Blue plaque to mark Cool Ruler’s home
Today, a blue plaque will be placed at deceased singer Gregory Isaacs' home on Sunrise Crescent, St Andrew. The ceremony is slated to begin at 11 a.m.
Widow of the 'Cool Ruler', June Isaacs, told The Gleaner that the marker will be placed "on behalf of the British government in
recognition of Gregory's place of abode." The website www.english-heritage.org.uk says in England "London's famous blue plaques link the people of the past with the buildings of the present. Now run by English Heritage, the London blue plaques scheme was started in 1866 and is thought to be the oldest of its kind in the world."
Isaacs, whose hits include Night Nurse (covered by British group Simply Red), Number One, Rumours and Top Ten, died in London on October 25, 2010.
The blue plaques project has spread to other parts of the world and Isaacs said "this is being endorsed by the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) as well as it is a part of Reggae Month." Other Reggae Month events for today are Inner City Mondays at House of Dancehall on Cargill Avenue, Uptown Mondays at Savanna Plaza and New Wave at the Cove Bar.
The Sunrise Crescent home holds many family memories for her, and June relates how sometimes Isaacs would come home and sit in the car working through a song that had come to his mind. It stayed there until the recording session.
"I never saw Gregory write down a song and he retained everything - next week, next month, next year. Sometimes I do not know how he did it. He just had a good memory. It would happen any time of day., any time of night. It could be in the shower. Sometimes he would come and he would call (musician) Flabba Holt and start working and knocking a beat," June said.
And in developing his writing, June said Gregory always had three texts with him - his dictionary, his Bible and his "little novel". The last would be from the Mills & Boon romance series, "bend over in his back pocket, beat up, tear up, no matter how it stay. He would tell me stories from them."