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Garnet Silk – An Interview at his Kingston Home 1994 

This interview was held on January 13, 1994, at Garnet’s Kingston home. The visit was as warm and memorable as the 27-year-old singer himself. Tragically, by year’s end, Garnet perished in a fire alongside his mother at his childhood home. I cherish my time spent with this humble, delightful, kind human being who possessed childlike joy and a smile that touched everyone he met. Rest in power, dear soul…your music, message and memory live on.   ~M. Peggy Quattro

Garnet Silk – A Son of Ethiopia

By M. Peggy Quattro      V12#2 1994
Words in double brackets [[ ]] signify updated 2020 material ~MPQ

Garnet Silk at Home, Kingston 1994The highly anticipated return of Garnet Silk to the performing stage was purposefully planned to coincide with the birthday celebration of his good friend, DJ Tony Rebel. On January 15, 1994, Rebel Salute was staged in the cool and lovely city of Mandeville, situated in their home parish of Manchester, Jamaica.

In July 1993, following his doctor’s orders, the popular singer/songwriter took a needed hiatus from his rigorous performing and recording schedule. The reason given: exhaustion. [more later in this interview]

The Early Days

Garnet Silk exploded on the Jamaican music scene in 1991 and soon became the most in-demand performer on the island. A steady stream of shows and performances, tours and recordings throughout ‘92 and most of ‘93 took its toll on the performer. To begin the new year, and a new era in his dazzling career, Garnet Silk appears rested and ready to resume his appointed rule as musical message giver.

Garnet Silk
Garnet with photo of HIM Haile Selassie, his inspiration for life

Every song released by Silk in the last two years has attracted rave reviews and considerable airplay in Jamaica and abroad. His unique vocal styling and charismatic presentations have him marked by music industry personnel and fans alike as the “next Bob Marley.”

At Garnet’s Kingston Home

I recently had the pleasure of visiting and interviewing the serious yet mild-mannered Silk during rehearsals and preparation for his triumphant comeback performance at Rebel Salute. This interview is part of the comeback. Continue reading

Toots & the Maytals Awarded Reggae Grammy Posthumously

THE TOUGHEST

By Kevin Jackson, Jamaica Observer

Second Grammy win for Toots and The MaytalBy Kevin Jackson, Jamaica ObsERVER

Toots RIP by Lee Abel

March 15, 2021 – Singer Leba Hibbert is overjoyed that Got to Be Tough, the last studio album released by Toots and The Maytals, won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album yesterday.

The event was held virtually at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The band’s leader was her father, Toots Hibbert, who died last September due to complications from COVID-19.

“This is so bittersweet. He died and didn’t get to accept the award himself. However, we are celebrating his win and we are grateful,” Hibbert, who also provided back-up duties for her father, told the Jamaica Observer shortly after the announcement

“This signifies more recognition to my father’s work and more fans. This is a great record and the songs speak about the times that we are living in. I’d say his win is historical,” she added.

Another of Hibbert’s children, gospel singer Jenieve Bailey, was elated.

“This is great news. Dad has worked very hard. It took him 10 years, as he wanted his fans to really have a great experience through this album and we, the family members, are elated that his hard work paid off. We’re happy,” said Bailey.

Guitarist Jackie Jackson, an original member of The Maytals band, was equally happy.

“This is a great honour for a legend and so very well-deserved. He gave us a lifetime of hits beginning in the ska era and throughout the generations. My only regret is that he’s not here to share it with us one more time,” he said.

TOOTS HISTORY

Toots and The Maytals won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album in 2005 for True Love. Their previous nominations were Toots in Memphis (1989), An Hour Live (1991), Ska Father (1999), Light Your Light (2008), and Reggae Got Soul: Unplugged on Strawberry Hill (2013).

Got to Be Tough was released on August 28, 2020. It was the seventh nomination for Toots and sixth overall nomination for The Maytals.

The other nominees in this year’s Best Reggae Album category were Higher Place by Skip Marley, Maxi Priest’s It All Comes Back to Love, Buju Banton’s Upside Down 2020, and One World by The Wailers.

The Trojan Jamaica/BMG set is the veteran act’s first release in more than a decade. It peaked at number nine on the Billboard Reggae Albums Chart and has to date sold more than 5,186 copies in the United States. It also spent multiple weeks at number one on the sales-driven US Current Reggae Albums Chart.

In other Grammy news, John Legend won Best R&B Album for Bigger Love. It features the collaboration Don’t Walk Away with Koffee.

Download the special Toots & Ron Woods issue here.

Return of 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!

