By Claude Mills, Staff Reporter
LEGENDARY MUSIC pioneer and founder of Studio One, Sir Clement 'Coxsone' Dodd, died yesterday from heart complications, it is believed. Dodd, 72, is survived by his wife and six children.
Close friend Bunny Goodison admitted to being in shock upon hearing the news of Dodd's passing.
"I left him there at Brentford Road at midday, he wasn't complaining of chest pains or anything, then someone just called me at 4:30 p.m. to tell me he was dead. Apparently, he had complained of feeling pains in his chest, and while they were driving him to Medical Associates, he died," Mr. Goodison said.
"Earlier in the day, he wasn't in such good spirits but he was calm, lucid and he didn't appear to be sick. On Friday night, after they changed the name of the street to Studio One Boulevard, we were there toasting and laughing, but he was extremely quiet during the whole occasion... I don't know if he was overwhelmed by the whole thing," Mr. Goodison added.
He continued: "At least he lived to receive the various accolades for his exceptional body of work, which will live forever. He was truly a great man."
Last Friday, Brentford Road was renamed Studio One Boulevard in a ceremony which paid tribute to the accomplishments of the producer. Sadly, less than a week later, the nation now mourns his death.
Yesterday, Aloun N'dombet Assamba, Minister of Industry and Tourism with responsibility for Entertainment, joined with the entire music fraternity of Jamaica in grieving at the passing of the man who has been described as a 'pioneering giant' of Jamaica's music industry.
"'Sir Coxsone' as he was known to all, was indeed the father of popular entertainment in Jamaica. For decades, the development of modern Jamaican music and the unearthing of new talent rested on his shoulders as he did his utmost to nurture an industry that has now become a powerful force internationally," the Minister said.
"We can be grateful that Clement Dodd lived to see Brentford Road recently renamed Studio One Boulevard as a lasting tribute to his outstanding contribution to the nation."
Singer Ken Booth, with whom Dodd had well-publicised differences over royalties for several songs such as 'The Train Is Coming Baby' appeared to be deeply saddened by the loss.
"What a loss! This is a great loss, I know Coxsone and I had our differences, but it is sad to see him go like this. This is a sad day for me and my family," Mr. Boothe said.
Derrick Harriott, with whom Dodd scored a number one hit in 1961, 'Over the River' had fond memories of the producer.
"He was a jovial man, he will be sadly missed. It is a shock to the entire music fraternity that he went so suddenly," Mr. Harriott said.
Mr. Dodd played an instrumental role in the development of Jamaican music firstly through his sound system (Downbeat) in the 1950s, and later by being one of the first producers to start recording Jamaican music.
The founder of Studio One located at 13 Brentford Road had been involved with music since his stint as a migrant labourer, when he used to import records to be played in his sound system. Earning the Jamaica Order of Distinction in 1991, Dodd has produced artistes such as Bob Marley, Marcia Griffiths, Bob Andy, Peter Tosh, Delroy Wilson, Paragons, Culture, Alton Ellis, along with numerous others.
In August 2002, Dodd was given a special award, marking Jamaica's 40th year of Independence, for his contribution to Jamaican music. He also received a gold Musgrave medal for his contribution to music in 2002.