Lloyd Barnes (born June 17th 1944 in Jamaica, W.I.) is known in the music business as “Bullwackie” or “Wackies.” He is a veteran Jamaican musician and founder of the independent record label Wackies music.
Born in Jones Town, Kingston, during his teenager years, Barnes learned tailoring and began making clothes for many of the early Sound System selectors and pioneering artists like; Stranger Cole, Ken Booth, Joe White, Alton Ellis, Peter Tosh and many more. By the mid 1960’s when the Jamaican music renaissance started, Barnes got involved in the local music business, first as a sound engineer for the legendary Duke Reid’s Treasure Isle studio /label and later, he recorded two songs for Prince Buster. “Wackie” also honed his craft at the famous Studio One recording studio, in Kingston, where artist like Bob Marley and The Wailers, the Maytals and Burning Spear – all had their early recordings. As his love for the music grew, Barnes promoted dance sessions and arranged bus rides as part of his entertainment package.
In later years Barnes migrated to the United States of America where he attended trade school in Manhattan, New York and learned upholstering. He subsequently worked in building construction for a number of years, before the passion of his first love, music and entertainment, drew him back into the music industry. At nights, he would be a DJ, lugging turntables, crates of records, amplifiers and speakers on the subway with friends to do gigs in Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. This made him the first heavyweight sound system operator in New York City. It was not long after this that Barnes started recording in his home in New York City and making dub plates for his then famous “Bullwackies Disco.”
After a few years of becoming an established sound system operator and a reggae dance promoter, Barnes decided to build the first real reggae studio in New York City, located on 211 Street in the Bronx. However, the flood of people demanding the use of the studio, caused him to move to a larger place at 4731 White Plains Road, where he launch “Wackies House of Music.”
Wackies House of Music grew to become a successful recording studio and many Jamaicans artists subsequently benefitted from Barnes’ expertise and extensive knowledge of the music business. Some of these artiste included: Maxine Miller, Joy Cord, Annette Brigett, Love Joys, Claudette Brown, Jahia, Tegga, Clive Hunt, Beatty, Roy Robertson, Douglas Levy, Horace Andy, Sugar Minott, Milton Henry, Leroy (Heptones) Sibbles, Tyrone Evans, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Fabian Cooke (Paragons), Roland Alphonso, Jerry Johnson, Wayne Jarrett, K.C. White, Lloyd Hemmings, Lloyd Daley, Audley Rollins, Happy Love, Ras Clifton, Zonites, Joe Axumite, Noel Delahaye, Meditations, Joe Morgan, Mr. T, Jerry Harris, Jackie Mittoo, Lover D.I Dion Barnes, Chris Wayne, Max Romeo, Ken Booth, Jezrell, Mortie Butler, Ras Takashi, Echo Kadama, Ras Kinto, Yord Kano, Itopia Band, Willie Williams, Barrington Spence, Baba Leslie, Lloyd McTargaret, Jah Batta, Barry Vincent, Mickey Jarrett, Visionaries, Ras Zero, Frankie Jones, Clive Field Marshall, Steve Knight, Robert Minott, Earl Moodie, Jackie Brown, Tristan Palmer, Little John, Anthony Green, Saedo Alpha broundy, John Clarke, Franklin Isaac, Tony Jackson, Johnny Lover, Melvin and Lloyd, Coozie Mellers, Anthem, Reckles Breed, Andrew Ranks, Micheal Palmer, Mojo Nya Band, Joe Sealy, Owen Stewart, Rockstones, Shades, Super T, Kush, Africian Jamaicans, James B, Dennis Brown, George Chin, Wayne Chin, Karl Wright, Sadla, Jah Skerta, Jah Tuff, Andrea L’Amy, Andrew McCalla, Johnnie Osbourne, JR. Peterkin, Delroy Seralet, Cynthia Webber, Sylvester’s (Mary, Harold, Edmund), Sleepy Wonder, Mute Beat, Santa Ranking, Dillinger, Freddy McKay, Jahlaw, Keith Hudson, Glen Adams Tyrone Taylor, Winston Francis and many more.
Barnes, from a family of five, extended his unselfish love and generosity not only to his friends in the music fraternity, but also to his many family members and relatives; but most importantly, to his large number of siblings. Recently, this “sibling loyalty” has prompted Barnes to build a new studio in the Bronx on 225th and White Plains road upstairs the Moodies Record Store. This modern state of the art layout, rebrands the Wackies Label, and reflects Barnes’ continued dreams and vision for his recording empire.
Although Barnes has not released materials in years, Basic Channel which is a German Label, began the reissuing of his earlier recordings. However, since 2001, he has been recording and going on tours with various reggae musicians. He is now ready to reintroduce the World with the new and improved Wackies Label with innovative marketing and new products. Barnes presently resides in the Wakefield neighborhood in the Bronx, New York City.