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'Reggae Report' takes to cyberspace

Published:Sunday | May 22, 2011 | 12:00 AM
Peggy Quattro

Howard Campbell, Sunday Gleaner Writer

For almost 20 years, Peggy Quattro criss-crossed the world gathering news for her magazine, Reggae Report. Now, she is looking to share the publication's catalogue by establishing a cyber archive.

Quattro recently launched the Reggae Report Archive Project through Kickstarter. Through this medium, persons can pledge financial support to help get the archives on the Internet.

In return, Quattro is offering a range of prizes which include a founding member certificate, vintage T-shirts and posters, plus Bob Marley art, compact discs and DVDs.

Quattro started Reggae Report as a newsletter in 1983. It expanded to a quarterly magazine that covered the international reggae scene, as well as world beat music from Europe and Africa and the latest in soca.

Reggae Report was last published in 1998.

The Reggae Report catalogue is 124 issues strong. It features, according to Quattro, "hundreds upon hundreds of articles, interviews, reviews and world news".

She added: "The objective of the Kickstarter archive project is to raise the funds to create a home worthy of all this information. This is reggae history. This is authentic information from the root."

Since its launch two years ago, Kickstarter has become a popular fund-raising path for small music companies and independent film producers. Clients post pages on the Kickstarter site hoping to attract financial pledges, then offer gifts to donors as an incentive.

Reggae roots

Born in Ohio, Quattro got involved with the Jamaica music scene while living in Miami in the early 1980s when she was assistant to Don Taylor, former manager of Bob Marley.

After a slow start, Reggae Report grew considerably, especially in the 1990s when dancehall gained a foothold in the United States (US). The US was the publication's largest market, followed by Jamaica, the United Kingdom, Canada and France.

Some of Reggae Report's best sellers were its theme issues.

"The Bob Marley tribute issues were always the most well-received. Peter Tosh tributes were also popular and Dancehall Rules," Quattro explained.

"Women in Reggae was a popular issue and still a relevant topic today."

Reggae Report was one of several magazines that covered the growing reggae and world beat circuit throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Britain's Echoes and The Beat, produced out of California by reggae archivist Roger Steffens, were other popular publications.