MPeggyQ – the Beginning of the Story – Watch deh Ride!

It Starts at the Beginning – Childhood, Europe, & entering the Reggae business – All Based around Music!

January 29, 2008 – Miami, Florida
Greetings and welcome to my blog. It’s hard to believe that it’s been 25 years since the first Reggae Report was printed. In 1983, Michael “Mikey Zappow” Williams and I decided it was time to spread the word–and music. So a one-page newsletter, filled with local and JA news and upcoming and past events, was hand-delivered to Reggae record shops and West Indian restaurants throughout Miami and Ft. Lauderdale. Oh, we got the looks…Mikey-famous as the band leader and bass player of Zap Pow and writer and performer of “This is Reggae Music,” and me, a nice Italian girl from Ohio (via Miami and Europe) who worked for Marley’s manager Don Taylor and producer Joe Gibbs, fresh from directing a major 4-day Reggae festival with my good friend and mentor Clint O’Neil, armed with a tape recorder, camera, and tenacity — and people looked at us like we had two heads… well, actually we did… two smiling, happy heads working together for one goal, one objective — to tell the world about Reggae music. But I don’t want to get ahead of myself here. Next time, I’ll start at the beginning…the first time I ever heard the one drop, the bass thump, and the message music that touched my soul and heart forever. Irie!

March 14, 2008 – Miami, Florida
Growing up in a musical family, I was surrounded by music. I thought it was quite normal to have a live band playing in the dining room every week. My father, a musician since youth, had been playing music with his father and brothers for many years, until World War II separated them, and then everything changed. Fast forward to his return, getting married, having kids, working in the steel mill, but his love for music and performing never changed. He formed a band with some friends, playing guitar and mandolin, did some singing, and it really was the only time I would see him happy. I found it made me happy too. So I always hung around, watching, learning, and discovering that music was a source of happiness…not only for me, but for those guys who played, and for the people who listened and danced. I never had the opportunity to learn to play an instrument, but I knew I was a musician at heart…and soul. Continue reading

Ziggy – Miami’s Island Fest 2007

ZIGGY MARLEY – Preaching Love and Creating Reggae Magic

at “Island Fest ‘07” in Coconut Grove, Florida
Ziggy and his band, featuring Santa Davis on drums and Skully on percussions, joined another Jamaican legend, Byron Lee and the Dragonaires, on the line-up for a free concert held at beautiful Peacock Park in the village of Coconut Grove. Thousand of fans showed up for the music, the food, the perfect weather, and the opportunity to see the young legend perform on his home turf.

Surrounded by family and friends, Ziggy appeared comfortable, relaxed, and confident, He deftly delivered a stirring string of his own hits, including “Black Cat,” “Love is My Religion,” “Look Who’s Dancing.” and ‘Dragonfly,” as well as such Bob Marley gems as “Forever Loving Jah,” “Rastaman Vibration,” “Could This Be Love,” and ‘Jammin’.” Continue reading

February Declared Reggae Month in Jamaica 2008

January 10, 2008 – Kingston, Jamaica

February Officially Proclaimed REGGAE MONTH in Jamaica

Prime Minister Bruce Golding announced recently, during a press briefing at Office of the Prime Minister, that February will officially be Reggae Month in the country of Jamaica. Furthermore, he instructed Governor-General Professor Kenneth Hall to issue the proclamation declaring the long-awaited honor.

In an article in the Jamaica Gleaner, the prime minister is quoted saying that he lauded the briefing as one of the most pleasant tasks he has had to perform since taking office. He says Reggae has been a medium of economic advancement and Reggae Month can be used to draw world attention to our music. Golding added that Jamaica Trade and Invest will be promoting Brand Jamaica, and that Reggae music is central to this campaign.

The Gleaner article went on to quote Prime Minister Golding as saying “Reggae is so powerful; people across the world embrace it. It is the medium we have used to declare our position against oppression and suffering. It is a consistent declaration of love,” he continued to the delight of industry players in attendance, including Rita Marley, Dean Fraser, Lloyd Stanbury, Isaiah Laing, Clifton Dillon and Barbara Blake-Hanna. Continue reading

Lee Scratch Perry -The End of an American Dream Review 2008

LEE “SCRATCH” PERRY – THE END OF AN AMERICAN DREAM

Grammy-nominated CD on MEGAWAVE RECORDS

The recent Grammy-nominated CD, The End of an American Dream, is the first of three albums that represent the musical collaboration of legendary Jamaican maestro Lee Perry with English musician and songwriter Steve Marshall. Recorded between 2004 and 2006 at Lee’s studio in Einsiedeln (near Zurich) Switzerland; at the Marriott Hotel, Regent’s Park, London; and at Steve’s ‘State of Mind’ Studio in Somerset, England, the album contains 16 all new tracks featuring the vocals and lyrical genius of Lee Perry, set against a background of stylish contemporary beats, blues, soul, Reggae, drum and bass. This Grammy-nominated album is produced by John Saxon for State of Emergency Limited and released by Megawave Records, Michigan, USA. The songs are published by Newtown Sound Ltd. and Copyright Control.

