11-9 was his number

Letters to the Editor

11-9 was his number

Monday, September 14, 2020

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Dear Editor,

A unique sounding but lyrical voice has left the stage where its owner once occupied with heartfelt messages of reality and utopia that characterised, through music, life and living.

A craftsman of the musical heritage of Jamrock has transitioned from humanity, but in his wake he has bequeathed to his homeland and continental earth a discography and digital works of reggae, rocksteady, and ska that afford the citizenry of the world the privilege of looking in the mirror and visioning better images of self.

Frederick Nathaniel “Toots” Hilbert, birthed in Jamaica, was an investment for our people, but he became an international asset and gifted the world dividends in the form of Pressure Drop, Sweet and Dandy, Monkey Man, Funky Kingston, and the introspective 54-46 Was My Number.

Etched in the sanctuary of my memory is that inspiring moment when I was chairman of the Creative Production and Trading Centre (CPTC) and celebrating Jimmy Cliff in one of the Breakfast with the Stars editions. We furtively ushered Toots onto the stage to the surprise of Jimmy and immediately kindred spirits coalesced and Toots delivered, from the entrails of his soul, a melange of compositions of culture, history, and the aesthetics of music.

There lieth a musical icon. Now resteth a legend for all generations of artistes and musicians. Here, in the soil of Jamaica, abideth the flesh of one of its 'Got To Be Tough' sons as his spirit ascendeth.

Christopher L Samuda
The National Chorale of Jamaica

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