Posted by themusicsover on December 2, 2013
Murvin “Junior Murvin” Smith
1949 – December 2, 2013
Junior Murvin was an influential reggae performer whose 1976 recording of “Police And Thieves” is considered one of the genre’s most important records. Born in Jamaica, Murvin began singing at an early age. After graduating from high school, he moved to Kingston to launch a career in music. After unsuccessfully auditioning for Lee Scratch Perry and Coxsone Dodd, he landed a deal with Gayfeet Records and later Crystal Records with whom he landed a minor hit with 1972’s “Solomon.” Murvin continued to build a following while performing throughout Jamaica’s many nightclubs and hotel bars until once again, auditioning for Perry in 1976. This time, Perry agreed to record a new song Murvin wrote called “Police And Thieves,” which lead to a full album by the same name for Island Records. The song became a fast hit in Jamaica as well as London where it became an anthem for the local rioters at the time. The album from which it came is considered by many to be Perry’s finest moment as a producer. The song made such an impact on Londoners, that the Clash recorded it and included it in their 1977 debut album. Murvin’s version later appeared in the films, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Rockers, and The Royal Tenenbaums while Dave Grohl recorded it for Reno 911!: Miami. Murvin’s final album, Signs And Wonders, came out in 1989. Junior Murvin was 64 when he passed away on December 2, 2013. He was reportedly suffering from diabetes.
Thanks to Craig Rosen at Number 1 Albums for the assist.
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Posted in Musician, Retailer, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: Coxsone Dodd, Dave Grohl, Junior Murvin, Lee Scratch Perry, The Clash | 1 Comment »
Posted by themusicsover on January 19, 2012
1946 – January 19, 2012
Winston Riley was an influential and pioneering reggae musician, singer, and producer. Born in Kingston, Riley was just 16 when he formed his first group, the Techniques. The vocal outfit went on to work with such producers as Byron Lee and Duke Reid before splitting up in 1968. It was then that Riley formed his own record label and began producing other artists. Over the next several years, he worked with the likes of the Escorts, Alton Ellis, and Johnny Osbourne. One of his early productions, 1971’s “Double Barrel” as recorded by Dave and Ansel Collins, is considered one of Jamaica’s first international hits for reaching #1 on both the British and Dutch charts. In fact, Riley is widely considered one of the first people to introduce reggae to England. He also produced one of reggae’s most influential albums, the 1979 General Echo release, The Slackest. The list of artists who can give Riley some credit for their success includes Gregory Isaacs, Buju Banton, Sister Nancy, Cutty Ranks, and Frankie Paul. In August of 2011, Riley was stabbed, and then a month later, he was shot in the head. As of the early months following the incidents, police had not apprehended any suspects nor determined motive. On January 19, 2012, Winston Riley died of complications from the shooting. He was 65.
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Posted in Musician, Producer, Record Label, Reggae, Retailer, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: Alton Ellis, Buju Banton, Byron Lee, Cutty Ranks, Dave and Ansel Collins, Duke Reid, Frankie Paul, General Echo, Gregory Isaacs, Johnny Osbourne, The Escorts, The Techniques, Winston Riley | Leave a Comment »
Posted by themusicsover on January 7, 2012
April 16, 1917 – January 7, 2011
Bobby Robinson was a pioneering R&B and later, hip-hop record producer, as well as a longtime record store owner. He opened Bobby’s Record Shop in 1946, making it the first Black-owned business on Harlem’s famous 125th Street. The store and cultural landmark remained open until he was forced to close in 2008 due to his landlord’s desire to raze and rebuild at that spot. As a producer, Robinson had a hand in creating a string of R&B and hip-hop hits that stretched from the early ’50s through the mid ’80s. The list of greats that he enjoyed success with includes Gladys Knight & The Pips, Lee Dorsey, The Shirelles, Elmore James, Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Kool Moe Dee, and Doug E. Fresh. Bobby Robinson was 93 when he passed away on January 7, 2011.
Posted in Hip Hop, Producer, R&B, Rap, Retailer | Tagged: Bobby Robinson, Doug E. Fresh, Elmore James, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Kool Moe Dee, Lee Dorsey, The Shirelles | Leave a Comment »
Posted by themusicsover on January 1, 2012
1982 – January 1, 2012
Esme Barrera was an Austin, Texas music lover who became a familiar face throughout the city’s fabled music venues and just about anywhere music could be heard. Barrera worked with special needs students at a local elementary school, but still found time to work part-time at Austin’s venerable record store, Waterloo Records. She also volunteered as a counselor at a summer music camp known as Girls Rock Austin. After ringing in the New Year at a nearby club, Barrera reportedly walked home alone. At 2:45 am, her badly beaten body was discovered by a friend inside her home. She died of her injuries a short time later. Initial reports indicated that the incident may have been related to other attacks reported in the area that same day. A suspect was not immediately apprehended though composite sketches were distributed throughout the area. Barrera’s brutal death quickly spread throughout the indie rock world and condolences soon followed. Indiana singer Ted Leo tweeted “I was privileged to briefly know an inspirational person from Austin, Tx., who was murdered this NYE. Her name was Esme & she’ll be missed.” YACHT posted, “The world’s lost a shining light, music cheerleader, and great human. Our hearts go out to the friends and family of Esme Barrera. No words,” while Okkervil River tweeted info on how fans can contribute to cover funeral costs. Esme Barrera was 29 years old when she passed away. [UPDATE] In December of 2012, the Austin Police Department announced that the Esme Barrera case was officially closed due to the “death of the offender.” Police reportedly discovered the prime suspect dead of apparent self-asphyxiation in his own apartment a few weeks following Barrera’s death. The alleged perpetrator was found with a plastic bag over his head. He was also a suspect in at least five other similar attacks on women in the area.
Posted in Other, Retailer | Tagged: Esme Barrera, Okkervil River, Ted Leo, YACHT | Leave a Comment »