Mon | Sep 24, 2018

Stories by Mel Cooke

Published:Sunday | February 4, 2018 | 12:05 AMMel Cooke

  June Isaacs, widow of the ‘Cool Ruler’ whose lovers rock classics include Top Ten and Night Nurse in a catalogue that also includes the defiant One Man Against The World and possibly the confessional Hard Drugs, smiled a lot...

Published:Sunday | February 4, 2018 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

It took a long time before June knew that the man who introduced himself to her as 'Tooth' at Randy's record store, North Parade, Kingston, was the singer whose song she dropped her coins and selected on the jukebox in Portland. It took a concert at...

Published:Sunday | January 28, 2018 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

At a time when a major quibble with the Grammy Award in the Reggae category is that it is not presented during the live television broadcast, it may be difficult to imagine the euphoria that there was a reggae category in the first instance.Mallory...

Published:Sunday | January 28, 2018 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

Only one letter - the last - has changed in the initialism for the broad-based organisation represents persons involved in the business of music in Jamaica. However, it indicates a new leadership as singer Karen Smith has replaced long-time...

Published:Thursday | January 25, 2018 | 12:06 AMMel Cooke

As I read through Shaun Cain’s Reggae Larger Than Life: The Ultimate Reggae Music Fun and Games Book, I fought – successfully – to push the word ‘trivia’ from my mind. For while that is the accustomed terminology for...

Published:Sunday | January 21, 2018 | 12:55 AMMel Cooke

At Studio One, 13 Brentford Road (now Studio One Boulevard, St Andrew), Kingsley Goodison saw the process of recording many songs which would eventually be deemed special in the unfolding of Jamaican popular music. A standout among them is...

Published:Thursday | January 18, 2018 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

There is not a hard and fast price scale for an artiste to voice a dubplate for a sound system or selector. However, Garfield 'Chin' Bourne of Irish and Chin, which stages the annual World Clash sound system battle, last held in Canada last October...

Published:Sunday | January 14, 2018 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

It is standard to see persons running or walking as briskly as they can along the jogging trail inside Emancipation Park, New Kingston, sweat dripping and sinews taut as they look outwards to a fixed image of their target distance. If the Jamaica...

Published:Sunday | January 14, 2018 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

Close to the end of Pimento and Hot Pepper: The Story of Mento Music, the connection between Elephant Man's Chaka Chaka and the melody of Sammy Dead is clearly illustrated, even before the documentary's narrative reasserts a point made close to the...

Published:Sunday | January 14, 2018 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

As the Jamaica Association of Vintage Artistes and Affiliates (JAVAA) turns the corner into its 15th year, chairman Frankie Campbell identifies the death insurance...

Published:Sunday | January 14, 2018 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

While Fab Five's hit soca song, Ringroad Jam, was literally centred on the road march centerpiece of carnival annually at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, it took a confluence of circumstances - and lots of time - to have it eventually...

Published:Monday | January 8, 2018 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

The cause - supporting the Bustamante Hospital for Children - and line-up, from Police rocker Sting, through to dancehall young gun Dexta Daps, for Shaggy and Friends 2018, were outstanding.And so was the setting, as the lawns of Jamaica House, St...

Published:Monday | January 8, 2018 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

Premium placement did not translate into premium display of enjoyment at Shaggy and Friends 2018, and rapper Wyclef Jean let his irritation known in no uncertain terms on Sunday morning on Jamaica House's lawns.After doing his 911 and Buju Baton's...

Published:Sunday | January 7, 2018 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

At the December launch of Rebel Salute 2018, which takes place on January 12 and 13 at Grizzly's Plantation Cove, St Ann, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia 'Babsy' Grange, put some figures to the festival which has grown...

Published:Sunday | January 7, 2018 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

Tony Rebel recorded Fresh Vegetable to satisfy an insistent Penthouse Records producer, Donovan Germain. And although Germain pressed him for a quarter of a year to put vocals to a rhythm on which Beres Hammond had done the enduring ode to a man's...

Published:Thursday | January 4, 2018 | 12:49 AMMel Cooke

Willie Brown returned to Christianity along the broad dual carriageway of a professional comedian and ventriloquist. Brown, who performed at the Boxing Day 2017 Comedy Cook-up at the National Indoor Sports Centre along with his doll pals - Uncle...

Published:Thursday | December 28, 2017 | 12:15 AMMel Cooke

About midway through his performance at Tuesday’s Comedy Cook-Up, Owen ‘Blakka’ Ellis defined the fusion of Christian worship and laughter which was playing out to a large audience at the National Indoor Sports Centre...

Published:Monday | December 25, 2017 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

There was a call for books at Bookophilia, 92 Hope Road, St Andrew, recently, even as three poets Millicent Graham, Monica Minott and Ann-Margaret Lim - read `from their poetry books and sometimes work that is yet to be incorporated into a...

Published:Saturday | December 23, 2017 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

I was listening - as usual - to FAME's Retroactive Wednesday earlier this week and they played a number of Ninja Man songs back to back. As much as I enjoyed his deejaying ,I felt sad, and that was not because Desmond Ballentine will be close to 80...

Published:Thursday | December 21, 2017 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

Ninja Man has performed at GT Taylor Christmas Extravaganza about 12 times in the concert's 17-year history, and if not for his life sentence for murder, would have been on stage for the 2017 staging on Monday at the Luana Sports Complex, St...

Published:Wednesday | December 20, 2017 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

Strictly speaking, the Billboard ranking of reggae albums, which was updated yesterday, is not the final chart for 2017. It is for the week ending Saturday, December 30, so next Tuesday, a listing which includes New Year's Eve 2017 will be issued....

Published:Tuesday | December 19, 2017 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

It has been a long time since credits rolled at the end of a film at the Ambassador on Collie Smith Drive in Trench Town, St Andrew. Instead, there is the hum of classes in session, run by the Joy Town Community Development Foundation. Once in a...

Published:Sunday | December 17, 2017 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

Without saxophonist Dean Fraser's urging, Tarrus Riley would not have recorded Beware, the song that ended up as the third track on his 2006 VP Records album Parables. The song of caution to the innocent to keep an eye out for the wanton killers is...

Published:Saturday | December 16, 2017 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

I can't pinpoint when I first saw Beres Hammond perform, but I know that a Western Consciousness concert at Llandilo, Westmoreland, was the first time I saw him sing Live On with Marcia Griffiths.And that, my goodly folks, is unforgettable. Much...

Published:Thursday | December 14, 2017 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

Dub poet Malachi Smith has performed in Taiwan, St Kitts and Nevis, Canada, South Africa, Colombia, Nicaragua, "all over the United States" (where he lives), and, of course, repeatedly in the land of his birth, Jamaica.Still, his school tour of...

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