Category Archives: Yard Report

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!

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Tribute to Mother B – 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 B’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 Pincecrest for her, 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

It’s February! It’s Reggae Month! Celebrate!

Here’s what they say about Reggae Month 2020:

“Reggae Month was officially proclaimed and first staged in 2008, spearheaded by the Ministry of Culture and powered by the Jamaican Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA). The focus of Reggae Month is “edutainment”, highlighting Jamaica’s musical history and heritage. The annual celebration has been a huge success, attracting on average 40,000 attendees each year. This success is made possible by the overwhelming support of media partners and music industry practitioners, in addition to dedicated government and reggae month calendar 2020corporate sponsors who share the Reggae Month vision. The goal of Reggae Month is to attract international acclaim for Jamaica as the reggae mecca of the world, enhance travel and tourism for the month of February, and provide an educational platform of entertainment for all ages.”   From Reggae Month Jamaica.com

Play some Reggae today!

 

Stephen Marley: The Angry Lion Takes Control – 2010

By M. Peggy Quattro

With the release of “Mind Control,” the debut chart-topping CD from the second son of Reggae’s original lion, Stephen Marley raises the bar and sets the standard for the future of Reggae music. Not bothered by the inevitable comparisons of looks and sound to his famous father, Stephen is honored by the resemblance and proud to deliver the same message of love, unity, and awareness that made Bob Marley a household name.

Personally, this is one CD I cannot listen to enough. From first hearing the title track, you know that this is going to be a breakthrough album. Each song that follows is a musical journey that permits the listener to become intimate with its creator. Stephen is fearless in displaying his political and social consciousness, as well as exposing a personal vulnerability seldom witnessed in Reggae music. Continue reading