Thursday, April 7, 2016

Throw Back - To Origins

Lee Scratch Perry - noted for his innovative studio techniques and production values, was one of the pioneers in the development of dub music with his early adoption of effects and remixing to create new instrumental or vocal versions of existing reggae tracks. Perry apprenticed at Studio One in his early years and was a record seller for Clement Coxsone Dodd's sound system in the 1950s.

in 1973, Perry built a studio in his back yard, the Black Ark and produced notable musicians including the legendary Bob Marley, the Heptones, Congos and Max Romeo. His producion became lavish and virtually everything he recorded in The Black Ark was done using basic recording equipment, through sonic sleight-of-hand, made it sound unique. Perry remained behind the mixing board for many years, producing songs and albums that stand out as a high point in reggae's history.

Rita Marley is best known for carrying on her husband's musical legacy as well as her own solo career. Born Alpharita Constantia Anderson in Santiago de Cuba, Rita was abandoned by her mother when she was just 5 years old and was raised by her father and aunt in the community of Trench Town in Kingston.

Starting out by singing along to radio tracks, Rita Marley eventually began performing with her cousin, Constantine 'Dream' Walker, and friend, Marlene 'Precious' Gifford. The trio later sang for the Wailing Wailers, a local group that included Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer. Overtime, Rita and Bob Marley became a couple and got married in 1966. The couple struggled financially and professionally as well as dealt with marital issues. 

In 1976, a group of armed men attacked their home during a rehearsal. Shielding her children, a bullet grazed Rita's head, and Bob was hit in the sternum and arm. While there has been no official report from the police to determine the real motive for the attack, it was widely speculated that it may have been politically motivated. Bob Marley was believed to be a supporter of political party PNP, and the attack happened during weeks leading up to an important national election in Jamaica. The Marleys continued to face many ups and downs in the remaining years of Bob Marley's life, but bonded together as he battled against cancer.  

Rita Marley established the Bob Marley Foundation after his death in 1981, to fight poverty and hunger in developing countries.

Jimmy Riley was born in one of Kingston's toughest communities, known as Jonestown and grew up in Waterhouse. He formed the group, The Sensations which included group members Cornell Campbell, Buster Riley and Aaron 'Dego' Davis. The Sensations successfully landed hits in the 1960s with tracks, "Everyday Is Just A Holiday" and "Those Guys" before Riley exited the group in 1967 to join Smith and Lloyd Charmers in the re-formed Uniques group. 

Garnering even more hits under his belt such as "Watch This Sound" and "My Conversation" once again, group members split up and Riley initially went solo. He produced his own music as well others by artistes like Slim Smith and Delroy Wilson and successfully landed hits such as "Tell The Youths The Truth", "Nyah Binghi", and "Clean Up The Streets" in the 1970s continuing along a successful path throughout the 1980s. In 1983, Jimmy Riley topped the UK Reggae chart with a cover version of American RnB singer Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing" before putting his career on hold toward the end of that era.

Jimmy Riley return to the music industry and released the Sly and Robbie produced album entitled "Pull Up Selector" in 2008. September 2013, he release another album entitled "Contradiction." March 23rd, 2016 Jimmy Riley died in New York city from cancer.

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