A Festival to rememberFriday, July 16, 2021
BY HOWARD CAMPBELL
The Jamaica Observer's Entertainment Desk continues its series of stories on the Jamaica Festival Song Competition which is marking its 55th anniversary milestone.
For the relaunch of his 2018 song, God Answer Prayers, singer Derrick Scott wanted a promotional video that projected the positives of Jamaica. The visual, compiled by Maria Jackson, recaptures glory moments of sports, music and religion's impact on the country.
Produced by Willie Lindo, God Answer Prayers exudes patriotism as Jamaica prepares for the Olympics in Tokyo this month, and to celebrate its 59th year of Independence from Great Britain on August 6.
But Scott's most memorable memory of the Independence period is late July 1976 when his older brother Freddie McKay won the Festival Song Contest with Dance Dis ya Festival. A raucous stomper, the Joseph Hoo Kim-produced song edged Jacob Miller's All Night Til Daylight for the title.
“I fell asleep that night before they announced the winner. In the middle of the night my aunt with a lot of excitement start shaking mi. 'Wake up bwoy, get up! Freddie win! Freddie win! Freddie win!'. That is something I'll never forget,” Scott told the Jamaica Observer.
Scott got that frantic wake-up call in Linstead where he and his brother were born. McKay was part of a talented batch of artistes and musicians from the St Catherine market town, others being singers Phyllis Dillon and Joseph Hill of Culture.
It was his second entry in 'Festival'. Four years before, he placed third to Eric Donaldson's Cherry Oh Baby with Sweet You Sour You.
Best known for the 1971 hit song Picture on The Wall, McKay died in 1986 at age 39.
Derrick Scott first released God Answer Prayers for Gospel Truth, his third album, also produced by Lindo. Based in South Florida since the 1990s, he became a Christian over 20 years ago after a 10-year run as a secular act.
Twelve artistes will contest the July 22 final of the festival song contest.
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