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Posts Tagged ‘Lee Scratch Perry’

Died On This Date (December 2, 2013) Junior Murvin / Reggae Great

Posted by themusicsover on December 2, 2013

Murvin “Junior Murvin” Smith
1949 – December 2, 2013

junior-murvinJunior 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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Died On This Date (November 23, 2011) Barry Llewellyn / Founder Of The Heptones

Posted by themusicsover on November 23, 2011

Barry Llewellyn
1947 – November 23, 2011

Barry Llewellyn was the co-founder of influential Jamaican reggae trio, the Heptones.  Formed with Earl Morgan while still teens during the late ’50s,  the vocal group, which soon included Leroy Sibbles, went on to record some of the most significant records in the reggae history.  They have been cited as being largely responsible for slowing the beat of ska down to the less energetic rocksteady, which in turn spawned reggae.  Their three-part harmonies can be heard on such records as “I’ve Got A Felling, “Suspicious Minds,”  “Get In The Groove”, and “Fatty Fatty,” which became their first hit on Jamaican radio.  Many of their early songs were recorded by the legendary Coxsone Dodd at his Studio One, while later albums were made for Island Records, including Night Food, which was produced by Lee “Scratch” Perry.  The group continued to tour and record throughout the ’70s, but had disbanded by the dawn of the 1980s.  The Heptones reunited in 1995 to help bolster a ska and rocksteady revival.  Barry Llewellyn, who was 64, passed away in a Kingston hospital on November 23, 2011.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

Thanks to Henk de Bruin at 2+ Printing for the assist.

What You Should Own

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The Meaning of Life - Best of the Heptones (1966-1976) - The Heptones

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Died On This Date (October 20, 2010) Ari Up / Lead Singer Of The Slits

Posted by themusicsover on October 20, 2010

Ari Up (Born Ariane Forster)
January 17, 1962 – October 20, 2010

Ari Up was the lead singer for the British punk band, the Slits Born in Germany, Up was exposed to the rock music world at a very young age by her mother, Nora Forster, who was friends with Jimi Hendrix, Chris Spedding, and later married John Lydon of the Sex Pistols.  By the late ’70s, the Forster home was somewhat of a halfway house for starving punk musicians, with Up taking it all in, even learning to play the guitar from Joe Strummer.  In 1976, Up, who was just 14 at thetime, formed the Slits with Palmolive (Paloma Romero).   The band built a solid following thanks to its reggae and dub leaning punk sound, which was heavily influenced by the Clash, and Up’s energetic live performances.  In 1979, the band released its debut album, Cut, on Island Records to some controversy as the cover featured the women dressed only in loin cloths and covered in mud.  Even though it was never considered a “hit,”  the album generally appears in “best of” lists to this day.  Following the break up of the Slits in 1981, Up all but retired from music, moving to the jungles of Indonesia and Belize with her husband and children to live amongst the indigenous people.  She made music occasionally and resurfaced in 2005 to release her first solo album, Dread More Dan Dead.   The following year, Up reformed the Slits and released an EP and toured the world.  Since then she has appeared on albums by the likes of Lee “Scratch” Perry, the Jammyland All Stars, and Mark Stewart.  Ari Up passed away on October 20, 2010 at the age of 48.  Cause of death was not immediately released, but she apparently had been suffering from an undisclosed illness.

Thanks to Mike Woodford for the assist.

What You Should Own

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Cut (Deluxe Edition) - The Slits

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Died On This Date (May 5, 2004) Coxsone Dodd / Legendary Reggae Producer

Posted by themusicsover on May 5, 2010

Clement “Coxsone” Dodd
January 26, 1932 – May 5, 2004

coxsoneCoxsone Dodd was the pioneering Jamaican DJ and producer that many credit for early development of reggae and ska.  Dodd’s career in music began at an early age when he would spin records at this parents’ store.   He grew that into a popular sound system business, employing the likes of Lee “Scratch” Perry an U-Roy to run the sound systems.  Having spent some time in the United States, Dodd featured early American R&B records, first introducing many Jamaicans to the music.   Realizing that he couldn’t keep up with the local demand for new music with imports from the States, Dodd decided to start his own record label and shortly thereafter, open his Studio One recording studio.  Over the next two decades, Dodd would produce and release some of reggae’s greatest songs and albums from such artists as Bob Marley, Burning Spear, Sugar Minott, Ras Michael and Horace Andy.  To many, he was to reggae what Berry Gordy was to R&B, and his “studio one sound” would become the blueprint for ska and rocksteady.  Dodd died of a heart attack at the age of 74.

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Died On This Date (February 21, 2008) Joe Gibbs / Reggae Producer

Posted by themusicsover on February 21, 2010

Joe Gibbs (Born Joel Gibson)
1943 – February 21, 2008


Joe Gibbs was a respected Jamaican reggae producer.  He first began making records out of the back of his electronics repair shop during the late ’60s.  One of his earliest collaborators was Lee Scratch Perry.  In 1968, he formed his own record label, Amalgamated Records, home of one of rocksteady’s earliest hits, Roy Shirley’s “Hold Them.”  In 1972, he and engineer, Errol Thompson put together a house band that included the great Earl “Chinna” Smith, Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare, and together they generated hundreds of records, with over 100 becoming #1 singles in Jamaica.  In 1977, Gibbs produced Culture’s Two Sevens Clash, considered to be one of the most influential albums on the growing punk scene.  He continued to produce some of reggae’s most successful records well into the later years of his life.  Joe Gibbs was 65 when he suffered a fatal heart attack on February 21, 2008.

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