Wed | Nov 14, 2018

Stories by Mel Cooke

Published:Sunday | April 26, 2015 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

For many years, Startime, known for a long time as Heineken Startime with its long-term sponsorship by the beer brand, was the only regular large-scale outdoor vintage concert in Jamaica. Then, in October 2000, Stars R Us joined the party, the two...

Published:Sunday | April 26, 2015 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

Percy Sledge, who died at 73 years old on April 14, was a perennial favourite in Jamaica, doing concerts here over several years. The true testament to his appeal, as is the same for all enduring artistes, is that he could come and do the same...

Published:Saturday | April 25, 2015 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

Advisory 1: If you have had your fill of articles ranting against the annual carnival road march through urban St Andrew, there is no need to read any further. Just sigh or do a 'kiss teeth' and dismiss the article with a flick of your wrist, or put...

Published:Saturday | April 25, 2015 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

It would be somewhat of a stretch to call Booyaka! a series. Today's staging at the beachside Wickie Wackie venue near Bull Bay, St Andrew, is not the first time that it is being staged - the first outing was seven or eight years ago. Still, despite...

Published:Tuesday | April 21, 2015 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

The Fabulous Five Incorporated Band is not unused to fusing music and vocals with other performers. As a self-contained showband, along with their own material such as Asking For Love and Yu Safe, they regularly present a range of Jamaican popular...

Published:Sunday | April 19, 2015 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

In the aftermath of Barack Obama's whirlwind visit to Jamaica, The Sunday Gleaner revisits a set on which Cocoa Tea utilised the United States president's clarion call to his nation and the world.On the cover of his 2009 - and as he put it then ...

Published:Sunday | April 19, 2015 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

Today, The Sunday Gleaner begins a series looking at the vintage concert scene - or, rather, the lack of one - as the stage show presentation of artistes from Jamaica's older performers is a far cry from the heady days of the mid-2000s when there...

Published:Saturday | April 18, 2015 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

As promised last week, today we look at some reasons why what passes for the Jamaican music industry should move towards a more formal structure. While the topic is always relevant - and always thorny - this time around, it is prompted by a State of...

Published:Tuesday | April 14, 2015 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

Owen 'Blakka' Ellis and Dr Michael Abrahams literally drew a long bench for their extensive onstage conversation at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, into early afternoon on Sunday. For much of Fun and Joke Aside, the two were seated on...

Published:Sunday | April 12, 2015 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

Jamaica has a storied history of political activism - or at least commentary - in song, from Peter Tosh's determination to "fight, fight, fight 'gainst apartheid" through to Supercat's off-hand "we no 'fraid a Ronald Reagan who a run America" in...

Published:Sunday | April 12, 2015 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

As producer and sound system operator, Lloyd 'King Jammy' James dug into his memories at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona Campus, on Thursday, April 2. He eventually - and inevitably - came to the Sleng Teng riddim.He spoke as part of a...

Published:Sunday | April 12, 2015 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

The decade before the Sleng Teng riddim was made, Bob Marley and The Wailers played concerts at the Lyceum in London that were recorded and released as the Live album. By 1985, Bob Marley had been dead for four years and a beat had come out of...

Published:Saturday | April 11, 2015 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

I attended two events over the past couple of weeks that have stirred thoughts about the structure of this business of Jamaican popular music. One was the State of the Music Symposium at...

Published:Friday | April 10, 2015 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

United States President Barack Obama was high - in the air, that is - when he put in a late request to visit the Bob Marley Museum at 56 Hope Road, St Andrew, on Wednesday night.Yesterday, it was revealed that it was only 10 minutes before Air Force...

Published:Tuesday | April 7, 2015 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

The tall figure leaning forward, listening intently to a question from an audience member and a hint of a smile playing at the corners of his mouth complementing a near beatific expression, was almost irreconcilable with the renowned fierce sound...

Published:Sunday | April 5, 2015 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

Sixteen years old is a landmark age in a young lady's development, very often marked by a special party. It is not surprising then that the age makes its way into popular songs, or that these tracks centre around a budding love life.Primary among...

Published:Sunday | April 5, 2015 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

Poet Ras Takura released his debut album, Food War, in New York last month during his trek of the United States (US) East Coast. In January, deejay Gavinchi Brown got the news that his EP, The Gavinchi Code, was on the Billboard Reggae Chart while...

Published:Saturday | April 4, 2015 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

'Simplicity we use to survive Many find it difficult because them ignorant and hype"- Sizzla. I am not sure if it was Ibo Cooper or Steve Golding I heard use the term 'simplexity' - a combination of simplicity and complexity, obviously - to sum up the...

Published:Sunday | March 29, 2015 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

In a short space of time, there have been a number of notable changes in the compact-sedan segment of Jamaica's new-car market. Nissan and Toyota have introduced the refreshed Versa and...

Published:Saturday | March 28, 2015 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

I read about the proposal to make Olympic Way an entertainment hip strip with a mixture of resignation and irritation - resignation because it may be the beginning of a pattern that I expected, but despite those expectations, I am still not pleased...

Published:Friday | March 27, 2015 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

All Saints Primary School in Kingston has a striking name and a reputation for having been the educational institution for several outstanding personalities from the area for several years. Tomorrow evening in the hall of the St Andrew Parish Church...

Published:Sunday | March 22, 2015 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

It is a happy coincidence that two of my all-time favourite Jamaican popular music performers, Capleton and Burning Spear, have songs with similar titles which use travelling by road to represent life struggles, through which they are assisted...

Published:Sunday | March 22, 2015 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

The title of Dr Erin MacLeod's recently launched book, Visions of Zion: Ethiopians...

Published:Saturday | March 21, 2015 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

Can we rebel against child murders now?I have always wondered what would happen to the prodigious output of weed songs if the green gold was legalised. As much as I thought the law against marijuana was silly and ineffective, I never thought there...

Published:Friday | March 20, 2015 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

For the third staging of the monthly poetry event, Outspoken, held at Nanook, 20 Burlington Avenue, St Andrew, Deline Campbell and Joan Webley came up with a 'Three The Hard Way' line-up.Oku Onuora, Samuel Gordon and Abbebe Payne are the poets who...

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