Wed | Sep 20, 2017

Chuck Turner Returns Once Again

Published:Saturday | January 14, 2017 | 1:00 AMCarl Gilchrist
Chuck Turner performing at Rebel Salute launch on Wednesday night in St Ann.

He always seems to come back, this reggae/dancehall artiste called Chuck Turner, christened Norris Hill. And so he's here again.

This time, he hopes to truly revive a career that began in his pre-teen years in the 1970s and reached a high in 1987 when he scored a massive hit for producer King Jammys with a track called I Need You, on the 'Cat Paw' rhythm.

The song, originally done by the late Maurice White, founder of Earth, Wind and Fire, catapulted Turner into the limelight in a decade that Jammys, as producer, controlled.

That success for the artiste was the stepping stone to other hits, such as Tears and Runaround Girl, both released in that same year.

For the next couple of years, Turner recorded and released dozens of songs as his career took off.

But he had setbacks along the way. One came early in 1989 when he was involved in a motor vehicle accident that left him in a coma for three days.

Shot in the head

He recovered and resumed his career. But later that same year, tragedy struck again. One night while leaving a club in Manhattan with friends, he was robbed and shot in the head.

This time, the coma lasted for five weeks. Again he recovered. But the two brushes with death made him change his outlook on life and he later became a Christian.

Many Jamaicans have heard nothing of the man in quite a number of years, not to mention seeing him perform locally, as he resides in New York. But he returns to grace the stage at Rebel Salute tonight, the final night of the two-night roots reggae festival at Grizzly's Plantation in Priory, St Ann.

It is an opportunity he is grateful for.

At the St Ann leg of the launch of the festival, Turner performed I Need You and elicited the biggest response from the audience at Jewel Dunn's River hotel, where the event was held.

He was happy with the warm reception.

"I Need You was great, you know, it opened the way for me," Turner told Entertainment Avenue, as he reflected on the period when the song was popular, some 30 years ago.

"I had songs before that, but that was the first one to impact," said the humble and soft-spoken singer.

Referring to the shooting incident, Turner said: "It took me out of the business for a while, but now I'm back."

New track

Being back actually means recording and performing the music he loves. In August, he teamed up with Jammys once more to record the track Kissing You, which so far has done well, reaching number three on the Clinton Lindsay chart and getting in London and mainland Europe.

Tonight, the audience will, no doubt, as much as it did on Wednesday night, warm to him when he delivers I Need You. It was a hit 30 years ago and sounds just as fresh in 2017.

Turner, now in his mid-50s, will share the stage tonight with singers such as Bushman, Cocoa Tea, Davianah, Derrick Morgan, Duane Stephenson, Errol Dunkley, Leroy Gibbons, Leroy Sibbles, Ras Shiloh, Sanchez, Sophia Squire, Stranger Cole, Zosia McGregor. Others also booked to perform tonight include Agent Sasco, Jesse Royal, Junior Kelly, Lady G, Moses Davis (Beenie Man), Queen Ifrica, Rockers Element, Spragga Benz, Tanto Metro and Devonte, Third World, and Wickerman.

entertainment@gleanerjm.com