Category Archives: Yard Report

Carlton “Carlie” Grant – Spragga Benz Son

Spragga Benz’s Son, Carlton Grant, Jr., Killed by Kingston Police

Article and Photo by Brittany Somerset

Sept. 5, 2008 Kingston, Jamaica – A source in Jamaica, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, spoke exclusively to Brittany Somerset about the tragic, untimely demise of 17-year-old Carlton “Carlie” Grant, Jr, son of Reggae veteran Spragga Benz, who was allegedly murdered by police in downtown Kingston, late in the evening on August 23, 2008.

It’s reported that at approximately 11:50 p.m., Carlie and a friend were leaving a video game rental store on the corner of Church and East Queen St. The friend begins, “Carlie was stopped on his bicycle while coming from the store with a teenage friend. Police stopped him and told him to get off his bike, and he obeyed. He identified himself. He said, ‘I’m Spragga Benz’s son.’ The police smirked as if in disbelief. They did not think Spragga’s son would be in the ghetto, but he was visiting family. The police fired one shot into the air, and told them to run. Carlie’s friend took off running. Carlie stayed where he was, with his hands in the air. One of the policemen whispered something to a second officer, and the officer then shot him at point blank range in the face. They executed him. All reports of Carlie having a gun, firing at police, or running, are completely false. Carlie stayed at the scene, and declared himself. After they shot him once in the face, and when he collapsed to the ground, he was shot a second time. This was murder.” Continue reading

Toots RIP by Lee

Update on the Passing of Reggae’s Toots Hibbert – Sept. 11, 2020

Toots RIP by LeeUpdate 9/11/2020:  It is with great sadness that I report the passing of Toots Hibbert last night, Friday, Sept. 11, 2020. Toots was surrounded by family inside Kingston’s UWI Hospital when he lost his battle with COVID. The world mourns and offers condolences to the Hibbert family, Toots’s band & crew, his friends, and fans. Rest in peace, kind sir, your legacy lives on.


This intro below was written before Toots’ passing. It announces his new album, Got To Be Tough, his first in 10 years, released on Aug. 28, 2020. Follow the link to the story by Jason Fine included below for one of the best articles you’ll ever find on the life & music of Frederick “Toots” Hibbert.   ~M. Peggy Quattro

TOOTS HIBBERT,  the Godfather of Ska & Reggae Soul, returns to his roots on Got to be Tough, his first album in 10 years, released Aug. 28, 2020. Tracks on the new album include the title track, as well as “Warning Warning,” “Freedom Train,” and “Three Little Birds” featuring Ziggy Marley. The album is produced by Zak Starkey, son of Ringo Starr. Toots plays guitar and bass, Sly Dunbar is on drums, and one of the engineers is legend Delroy “Fatta” Pottinger.

Toots and the Maytals Got to be Tough Cover

Below is the intro to a recent article by Rolling Stones writer Jason Fine. It is the best story I’ve ever read about Jamaica’s music legend, Frederick “Toots” Hibbert. His family and friends call him “Nyah,” those who know and love him call him “Fireball.” Take a journey with Jason as he hangs out with Toots in 2016 to witness first-hand his musical magic and to record this interview of a lifetime. Those who know Toots – and those who want to – will surely enjoy the detail, history, and humor Jason brings to life in this Rolling Stone’s article. Trust mi, I laughed till I cried as Jason illustrates with words why Toots Hibbert is a treasure… our treasure. We are so blessed to have him in our lifetime. Enjoy! 

“He’s a person of such historical significance, like an Elvis or a BB King,…”  ~singer/musician Bonnie Raitt


A Reggae King Rises Again

Toots Hibbert is one of the pioneers of reggae — and wrote many of its classic hits. After a devastating injury, the man they call Fireball is back to reclaim his throne

By Jason Fine  Rolling Stone.com, Aug. 18, 2020

Toots Hibbert
Toots Hibbert ©Lee Abel

It took two years of phone calls and confusing negotiations to get myself invited to visit Toots Hibbert at his fortress-like pink stucco compound in the Red Hills section of Kingston, Jamaica. When I finally arrived, he wasn’t home. No one around seemed to know the whereabouts of the world’s greatest living reggae singer. His grandson, an aspiring reggae artist who calls himself King Trevi, was perched on some concrete steps and suggested that maybe Toots went to the gym. A woman hanging laundry on a rope strung across the dirt yard thought he’d gone to the country. Someone said he might be napping. Continue reading

Julian Marley: In His Own Words Interview 2011 & 2020 Update

UPDATE 2020:  Julian “JuJu” Marley is currently in Jamaica during the COVID-19. He is keeping busy with his music, his “JuJu Royal” CBD line, & supporting people globally as we go through this pandemic together.  Touring to support his latest Grammy-nominated album, As I Am, is temporarily on hold. So instead, Julian streams his campfire sessions where he sings and plays guitar. 

In Feb., Julian participated in the opening of Trench Town’s Cornerstone Learning Center, founded by the Marley brothers and the Ghetto Youths Foundation. In April, he was part of Jamaica’s Telethon to raise funds for the first responders. He talks about the new music he is producing now, which highlights the 80s Afrobeats influence he enjoyed while growing up in multi-cultural London.

