Monday, October 25, 2021

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Gregory to go on show Monday, October 25, 202 BY BRIAN BONITTO Associate Editor — Auto & Entertainment bonittob@jamaicaobserver.com

The exhibition will open on Tuesday and ends January 30, 2022.
His widow, June Isaacs, said she is pleased with the recognition. “It's an honour to know that Gregory can be recognised during Black History Month. The people highlighted during this month are ones who shone in their respective fields. It is indeed a great honour,” she told the Jamaica Observer. October is celebrated as Black History Month in the UK. Isaacs died 11 years ago today in Harrow of cancer. The lovers' rock singer had a massive following in the UK. The house where he lived on 59 Weald Lane was honoured with a blue plaque in 2016. The symbolic blue plaque has been placed at homes of famous people in Britain since the late 19th century. Among them are Bob Marley, Dennis Brown, John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, poet Lord Byron, and authors Charles Dickens and Robert Louis Stevenson. June Isaacs said the reggae singer's son, Gregory Isaacs Jr who resides in the United Kingdom and who is a director of the Gregory Isaacs Foundation, was the one contacted by the museum. GC31bG4OVdjy6AZNSD3MjEv2x-EHG5DykvoxNLOHkA=s320"/>
According to the museum's website, Isaacs was an icon. “We are celebrating a musical icon, the legendary Jamaican reggae singer Gregory “Cool Ruler” Isaacs, coinciding with his memorial day. We're delighted to be able to co-curate a small exhibition in our community cupboard within the Manor House and a digital exhibition,” it read. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, no activities are planned locally to mark the 11th anniversary of his passing. His widow, however, is hoping local radio stations will be playing Isaacs's music to mark the day. She said her late husband's music is still relevant today. “He recently got silver for the album Night Nurse. His music is long-lasting and everyone can relate to [it] — middle age, old age, young. With Night Nurse's silver certification, it shows it's the new generation that is discovering it now, so we have bridged the gap,” said Isaacs. Night Nurse, the 1982 album by Isaacs, was recently certified silver in the United Kingdom by the British Phonographic Industry for sales exceeding 60,000 copies. Recorded at Tuff Gong Studios in Kingston, the set features songs including the popular title track Stranger in Town, Cool Down the Place, Material Man, and Sad to Know (You're Leaving). Born in Denham Town, west Kingston, on July 15, 1950, Isaacs made his recording debut in 1968 as Winston Sinclair with the single Another Heartache. He teamed up with two other vocalists, Penroe and Bramwell, for the short-lived trio The Concords who recorded for producers Rupie Edwards and Prince Buster. In 1973 he and another young singer, Errol Dunkley, started the African Museum label and soon had a massive hit with My Only Lover. His songs, including Love Is Overdue, Rumours and Hot Stepper, continue to dominate the airwaves. In 2016 he was posthumously awarded the Order of Distinction (Officer Class) by the Jamaican Government for his contribution to the country's music.

Shaggy releases deluxe edition of Christmas in the Islands BY KEVIN JACKSON Observer writer

International recording artiste Shaggy has released a deluxe edition of his 2020 Christmas in the Islands album. The project is now equipped with 19 tracks (four new tracks). It was released on October 1 via his Mr Luva Luva label with distribution by BMG. b
In a virtual press briefing last year to launch Christmas in the Islands, the two-time Grammy-winning deejay said the televised Christmas special, which aired in 2019, was the catalyst for the production of his holiday album. He said that based on some of the music performed with British rocker Sting on that televised special the seed was planted to do the album. “On that Christmas special we did a number of dancehall and reggae songs. Carols like Little Drummer Boy became Jamaican Drummer Boy, and so on. The idea was really to do the project with Sting. When I came off tour at the top of the year I started to put the melodies together, then COVID hit. I figured it would last about two months, but once it continued it became evident that this would be a Shaggy album.” This reggae-themed Christmas collection puts a Caribbean twist on traditional Christmas cheer with 15 tracks of island-infused holiday songs, featuring guest performances Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Junior Reid, Ne-Yo, Romain Virgo, Ritchie Stephens, Conkarah, Joss Stone, and others. The new tracks are Amazing Christmas (featuring Hannah Brier and produced by Costi); Nothing Like the Holidays, featuring Bunji Garlin; We Three Kings and Silent Night, featuring Sting. “Since I was a child I can remember seeing tourists flock to Jamaica during Christmastime for some sun, fun, rum, and great parties. Our island is all about family, friends, food, great beaches, warm, welcoming people, and a strong culture, which is the perfect recipe for a joyous Christmas. So we decided to embody all of that into one album,” said Shaggy. He added, “We enlisted some of Jamaica's leading, iconic artistes to participate, and with guests like Ne-Yo and Joss Stone, who frequent Jamaica during the holiday season, we hope to transport listeners and share how we celebrate Christmas in the islands.” Other tracks on the album include No Icy Christmas, featuring Sanchez; We Got Us, featuring Shenseea and OMI; Take You to the Cool, featuring Richie Stephens and Conkarah; Christmas in the Islands, featuring Rayvon; Open Presents, featuring Romain Virgo; 12 Days of Christmas, featuring Beenie Man and Craigy T; and Sunny Celebration, featuring Joss Stone.

Sweet times for Jack Radics COVER Me Good BY KEVIN JACKSON Observer writer

The Jamaica Observer's Entertainment Desk continues its month-long feature titled 'Cover Me Good'. It will look at songs covered by Jamaican artistes which became hits. Producer Donovan Germain was riding high in the early 1990s. One of the projects that helped skyrocket his Penthouse label was a reincarnation of the Feeling Soul rhythm which he dubbed Fire Burning. The beat had songs such as Buju Banton's Love Mi Browning, Marci
a Griffiths' Fire Burning, Half Idiot by Griffiths and Cutty Ranks, Feeling Lonely by Beres Hammond, and Crying Fool by Tiger, all number one hits on local charts. Singer Jack Radics got his breakthrough hit with a cover of This Time I'll Be Sweeter which was also part of the project. “I really liked the original version of This Time I'll Be Sweeter. The romance intrinsic in the lyrics and melody inspired me to record it,” Radics explained. Germain had no idea that the song — which was recorded at Penthouse's Slipe Road studio — would become a hit. Brothers Tony and Dave Kelly and Steven Stanley were the engineers who worked on it. “I knew it was a good cover of the original, but I generally don't predict the commercial acceptance of songs,” he said. According to Radics, the song gave him the breakthrough he craved. “I was elated at its success because it took my career into orbit. It opened every door and window for my career,” he shared. This Time I'll be Sweeter made an impact on the JBC Top 30, RJR Top 40 and Gleaner Top 10 charts. Radics later scored with covers of British group Hot Chocolate's You Sexy Thing and The Top Notes Twist and Shout. The oft-covered This Time I'll Be Sweeter was co-written by Haras Fyre and Gwen Guthrie who, like Radics, had success working with Sly and Robbie. R&B singer Marlena Shaw first recorded the song in 1974. It appears on her 1976 album A Matter Of Time. Roberta Flack recorded This Time I'll b e Sweeter for her 1975 album, Feel Like Makin' Love on which Guthrie sang background vocals. However, this version was included on Flack's 1977 album, Blue Lights in The Basement. The first release of This Time I'll Be Sweeter was the B-side of Love is Blind by Martha Reeves in 1975. A version by British soul singer Linda Lewis was also released that year and reached number 51 in the United Kingdom in 1976. It was also a hit in Brazil. The most successful version of This Time I'll be Sweeter came in 1978 as the debut for American soul singer Angela Bofill, whose cut reached number 23 on Billboard's Hot Soul Singles Chart.