Wed | Jun 28, 2017

Stories by Roy Black

Published:Sunday | June 25, 2017 | 6:00 AMRoy Black

The Manhattans belongs to an exclusive fraternity of four-part harmony soul groups that emerged in the early 1970s in the United States. The Spinners, The Chi-Lites, The Stylistics and The O'Jays were others that stood out as harmony kingpins.Led...

Published:Wednesday | June 21, 2017 | 6:03 AMRoy Black

The long-running Heineken Startime series of stage shows, now known as Startime, has built a reputation for itself that is unmatched anywhere in Jamaica's music business.It has the distinction of being the catalyst in the resurgence, worldwide, of...

Published:Sunday | June 18, 2017 | 6:00 AMRoy Black

Last week's Music Diaries focused on the important role that deejay Dennis Alcapone played in keeping the Jamaican Diaspora connected with the Jamaican authorities and fans, concerning artistes scattered abroad and, particularly, their passing. He...

Published:Sunday | June 11, 2017 | 6:00 AMRoy Black

Another of the international ambassadors for the Jamaican music industry is Dennis Alcapone, who became well known in the 1960s and 1970s for his DJ recordings and performances. But if one were to measure Alcapone's achievements solely on the basis...

Published:Sunday | June 4, 2017 | 6:47 AMRoy Black

Describing Anthony ‘Chips’Richards as an international ambassador for the Jamaican music industry would certainly be one of the biggest understatements of the 20th century. The name may mean very little to Jamaicans at home, but in...

Published:Sunday | May 28, 2017 | 5:00 AMRoy Black

Even as we celebrated Labour Day on May 23, we were mindful of the fact that honest labour occupies a very important place in the development of children. And with the month of May being designated Child Month, it may, perhaps, be an opportune time...

Published:Sunday | May 21, 2017 | 5:00 AMRoy Black

One of the most commonly accepted inaccuracies floating around these days in music circles is that Bunny Wailer is the only surviving member of the legendary Wailers singing group. Beverley Kelso, one of the surviving symbols and cornerstone of the...

Published:Saturday | May 20, 2017 | 5:00 AMRoy Black

Arthur 'Bunny' Robinson, one half of the duo of Skully and Bunny, transcended musical boundaries when he recorded in duet with his partner the first song in Jamaica's popular music during the post-mento period. It has to be taken seriously because...

Published:Sunday | May 7, 2017 | 5:00 AMRoy Black

Last week's Music Diaries revealed how songwriters, especially those in early popular music, made heroes and heroines out of singers through their writing, while they themselves dwelled in the shadows. The twist to that is that several songwriters...

Published:Sunday | April 30, 2017 | 4:00 AMRoy Black

As is so often mentioned in previous articles, songwriters in popular music get very little recognition for the work they do.Those songwriters who are also vocalists and write songs for themselves and others are the lucky ones because in the...

Published:Saturday | April 29, 2017 | 4:00 AMRoy Black

The Grand Caribbean Suite at The Knutsford Court Hotel was filled with nostalgic euphoria recently, as patrons, friends, well-wishers and vinyl record enthusiasts gathered for the launch of the 20th staging of the Vinyl Record Collectors Association...

Published:Wednesday | April 26, 2017 | 4:00 AMRoy Black

Amid the 70th birthday celebrations of the legendary surviving member of the Wailers, we are reminded of the enormous contribution made by the group to the development of Jamaica's popular music and the internationalisation of reggae.And who else is...

Published:Sunday | April 23, 2017 | 4:02 AMRoy Black

Last Sunday's Music Diaries highlighted the role played by several Jamaican rocksteady groups in helping to establish the genre as the most rhythmically pleasing music form experienced by Jamaicans. The beat, which had its heyday between late 1966...

Published:Sunday | April 16, 2017 | 4:14 AMRoy Black

The Rocksteady beat, one of five major music genres in Jamaica's popular music history, has, over the past couple of years, been given somewhat of a renewed recognition as a major driving force in popularising the island's music. The offspring of...

Published:Sunday | April 9, 2017 | 4:00 AMRoy Black

Laying the foundation for the dissemination of Jamaica's popular music to the outside world is the focus of this retrospective. Last week, the Music Diaries paid tribute to Jimmy James, one of the entertainers who were central to that process.James...

Published:Thursday | April 6, 2017 | 4:00 AMRoy Black

Vinyl music sessions have become very popular over the past decade. Vinyl record collectors and session organisers across several countries, including Jamaica, have resorted to the vinyl format, as against compact disc and laptops, as a way of...

Published:Sunday | April 2, 2017 | 4:00 AMRoy Black

Very little focus has been placed on the pre-ska era of Jamaican popular music. Yet, the era has produced several outstanding entertainers who have helped to lay the foundation for ska, rocksteady, reggae and dancehall that followed.Earliest on the...

Published:Tuesday | March 21, 2017 | 3:41 AMRoy Black

Chuck Berry, who, along with Elvis Presley was considered Rock and Roll’s most exciting and illustrious pioneers, passed away on March 18 at his home in St Charles, Missouri. He was 90 years old. Berry came to prominence with his self-penned...

Published:Sunday | March 12, 2017 | 3:00 AMRoy Black

The name Noel Simms may mean little to many persons, but once the name Skully is mentioned, most people, especially those in the vintage music circles, would know exactly who is being referred to.Skully created history in Jamaican popular music when...

Published:Thursday | March 9, 2017 | 3:00 AMRoy Black

One of the seminal figures in reggae music, Johnny Golding, founder and publisher of Swing Magazine, the 'bible' of the burgeoning reggae music industry in the late 1960s to 1980s, celebrated his 80th birthday on Sunday, February 26, in Bahir Dar,...

Published:Sunday | March 5, 2017 | 3:00 AMRoy Black

The names Curtis Mayfield and Jerry Butler are somewhat interrelated insofar as it relates to popular music. Both men played important roles in helping each other to establish their careers.Both men also played important roles in establishing the...

Published:Sunday | February 19, 2017 | 2:00 AMRoy Black

Suggestive lyrics, or what some Jamaicans call slackness, have permeated Jamaican popular music for years, dating as far back as the mento era. The phenomenon has again been brought to the fore during the current running of the annual Grounation...

Published:Sunday | February 5, 2017 | 2:00 AMRoy Black

With technological advances on the upsurge and hundreds of small independent record companies springing up in America after World War II, aspiring black artistes and singing groups found convenient outlets to express their musical talents. A number...

Published:Sunday | January 29, 2017 | 1:00 AMRoy Black

Last Thursday, January 26, legendary Jamaican record producer Clement 'Sir Coxson' Dodd would have been 85 years old. Although Dodd's fame owes a lot to people like Jackie Mittoo, Delroy Wilson, and engineer Syd Bucknor, there is no denying that...

Published:Sunday | January 22, 2017 | 1:00 AMRoy Black

Songwriting is one of those aspects of Jamaican popular music that has been given scant respect. More often than not, it is the singers and the musicians that get the credit for the success of a recording, while the composers live in obscurity....

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