Fri | Dec 14, 2018

Stories by Mel Cooke

Published:Sunday | November 25, 2018 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

Dennis Brown's Should I is on the Words of Wisdom album, which was released in 1979 two decades before his death. It remains one of several standout cuts from reggae's Crown Prince.Brown asks the age-old lover's question of trust and commitment,...

Published:Sunday | November 18, 2018 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

Bass guitarist and leader of Lloyd Parkes and We The People Band, Lloyd Parkes, mentally flips through an immense catalogue of recordings as the outfit heads towards marking 44 years on stage and in studio. Naturally, many of them are with the late...

Published:Sunday | November 11, 2018 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

The late Gregory Isaacs' African Museum facility, close to the intersection of Red Hills Road and Red Hills Boulevard, St Andrew, housed the Poor People's Recording Studio (PPRS), which his widow, June Isaacs, describes as serving the community. "He...

Published:Sunday | November 4, 2018 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

"The blood of African kings run in my vein,Here inna Jamaica, rebellious offspring.We got a warrior spirit inside,From that time we cyaa change.An dis ya warrior spirit inside,It come fi break every shackle and chain.Man a Shaka Zulu pickney,Nkrumah...

Published:Wednesday | October 31, 2018 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

Last Thursday, the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, celebrated theatre practitioner, comedian and Garveyite Ranny Williams, a day before his October 26 birthday. The Jamaica Information Service (JIS) website states that...

Published:Sunday | October 21, 2018 | 12:10 AMMel Cooke

Donovan Germain of Penthouse Records had wanted Dennis Brown to do a song for his label a long time before reggae's Crown Prince happened into the studio in the 1990s. "I always asked Dennis, 'When you going to do a song for Penthouse," Germain told...

Published:Sunday | October 14, 2018 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

Heroes by the band Chalice is a song of longing for iconic figures of resistance and protest from three societies, tied together by the commonality of a negative black experience. It starts in the city that Chalice's Wayne Armond arrived in by air...

Published:Sunday | October 7, 2018 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

On Wednesday, October 10, poet Dr Jean Binta Breeze will receive a Silver Musgrave Medal at the Institute of Jamaica. She began writing poetry in the 1970s, initially having Dennis Scott at the School of Drama look them over and then Mervyn Morris (...

Published:Sunday | September 30, 2018 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

On an afternoon in 1988 when producer Gussie Clarke had recently finalised construction of his Music Works Studio at 56 Slipe Road, Kingston, singer Gregory 'The Cool Ruler' Isaacs rode a motorcycle on to the premises. He did not come for anything...

Published:Sunday | September 23, 2018 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

"Yu neva know Puppa Ranger coulda sing, ribbitMi sey mi like girls fat a mi no like dem slimCause when dem slim mi sey dem cyaa do a ting:Rosemarie, Lone RangerIn his 1981 song Rosemarie, deejay Lone Ranger expresses a preference for a certain heft...

Published:Sunday | September 16, 2018 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

In 1985, deejay Jah Thomas did Shoulder Move, which encourages the listener to "get inna de groove an yu do shoulder move" as part of a full-body engagement with the music to which they were listening. The feet, the waistline ("to de bassline") and...

Published:Sunday | September 9, 2018 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

Chalice band's Revival Time opens their 1986 Crossfire album, but when it was recorded (most likely at Music Mountain, where most of the tracks for Crossfire were laid), the name they intended was 'Revival Style'. That is what Wayne Armond has in...

Published:Sunday | September 2, 2018 | 12:08 AMMel Cooke

Whether the action was on the small black and white television screen at home or in the cinema where the dangers loomed much larger in...

Published:Sunday | August 19, 2018 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

There are a lot of tracks on the Gussie Clarke-curated Dub Anthology. Over 70 of them. But when he put out the multidisc collection, initially Clarke was still not satisfied and went back to add a visual element with Dub Talks, gathering a number of...

Published:Wednesday | August 15, 2018 | 12:10 AMMel Cooke

The Billboard Chart of top reggae albums does not have a star beside a particular full-length project each week and identify it as the greatest comeback set of the current listing. If it did, Sting and Shaggy’s joint effort would take it...

Published:Sunday | August 12, 2018 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

Your Honour is Pluto Shervington's enduring courtroom music drama about being caught in the closet of a woman's home by her very angry husband, who beats him badly. Written from the first-person point of view, Your Honour makes for humorous listening, but it was not funny for Shervington, who made a full confession to The Sunday Gleaner...

Published:Tuesday | August 7, 2018 | 10:37 AMMel Cooke

  When it comes to the Billboard Reggae Album charts, a week is ages, especially in the heat of summer when the new releases are fast, furious — and sometimes fleeting. Through all the flurry, Sting and Shaggy are proving resilient with...

Published:Sunday | August 5, 2018 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

Alisia Jarrett fell in love with Irvin 'Carrot' Jarrett during a midnight to sunrise conversation. She had felt the literal heat of his hand days earlier, when Carrot touched her during one of several checks to ensure she was OK during a wellness...

Published:Sunday | July 22, 2018 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

On the face of it, Lone Ranger's song Love Bump seems to be about the visible after-effects of two lovers nuzzling as he asks, "how yu ketch de love bump?" and immediately answers, "when you're young and in love." He then enquires, "how the love...

Published:Sunday | July 15, 2018 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

There was a time, 15 years ago, when road work in Three Miles, St Andrew, was in the news, just as it is now when an ultra-modern network being constructed to handle the high volume of traffic on one of the Jamaican capital's gateways.It is on the...

Published:Tuesday | July 10, 2018 | 11:26 AMMel Cooke

   New entries stop ‘Stony Hill’ short of 52-week chart run Protoje’s new release A Matter of Time, has entered the Billboard Reggae Albums Chart, valid for up to Saturday, July 14, in fine style - ...

Published:Sunday | July 8, 2018 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

Singjay Asadenaki does not put 'Wailer' on his recordings, the most recent of which was the early June release Rockin', done with Aza Lineage. It is the organisers of concerts, on which he performs (he was on Rebel Salute 2018 in January) who often...

Published:Sunday | July 8, 2018 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

Reggae Artiste Kabaka Pyramid does not wait until the World Cup to follow football (although he has been a Germany supporter since 1994). And it was while watching a game between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF in 2014 that he wrote the lyrics to...

Published:Thursday | July 5, 2018 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

If the Billboard Reggae Albums Chart for the week ending July 7 seems very much like the one for the previous week (which completed half of 2018 for the listing), then that is because in part it is. Exactly. The top five remains unchanged. So...

Published:Sunday | July 1, 2018 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

Lighthouse, which appears on Bushman's 2004 album Signs, is a departure from his usual approach of recording lyrics that he has written. Still, he says, "I an I open to a song as long as me feel it lyrically and it have substantial value." He adds...

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