The duo first met in London during the winter of 1985 when Lee took on Steve’s band ‘World Service’ as his backing band for what was to be his first UK tour since leaving Jamaica. Around this time Lee recorded the albums History, Mystery and Prophecy Time Boom: De Devil Dead and From the Secret Laboratory (produced by Adrian Sherwood), but behind the scenes Lee was also recording with and training his musical apprentice, Steve Marshall. After the ’85 tour, ‘World Service’ split, but Lee and Steve remained friends, with Steve chauffeuring Lee to sessions and meetings in and around London. They recorded a 7” single, “Lightning Strikes Twice/Feel No Way,” which went out on State of Emergency Limited in 1986, and a 12” “AD Vendetta/Masters Of The Universe” that was released on Lee’s own Arkwell label. There were a number of other recordings made, such as “Nursery Rhyme,” “Black Captain In Castle Greyskull,” “I Am God,” “Elephant Rock,” and “Gimme Back My Teddy Bear,” all featuring Lee Perry and Steve Marshall, and recorded at Elephant, Mark Angelo’s and Utopia Studios, but these remain firmly in the archive. At the end of the ‘80s, Lee moved to Switzerland and they were to lose contact with one another for nearly 15 years. Continue reading

Ladies in Reggae 2008

The Return of LADIES IN REGGAE

by Lloyd Stanbury

Millie Small - the 1st Female Reggae Star
Millie Small – the 1st Reggae Star to Sell a Million Records!

January 7, 2008 – Kingston, Jamaica – In the early days of Jamaican popular music, our female singers and songwriters played a major role in propelling our music onto the world stage. In fact, the first major international Jamaican hit recording was by one of Jamaica’s female pioneers, Millie Small, with her 1964 million-selling single “My Boy Lollipop.” Its success opened the doors for such artists as Phyllis Dillon, Marcia Griffiths, Judy Mowatt, Hortense Ellis, Pam Hall, Rita Marley, Carlene Davis, J.C. Lodge, Cynthia Schloss, Lorna Bennett, Dawn Penn, Sheila Hylton, and Nadine Sutherland, all of whom established themselves as mainstream recording and performing artists.

Etana - New Generation of Powerful Female Singers
Etana – New Generation of Powerful Female Singers

For some strange reason, however, the early achievements of our female artists did not result in the kind of follow-through seen by their male counterparts. For many years, we have failed to produce top-class female Reggae recording artists and performers. With the exception of the local and international successes of Diana King, Patra, Sasha, Foxy Brown, and Lady Saw, female Reggae and Dancehall artists have become a very scarce commodity over the last 25 years.

A number of different reasons have been presented for what many view as a problem in the development of our music. Sexual harassment by music producers and the rough, tough and aggressive face of male-dominated Dancehall music are two such explanations. The tendency of many young Jamaican female artists to idolize and follow popular foreign Pop and R&B female stars is another argument given for the seeming disappearance of the Jamaican female Reggae performer. Continue reading

Ziggy Marley Interview 2008

ZIGGY MARLEY – Man of Dreams, Visions, and Ideas

Interview and photos by Jan Salzman

January 7, 2008 – Los Angeles, CA  –  Ziggy Marley is a four-time Grammy winner who has been playing and recording music for more than 20 years. David “Ziggy” Marley, the eldest son of Reggae legend Bob Marley and wife Rita, first experienced recording and performing at the tender age of ten. His main message was, is, and always will be Love.
He began recording independently in 2003 when he released his first solo album entitled Dragonfly. His most recent endeavor, Love Is My Religion, has received worldwide acclaim and earned him his fourth Grammy Award. He took some time to talk with Reggae Report recently after sound check at the Greek Theatre in Hollywood, California. We spoke about his philosophy, music, dreams, and a few secret projects he’s been working on. Here’s our conversation with Ziggy Marley!

Continue reading