Remembering Joe Gibbs 2008

Joe Gibbs – Remembering the Hitmaker

by M. Peggy Quattro

Joe Gibbs – 1945-2008

March 17, 2008 – It was Feb. 21, 2008, and I had just arrived in Kingston for the Reggae Academy Awards. Riding in a taxi from the airport, I was surprised, and then stunned, when the driver suddenly muttered aloud, “Joe Gibb’ dead.” “What?,” I said, “for real?” “Yea mon…‘eart attack” he calmly replied. With another 20 minutes before reaching the hotel, I began to think about the man, Joe Gibbs – producer extraordinaire – and about the time I spent working alongside him at his record pressing plant in Opa Locka, Florida.

There is no doubt that Joe Gibbs will be remembered as one of the most preeminent producers in Reggae’s history. A hardcore entrepreneur who became a Reggae giant, Joe Gibbs was seemingly quiet, yet carried a gun, and feared no man…or woman. From the 60s, consistently through the 70s and 80s, Joe Gibbs surrounded himself with such great talents as Errol “Errol T” Thompson, Niney “the Observer” Holness, Bunny “Striker” Lee, and Lee “Scratch” Perry. Errol T and Joe formed a creative bond and were known as “The Mighty Two.” Together they revolutionized Reggae and Dub and packaged it for the world. Joe’s business and production sense, combined with ET’s outrageous engineering skills resulted in ground-breaking recordings.

Brown was a teen when he recorded for Gibbs

Joe Gibbs’ name will be forever associated with Dennis “The Boy Wonder” Brown, producing most of the finest Reggae albums Brown ever made; every song a wonder. From D Brown’s early albums that included Words of Wisdom and The Prophet Rides Again, to the 1980 cross-over A&M Records Love Has Found a Way, with the international hit single of the same name, Joe Gibbs and Errol T super-charged the young singer’s career. With songs becoming hits, and records flying out the door, Joe Gibbs and Errol T changed the direction of Reggae music. Continue reading

Mikey Dread – Goes Home to Zion 2008

Mikey Dread – Legendary Performer, Producer & Broadcaster – Succumbs to Brain Tumor

It is reported that Michael “Mikey Dread” Campbell, aka Dread at the Controls, passed on to Zion, Sat., March 15, 2008 at 7 p.m. EST. He was surrounded by his family in the home of his sister in Connecticut at the time of his passing.

Mikey Dread was born in 1954 in Port Antonio, a lush small town on the northeastern tip of Jamaica. Mikey was an avid student who loved electronics. In 1976, after graduating from college, Mikey started out as an engineer with the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (JBC). A collector of Reggae vinyl, Mikey wasn’t satisfied with the bland, foreign playlists that dominated the JBC radio waves, especially since the best Reggae was being recorded in their own backyard. After convincing JBC to give him his own radio program, “Dread At The Controls,” he assumed the moniker Mikey Dread, played nothing but Reggae and soon had the most popular show on JBC. Continue reading

Ragga Muffins Festival Long Beach 2008

Roots Rock Ragga Muffins!

The 27th Long Beach Reggae Festival Review
Review & Photos by Jan Salzmman

Year 27 of the Ragga Muffins Festival began with a press conference on Sat., Feb. 16, 2008. Promoter Barbara Barabino announced that Alpha Blondy, headliner for the following day, was gravely ill with pneumonia and had to cancel his entire tour. We were also told that artists slated for Saturday’s line-up were delayed in their arrivals, but would be there for their scheduled performances. Following the press function, I made my way to the venue. Along the way to catch the opening acts, I visited the vendors’ wares and great food booths, acclaimed to be the best of any west coast festival.

Roots Dancehall Queen Ifrica

A reunion of the LA-based Reggae band, Idren, opened the show with an exciting Roots performance. Next on stage was Belize-based New Dimensions, followed by the west coast’s Soul Majestic, and Puerto Rico’s Cultura Profetica. All performances were strong in their Reggae orientation and well received by the growing crowd. Hailing from Jamaica, the popular Rootz Underground performed with a fresh, enjoyable Reggae vibe. Look for this young band to make their mark on the music industry. Continue reading

1st Reggae Academy Awards Kingston JA 2008

The 1st Reggae Academy Awards – A Celebration of Musical Excellence

Tarrus Riley and his song “She’s Royal” Receive Six Awards!

by M. Peggy Quattro
Photos Lance Watson/Reggae Academy

February 29, 2008 – Kingston, JA  – Kingston, the center of the Reggae universe, was bubbling with excitement and activity during February’s Reggae Month celebrations. On every corner, the talk turned to what to do, where to go, who to see.But the high point came with the presentation of the first Reggae Academy Awards and show.

The National Indoor Sports Center was bustling on Sunday, Feb. 24, as the academy and music community came together to prepare for the evening’s event. At 7 P.M., the red carpet was filled with arriving celebrities and fans cheered on their favorites. Members of local and international media were present and there were smiles, hugs, and handshakes in the reception area as Reggae’s artists and professionals greeted the press and each other.

Shaggy wins Best Dancehall Album

Nominees Shaggy, Cherine Anderson, Etana, Macka Diamond, Kris Kelli, and Danny Browne, presenters Nadine Sutherland, Tony Rebel, and reigning Miss Jamaica Universe Zara Redwood, and performers Diana King, Elephant Man, and Ce’Cile were among the stars at the pre-awards soirée.

As show time approached, the throng headed inside the arena. The large stage was a colorful blend of high tech and roots, with neon podiums and moveable graffiti-covered zinc fences. The beautiful and multi-talented Cherine Anderson sauntered on stage to open the show with her nominated, soulful and stirring “Kingston State of Mind.” Switching effortlessly between singing and Dancehall, the young star set the pace for the remainder of the presentation. Continue reading