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Bobby Digital – Reggae/Dancehall Producer for the ’90s

Update: We are saddened to report the passing of producer/engineer Bobby Digital on May 21, 2020. His son Sheldon relayed that his father passed away from a kidney-related illness. The entire Reggae and Dancehall family mourns the loss of this visionary who left his mark and sound on five generations of musical history.  ~ M. Peggy Quattro

Bobby Digital – The Producer for the ’90s

By Clyde McKenzie     V14#3 1996

Bobby Digital, producer extraordinaire, shares the same astrological sign as such notables as Albert Einstein, Quincy Jones, and Mikhail Gorbachev. This affable Pisces is also a first-class studio engineer and creator of some of Reggae’s most compelling rhythms, including the popular “Kette.”

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Robert “Bobby Digital” Dixon
Photographer Unknown

Bobby Digital’s life began in a fashion not far removed from that of many major players in the music industry. He was born poor to Mary, a dressmaker, and Eric Dixon, a carpenter. With his four siblings, Bobby Dixon shared a modest existence in the Olympic Gardens area Kingston, notorious for its natives who find refuge in a life of crime.

Young Dixon enrolled in Balmagie Primary School and later attended the Penwood Secondary School, where he graduated with no professional distinction. He credits his elder brother Eric, a technician, as the man who sparked his interest in the field of electronics with which he would forge a lifelong association. Continue reading

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]

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.”

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

Garnet Silk – On Record – A Discography 1995

Garnet Silk on Record

by Lee O’Neill           V13#2 1995

The passing of Garnet Silk is greatly mourned throughout the Reggae community. It is becoming a far too common occurrence for talented artists to needlessly lose their lives. In Silk’s case, the tragedy is compounded by his youthfulness, his vitality and the sense that he hadn’t yet come close to fulfilling his considerable potential.

It’s Growing was Silk’s first album released on VP Records in 1992, although he had been releasing records for at least a couple of years in Jamaica. It’s inconsistent, at best, with a handful of great songs, such as the title track, “Place in Your Heart,” “Commitment” and “I Am Vex.” Some of the other songs, however, sound forced or incomplete, and while Silk has one of the best voices, he hadn’t completely learned to control it or discipline it on It’s Growing. The session was produced by Bobby Digital. Continue reading

Garnet Silk Legacy Discussed with Rebel, Garrick & Semaj

Garnet Silk Returns to Zion

by Howard Campbell      V13#2 1995

Garnet at home, 1/13/94

Before we proceed, let’s get one thing straight, Garnet Silk was no Bob Marley. He didn’t profess to be Bob Marley, nor did he want to be. Despite the obvious similarities in religion and profession, the two possessed entirely different personalities.

The inevitable comparisons that have been made since Garnet burst onto the scene three years ago have been further fueled since his death a few months ago. Such a flattering likeness is evidence of the social impact the 28-year-old singer made in such a short period. In fact, he created a spark more famous names, like Ziggy Marley, failed to ignite among the masses.

That was probably the most glaring similarity between Bob Marley and Garnet Silk, the fact that they were both hero-worshipped by Jamaica’s lower class and, through their music, transformed the status quo of a country obsessed with social standing. Continue reading

Lady G – Interview with the DJ V12#09 1994

Lady G – Don’t Call Her Gal  1994

Interviewed by M. Peggy Quattro
Written by Sara Gurgen

The talented ladies in Reggae have historically taken a back seat to the popularity of their numerous male counterparts. A handful of singers, and even fewer DJs, have held their ground and withstood the test of time.

Not to be outdone by the current crop of new lady DJs, the lovely and talented Lady G has consistently proved that she is not yet ready to be considered among the “dead and gone.” The sweet appearance of Lady G does not belie her steely interior, and the Spanish Town-born DJ has taken her shot at macho males with her latest sizzling releases. Lady G, who has seen a great response to her hit song “Me or the Gun,” a demand that her man chooses between which one “gives more fun,” is now coming in strong with her latest song “If I was a Gal.”

Lady G
Lady G Live at Reggae Cafe

“You’ve got guys who call women gals; that’s not the right way for a man to style [call] a woman,” said Lady G following her terrific performance inside Ft. Lauderdale’s Reggae Cafe. Referring to her new song, she goes on to explain: “It’s not the name they should call the women. In some countries–like Trinidad–they call their women gal. It’s not the name that they call the women, it’s the way they express it.” Lady G is telling the men that if they want to get a woman’s attention, these days, that’s not the way to do it. Continue reading

Judy Mowatt – Singer on Sisterhood V14#5 1996

Judy Mowatt – Leading the Charge of Sisterhood   1996

By Howard Campbell.       V14#5 

judy mowattA visitor to Judy Mowatt’s home is in for a fairly long walk before he or she reaches the spacious front porch which houses a piano. Mowatt’s not pounding the keys today; she’s enjoying some peace and quiet at the back of the home near the hills of St. Andrew, Jamaica, not too far away from where she was born in the small village of Gordon Town.

An admitted lover of the soil, Mowatt’s cozy back room hideaway is surrounded by a small farm of sugarcane and bananas. Gospel music wafts through the air as she appears, barefoot and bareheaded, her locks complimenting her African-style blouse. A photo of Emperor Haile Selassie greets you upon entering, with another postcard-sized photo of the Wailers, circa the Uprising album, occupying one of the shelves of a nearby cabinet.

judy mowatt calendar 1994
Judy Mowatt graced August in our 1994 Calendar

Continue reading

JC Lodge – Multi-Media Artiste   V9#3 1991

JC Lodge – Multi-Media Artiste

By Kukuwa Abba

JC Lodge Reggae Report 1994 Calendar Photo
Photo: Lee Abel

Just over ten years ago, June Carol Lodge (JC to her fans) burst onto the local and international music scene. For someone who had never even considered singing as a career, her entry into the music business seemed like something out of a fairy tale.

After a chance meeting with “Allah” of Chalice fame, she got an audition with top producer Joe Gibbs who liked her voice. JC recorded a cover version of Charley Pride’s “Someone Loves You Honey” and the record went straight to the top of the Jamaican charts.

The success story didn’t end there. “Honey” took off in a big way in Europe, racing into the top ten charts in Germany and Belgium and going to Number One in Holland. The LP of the same name also went to Number One. JC was able to tour extensively in the wake of her chart success, both in Europe and North America. Continue reading