Reggae women go Groovin'
Groovin' in the Park has announced the addition of a Women Of Reggae segment to this year's event, which unfolds at Roy Wilkins Park in New York, USA, on Sunday, June 24. The package will now include songbirds JC Lodge, Pam Hall and Marcia Aitken.
Aitken's 1977 hit I'm Still in Love with You Boy got mainstream publicity in February when pop queen Beyonce used the original version of the song to announce her On The Run II tour with husband rapper Jay-Z in a mainstream TV ad. An Instagram post by Beyonce with the video clip was viewed almost 9 million times and aired on Entertainment Tonight (ET), the longest-running syndicated entertainment news programme in the US. There is some speculation that the power couple's recent trip to Jamaica was to film the video for a soon-to-be released remix version of the song.
I'm Still in Love with You Boy was a hit in Jamaica and the UK in the 1970s and was sampled by DJ Trinity on his popular hit Three Piece Suit, as well as Althea & Donna's Uptown Top Ranking. Aitken scored another hit, My Man, with Trinity in 1978.
Singer Pam Hall first garnered attention in the 1970s as a member of the popular duo Pam and Woody. She later sang background vocals for reggae icons Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, Dennis Brown, Jimmy Cliff and Beres Hammond, before her solo career took flight in the 80s with the single Dear Boopsie. The song spent four weeks on the UK Top 50 chart. Following a brief hiatus, she re-emerged in 1994 with the Dolly Parton penned hit I Will Always Love You, which was also done over by Whitney Houston. Hall also scored by covering Candi Staton's Young Hearts Run Free and with her 2016 release Make It Up To You.
In a dazzling career that spans four decades, British-based singer JC Lodge has etched her name in the annals of reggae music history with her county inspired reggae cover hit Someone Loves You Honey. The single achieved gold and platinum in the Netherlands. Lodge followed this with another smash, Telephone Love - one of the first dancehall/reggae songs to enjoy crossover success in the United States. The sing-along anthem was a staple on ethnic radio globally and charted at #45 on the Billboard R&B chart. The success of the single earned Lodge a US label deal with Tommy Boy Records, then a subsidiary of the Warner Music Group.
The women will join Kenny 'Babyface' Edmonds, Capleton, Busy Signal and Romain Virgo as headline performers for the seventh renewal of the outdoor concert in Queens, New York.