Category Archives: ReggaeReport.com Exclusives!

My David Crosby Diary: Leaping from Rock to Reggae

Five Days in Mill Valley with Croz & Jan

By M. Peggy Quattro

David Crosby – Circa 1970s

With the sad news of David Crosby’s passing on Jan. 18, 2023, I was drawn to discover more about his intriguing life. I remembered when I first met David, aka Croz. I recalled the captivating love story with his wife, Jan Dance, a dear friend from our Miami days. I flashed back on why I chose to leave my life in Germany, my business, and my friends to move to California. David was indeed the impetus for that drastic decision.

Was it naïve? Yes. Rash? Definitely. Life-changing? Absolutely.


It was at the close of 1978 when Jan invited me to stay with her during my first visit to San Francisco. Five days in Mill Valley with Jan and Croz ended with an unexpected opportunity.

Almost everyone has a Croz story. I enjoyed reading a plethora of impressive ones. His interviews and astute opinions are insightful, entertaining and enlightening. Check the links at the end of this story for his comprehensive books and in-depth documentary.

Even so, my story ties directly to the Crosbys, to a radical life change and the resulting outcome.

For context, let me say I’ve been asked a bazillion times how I got into Reggae; the the music and industry I pioneered and participated in for more than 40 years. The odyssey began in early-70s Coconut Grove, the music-hippie-artsy area of Miami. Jan Dance and her sister “Peppermint Pati” Dance were good fun Grove pals. Side note for astrology buffs: Jan is a Virgo (like me), born same year. If my memory serves me correctly, we may share the same chart … except for our rising sign, maybe. OK, moving on…

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Tyrone Downie: No Ordinary Wailer

From Reggae Report, V10 #4 1992

Tyrone Downie is a familiar name and talent to avid followers of Bob Marley and the Wailers. I had always been interested in meeting this renown keyboardist who first played with the Wailers at the ripe “old age” of 13, so I was pleased to hear that he was looking forward to this interview with Reggae Report.

The Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers tour had just finished and Tyrone was in Miami chilling for a while. As a member of Ziggy’s all-star band, memories of Tyrone’s magical keyboards were once again revisited. For the veteran keyboardist, performing with the son of his good friend and mentor was like a page turning in musical history.

His obvious energy and passion for performing was manifested in a warm, engaging smile and the unmistakable twinkle in his eyes that greeted me when he opened the door. Our meeting place was at the home of a friend, complete with a studio where Tyrone could lodge part of his cumbersome collection of keyboards and other musical “toys.” Surrounded by equipment and a big screen television that was tuned to “Video Jukebox,” Tyrone Downie felt comfortable and in the mood to talk.

Tyrone Downie 1992

I went right to the big questions: What was it like being a member of the Wailers during his impressionable teen years? What was it like working with Bob? These answers and more were revealed throughout our two-hour conversation that was as amusing and informative as it was intuitive and insightful.

When Tyrone Downie “officially became a Wailer” in 1975, he already felt like one because he had done studio work with Bob Marley since 1969. It was during this session time, under the tutelage of Aston “Familyman” Barrett, that Tyrone first realized that he was frightened of these Wailers. “They were real tough guys,” he describes, “they were scary.”

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GANJA REGGAE of the 70s, 80s, & 90s for 420

GANJA REGGAE of the 70s, 80s & 90s 
20 of the Best for 4/20

Okay, let’s be blunt. The celebration of 4/20 has a long and storied history. It apparently took 20+ years for the original “4:20 dudes” to be given credit for their undeniable contribution to the  “day of marijuana” title and tale.

A northern California group of friends—known as the Waldos—would gather at 4:20 p.m. to smoke a “doobie” next to a wall on their high school campus. They’d whisper 420 to each other as the Waldo’s secret code for marijuana. That catchy number was picked up years later by the Grateful Dead and High Times magazine and 4/20 was soon catapulted into the stratosphere, thus becoming the global code for “let’s smoke a doobie” day.

