Tag Archives: dies

Wayne Smith – Mr. Sleng Teng Dies aged 48

Very very sad, way too young, but the best way to illustrate quite what an impact he had on Jamaican music is best served by listening to multiple versions on the riddim his original spawned. Run Tape…
February 18, 2014 01:49 PM PST

Wayne Smith has died aged only 48. He and King Jammy bust Reggae wide open yet again when it went digital with the epoch defining track Under Mi Sleng Teng. Presented here is a show from many many years ago, non stop lay of some of my own favourite cuts of this truly MASSIVE riddim. Listen and weep.
Some riddims never die and this is one, his epitaph.

I’ll be taking this down after a month or so, so now is your opportunity…

Sleng Teng Extravaganjah!

A near 50 minute continuous Mix on the Sleng Teng Rhythm. The Rhythm that defines Digital Reggae to this day.
Look out for the following cuts, they’re my personal favourites… Shinhead’s – ‘Know How Fi Chat’, John Wayne’s – ‘Call The Police’ and Johnny Osbourne’s – ‘Buddy Bye Bye’.
King Jammy reigns supreme. I would have liked to include some Studio One cuts to the rhythm, but unfortunately their BPM/Tempo didn’t range in with Jammy’s original cut too well… I’ll try to get them out on a later podcast… they would have been..Jim Brown’s – ‘Nowadays Version’ and Pupa Freddie’s – ‘Zoo Party’. Ah well all good things come to those who podcast. winking

Tracklisting (Continuous Mix Running Order)

1. Tony Asher – Our Teng Version
2. Sugar Minott – Jam In The Street
3. Shinehead – Know How Fi Chat
4. Wayne Smith – Sleng Teng
5. Woodie Noble – Ram Jam Session
6. Eccleton Jarrett – Dancehall Music
7. Nicodemus – Eagles Feather
8. John Wayne – Call The Police
9. Echo Minott – Hand Pon The Key
10.Luciano and Cocoa Tea – Mr. Govenor
11.Echo Minott – Under Mi Fat Thing
12.Singie Singie – Tell Them What You Know
13.Super Morris – Under Mi Peter Green
14.Anthony Red Rose – Under Mi Fat Thing
15.Tonto Irie – Every Posse Come In
16.Wayne Smith and Bounty Killer – Sleng Teng Ressurection
17.Sizla – Someone Loves You
18.Dicky Ranking – Rap Man
19.Johnny Osbourne – Buddy Bye Bye
20.Tenor Saw – Pumpkin Belly
21.Luciano – Dancehall Style

You can donate to Bigmikeydread Reggae Radio here – http://bigmikeydread.podomatic.com/ look down the right hand side and hit the Paypal button.
Your donations are the ONLY funding the show receives and are what keeps it going! – THANK YOU.

You can hook up with the show and Mikey at the Bigmikeydread Reggae Radio Facebook Group – http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_5364049933

Thanks for listening, and come back soon for the bestest in Jamaican music, chat, sillyness, then and now. – all the best – Mikey

And you can read about interesting stuf on Mikey’s Blog at – https://bigmikeydread.wordpress.com/


Doc Watson Dies

Arthel Lane “Doc” Watson
(March 3, 1923 – May 29, 2012)

Family friend and musical maestro Doc Watson has passed away, love to all his family at this time.. my Dad who knew Doc well passed away last year and maybe they’ll get to sit on an old front porch somewhere, shoot the breeze and pick a couple of tunes sometime..

More info here – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-18248628

And a good article here – http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/aroundthemall/2012/05/remembering-doc-watson-folk-guitar-hero-1923-2012/

Dad, Doc Watson and Mum in the 90s

Lloyd Knibbs dies

Legendary Skatalites’ Drummer Lloyd Knibbs passes away.

Primarily known for developing the sound of Ska alongside the Skatalites Ska ‘Supergroup’ of the 1960s Lloyd Knibbs was a true foundation stone in the sonic wall of Jamaican sound. A pivotal point about which the music has since turned.

Legend has it that he started off his percussive career on little else than boxes and bean tins, and was taken on for his rhythmic apprenticeship by the likes of Sonny Bradshaw and Eric Deans, both highly respected band leaders of on island show bands in the early and pre-Ska days of Jamaican music.

Like so much else in Jamaica ‘the drums’ are a physical trace of the African current running through the islands cultural life and Knibbs carried and channeled this tradition. More than any other instrument, percusssion retains a thread of history and ancestry within Jamaican music and as a drummer Knibbs was the living embodiment of ‘Roots Music’.

