Frankie Paul, others robbed of royalties
THE EDITOR, Sir:
I write in regards to the recent loss of Frankie Paul, a very talented musician whose music has punctuated various junctures of my life.
Although I was born in the United Kingdom, my parents were Jamaican, so I was privileged to move to Jamaica at age three.
I spent most of my formative years in Jamaica, so I grew up listening to Frankie Paul's music.
I am only too aware of the numerous hit records he had over the years and I have witnessed countless stage show appearances for which he received great accolades.
So, it saddened me to read that his family had to seek assistance from the public with his medical bills.
This begs the question of whether his ill health was exacerbated by lack of funds, caused by his missing out financially because of unscrupulous record producers and promoters exploiting his lack of legal knowledge around contracts.
Over the years, I have heard of cases where producers paid artistes a set amount to make a record, without giving them any entitlement to future royalties that may be generated by iTunes downloads or record sales.
While I have no proof, it saddens me to think that there are individuals in Jamaica and abroad who are living off the legacy of some of our most talented performers, based on greed and underhanded means.
The people of Jamaica should stand against this injustice and ensure that singers and/or their families benefit from their hard work.
May Frankie Paul's soul rest in peace. And if folks had abused his ignorance, I hope that it plays on their consciences for eternity.