Fri | Dec 6, 2019

‘Rhythm Master’ Glen Brown has died

Published:Saturday | October 5, 2019 | 12:08 AMStephanie Lyew/Gleaner Writer

Veteran singer and producer Glenmore Brown, whose roots reggae rhythms inspired several musicians in the 1970s, from Big Youth to Gregory Isaacs, has died at the age of 75. Brown, who was known as “God Son” and “Rhythm Master” by colleagues, passed away from natural causes on Friday morning at the Far Rockaway Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing in New York, Rosemarie Macklin, his eldest daughter, confirmed.

“Our family is devastated by our father’s death. Although aware that he was battling illness, it still comes as a shock for all of us,” Macklin told The Gleaner.

“It has been a terrible year for our family,” she added, “because my sister, Cylene, succumbed to cancer earlier this year.”

The musician had been in the nursing home for approximately nine years, following diagnosis of renal failure and dementia. He was also diabetic. Though grieving the loss of her father, Macklin took a moment to recollect his many accomplishments as a musician.

“He could no longer do music because of illness, but he has music recorded in the Library of Congress, and the world will remember his name, or moniker, through the work he has produced,” she said.

Macklin also noted that the central Kingston-born musician was introduced to the industry first as a singer, with fellow vocalist Lloyd Robinson, and he recorded songs for prolific producers Duke Reid and Derrick Harriott. Prior to launching a solo recording and production career, Brown was a member of the band The Sonny Bradshaw Seven. However, he later became the owner of two record labels, Pantomime and South East Music. Brown was the producer of the Pantomime Vocal and Instrumental Collections and Volumes One and Two of the Rhythm Master album productions in the early 2000s.

The moniker “Rhythm Master” was earned in the 1960s, so named for his ability to create music that was catchy, synergistic, and masterful, using horns and other melodies, while “God Son” was the name given to Brown by musicians who he mentored, including Sugar Minott, General Lee, and Joseph Cotton.

“He treated all musicians like friends and accepted the role of father to so many of them, therefore, he deserved the title. But now he has gone home to the real Father,” Macklin concluded.