There are many great singers in Reggae, and a few able to mix in Soul and Pop to create a unique sound. But there are very few who possess that golden voice – a voice that when you hear it, you know instantly who it is. At the top of that list stands veteran singer and songwriter Jack Radics. For more than 25 years, Jack Radics has quietly and deliberately guided his career to become an extraordinary artist, songwriter, and performer; a singer so recognizable, that from the first moment you hear those smooth, golden bass tones you suddenly feel caressed and warm all over. Think Barry White mixed with Lou Rawls, add a little Otis “Love Man” Redding for good measure, and you get close to the unique golden voice of Jack Radics. Continue reading
by M. Peggy Quattro
No doubt, Maxi Priest is one of the hardest and longest-working men in the Reggae biz. In town to perform for the inaugural ONE Caribbean Fest, and, following an exclusive Meet, Greet, and Eat fan luncheon at Miami’s HOT 105 to promote his Easy to Love CD, the supercharged singer sat down inside the Miramar offices of VP Records for a long overdue catch-up interview.
Our connection goes way back. Maxi Priest has been featured on no less than five Reggae Report magazine covers, and from 1985 to 1998, he was featured, reviewed, interviewed, or mentioned in innumerable issues. In fact, since storming the music scene from his South London base in 1985, Maxi Priest has not stopped writing, recording, performing, promoting, producing, or rockin’ n’ rollin’, all while circling the globe . Continue reading
In Tribute to a Legend – Lucky Philip Dube – Aug. 3 1964 – Oct. 18 2007
This article first appeared in Reggae Report, V11#6 1993
Lucky Dube… A Natural Man
By M. Peggy Quattro
Few individuals are naturally blessed with the predestined qualities of talent, wit, and a confident disposition. One such fortunate recipient is 29-year-old Lucky Dube, the remarkable South African singer/songwriter, who is presently dispensing his own musical blessings around the globe.
You are among the unlucky if you missed Lucky Dube and his mega band, Slaves, on their recent two month tour of the USA. The incredible show, which highlights Lucky’s dynamic vocals, capable of soaring three octaves, Zulu dancing from Dube, the sonorous back-up singers and stinging brass section, and infectious authentic African-Reggae rhythms, was presented in 35 cities, with venues ranging from small nightclubs to major summer festivals. Included was a free show held on a beautiful July day at Brooklyn’s Metro Tech Commons, sponsored by the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The moving response to the group’s performance was indicative of the overall reaction received wherever this talented troupe of performers set down. At the end of August, the tour moves on to Europe where they will be opening act in a series of shows for international pop star Peter Gabriel. A two-week break in their hometown of Johannesburg is followed by a concert in Capetown, then off to finish the year in Australia, New Caledonia, Japan, and France.
Considered a superstar in South Africa, Dube, who neither smokes nor drinks, modestly credits his fans for this stardom. Continue reading
Lucky Dube – Retrospective
New CD Released on Rykodic
By M. Peggy Quattro
As a tribute to the genius life of South-African legend Lucky Dube, Rykodisc has released the two-disc Retrospective. This ‘digipack’ contains a 13-song disc featuring songs never before released outside of South Africa, a bonus DVD featuring the 90-minute Lucky Dube Live in Concert, as well as five music videos never released in the U.S. The album is curated by noted world music figure Tom Schnabel, a KCRW radio host based in Los Angeles, CA.
Lucky Dube was callously shot and killed during an alleged carjacking on October 18, 2007, in a Johannesburg suburb. The inspiring career of the 43-year-old national hero ended in its prime, followed by a profound sadness in the African nation that was felt around the world. Continue reading
Alton Ellis: Godfather of Rocksteady -The Loss of a Legend
(9/01/40 – 10/10/08)
By M. Peggy Quattro
Oct. 12, 2008 – London, UK – The music world bid a fond farewell to Alton Nehemiah Ellis, legendary singer and songwriter, who peacefully passed away October 11, 2008, inside London’s Hammersmith Hospital, after a year-long battle with lymphatic cancer. Born in Kingston and raised in the Trenchtown area, Alton attended Ebenezer School and Boys’ Town School, where he excelled in music, piano, cricket, table tennis, and boxing. It is known that Alton was a skilled and talented dancer, often winning local dance contests. However, when he began performing at school concerts, his interest and passion turned to singing.
The smooth and silky voiced Ellis began his singing career in the 1950s, forming Alton & Eddie with partner Eddie Perkins. Soon after Perkins left for a solo career, Ellis moved to the Studio One label in the early 60s. Unhappy there, Alton then took his talent to Duke Reid’s Treasure Isle, where he formed a backup vocal trio called The Flames. His first solo hit was “Dance Crasher,” followed by the first Rocksteady single, ‘Get Ready – Rock Steady.” The story is that when a bassist did not show up for a recording session, master keyboardist Jackie Mittoo played the bass part himself. Unable to keep up with the quick ska beat, Mittoo slowed down the tempo, resulting in a new rhythm that allowed Alton to stretch his voice more – and the Rocksteady era was born.
Alton continued to wow Jamaican fans with the new sound, releasing such Rocksteady standards as “Cry Tough,” “Willow Tree,” and his smash hit, “Girl I’ve Got a Date.” During the late 1960s, Alton recorded “Remember That Sunday” with the great Phyllis Dillon, as well as several singles and albums with his talented sister, Hortense Ellis, including the well-known Alton & Hortense Ellis. (Continue reading to see the interviews and articles in past Reggae Report Magazines!)
LUCKY DUBE – RESPECT (Aug. 3, 1964 – Oct. 18, 2007)
A Tribute – Gone But Never Forgotten
Words and Photos by Lee Abel
“Bob Marley said,
‘How long shall they kill our prophets
while we stand aside and look’
But little did he know
that eventually the enemy will stand aside and look
while we slash and kill our own brothers
knowing that already they are the victims of the situation”
Delivered by his grandmother on a farm near the small mining town of Ermelo on August 3, 1964, he was not given a name. He was not expected to live. But like every other challenge, save one, that was to follow in his 43 years, he refused to be a victim. The Apartheid system in South Africa provided little opportunity for proper health care, quality education, or employment. Its rigid laws cruelly dictated the movements of black families and individuals. Furthermore, his father had a liquor habit and abandoned the family before he was born. His mother Sarah left shortly after to seek domestic work in Johannesburg, hoping to send money back, rarely able to. He stayed behind in a mud hut, cared for by his beloved grandmother who nourished him, body and soul.