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Stabroek News

ICON: U ROY
published: Tuesday | April 8, 2008


U-Roy - file

Daddyof all deejays

Got his start working on sound systems owned by record producers Clement 'Coxsone' Dodd and Arthur 'Duke' Reid.

First record: Earth's Rightful Ruler (with Peter Tosh), produced by Lee 'Scratch' Perry.

U Roy set the pace for 'combination' songs which teamed deejays with singers. He added toaster's touch to several hit songs by The Paragons' Wear You To The Ball and Hopeton Lewis' Tom Drunk.

The title of one of his songs, Wake The Town (And Tell The People) is also the name of a book on dancehall culture by American anthropologist Norman Stolzoff.

U Roy was born in Jones Town, but is usually associated with the Three Miles area of Kingston. He started his Stur Gav sound system there and gave several acts including Charlie Chaplin, Josey Wales, Tenor Saw and Super Cat their big break.

Stur Gav was the Stone Love of the 1980s, playing to appreciative Jamaican immigrant audiences in New York City and Miami.

U Roy (born Ewart Beckford) was awarded the Order of Distinction in 2007 for his contribution to the development of Jamaican music.

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