To watch & listen to Julian Marley’s latest single “Fly,” a tribute to his daughter who passed away in 2019 from cancer, go to the link at the end of this interview ↓↓↓♥

Julian Marley – In His Own Words
By M. Peggy Quattro

Miami, FL, 2011 – Julian Ricardo Marley, a seasoned Roots Reggae performer, is a multi-talented musician, writer, and singer. Born June 4, 1975, in London, Julian is the only British-born Marley son. He spent summers with his extended family in Kingston, where he tuned in to Rastafari and became immersed in the Marleys’ musical environment. A self-taught musician, Julian is skilled at guitar, drums, bass, and keyboards. Since the 1996 release of his debut CD  Lion in the Morning, Julian “JuJu” Marley has traveled the world extensively to perform alongside his talented brothers. The 2003 CD Time and Place, and 2009’s Awake, have resulted in a large legion of loyal fans that attend his solo performances. At the invitation of the Jamaican government, Julian Marley and the Uprising band represented his adopted country and performed at the historic 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Julian at Recife Fest 2010

Julian spends time between London, Kingston, and Miami; much time is devoted to working and recording in the family-owned Lions Den studio. On a recent mini-Florida tour, I caught up with Julian following his casual and intimate performance at Pineapple Groove in Delray Beach, Fla. Continue reading

Garnet Silk Biography 2000

Garnet Silk Bio

By M Peggy Quattro    (written in 2000 for the release of Definitive Collection)

Garnet Silk, the young singer/songwriter who died in a horrific fire at the age of 28, was one of the brightest stars to ever shine in the Reggae galaxy. During his short, illustrious career, Garnet Silk was hailed by many as “the next Bob Marley.”

After five years of lewd and rude Dancehall lyrics, Garnet ignited the stagnant music arena with Roots Rasta music. He is credited as the artist most responsible for the conscious and spiritual resurgence of early 90’s Reggae. His profound lyrics and distinctive vocal styling—a throwback to the poignant messages of the Marley era—captured an international audience.

From 1992 to 1994, Garnet Silk released a multitude of songs that soared up Reggae charts and touched the lives of those who heard them. The long-awaited Big Beat/Atlantic Garnet Silk: The Definitive Collection is a celebration of the memory—and a tribute to the music—of this legendary artist.

Recorded at Tuff Gong and Couch Studios in Kingston and mixed at Kariang Studio in Ocho Rios, this two-CD set features 20 songs recorded and/or re-recorded over a three year span. Garnet’s silky voice is enhanced by the assemblage of Jamaica’s finest musicians—Sly & Robbie, Tyrone Downie, Earl “Wya” Lindo, Mikey Boo Richards, Earl “Chinna” Smith, Mikey Chung, Dean Fraser, and Sticky Thompson, to name a few. Garnet insisted that real instruments were to be used and all the musicians were to be in the studio at the same time. “Like the Wailers,” said Tony Chin Loy, co-founder of Kariang Productions and co-manager, “the old fashioned way—the Bob Marley way.” Chin Loy revealed that when Sly Dunbar came to do the project he had not played a real drum kit in five years!

Continue reading

Tribute to Mother Booker – A Life Abundant with Love 2008

South Florida Sends Cedella Marley Booker Home:  A Loving Tribute in Word, Song, and Dance

By M. Peggy Quattro

April 23, 2008, Miami, FL –
One week following Mother Booker’s journey to Zion, hundreds in the South Florida community joined hands and hearts at a memorial service inside Miami’s beautiful Garden House at Fairchild Tropical Garden. The lush botanical garden is only minutes from Ms. B’s home, a large residence on a sprawling estate. In the late ‘70s, son Bob Marley bought the home in Pinecrest for his mother, and it is where Ms. B lived a life surrounded by her children, grand and great-grandchildren, and the home where, on April 8, she passed on in her sleep, surrounded by her loving family.

The Booker/Marley family, in paying tribute to their matriarch, also paid tribute to her devoted friends and fans when they presented an exquisite memorial service that honored the “smiling woman of song.” The setting was amazing and beautiful, from the gorgeous green of the garden and tropical trees to the touches of Africa and Rastafari that adorned and decorated the intimate Garden House. The presentation was fit for a queen, and in South Florida’s eyes and hearts, that is exactly who Cedella Marley Booker will always remain. Continue reading

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!

January 7, 2008 – 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.

A number of different reasons have been presented for what many view as a problem in the development of our music. Sexual harassment by music producers and the rough, tough and aggressive face of male-dominated Dancehall music are two such explanations. The tendency of many young Jamaican female artists to idolize and follow popular foreign Pop and R&B female stars is another argument given for the seeming disappearance of the Jamaican female Reggae performer. Continue reading

Sonia Pottinger – Reggae’s Female Producer 1991

The Music of Sonia Pottinger–High Note & Gay Feet   V9#3 1991

(2020 Update below)

By Lee O’Neill

producer sonia pottinger
Sonia Pottinger, Reggae’s first female producer

Many consider the mid-to-late sixties the golden age of Jamaican music. As the early Ska beat was changing into what would become Reggae, artists such as Ken Boothe, The Paragons, Alton Ellis, the Techniques, and the Gaylads were making hit after classic hit, and producers like Clement Dodd, Duke Reid, and Clancy Eccles were busy making bundles of money while defining the sound of Reggae music.

One of the most successful of these early producers was Sonia Pottinger, owner of the Gayfeet and High Note labels, possessor of a keen commercial sense and artist’s touch in the studio. Some of Reggae’s greatest songs were released on her label. Until recently, Pottinger’s reputation was in danger of disappearing. New anthologies of Pottinger productions on Heartbeat (Musical Feast) and Trojan (Put on Your Best Dress) join a few scattered tracks on anthologies, reissues of two of the Culture albums she produced, and some out-of-print Jamaican LPs, in a growing tribute to her talent Continue reading