in the following years has performed in Mexico, Argentina, USA and her main turf the UK.
Allison Anne Cadogan, pka SUSAN CADOGAN continues to record and perform today. Her Trojan Album produced by the infamous Lee “Scratch” Perry, has been re-released several times through the years and is considered a Collector’s item in the world of reggae music. The single “Hurt so good” and the many excellent releases through the years, has stamped Susan as one of Jamaica’s finest exports to the international music world.
Her love of music, natural ability and the special tone of her agile soprano are the same today as when she stepped into the Black Ark in 1974 and exploded on the British scene in 1975. Her musical journey continues……
SUSAN CADOGAN…International Queen of Lover’s Rock and singer of some of the finest reggae music out of Kingston, Jamaica.
Remembering my beautiful mother ….
Lola Veronica Cadogan (nee Dujon)
I have always been so close to my Mother, have lived most of my life at home where she always was…the sweetest, most caring and most perfect housewife and mother to my father and her children and grand and great grandchildren…a homemaker supreme!…that was Mummy! We had our ups and downs and butted heads from time to time but I would always do everything to make sure she had all she ever needed ….
I was the first to notice her little lapses in memory and her change in moods and actions. Mummy’s journey through Dementia and Alzheimer’s began around 2006…her strength and determination saw her through until she just could not cope. I would never wish this illness on anyone. It is so sad to see someone so vibrant and active lying there confused and not knowing where they were or even who they were…it was the most heart wrenching thing I have ever been through…..watching my mother fade away…..through 9 years until she finally gave up on the morning of October 5th, 2015.
I travel so often, up and downing in my unsettled manner and have saved all the letters Mummy used to write to me during these times, keeping me up to date on happenings at home, the good times and bad, and sending me love and blessings and even an occasional bank note or two for my pocket, regretting that it could not be more! She was such a caring Mother …when I almost died from a bad surgery she spent each night by my side in the hospital, sleeping on a chaise lounge just to be with me if I needed anything and when I went home, fed me like a baby , nourishing me back to health....Oh my Mama! what a sweet wonder you were!
Mummy had faded a bit, every time I saw her….when I was there, I would feed her, like she had fed me. Sometimes she would confuse gargling and drinking and when you gave her drink and saw her start to swish it about in her mouth, nothing could strop what was coming…”No Mummy, swallow…swallow!!” I would cry but better hurry and move cause “swoosh” all over she would let it fly!….although I tried to find something to make a joke off, in my usual manner…I would lock myself in the bathroom and cry and lay awake at nights and cry… quiet tears although sometimes they racked my body. I knew I was losing the constant in my life and there was nothing I could do…. It made me angry too and frustrated and helpless and sad. Not knowing when what would happen, whenever the phone rang, just wondering, wondering…. just wondering where did the time go! I remember the morning I found her almost naked on the floor unable to move. She had just gotten worse overnight and it was then we realized she needed professional care. This was such a help that lasted 10 months.
I had been home for three weeks but had to leave to travel to London. I had just gotten her a hospital bed as it was hard moving her and propping her up and she would cry when you had to move her. With the bed we could just wind her up and down and it was higher too making it easier to care for her….I had tried so long to get one and wish I had been able to get it sooner.
I left on October 3rd as I was to travel on the 13th and had to go to Florida and prepare for my trip…The morning of the 5th October, the call you never want to get came…answered my phone only to hear the wailing of my brother…I did not know what to do, I was alone. I did not know where to turn. Did not know what to do….it was like I was someone else and just acting my part, nothing felt real…I could not imagine that the face I had in my mind was not there anymore, the voice, so gentle, so full of manners, full of song, the laugh, the pouting mouth when things were not right, all the singing and favourite little sayings were not to be heard again? Impossible! and I feel like even now, it is not true. When I go home now, I pull the curtains and open her windows every morning and close them at night…put flowers on her dresser. Keep her room dust free and tidy as she would have done….but she is not there and on leaving it… every time a few tears escape...
What is this life? What is this beautiful life that turns so mean and cruel in a minute! Locked in time and space, we feel life goes on forever and ever in the same way, you do not even realize how things are changing until one day it comes like a bucket of ice cubed water over the head….a harsh and cold awakening to the fact that nothing is forever except death itself….death is forever. Hurts so bad to lose the beloveds of your life but mostly so your Mother.
I tried my best to give her a lovely service and the church was filled with the beautiful sound of her own voice entering and leaving the building. I sang/cried/spoke and I really felt and meant every word of this song, I sort of re wrote especially for her….…
Oh my Mama, to me you were so wonderful
Oh my Mama, to me you were so good
No one could be so gentle and so lovable
Oh my Mama, you always understood
Gone are the days, when you would take me in your arms
And with your songs, could turn my tears to laughter
Oh my Mama, so tender, so adorable
Deep in my heart, I’ll keep you everyday
Deep in my heart, I’ll miss you everyday
Oh my Mama, Oh my Mama!!
It has been five months and the hurt is still too raw to feel better. I still cry so very often when I least expect to…. Life goes on and so shall she in my heart, soul and life…she will go on.
I will never let go…..
Redhill Road, Kings Norton
Birmingham B38 9EH
WITH THE FRIENDLY FIRE BAND
3-7 Delancey Street
London NW1 7NL
WASSERBURG, ROSSLAU WITH THE STEADYTONES BAND
WITH THE FRIENDLY FIRE BAND
WITH THE FRIENDLY FIRE BAND
BIRTHDAY PARTY WITH COUNT SKYLARKIN AND THE FRIENDLY FIRE BAND
With THE FRIENDLY FIRE BAND