Born: 13 june 1931
died : 3 nov 2010
Sonia Eloise Pottinger OD (June 1931 – 3 November 2010) was a Jamaican reggae record producer.
The most important Jamaican woman involved in music business, Sonia Pottinger was the first female Jamaican record producer and produced artists from the mid 1960s until the mid 1980s.
Married to music producer Lyndon Pottinger, she opened her Tip Top Records Shop in 1965 and started to record musicians in 1966. The first single she issued was “Every Night” by Joe White & Chuck. Other artists recorded during this period include Roland Alphonso. Throughout the rock steady and early reggae eras, she became very prolific with hits by The Ethiopians (“The Whip”), Delano Stewart, The Melodians (“Swing And Dine”), Ken Boothe, Alton Ellis and Toots & the Maytals, released on her Gay Feet, Tip Top, Rainbow, and High Note labels.In the early 1970s her work was less prolific, but in 1974 she bought the Treasure Isle label from long time friend Duke Reid shortly before his death. Her rights to the label’s recordings were challenged by the Jamaica Recording and Publishing Studio Limited (the company created by Reid’s rival Clement “Coxsone” Dodd), Reid’s son Anthony and his company Treasure Isle Records International Limited, and Edward “Bunny” Lee, but the case was decided in her favour in 2009.
In the 1970s, she produced albums by Bob Andy, Marcia Griffiths, Culture, U Roy and Big Youth. Her most well known production is Culture’s Harder Than The Rest album, released in 1978.
In the dancehall era show produced Archie & Lynn’s “Rat in the Centre”. She retired from the music business in 1985.
Sonia Pottinger died at her home in Kingston on 3 November 2010, after suffering for some time with Alzheimer’s disease A thanksgiving service in her honour was held on 19 November 2010, attended by Minister of Culture Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange and major figures from the Jamaican music industry including Judy Mowatt, Alvin Ranglin, Donovan Germain, and Tommy Cowan.