Tracing the roots of J’can music

Ernie Ranglin Re Jamaican Music - Caribbean National Weekly News

The third Rootz Of Music show takes place August 27 at Pompano Beach Cultural Center. Seven persons will be honored during the event which examines the evolution of Jamaican music.


Organizers will look at the impact American music has on Jamaican idioms such as mento, ska, rocksteady, roots-reggae and dancehall.


This year’s theme is, ‘American Roots of Jamaican Music: The Legacy’ Featuring Eugene Grey.


Started in 2011


Guitarist Eugene Grey, who started the event in 2011, said it is important to educate people about the genesis of reggae. At the same time, persons who contributed to its development should be recognized.


Ernie Ranglin heads honorees


Legendary guitarist Ernie Ranglin heads the list of honorees. The 85-year-old musician has been recording since the 1950s and played on, or arranged, some of Jamaican music’s most noted songs.


They include The Wailers’ It Hurts To Be Alone, on which he played the memorable jazz solo; and My Boy Lollipop , the 1964 ska hit by Millie Small which he arranged.


Two of the honorees live in South Florida: singers Eric ‘Monty’ Morris and Larry Marshall.


Morris began his career in the ska era of the early 1960s, recording for producers Prince Buster and Byron Lee. ‘Oil in my Lamp’, ‘Sammy Dead’ and ‘Say What You Say,’ are some of his best-known songs. The latter was covered by Dennis Brown.


In 1968, Marshall recorded Nanny Goat for producer Clement Dodd at Studio One. It is reputedly the first reggae song.


Percussionist Larry McDonald, a contemporary of Morris, is another honoree. He recorded and toured for many years with American poet/activist Gil Scott Heron.


Australian Dennis Sindrey, guitarist with the Caribs band; Charles Cameron, Evrel Grey and Horace Forbes complete the list of those being honored.

Grey, who is from rural Hanover parish in Jamaica, is strongly influenced by Ranglin. He started out in bands in Jamaica before migrating to the United States.


He has recorded and toured with a number of acts including Burning Spear.


Howard Campbell