'Greats' lauded at Curphey Place

Observer senior writer

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

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When Shaggy hit international charts in 1993 with Oh Carolina , many thought it was an original song by the emerging deejay. The Folkes Brothers, who first recorded it in 1959, were long forgotten by then.

Last Saturday, the trio was among 12 persons recognised for their contribution to Jamaican music during the annual Tribute To The Greats show, held at Curphey Place in St Andrew.

Derrick Folkes, the youngest brother, was present to accept the award, which is a rare acknowledgement of their role as trailblazers.

“We got an award in 1981 from Edward Seaga,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

The 74-year-old Folkes, backed by the Rhythm Masters Band, did a lively rendition of Oh Carolina, which he said was written by Mica, who lives in Michigan. John lives in Toronto, Canada.

Another awardee who gave a strong performance was singer Mary Isaacs, who saluted female pioneer artistes including Dawn Penn, Phyliss Dillon and Marcia Griffiths with a medley of their songs. She also serenaded former Jamaica prime minister P J Patterson, who attended the function with his former Cabinet ministers Omar Davies and Aloun Assamba.

Deejay Lone Ranger also went over well with his toaster's style on Barnabas Collins, Love Bump and Keep On Coming In The Dance. Still active on the European concert circuit, he recently returned from Israel and Japan where he did shows.

Speaking to the Observer following his performance, Lone Ranger said he was “elated with this award”.

Ska maestro Eric “Monty” Morris was ably represented by his son, Rohan “Sixy” Morris who performed three of his songs, including S ay What You Are Saying.

Singer Dandy Livingstone, a 2015 Tribute To The Greats recipient, performed two songs including his 1969 two-tone standard, Rudy, A Message to You.

Tribute To The Greats Class of 2018 is completed by bass guitarist Earl “Bagga” Walker, Frankie Campbell of the Fabulous Five Band, drummer Derek Stewart, musicologists Roy Black and Garth Whyte, Norman “Roots and Soul” Hughes, Livingstone “John Bird” McCarthy and sound system operator Errol McGowan.

It was the show's 21st renewal. Presented by Kingsley “King Omar” Goodison, it has honoured over 120 persons who made an impact on Jamaican music.

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