Puma Jones is the American-born female vocalist in the 1984 Grammy Award-winning trio Black Uhuru. One of the first women to break into Reggae’s “Big Time,” Puma proudly acknowledges her position as a forerunner in the recent surge of female recording artists filling international charts today.
Born in Columbia, South Carolina, on October 5, 1953, Puma migrated to New York in the ‘60s, where she grew up listening to Aretha Franklin and Dionne Warwick. Continue reading →
In the beginning… was Robert Nesta (Bob) Marley and a new music form was brought forth… An international sound destined to educate and liberate the people from thousands of years of mental slavery. There followed a son… David Robert Nesta Marley… Brought forth to carry on the age-old musical crusade… a youth reaching out, touching hearts, of a new courageous and wise generation. “This is a new time and a new system,” declares the younger Marley, “my father was like the Old Testament… I am the New Testament.”
A strong, powerful and confident young man, 19-year-old Ziggy (a name given him by his father at an early age) is also warm, intense and somewhat shy. As good friend Judy Mowatt has said “Ziggy is the complete replica of his father…possessing that command like ‘I am here!’” His quick bright smile and soft, yet earnest eyes, displace any trace of egotism.
It did my heart good to catch up with Ziggy in New York at the conclusion of recording Virgin Records’ Melody Makers debut album.
What follows is an interview and overview:
MPQ: So Ziggy, when and where were you born?
Ziggy: Trenchtown, inna mi yard, 1968, October 17.
Born on 11 November 1961, his mother called him London Andrew Roberts. Growing up, however, he was given the name Half Pint by a neighbor in his childhood community [of] Waterhouse in Kingston 11.
Half Pint’s career as a singer/songwriter began to take shape in 1983 when his smash hit single “Winsome” topped the charts in Jamaica. The next couple of years were to be the foundation years for Half Pint. During this time three albums were released – Moneyman Skank, Half Pint in Fine Style, and One in a Million [that] included hit singles like “Political Fiction,” “Mr. Landlord,” “Moneyman Skank,” and “Sally.” Continue reading →
2019 UPDATE: Congratulations to brothers Ian and Roger Lewis, co-founders of the Grammy-winning band Inner Circle, on receiving Jamaica’s Order of Distinction (the government’s sixth-highest civic honor) at a King’s House ceremony on October 21, 2019, in Kingston. Honored for Inner Circle’s more than 50-year musical contributions, their iconic lead singer Jacob Miller was also recognized and awarded, and his son Taki Miller accepted posthumously on his behalf.
Here is a Reggae Report interview and story by writer and editor Sara Gurgen after catching up with bandleader Roger Lewis following Inner Circle’s 1994 Grammy nomination for Best Reggae Album (they won that Grammy in 1993!)
INNER CIRCLE – Miami’s “Bad Boys” Nominated for ’94 Grammy
by Sara Gurgen
They won the Grammy for best 1993 Reggae album, and now Inner Circle–Miami’s world-famous, hard-working “Bad Boys” of Reggae–have been nominated for the 1994 Grammy with their latest Big Beat/Atlantic release, Reggae Dancer.
“It’s doing excellent, man, everywhere in the world; and when I mean excellent, I mean excellent,” said band leader and rhythm guitarist, Roger Lewis, in a recent Miami interview during a brief respite from Inner Circle’s hectic touring schedule.
“It is one of the biggest selling foreign albums in Japan. Over 300,000 albums [have sold] in Japan [as of Dec. 21]. Hundreds of thousands in Mexico. In Brazil, in Europe–very well. In America, it’s not doing too bad. I think we made it up to about 200,000 copies.”
One of the songs on the album that has been released worldwide and doing very well is “Games People Play.” “It was not really a success in America, but ‘Games People Play’ was literally a hit single everywhere else in the world,” explained Roger. “It was a top 10 song in about 10 countries in Europe. It didn’t really go No. 1 and do what “Sweat” did, but it was top 10 in Holland, in Germany, in Scandinavia, in Brazil; and it was No. 1 in Japan.” Continue reading →
The mystery surrounding the violent death of Reggae Superstar PETER TOSH is as complex and mysterious as the man himself. The many reports, stories, assumptions, and speculations leave a shroud of doubt and suspicion in staggering proportions.
What is known to date is that on the evening of Friday, September 11, 1987, three gunmen on motorcycles entered Tosh’s Plymouth Avenue residence in Barbican, Kingston, Jamaica. Apparently known by Tosh, the three were in the house for a short while before the massacre began. What a dark day for Reggae and a sad and shameful day for mankind. One of the killers, Dennis Lobban, turned himself into the Kingston Police only days later, following a warrant issued for his arrest and the involvement of Interpol (the international police force.) Two others are still being detained, their names as yet unannounced.
The first to be fired upon was Marlene Brown, long-time girlfriend and Tosh’s current manager and accountant. Winston “Doc” Brown was shot and killed on the spot, with Peter being shot several times and reportedly beat about the head. He died hours later at the University of the West Indies Hospital. Jeff “Free I” Dixon also received shots to the head resulting in his death days later. Also wounded were Free I‘s wife Joy, Peter’s drummer Carlton “Santa” Davis, and another friend named Michael Robinson. Continue reading →
Reggae Report Publisher Releases Vol. 1 of Reggae Trilogy: 200+ 80s & 90s Reggae & Dancehall Artist Headshots
The First eBook from the Reggae Report Archives is an Essential Timeline Depicting the Fashion, Culture & Lifestyle of this Dynamic Era
Publisher M. Peggy Quattro releases the first compilation of Reggae history from the Reggae Report Archives. Reggae Trilogy Vol. 1: 200+ 80s & 90 Artist Headshots is an entertaining, engaging time capsule that features 13 chapters of Reggae and Dancehall Headshots. Each collection begins with a personal and enlightening introduction by the Reggae pioneer. More than 200 promo Headshots depict the distinctive fashion, culture, and lifestyle that catapulted Reggae artists onto the 80s and 90s world stage.
Thousands of promotional Headshots poured into Reggae Report for more than 20 years. As a fan and archivist, Ms. Quattro knew one day these photos would tell their own story. This wealth of photos will be delivered in three volumes of the Reggae Trilogy series. Crucial chapters include the Bands, Legends, Women, Singers, Groups, Dub Poets, Dancehall, Musicians, USA Reggae, International, Industry Pros, The Marleys, and Where Are They Now?. Continue reading →