On this day in history, January 2, 1991, the funeral for Donat Roy Mittoo aka Jackie Mittoo, who passed away on December 16, 1990, is held at the National Arena in Kingston, Jamaica.
Reggae celebrities who attended the funeral included Hortense Ellis, Tinga Stewart, Desmond “Desi Roots” Young, Ruddy Thomas, Tommy Cowan, Clement “Coxsone” Dodd. A memorial concert was held in same time. Vin Gordon, Leroy ‘Horsemouth’ Wallace, Glen ‘Bagga’ Fagan, Pablo Black, Robert Lynn, Michael ‘Ibo’ Cooper, Ken Boothe, Delroy Wilson, Carlene Davis, Tinga Stewart and others gave memorial performance.
In the 1960s he was a member of The Skatalites, The Sheiks, The Soul Brothers, The Soul Vendors and Sound Dimension. Mittoo’s compositions in this period included “Darker Shade of Black”, “Feel Like Jumping”, and “Baby Why”. He played with Lloyd “Matador” Daley in 1968 and 1969.
He emigrated to Toronto, Canada at the end of the 1960s. There he recorded three albums, Wishbone (Summus), Reggae Magic (CTL) and Let’s Put It All Together(CTL). He also set up the Stine-Jac record label, as well as running a record store.
In 1970, his song “Peanie Wallie” was reworked into a song called “Duppy Conqueror” and recorded by The Wailers. Mittoo’s song Wishbone was a hit in 1971. He performed in local Toronto lounges throughout the 1970s. Mittoo assisted Toronto-area reggae musicians, including Earth, Roots and Water, Esso Jaxxon (R. Zee Jackson), Carl Harvey, Lord Tanamo, Boyo Hammond, Carl Otway, The Sattalites, Jackie James and Jason Wilson. Mitt continued to record for Jamaican producers in the 1970s, mostly Bunny Lee. He co-wrote “Armagideon Time” (later recorded by The Clash) with Willi Williams, released in 1980.
In the 1980s, he often worked with Sugar Minott. In 1985 he travelled to Ghana with British band Musical Youth, and while there recorded tracks that would later be released on the album Jackie Mittoo in Africa. In 1989, he briefly rejoined The Skatalites, but left when his health started to deteriorate. In 1989 and 1990 he recorded Wild Jockey for Lloyd Barnes’ Wackies label.
Mittoo entered a hospital on 12 December 1990 and died of cancer on 16 December at the age of 42.