Sun | Dec 9, 2018

Count Prince Miller severely ill in England

Published:Wednesday | July 18, 2018 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke/Gleaner Writer
Clarence 'Count Prince' Miller (right) receives his Order of Distinction, Officer Class, from then Governor General Sir Kenneth Hall at the National Indoor Sports Centre in this October 15, 2007 file photo.
Count Prince Miller electrifying his audience at the April Easter Extravaganza at the National Arena in 1971.
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Clarence 'Count Prince' Miller, particularly renowned for his humorous song Mule Train, is ill in England. Aloun Ndombet-Assamba, former Jamaican high commissioner to England, made the revelations Monday evening, as she addressed the gathering for the launch of Tribute to the Greats 2018.

Assamba's connection with Miller who lives in England includes presenting him with an award there, recognising his achievements at the 2012 Friends of the Caribbean Charity Ball. Before that, Miller was awarded the Order of Distinction in 2007 in Jamaica.

"Count Prince Miller is in hospital in the United Kingdom. I just want you to pray with me and recognise one of the greats," Assamba told the audience at Strathairn Avenue in St Andrew. "I pray for peace."

Miller and Dawn Penn were among a number of Jamaican performers honoured in England in 2014. "We arranged a recognition function for 16 of our great artistes who live in the UK," Assamba said.

Miller, who is from St Mary, was born in 1935 and www.discogs.com has the Mule Train single release at 1971 on Trojan Records. It was again recorded with Sly and Robbie the following decade. Miller's movie credits, listed on www.imdb.com, include; What a Girl Wants (2003); Winnie and the Duppy Bat (2006); and Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017). He was also a dancer (though not credited) in the first James Bond film Dr No (1962). On television, Miller appeared in the Desmond's, Porkpie; The Bill and Us Girls series.

 

Heavily involved

 

Assamba was heavily involved in Jamaican popular music while posted in England. "I think I went to more live Jamaican performances in the UK than here. When I lived in Camden, the London Jazz Club was in walking distance. Every Jamaican act that appeared there I was there," Assamba said, naming Jimmy Cliff, Third World and Lee 'Scratch' Perry ("at least three times") among them. "I have seen bands that have not one Jamaican in it.

There were men wearing kilts and playing Jamaican music If you have not travelled and seen how people respond to good Jamaican music, you have no idea of the power," she said.

However, in a 2014 interview with The Gleaner, Miller was concerned about the lack of mainstream radio airplay for reggae in England. He said, "while I am happy with the present standard of reggae music in Jamaica, which is different from dancehall music people all over the world continuing to talk about it but there is an unknown stigma attached. It is not properly promoted on the international markets, mainly England and the United States of America. In England, for example, many DJs are reluctant to play reggae music in comparison to pop and other forms of music."