Hall of Famers express gratitude

Sunday, July 22, 2018

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Veteran reggae singer Bob Andy, music mogul Chris Blackwell and Copeland Forbes were inducted in the inaugural Reggae Sumfest Music Hall of Fame at the Sumfest Inspire Awards held at the Iberostar Hotel in Rose Hall, St James, on Thursday.

“Rhythm Twins” Sly and Robbie, who were also inducted in the Hall of Fame, were absent from the event.

In expressing his gratitude Bob Andy noted that his musical career has been fulfilling.

“It's been a long road: rocky smooth, but it has brought us here. And I couldn't find enough words to express my gratitude. One of the things I am happy about [is] to be in a career where I didn't have to leave anyone crying, didn't have to cheat anyone, didn't have to rip anyone off. All I had to do was give love, receive love. The band plays on,” he said.

The singer, backed by Desi Jones All Stars, gave a cameo performance during which he delivered Too Experienced, You Are Still My Honey, Fire Burning and I've Got To Go Back Home.

For his part, Blackwell, who has championed Jamaican music throughout his career, said he has seen Jamaica's music evolved over the 58 years since he has been involved in the music.

“In Brazil, Bassanova came. Three four years later it just disappeared again, Jamaican music has just evolved and evolved and evolved and created all kinds of other music. Rap music in America is rooted very much... started in Jamaica. I feel really lucky to have been involved in some of this,” Blackwell said.

Meanwhile, chairman of Summerfest Productions — promoters of Reggae Sumfest — Josef Bogdanovich said that in his native California, reggae and dancehall music are looked at “different from people on the Rock”.

“You (Jamaicans) are so blessed to have this music as common as an apple on a tree. There is so much talent here. There is so much opportunity, there is so much that can be done with new technology,” Bogdanovich argued.

Meanwhile, rounding off the evening's awards were: Chronixx in the Reggae Sumfest Rising Star category; Beenie Man in the Sumfest Legend. The Golden Pen award went to journalist Pat Mechino, Reggae Sumfest Big Up Award went to Hermine Shaw, who has over the years, operated a food stall at the festival venue.

Special honourees were journalists Marlon Tingling, Winford Williams and Alan Lewin.

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