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. Continue reading

Bob Marley: Feb. 6 Survival 76 Celebrations

Bob Marley’s Earthday Celebrations Set for Feb. 6, 2021

Bob Marley 76 Earthday logo

There are several birthday celebrations leading up to Marley’s 76th Birthday on February 6, including a global virtual birthday celebration hosted by Cedella MarleySongs of Freedom: The Island Years and a Bob Marley Tribute Livestream

In lieu of the live annual birthday celebration that usually occurs at the Bob Marley Museum every year, Cedella Marley will be hosting a global virtual event for Bob Marley’s 76th birthday on February 6.  Inspired by Bob Marley’s most militant album, Cedella, the Marley family, friends, and fans worldwide will celebrate Bob Marley’s 76th Earthstrong under the theme, SURVIVAL.

The virtual celebration will mimic the usual festivities beginning at 7 am ET, including messages from the family, a Miami Performance Mash-up featuring the Marley brothers and third-generation

Bob Marley
Bob Marley – mid’70s

Marleys, Survival Cypher performance featuring Skip MarleyJo Mersa, Tifa, Kabaka Pyramid, Agent Sasco, and Tanya StephensMore Family Time with Ziggy Marley, Memorial Tributes for Toots Hibbert and Betty Wright.

Also,  performances from Papa Michigan, Richie SpiceBeenie Man, and more, plus “In the Marley Kitchen” featuring Chefs Brian Lumley and Kush McDonald, story reading, yoga, a children’s sing-a-long and much more.  The virtual celebration will also feature video tribute messages from family, friends, fellow musicians, and artists from around the world.

To watch Marley’s 76th Birthday SURVIVAL festivities on Bob Marley’s official YouTube channel, and for more upcoming content celebrating Bob’s legacy & contributions to the world, click HERE.

Buju, Koffee & Skip Score NAACP Award Nods

Buju Banton, Koffee & Skip Marley Score Nods For 2021 NAACP Image Awards

Buju Banton
Buju Banton

Jamaica is well represented in the recently announced slate of NAACP Image Awards nominees. Dancehall legend Buju Banton and last year’s Grammy Award winner Koffee have both secured two nominations each for the Awards, while Reggae singer Skip Marley has earned one nod from the US-based civil rights organization.

Skip Marley
Skip Marley

Koffee
Koffee

In the Outstanding International Song category, Buju Banton has earned one nod for Blessed which appears on his Upside Down 2020 album. His second nomination in the same category was received for the Pressure (Remix) with Koffee, who also secured her second nod with the hit song Lockdown. Nigerian singers Davido and Tiwa Savage were also nominated in the category.

Meanwhile, Skip Marley‘s Higher Place from his EP of the same name earned him one nomination in the Outstanding New Artist category alongside Chika, Doja Cat, D Smoke, and Giveon. Marley wrote on Twitter yesterday that he was honored to be included among this group of nominees.

The 52nd annual ceremony will be simulcast on March 27 at 8 p.m. ET across Viacom CBS Networks.

~From Dancehallmag.com.  Click here for more details.

Third World & Pat Chin to Receive Reggae Icon Awards in S. Florida

CITY OF MIRAMAR CELEBRATES ‘BLACK HISTORY MEETS REGGAE’ MONTH

Reggae Ambassadors Third Word and pioneering businesswoman Patricia Chin, co-founder of VP Records, are the recipients of this year’s Reggae Icon Awards, presented by City of Miramar Commissioner Alexandra P. Davis. The Marcus Garvey Award will be presented to Attorney/Community Activist, Alexandra Audate, a member of the Black Lives Matter Alliance of Broward. The presentation creggae month 2021 calendareremony takes place on Sat., February 27, 6:00 p.m. at the Miramar Amphitheater, Miramar, FL.

Commissioner Davis stated, “Third World and Miss Patricia Chin have made groundbreaking contributions to Reggae music and I am happy to be honoring them with the prestigious Reggae Icon Awards this year.  The City of Miramar has planned a series of events to celebrate Black History Month and Reggae Month under the theme “Black History Meets Reggae”. The Reggae Icon Award, initiated by Commissioner Davis in 2019, recognizes the valuable contribution of notable individuals to Reggae music while the Marcus Garvey Award recognizes a local champion in the fight for equality and justice among minorities.

third world
Third World at Dab Fest, Miami Beach

Third World is one of the longest-existing Reggae bands, with nine Grammy nominations and a catalog of charted smash hits (including “Now That We Found Love,” ”96 Degrees in the Shade,” and “Try Jah Love” ) spanning four decades, sold-out tours, a vibrant and loyal fan base, and inspirational messages.

