The last vinyl recording factory in Jamaica, Tuff Gong International, is relaunching its manufacturing services in partnership with Sunpress Vinyl, a United States company. Tuff Gong in located in Kingston and plans to begin renovations leading to a re-opening in the spring of 2017. Until it opens, order processing will be performed by Sunpress, a plant based in Florida and housed in the former Final Vinyl Factory associated with reggae pioneer Joe Gibbs. The partnership effort was prompted by a 25-year high in number of record sales and by indications that vinyl is set to become a billion-dollar industry. There has been growing demand for vinyl at Tuff Gong from musicians and labels in the Caribbean and Asia. Currently, Tuff Gong comprises a recording studio, mastering facility, stamper room, processing and cassette plants, record shop and offices for a booking agency, Rita Marley Music, Ghetto Youths International. Tuff Gong was founded in 1965 by Bob Marley, whose nickname was “The Gong,” and the idea that it was necessary to be “tuff” to survive in the music business in Jamaica. According to the firm’s general manager Marie Bruce, it was Bob Marley’s vision to have a one-stop-shop for record production, manufacture and distribution.
Photo by M. Mingle