Jamaican artists were always on board with smoking a doobie, or, as they called it, a spliff. There have been hundreds ‘pon hundreds of “ganja” tunes recorded since the 60s. The Rastas, in particular, have been growing and smoking ganja before those Cali teens were out of diapers. 

Rastas have long preached of “herb” being “the healing of the nation.” And now, with medical marijuana stores, cafés, and products sprouting up around the world, it seems that, hell yeah, they are right. Big up, our number one cannabis crusader Peter “Legalize It” Tosh! Boom!

Maybe you “want to have Kaya now”? And you’re here to listen to some of the best-of-the-best Ganja Reggae songs. So, in honor of 4/20, we’re offering 20 of the best Ganja Reggae songs for your smoking pleasure. This hand-selected roster of your favorite singers, groups & DJs covers the 70s, 80s & 90s eras of Reggae music. So, “light up your spliff…light up your chalice” and enjoy the ride!

 

 

 

 


Click here for some fun 420 Did U Knows! 

Song Title Artist Year
Legalize It Peter Tosh 1975
Tired Fe Lick Weed a Bush Jacob Miller 1975
Free Up the Weed Lee “Scratch” Perry 1978
Kaya Bob Marley 1978
International Herb Culture 1979
Gi Mi Di Weed Jigsy King 1980
Marijuana Johnny Osbourne 1980
Sinsimilla Black Uhuru 1980
Pass the Kouchie Mighty Diamonds 1981
100 Lbs of Collie Cornel Campbell 1982
Pass the Dutchie Musical Youth 1982
Sensee Party Eek-a-Mouse 1982
Police in Helicopter John Holt 1983
Herbman Hustling Sugar Minott 1984
Pass the Kushumpeng Frankie Paul 1984
Under Mi Sensi Barrington Levy 1985
Under Mi Sleng Teng Wayne Smith 1985
The Herb Tony Rebel 1988
Sensimilla Sugar Minott 1990
Jamaican Collie Charlie Chaplin 1991
One Draw Rita Marley 1993

The Nominations for Best Reggae Album GRAMMY 2022

An Overview of the Artists and Albums Selected…

by M. Peggy Quattro

The Recording Academy’s 2022 GRAMMY Award nominations are selected from 22,000 entries and awarded by its approximate 12,000 voting membership. Now, and going forward, GRAMMY nominations will be determined by a majority, peer-to-peer vote of Recording Academy voting members. So, if you want to have a voice, contribute, and vote, *Become a Recording Academy member here*

I recently had the pleasure of speaking on-air with Deon Mattis, host of “Home Run” on Jamaica’s The Edge 105.3 FM radio program. The topic centered on the 2022 Best Reggae Album nominations. In my view, 2021 was the year of collaborations and indie labels. To be clear on why, here’s my overview of the six nominated albums, artists, and labels.

The Six Nominees are:

  • PAMOJAEtana – on U.S.-based Freemind Music
    • Etana is a gifted singer, songwriter, and 2018 Reggae Grammy nominee.
    • She has earned her fanbase through consistent quality recordings and performances since 2008.
    • On this album, Etana displays how progressive and in-touch she is with today’s market.
    • In addition to old school Reggae and new school Trap/Dancehall, there’s a notable Afrobeat influence, as heard in her collabs with several African and international artists.
    • Not to mention, her collabs with such Reggae greats as Damian Marley and Albarosie.
  • POSITIVE VIBRATION – Gramps Morgan – on U.S.- & Canada-based Halo Entertainment Group
    • I was there in ’94, when the unknown Morgan Heritage made their debut Sunsplash performance on a small stage. They blew everyone away and were invited to perform on the big stage on international night. The tight, pop-sounding group was immediately signed by MCA Records as they departed the stage.
    • Over the next 20 years, Morgan Heritage received two (2) Reggae Grammy Awards.
    • Gramps lives in Nashville these days, and the influence of the acclaimed-music city is unmistakable on this album. The songs are fun, romantic, country, and Reggae.
    • The collabs with Shaggy, India.Arie, his father Denroy, and son Jemere are awesome additions.
    • On this album, Gramps reminds me of a Reggae Jimmy Buffet.
  • LIVE N LIVIN’ – Sean Paul – on JA-based Dutty Rock Productions (his own label)
    • Inarguably, this Dancehall pioneer is the most well-known, recognizable, award-winning artist in this category.
    • A Reggae Grammy winner in 2004, Sean Paul has been nominated many, many times.
    • He is the performer, songwriter, and producer on this album…but he’s not alone on it. There are nearly 20 artists jammin’ with him… from Buju and Movado, to Damian and Mutabaruka.
    • You know it’s Sean Paul when you hear the first track…his distinct Dancehall style is unmistakable.
    • With the generous smattering of new and legendary DJs, this album is a sure-fire party hit!
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An Unforgettable Day

