Fri | Sep 21, 2018

Stories by Mel Cooke

Published:Friday | September 29, 2017 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

Leslie Tucker Jnr is known mostly as Junior Tucker for two reasons - he has the same Christian name as his father, and 'Junior' as has been part of his stage name in a career which has spanned 45 years - and counting.Twenty of those years have been...

Published:Friday | September 29, 2017 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

Glen 'Titus' Campbell is a theatre favourite who treads the boards especially frequently at the Centrestage Theatre, New Kingston, before thousands of persons in Jambiz's productions. However, in addition to learning new scripts, doing intense...

Published:Thursday | September 28, 2017 | 12:05 AMMel Cooke

Professor Mervyn Morris says the earliest poems in his most recent publication, Peelin Orange, The Collected Poems of Mervyn Morris (Carcanet), were written in about 1960. And while he did not write with the specific objective of a particular poem...

Published:Thursday | September 28, 2017 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

Peelin Orange, The Collected Poems of Mervyn Morris (Carcanet) does not lay claim to being 'ultimate', 'best of', 'definitive' or any other terminal point often (and just as often, mistakenly) used in writing or music. However, in the case of Mervyn...

Published:Wednesday | September 27, 2017 | 12:07 AMMel Cooke

Four days of recorded and live music at the Melia Braco Village in Rio Bueno, Trelawny, anchor Merritone's 67th anniversary celebrations from October 8-16. That extended weekend at the all-inclusive, ending on National Heroes Day, caps off the...

Published:Sunday | September 24, 2017 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

Audrey Reid makes her entrance a few seconds into the 1997 movie, Dancehall Queen, pushing a cart laden with drinks and other items for sale over a slope towards the camera, then to her spot in the competitive bustle of informal Jamaican street...

Published:Sunday | September 24, 2017 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

David 'Ziggy' Marley is writing a storm song. He is in Los Angeles, United States (US), so he did not experience Hurricane Irma. However, he called his brother Stephen in Miami, Florida, and says that "we talk bout it", leading to the lyrics in...

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

The iTunes listing of top 100 reggae albums is not, it seems, the stomping ground of new releases, which end up breaking the upper echelons only to quickly fall off the chart. It tends to be the preserve of the tried and proven, and those new albums...

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

Last week's column was about musicians having an identity outside of being the 'so-and-so guitarist' (or keyboard player, or musical director, or 'bassie'). However, there are those players of instruments who, collectively, have an identity as a...

Published:Friday | September 22, 2017 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

BIRTHDAY WISH: Health and strength so you can do what you do. I have been to see people in the hospital, and I have been to nine nights, and I just want the health and strength.In a world without Hurricane Irma, actress Audrey Reid would have...

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

It happens almost every time singer Gem Myers says it. And it has been happening for more than 30 years, since she recorded One Man Woman in the mid 1980s.As she performs the upbeat affirmation of a woman's commitment ("Every day man a check me/Tell...

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

On Saturday, September 9, and Sunday, September 10, The Jamaican Folk Singers staged its 50th anniversary season at the Little Theatre, Tom Redcam Avenue, St Andrew. It was a weekend when rain caused by Hurricane Irma soaked parts of Jamaica, but...

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

As the second week of the 2017-2018 academic year drew to a close, some significant figures came together in a small room at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, Arthur Wint Drive, St Andrew.Those 'figures' were not only...

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

Ernie Smith recorded I Can't Take It as a ballad at Federal Studios in 1967. Eight years later, Johnny Nash did it over as a lovers' rock track, naming it Tears on My Pillow. It was, for Smith, an unfortunate title change, as that was the name of a...

Published:Wednesday | September 13, 2017 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

Luciano sang his wish for a One Away Ticket and Dennis Brown sang about the glories of the promised land Damian Marley adding details of the vision for Africa in Land of Promise, his remake of the reggae track with Nas featuring Brown's voice.Close...

Published:Sunday | September 10, 2017 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

Duppy Gunman, has got a deejay touch from Agent Sasco on Ernie Smith's most recent multiple song project, an EP of collaborations on previously released songs, as well as new tracks.In addition to the Duppy Gunman, remake, there is also a refreshing...

Published:Sunday | September 10, 2017 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

If ever there was a case of a songwriter starting a song with the opposite of the real life situation which inspired it, it is Ernie Smith and Duppy Gunman.Written one Saturday night in 1974, recorded the following Monday at Federal Studios,...

Published:Saturday | September 9, 2017 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

There are times when I believe that there is a deliberate collusion between performers of dubious ability and persons of similar dubious ability, determined to publicise Jamaican popular music content - and this includes journalists (print and...

Published:Thursday | September 7, 2017 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

Roger Steffens has a stellar roster of interviewees for his book, So Much Things to Say: The Oral History of Bob Marley (WW Norton& Company)....

Published:Wednesday | September 6, 2017 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

So much has been written about Bob Marley (maybe over 500 books), the preface of So Much Things to Say: The Oral History of Bob Marley says that it is hard to think what more could be written that is fresh and engaging.In addition, so many pictures...

Published:Saturday | September 2, 2017 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

There was a time when the albums which I have used to mark the progression - and also progress - of the Jamaican popular music I am in tune with were woefully thin on the ground. My tally began in the early 1990s with artistes who emerged when I was...

Published:Friday | July 28, 2017 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

From 9 a.m. today to 2 a.m. tomorrow, the coastal town where electricity and the automobile were first introduced to Jamaica, will host its fifth annual Black River Day.Put on by the Black River Chapter of the St Elizabeth Chamber of Commerce, along...

Published:Friday | July 28, 2017 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

While there are comedians who will gleefully let a Jamaican curse word - or two, or more - rip during a performance, Owen 'Blakka' Ellis is not one of them. And that was his stance even before his public statement of being a Christian earlier this...

Published:Wednesday | July 26, 2017 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

This is not going to be a glowing review of Morgan Heritage's latest album, Avrakedabra, a copy of which turned up on the surface of the desk allocated to me at The Gleaner's 7 North Street, Kingston offices, a couple weeks ago. However, should you...

Published:Sunday | July 23, 2017 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

Today, July 23, is the 125th birthday of HIM Haile Selassie.Sizzla is one of those who has recorded the monarch's coronation date in song. It is included in Mash Dem Down, on the 2002 album Da Real Thing.Mash Dem Down, a song of faith in the...

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