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Stories by Roy Black

Published:Sunday | April 10, 2016 | 12:00 AMRoy Black

The late Motown recording superstar, Marvin Gaye, has very ominous connections with April-fools day. It was on that day back in 1984 that he died, following an altercation with his father, with whom he endured life-long turmoil, never grasping the...

Published:Sunday | April 3, 2016 | 12:00 AMRoy Black

Apart from being one of the longest serving entertainers in the Jamaica music business, Derrick Morgan has the distinction of jump-starting the careers of Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff and others through his auditioning skills.Now visually impaired, but...

Published:Sunday | March 20, 2016 | 12:00 AMRoy Black

Just a few days ago, we observed the 97th birth anniversary of perhaps the greatest singer the world has ever known - Nat 'King' Cole, father of the late popular songstress, Natalie Cole. Compared to Sam Cooke, who is held in the...

Published:Saturday | March 12, 2016 | 11:11 PMRoy Black

Now that 11 females have won their seats in the recently concluded local general elections, it has again brought into sharp focus, the important role that women have played in the past, and their...

Published:Sunday | March 6, 2016 | 12:00 AMRoy Black

The results of the February 2016 general elections, perhaps tells us that most people are not so much concerned about the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and who passes tests. They seem to be more interested in having some money in their pockets...

Published:Thursday | March 3, 2016 | 12:00 AMRoy Black

Jamaica has lost another stalwart in the music business. This time it's the sound system operator/recording artiste/record producer, Winston 'Merritone' Blake O.D. He died at the University Hospital last Saturday from what his brother Monty...

Published:Friday | February 26, 2016 | 12:00 AMRoy Black

While the use of Jamaican popular music in the country's general election campaigns through recordings and live performances is deeply entrenched, it is rare for performers to actually contest for a seat in Parliament.One of the few is recording...

Published:Wednesday | February 3, 2016 | 12:00 AMRoy Black

Reggae Month 2016 is finally here, and people of various persuasions - from romantic lovers to music lovers, churchgoers and the culturally inclined - are preparing themselves in different ways for the many events and anniversaries that dominate the...

Published:Sunday | January 24, 2016 | 12:00 AMRoy Black

Having explored the rock 'n' roll-influenced doo-wop music genre in last week's Music Diaries, makes it quite appropriate to follow-up with rock 'n' roll music in its full-blown state. In its full-blown state, rock 'n' roll was nothing more than a...

Published:Thursday | January 7, 2016 | 12:00 AMRoy Black

The idiom 'The chip doesn't fall far from the block' relates in a very real way to the lives and careers of Nat 'King' Cole and his daughter Natalie Cole. The younger Cole passed away at age 65 on New Year's Eve, from what was initially diagnosed as...

Published:Monday | December 28, 2015 | 12:00 AMRoy Black

Sharing a birthday with Jesus Christ, as the Music Diaries did on December 25, 2011, is perhaps one of the most fulfilling experiences that one could ever have. Not many outstanding recording artistes have achieved that distinction, but there were...

Published:Wednesday | December 16, 2015 | 12:00 AMRoy Black

Gospel music may perhaps be one of the things that one would not readily associate with Elvis Presley, but in a real sense, it was an integral part of his make-up. Presley himself once said, "Gospel music is the purest thing there is on earth."This...

Published:Sunday | December 6, 2015 | 12:00 AMRoy Black

The issue concerning which song was first in any particular genre of music is one that has always spurred enormous debate. In Jamaica, for instance, musicologists and aficionados of music are still divided on the matter concerning which were the...

Published:Sunday | November 15, 2015 | 12:00 AMRoy Black

Like all the giants of Rock and Roll's first generation, Lavern Baker began her career long before the explosion of Rhythm and Blues music. History has it that the day she was born, there was a parade in Chicago, the town of her birth. It was not a...

Published:Thursday | November 12, 2015 | 12:00 AMRoy Black

To the cool-voiced Jamaican crooner of the 1960s - Dobby Dobson, the English language is something he could easily spin on his little finger without any exertion. This inborn gift helped to earn for him a job as a proofreader at the Gleaner Company...

Published:Sunday | November 8, 2015 | 12:00 AMRoy Black

Many musicologists agree that most of Michael Jackson's dance moves were highly influenced by the 1950s R...

Published:Sunday | November 1, 2015 | 12:35 AMRoy Black

It’s now three years since musicologist, record producer, anthropologist and former Prime Minister of Jamaica, Edward Seaga, launched his musical book-box set collection...

Published:Wednesday | October 28, 2015 | 12:00 AMRoy Black

Winston 'Sparrow' Martin, musical director of the Alpha Institute (formerly, Alpha Boys' School), has sought to keep the musical legacy of the institution alive through a number of personal projects which could rebound to the benefit of the school....

Published:Sunday | October 18, 2015 | 12:00 AMRoy Black

With so much talk about Studio 1 being a Jamaican version of Motown Records, and a recent Music Diaries article that supported that theory, it may be opportune at this time to look at some of the achievements of the latter organisation and at any...

Published:Wednesday | September 23, 2015 | 12:00 AMRoy Black

The name Merritone has become synonymous with vintage-music lovers, not only in Jamaica, but across the diaspora. The year 2015 is an important one for the organisation, as it celebrates two important milestones - the 65th anniversary of Merritone...

Published:Sunday | September 20, 2015 | 12:00 AMRoy Black

The Mighty Diamonds belong to an exclusive fraternity of three-part harmony group singers that emerged in the mid-1960s in Jamaican popular music and lasted into the next decade. Earlier, The Heptones, The Techniques, The Paragons, The Melodians,...

Published:Sunday | September 13, 2015 | 12:00 AMRoy Black

It was mentioned in a previous article that the history of Jamaica is reflected in its motto, 'Out of Many One People'. The same could be said of its rich musical heritage, which has seen many whose origin lies outside Jamaica making lasting...

Published:Sunday | September 6, 2015 | 12:00 AMRoy Black

Alton Ellis' anti-rude boy campaign has gone down in history as one of the most significant features of early Jamaican music. At a time when Jamaica's murder rate had climbed to unprecedented levels, Ellis' stance is particularly relevant. Ellis,...

Published:Friday | August 21, 2015 | 1:19 PMRoy Black

The smooth-voiced American-born singer, Johnny Nash celebrated a birthday last Wednesday and perhaps it is as good a time as any to look at the life and times of this music icon and examine the contribution he made to the spread of reggae music...

Published:Wednesday | August 19, 2015 | 12:00 AMRoy Black

The 1975 album Marcus Garvey, by the Burning Spear vocal group, was a special tribute, recorded in honour of the great St Ann-born Pan Africanist and Jamaican National Hero Marcus Mosiah Garvey, whose 128th birth anniversary was celebrated on Monday...

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