Junior Murvin's falsetto finally rests

Published: Tuesday | December 3, 2013 Comments 0
Murvin
Murvin

Gareth Davis Sr, Gleaner Writer

Portland:Legendary Jamaican reggae musician, Junior Murvin, best known for the single Police and Thieves, is dead.

The Portland-based singer reportedly died at his home at Summers Town Road in Port Antonio early yesterday.

Murvin, whose real name was Murvin Junior Smith, was born in St James in 1949, but following the death of his father, relocated to Port Antonio with his mother and other siblings.

Lee 'Scratch' Perry would later help catapult Murvin into stardom, producing Police and Thieves in 1976 with the singer's raging falsetto driving the track.

The legendary singer, who also sang with one of Jamaica's leading bands in the 1990s, Jah Postles, toured extensively, making regular stops in Europe, making his mark in countries such as Germany, England, and France.

Murvin has scored with several other efforts including: the ultra-easy skank of Miss Kushie, the seminal Cool out Son, and others like I'm in Love, Bad Man Posse and Muggers in the Street.

The Police and Thieves singer released enough material to maintain his reputation, without ever flooding the market.

Despite not flooding the market, Murvin was always working. In late 1998, London-based Dubwise Productions visited Port Antonio, where they recorded the solid Wise Man with the artiste.

And, in what would have been his first local performance in over two years, Murvin was booked to perform at a stage show dubbed Vintage Riverside Splash, an event slated for Sunday, December 8, at the new Rivva Riddim Riverside Park in Cascade, St Mary.

Murvin was to have performed alogside the likes of Ernest Wilson, Jimmy Riley, Hero, Cornel Campbell, Tinga Stewart, and Eddie Fitzroy.

The artiste's passing has undoubtedly left a void in the local music industry and some persons including sound system owner of Courage International, Barrington 'Shadows' Hamilton and Ian Clarke of Black Echo Disco in Port Antonio, who have expressed shock and sorrow after hearing about his death. The men have been recipients of dub plates from Murvin.

Murvin managed to grace the stage with the likes of other past and present musical legends, including Ken Boothe, Alton Ellis, Gregory Isaacs, Freddy McGregor, Delroy Wilson, and Beres Hammond.

At the time of his death, Junior Murvin was reportedly battling diabetes.


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