Yet is was his role in generating and creating Jamaica’s first truly self-proclaimed musical style that draws main interest.

Ska took the form of pre independence excitement and mixed it with musical influences far and wide, American Jazz, Black US R&B, Mento and Calypso; yet in this re-configuration a new overview was required, a new glue to stick all these diverging elements together in the new form, that of Ska.

If you listen to the arrangement and instrumentation of a typical Ska piece, more than any other element in the whole, the rhythm and therefore the drumming were re-invented, re-styled, re-configured, adapted and re-arranged to shape Ska and it’s individuality. Knibbs was the most important Ska drummer on the island at that or any other time and he therefore was quite possibly the most important figure in and to Ska music, a style which once invented lives on to this day in countless bands Worldwide.

Post Ska Knibbs made all the right choices and went on to drum for Tommy McCook and the Supersonics, the chief house band at Treasure Isle and the slickest and possibly most influential of the Rocksteady era.

He was born in 1931 in Kingston Jamaica, and died of Liver cancer, having returned in the last hours of his life to Jamaica from the States where he had lived for some time on the 12th May 2011.

Smiley Culture RIP – Dies in bizarre police raid knife incident

Smiley Culture, Police Officer no give him producer...

Smiley Culture is dead at 48.

Tuesday 15th March 2011

More crappy news as one of the few Reggae stars to cross over into the mainstream charts dies in a bizarre incident at his home involving the Police.

Police were apparently interested in his possible involvement in a conspiracy to supply Cocaine and were at his home to make an arrest when the incident, in which David Emmanuel, aka Smiley Culture may have possible inflicted injuries on himself. This comes from a statement by the Met police.

Smiley rose with the Saxon sound system and the fast chat UK toasting style, and his twist of chatting with a London accent and talking about the realities of growing up in the UK under the Suss laws of the 70s and 80s took centre stage as he rose to fame, mainly on the power of two tunes, ‘Police Officer’ which was sandwiched in between a release and re-release of his tune ‘Cockney Translator’.

On a purely personal note, I bought both at the time on 12″ fell in love with the Cockney accent and cheeky lyrics and the story telling of Police Officer.

On a recent visit to Chris Lane the part owner and producer for Fashion records the label that had the original hits with Smiley a few weeks ago, we spoke about those days and the sudden impetus these hits added to his work with Fashion, though we didn’t touch on his personal relationship with Smiley Culture, I wish I’d asked him more about the MC, in retrospect.

The Ethiopian, Leonard Dillon dies

2011 claims another great Jamaican singer

Leonard Dillon ~has passed away…

Lead member of the Ethiopians and later a soloist as ‘The Ethiopian’ Dillon was at the peak of musical fitness in the Rocksteady and Early Reggae eras. Cutting countless tunes to slaughter all musical opposition for the top Jamaican producers of the time, notably for Coxsonne Dodd, Edward Seaga at WIRL and Sonia Pottinger, tunes like ‘The Whip’ and ‘Train to Skaville’ ‘Engine 54’  and later in his solo capacity as ‘The Ethiopian’ the truly heaven bound ‘When will be the end?’ Keep a close lookout for any Studio One tunes with the name Jack Sparrow attached to them too, for this is also Leonard Dillon in his earliest guise.

The Ethiopians were a popular act in the 69s Reggae boom in the UK and contined to be a firm favourite with Jamaican music fans the world over.

One of the true giants of Jamaican music he died after a long and protracted struggle with cancer.

Only last year the rumour mills turned and I myself had an obituary out on the web before we were all told to our relief that he hadn’t passed away. Graced with another year with his family, he will be sorely missed by all now that he has indeed passed away.

Sonia Pottinger Reggae Producer passes away

Lady Pottinger passes away

Sonia Pottinger, grand lady of Reggae and for that matter Rocksteady (and with some little involvement with Ska too) has passed away, read about it here at the Jamaica Observer’s website.

Sonia Pottinger


She passed away on the same day as Keith Stewart of Keith and Enid (Cumberland) fame, and shortly after Gregory Isaacs a few days previously. All our heroes and the main movers in the Jamaican music industry are passing on. Sugar Minott earlier in the year of course too.

