Lincoln Barrington Minott or Sugar Minott, was born May 25th in Kingston, Jamaica. Sugar would discover and develop his awesome talent into what would later become his life’s purpose – to bring a joyful, soothing voice to the ever growing reggae culture.
Minott officially began his musical career as a member of the Sound of Silence Keytone sound system. His primary function was to select records to play as he would also chant over the dubs. Soon after, Sugar would team with Derrick Howard and Tony Tuff to form The African Brothers. The group was short lived but managed to cut a few records on the Studio One label. After the group disbanded -around 1978- Sugar began to record solo.
Sugar dominated the dancehall era with tunes like Mr. DC, Never Gonna Give Jah Up and perhaps his most notable remake of the Jackson 5′s Good Thing Going. I have to say that Sugar is there in my top listing of favorite reggae artists. He admitted to being influenced by the likes of Ken Boothe, Delroy Wilson and my all time favorite, Dennis Brown.
Sugar Minott passed away July 10, 2010. He is and continues to be a pioneer of Roots Reggae music. In life, Sugar was indeed a supporter of the ghetto youths and would often pay hommage to his humble upbringings as being the reason he is able to survive in the industry as he did.
Salute to a great artist and performer – Happy Birthday Sugar!
Robert Nesta Marley was born February 6, 1946 in the parish of St Ann, Jamaica. Born into a family consisting of a white father and black mother, Marley would use this juxtaposition to his benefit. The messages in his music would resonate unity and liberation; unity of all people and the liberation of those who continued to live under colonial rule and unjust subjugation. An avid musician, he has been honorably regarded as the king of reggae.
Marley’s musical career began very early with him leaving school at the age of 14. He connected with his childhood friend, Neville Livingston (Bunny Wailer) and they would attend vocal classes held by reggae musician Joe Higgs. Higgs would later introduce Marley and Wailer to Peter Tosh and with this introduction the world would receive Bob Marley and the Wailers.The trio were introduced to Sir Coxsone Dodd who would later help the trio refine their signature harmony evident in the first Studio One release “Simmer Down”. This single sold over 80,000 copies.
Bob Marley was diagnosed with cancer in 1977 and later succumbed to the illness May 11, 1981. Marley experienced a very successful career and continues to function as an influence not only to his children which include Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, Stephen Marley, and Damian “Jr Gong” Marley but he continues to influence the music of many reggae artists and hails as the reigning King of Reggae music.
Happy Bornday Mr Marley.
My all time favorite Marley and the Wailers track…..
Welcoming in the celebration of Black history month, I wanted to start off with a special bornday mention…..
“Here I come with love and not hatred, surely goodness and mercy shall follow I all the days of my life…”
Dennis Emmanuel Brown, born February 1st, 1957 in Kingston, Jamaica, has got to be one of the most recognizable voices in reggae music. Coined as the “Crowned Prince” of reggae, Brown would help define the elements of Lovers Rock, Rockers and Conscious reggae music. Brown’s most recognizable record would probably be Love and Hate which is indeed a classic reggae tune. Dennis Brown worked with a canon of notable reggae producers that included Niney the Observer, Joe Gibbs, and Sir Coxsone Dodd. A musical prodigy, he recorded his first record No Man is an Island at age 13.
I was introduced to reggae music via my father’s vinyl collection. The very first Dennis Brown album I ever became familiar with was an album titled Judge Not which had a picture of both Dennis Brown and Gregory Isaacs on it. I have to say though, my favorite Brown album is Satisfaction Feeling. This, to me, is an undeniable classic DB album. His voice, no lie, is like soothing honey and he sings with such passion. He is indeed my favorite reggae artist and I am happy that I was able to witness his last live performance in New York at SOB’s in 1998.
Dennis Brown died July 1, 1999 of complications with pneumonia. He rests in Kingston National Heroes Park in Jamaica. The influence of Dennis Brown’s music resonates through artists like Luciano, Freddie McGregor and George Nooks.
So thankful for Youtube, here’s a video of Brown recording Rocking Time….Enjoy
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