By M. Peggy Quattro, Contributor  ◊  Jamaica Observer, May 11, 2021

BOB Marley’s dead. Wow. It’s May 11, 1981. Around 11:45 a.m. on my first day of my dream job, the phone rings. Freshly hired as Don Taylor’s assistant, I merrily answered, “Good morning, Don Taylor Artiste Management.” Rita Marley uttered one word…“Don.” With slight trepidation, I handed the phone to my new boss standing next to me. By the look of dread on Don’s face, it was obvious that our world was about to change.

Don Taylor’s Miami-based company, D.T.A.M., represented Reggae’s ‘Big Three’ – Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, and Gregory Isaacs. Prior to my first day, I had dreams of one day meeting Bob Marley. Even though I knew he was very sick and en route to his home in Jamaica, I had hope. Going in as a huge Marley fan, I never dreamed that this day, this one event, would inexplicably link us for life.

“Why today, Bob?”, I asked myself again and again. There had to be some reason I was chosen to be in this office, on this morning. Within hours, I was witness to – nay, a participant in – Reggae music history. A day that began with excitement, anticipation, and promise ended with sadness, bewilderment, and deception.

The King had gone home to Zion… Long live the King.    

MPeggyQ – 40 Years inna Reggae – Since 1981

From “Reggae Report Runnings” 1984 – Meet:  M. Peggy Quattro

“When one door is closed, don’t you know many more is open.”

May 11, 1981, holds a special meaning for me in two ways. Firstly, it was the day that Bob “Nesta’ Marley left this physical plane to go on to higher heights, and secondly, it was the day that first marked my entrance into the Reggae music business, working with Don Taylor, Bob’s long-time friend, associate, and manager.

The immediate hustle and bustle and activity at the office surrounding such an international event convinced me that this was no “joke business.” Bob had a lot of work left to do, and out there would be certain people “picking up” where he physically left off. I am one of those persons.

Don Taylor and M Peggy Quattro, Montego Bay

Bob was the key to the spiritual door… and he opened it so now everyone can go through. I find I-dren everywhere I go that know, as Jah children, this is serious (yet happy) work we carry on in the name of our father – Jah! Like so many others, I could relate to the philosophies and wisdom Bob left for us in his songs. These same truths hold true today for those of US familiar with his life and times, as it will hold true for future generations who will know him through our records, tapes, films, and books.

Bob will never age past being vibrant, energetic, and 36 – beautifully endowed with dreadlocks from his soul, love from his heart, and truth from his lips.

In 1982, my first labor of love was the Caribbean Sunburst Festival, where, as Director-in-Chief, I made my own solemn tribute to Bob. This 4-day history-making event was soon followed by our presentations of Marcia Griffiths at the Gusman (still keeping it in the family) in ’82, and then various promotional endeavors that eventually led to the creation of Reggae Report.

So ‘wake up and live” y’all…the Reggae Report is here… as a voice, as a rhythm… we shall, ‘till the last syllable of recorded time, honor and hold in reverence our beloved leader, brother, and friend.

“You think it’s the end, but it’s just the beginning…”