Music

Do it in the living years!

Frankie Campbell throws gauntlet down to music fraternity

BY RICHARD JOHNSON
Observer senior reporter
johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

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Vetera n musician Frankie Campbell is calling on colleagues to honour their own while they are alive. His comments came with yesterday's death of former Third World percussionist Irvin “Carrot” Jarrett.

Campbell, who was last weekend honoured at Tribute To The Greats for his work as a musician and administrator with the Jamaica Association of Vintage Artistes and Affiliates (JAVAA), said that within the past six weeks, five members of the music fraternity have transitioned. They include singer Suzanne Couch, Errol Wilson (from The Jays), bass player Larry Silvera, and trombonist Roy Wilson.

“It is very important to be recognised by your peers. There is a value you put on an award when you know it is coming from a fellow musician or the entertainment industry. When a singer or musician can say, 'Congratulations! You have done something great', it has that extra sweetness to it,” said Campbell.

He added that the work of artistes are often intangible and, therefore, their benefits to society cannot always be calculated. What is clear, the Fab Five Band co-founder noted, is what artistes have done to spread Jamaican culture internationally.

“It is very hard to calculate the benefits, but it is clear. We are not like an athlete who goes to the Olympics and wins a medal. However, nobody has to guess about the impact of a Bob Marley. There are a lot more artistes doing great things; we just can't measure their impact, so we really appreciate being honoured,” he said.

In defence of the Government, Campbell said over the past 10 years, there has been a sharp rise in individuals from the entertainment fraternity receiving national awards.

“Some say too many of these awards are being given and, for some people, it is being watered down. I would say 80 per cent of the persons who have received ODs (Order of Distinction) are deserving, but we have bypassed a few. It is, therefore, up to the industry to nominate persons for these awards. I have been nominating persons over the years and about eight of the 10 persons I nominated have received their awards,” he said.

Campbell and JAVAA have honoured musicians through the Jamaican Music Hall of Fame. Photographs and citations of the first 12 inductees are in the Half-Way-Tree Transport Centre in St Andrew.

There are plans to go further.

“What we are really trying to get is a venue to house a permanent hall of Fame. We have been at this for about 10 years now. In the meantime, we are still trying to get government assistance for a simpler project — a Walk of Fame, like the one that exists in Hollywood. Hopefully we can get that going,” said Campbell.

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