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Coxson ran Downbeat, Studio One

Published:Monday | August 25, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Clement 'Sir Coxon' Dodd
The Wall of Honour recognising performers and musicians associated with Studio One in the courtyard of the famed recording facility at 13 Studio One Boulevard, St Andrew. - File

Shereita Grizzle, Gleaner Writer

"Today, through the contribution of persons like Sir Coxson, Jamaica is recognised worldwide as the undisputed Mecca of popular music." Those were the words of then Prime Minister P.J. Patterson, as news of the death of Clement 'Sir Coxson' Dodd spread across the island in 2004.

The legendary music pioneer and founder of Studio One died on May 4, 2004, from apparent heart complications. He was 72 years old.

Dodd had been involved with music since the 1950s. As owner and operator of Downbeat, he is partially credited with the establishment of the sound-system culture in Jamaica.

In the earlier stages of his music career, Dodd imported records to play on his sound system. The demand for music grew, and this saw Dodd making numerous trips overseas to update his catalogue and get new equipment. As time progressed, Dodd had several sound systems in operation across the Corporate Area.

Determined to make his mark in the local music industry, Dodd decided to build his own recording studio and in 1963, he opened the doors to Studio One on Brentford Road, near Cross Roads in St Andrew. Often compared to Berry Gordy's Detroit-based Motown Studios in the United States, Studio One became a starting point or significant step for countless Jamaican performers and musicians, including The Wailers, Bob Andy, Alton Ellis, Ken Boothe, John Holt, Marcia Griffiths, and The Skatalites.

Just days before Dodd's death, Brentford Road was renamed Studio One Boulevard, in homage to Dodd's accomplishments as a producer.

During his lifetime, Dodd earned numerous accolades for his contribution to music. In 1991, he was awarded the Order of Distinction, and in August 2002, he was presented with a special award during Jamaica's 40th Independence celebrations. In that same year, he was also awarded a gold Musgrave Medal by the Institute of Jamaica for his contribution to music.