Miss Pat Chin VP Records
Miss Pat

Patricia “Miss Pat” Chin, matriarch of VP Records, built a Reggae empire in Kingston alongside her late husband Vincent “Randy” Chin.  Randy’s Record Mart and Studio 17 are where the careers of artists from Bob Marley & the Wailers to Augustus Pablo toToots & the Maytals began. After moving to New York in 1978, they opened VP Records, which has grown to become “the world’s largest Reggae label.”

The Reggae Icon Awards presentation ceremony is free to the public and all CDC COVID-19 guidelines will be observed.


A Reggae Reunion at New York’s Jerk Fest 2019

MPeggyQ & Miss Pat, Jerk Fest 2019
Reggae Report’s MPeggyQ, SoFla Reggae Pioneer, Meets Up with VP’s matriarch Miss Pat at the Queen’s Jerk Fest 2019

Lee Scratch Perry

Lee Scratch Perry Interview with Berklee’s Pat Healy

Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry Talks Bob Marley, Dub, Reggae, Production 

Lee Scratch Perry
Photo Frederik Ranninger

Berklee Online’s Pat Healy talks with 84-year-old Lee “Scratch” Perry about his one-of-a-kind legacy and career. This bizarre and winding interview is available in all its strangeness and entirety at Hypebot.com

Pat Healy: “As a music producer, he arguably invented reggae in the late 1960s and early 70s, and he inarguably invented dub in the mid-1970s at his famed Black Ark Studio in Jamaica. He was Bob Marley’s mentor, producing some of his first recordings. It’s possible he also invented sampling, using the sound of a crying baby to begin his song “People Funny Boy” in 1968, a scathing song against one of his rival producers.” Scratch has collaborated with the Clash, Beastie Boys, George Clinton, and Keith Richards, among others. 

The conversation that follows takes a lot of twists and turns and some of his answers were so different from the questions asked. So, to help, the writer* interrupts every now and then to provide context. For example….

PH: You grew up with what, four siblings?
LP:
Yeah, I grew up with revolution.
*PH: So yeah, he grew up with revolution. Okay, back to the interview …
LP:  I grew up with revolution in my brain, revolution in my leg, and revolution in my head.

Were there songs in your family before you went off to Kingston, music that you liked?
Well, I liked “Charlie Brown,” like pop music.  Yeah, I was loving pop music and [songs like, “Yakety Yak” by the Coasters] “Take out those papers and the trash, or you won’t get no spending cash.” I am a lover of pop music. So I reckon my number one spot is Michael Jackson.

Michael Jackson? You’d been recording for years before you heard him, right?
Well, I love stars that are uncommon. I’m really a pop music lover. I really love hip-hop music. I love hip-hop music even more than reggae music. Reggae music is okay. I love the American artists, them so much because the American artists have super very good voice [laughs]. So I was always listening to good singers. I love good singers; I love real singers. I watched Bob Marley in that duration before reggae becomes so common. So, most of the stars that I have put up were coming from the American singers. You know what I mean? So, I mean to say if you want to hear about something like “Me love Jamaica because they’re my people,” but they actually are too nice to me and they’re like raggamuffin, and me no like raggamuffin. Me like special artists. James Brown is my friend [laughs].  

James Brown?
Yeah, was my friend.

Yeah
Rolling Stones are my friend. I don’t like to see what will happen to the Americans because most of the American singers, I learned from them and I love them. I don’t know what will happen to the good singers in America to find a way out, to find freedom, because if all of the American singers die, I will cry.

Yeah, I mean singers are our last shot.
It will be too boring without the American singers.

*PH: Okay, here is the first interruption! So, at this point, he is talking about how he’d be sad if all of the American singers died because he is referring back to a theory that he revealed when our conversation first started, that the coronavirus is affecting America so badly now because the American government gave Bob Marley cancer. Are you following? He is actually not the only one to believe the second part of this. Most biographers of Bob Marley will acknowledge that there was definitely a suspicious amount of interest the FBI and CIA had in the reggae superstar, and that the agency considered him a threat. Maybe he would inspire a great uprising? Maybe his songs were too political. Most biographers will acknowledge that yes, there is at least some credible evidence that the American government had something to do with the 1978 assassination attempt against Bob Marley, but there is little credible evidence to support the theory that a device the American government had placed in Bob Marley’s shoe caused the cancer that killed him in 1981. However, there are some people who believe that. Lee “Scratch” Perry seems to be one of those people. And he also seems to believe that the virus is karmic retribution.

LP: American scientists and American Obeah men and American beasts gave Bob Marley cancer, in a year. They gave Bob Marley cancer and them could not find the answer. Why did they give Bob Marley cancer? If they give Bob Marley cancer, then Bob Marley give them the virus [laughs].

To read the entire interview click>  Lee Scratch Perry Interview with Berklee’s Pat Healy

 

Reggae History…'80s & '90s…Read the Music!