She recorded some of the greatest stars to come from Jamaica, Laurel and Bobby Aitken, Dave Barker, Dennis AlCapone, Ken Boothe, The Beltones and Culture, Bim and Bam, Stranger and Patsy, The Cables, and the Melodians, to name only a few. She also ran the catalogue of Duke Reid after his death from 1974 onwards, re-issuing some of the Duke’s biggest hits. Running labels like Gaydisc Gayfeet and High Note, her name is synonymous with Jamaican music.

Later she would defend her right to own the Treasure Isle catalogue in court.

Keith Stewart of Keith and Enid fame dies..

Keith Stewart stalwart of the early Jamaican music industry has died.

Read about it here at the Jamaica Observer site: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/The-end-for-Stewart-of–Keith-and-Enid–fame_8140277

His death will probably be overshadowed by news that verteran producer Sonia Pottinger has also passed away on the same day.

Stewart is best known for his duet work with Enid Cumberland as Keith and Enid and any self respecting collector of early Jamaican music will have some of the tunes they recorded on Chris Blackwell’s first record company the R&B imprint or the labels they were largely released on in the UK – Starlite & Blue Beat. Keith Stewart also recorded for S.L. Smith, Byron Lee, Neville Hinds and WIRL records.

Keith Stewart also recorded a number of Tourist orientated Calypso Lps and 45s.


Sugar Minott passes away

Sad news coming in today that Lincoln Sugar Minott has passed away.

As yet unconfirmed by any direct source, the word is that he’d been ill for a time and passed away on the 10th July.

From Dave Hendley on the Pama Reggae Forum – http://s7.zetaboards.com/PAMA_FORUM/topic/8318245/1/#new

‘Just come off the phone from David Rodigan. Sugar died yesterday, details are a bit sketchy and unsubstantiated but he’d been ill for a little while.
Very shocked and saddened to hear this. I had lots of dealings with Sugar in the late 70s & early 80s & I always considered him a friend- He was a truly lovely guy and a hugely talented artist. Quite unbelievable news.’

It appears that he had problems with Angina and had a heart attack late on Saturday night.

A loss

I believe that what makes the passing of Sugar so sad is that he was only 54 and had in his short life helped so many people along the way. Staying amongst his people and in his community and guiding and nurturing new talent with Youthman Promotion his organisation. Some might argue that he and the Lone Ranger were virtually solely responsible for the revival and survival of Studio One during the 80s too, such was their effect on riding afresh the old and now classic rhythms of Studio One.

You only ever hear good things about Sugar Minott too, he was obviously a good man, not just a great singer.

Influential Dj Charlie Gillet has died

The Highly respected Dj Charlie Gillett has passed away, those interested in good music will miss his taste for the same.

Taken from – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/music-news/7470110/BBC-DJ-Charlie-Gillett-dies.html


BBC DJ Charlie Gillett has died aged 68 after battling a long illness.

Published: 5:54AM GMT 18 Mar 2010

BBC DJ Charlie Gillett dies

During the past decade he entertained millions of listeners through his World Service programme, Charlie Gillett’s World of Music Photo: Steve Double

Best known as the discoverer of rockers Dire Straits and as a champion of world music, the broadcaster died in a London hospital yesterday, his family said.

He contracted a disease of the autoimmune system, and suffered a heart attack last week.

Gillett, who was born in Morecambe, Lancs, stepped down from his regular slot on Radio 3’s World on 3 for health reasons two months ago.

He is credited with discovering Dire Straits in 1976 after playing Sultans of Swing from the band’s demo tape on his influential BBC Radio London show Honky Tonk.

Gillett also championed world music stars like Youssou N’Dour, Salif Keita and the young singer of Portuguese fado music, Mariza.

During the past decade he entertained millions of listeners through his World Service programme, Charlie Gillett’s World of Music.

World Service director Peter Horrocks said he would be sorely missed.

”Charlie Gillet was an inspiration whose spirit of adventure and passion for the rich diversity of global music opened the ears of the world,” he said.

”His broadcasts brought together music and radio fans from far flung corners of the globe. His postbag was one of the biggest, most affectionate and diverse in Bush House which confirmed his special place in listeners’ lives.

”He was a very special broadcaster and he will be sorely missed.”

Gillett presented Honky Tonk between 1972 and 1978.

He then moved to commercial station Capital Radio with a show called Undercurrents which also featured world music. He was sacked in 1983, but brought back by public demand and stayed until 1990.

The DJ started his World Service shows in 1999.

Gillett also wrote an acclaimed history of rock’n’roll, The Sound of the City, in the 1970s.

He is survived by wife Buffy and children Suzy, Jody, and Ivan.