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  • Prince Buster Obituary September 9, 2016 prince-busterIt was boxing ability as much as musical talent that helped Prince Buster become a key figure in the birth of Jamaican ska music. During the mid-1950s Buster, who has died aged 78, sang in a number of small-time bands in the island’s capital, Kingston. But he also had a promising career as a street fighting boxer, and it was his reputation as a quick-witted and assertive gang leader that ... Read More
  • Felix Bennett Has Passed Away August 24, 2016 Felix BennettFelix “Deadly Headley” Bennett, a prolific saxophonist who played on Bob Marley’s first song, died on Sunday at age 85. His daughter, Carol Bennett, said he passed away at home in Rollington Town, East Kingston. He had suffered from hypertension for years and was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer. Born in Central Kingston, Bennett learned music at the Alpha Boys School. Leaving after 12 years at age 16, he played in ... Read More
  • The Music Diaries: Early Jamaican Record Producers Played Vital Role May 4, 2016 Sonia PottingerWhenever the title ‘Record Producer’ is mentioned in early Jamaican music, the names that comes most readily to mind are Clement Dodd of Studio 1, Duke Reid of Treasure Isle Studios, Leslie Kong and his Beverley’s records label, Prince Buster and his ‘Voice of the people’ label, Bunny Lee who distributed his productions on ‘Striker’ and other labels, and Sonia Pottinger, the only female in that business at the time. ... Read More
  • Winston ‘Merritone’ Blake, Jamaican Sound System Pioneer, Dead at 75 March 3, 2016 Winston-Blake-Andrea-Davis-billboard-650Billboard Magazine, 3/1/2016 by Patricia Meschino Winston “Merritone” Blake, the venerated Jamaican musicologist, producer, and owner/operator of Merritone Music, succumbed to complications from asthma on Feb. 27 at a Kingston hospital. He was 75. Merritone is Jamaica’s oldest continually operational sound system, founded in 1950, prior to the emergence of the island’s indigenous popular music forms and its prolific recording industry. “We were here before reggae, when R&B records were played alongside calypso, mento and country ... Read More
  • The Mighty Diamonds Bring Soulful Harmony To The 70s December 3, 2015 TheMightyDiamondsBy Roy Black, Sunday September 25th, 2015 The Mighty Diamonds belong to an exclusive fraternity of three-part harmony group singers that emerged in the mid-1960s in Jamaican popular music and lasted into the next decade. Earlier, The Heptones, The Techniques, The Paragons, The Melodians, The Wailers, and The Gaylads had laid the foundation for the phenomenon, which produced a plethora of hits, mainly in the rocksteady and early reggae styles. Those ... Read More
  • Farewell, man from Wareika September 21, 2015 ricoBY Howard Campbell Observer senior writer TROMBONIST Rico Rodriquez, who died September 4 in London at age 80, was a versatile musician who made an impact in Jamaica and the United Kingdom where he lived for over 45 years. The Kingston born musician played on a number of ground breaking songs in both countries. These include Oh Carolina by the Ffolkes Brothers, Prince Buster’s Wash Wash, and Rudy A Message to You, a ... Read More
  • Thom Bell: No longer silent in Gamble-Huff legacy August 6, 2015 20130609_inq_ddagamble09z-b-gw9zyBy Dan DeLuca, Inquirer Music Critic POSTED: June 10, 2013 ‘Gamble-Huff-Bell Music.” The first two names listed on the sign above the doorway at the Philadelphia International Records offices at 309 S. Broad St. are those most closely associated with the sophisticated soul music that became universally known as “The Sound of Philadelphia” in the late 1960s and early 1970s. But there were more than two major players writing the Philadelphia chapter in ... Read More
  • Long Live The King May 2, 2015 king2R&B and soul singer Ben E King, best known for the classic song Stand By Me, has died at the age of 76. The singer died on Thursday, April 30 his publicist Phil Brown told BBC News. King started his career in the late 1950s with The Drifters, singing hits including There Goes My Baby and Save The Last Dance For Me. After going solo, he hit the US top five with Stand ... Read More