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UNSUNG: THE MUSIC-PRODUCING GREENWICH FARM!

By Howard Campbell—-

In commemoration of Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of Independence from Britain, the Jamaica Observer’s Entertainment section recognises 50 greats who have made significant, yet unheralded contributions to the country’s culture. Today, we feature the music-producing Corporate Area community of Greenwich Farm.

ROOTSMEN made the trod to Greenwich Farm in the 1970s when they were looking for tasty seafood or a good draw of ‘herb’. And there was the music too.

King of Greenwich Farm producer Bunny Lee

Greenwich Farm, the inner-city Kingston community was the epicentre for roots-reggae during that period, when producer Bunny Lee hit the jackpot with a home-grown talent like singer Johnny Clarke.

Delroy Wilson and Slim Smith, vocalists from the rock steady era of the 1960s, made Lee a hot name in the early 1970s with hits including Better Must Come and Conversation. This paved the way for younger singer/songwriters such as Earl Zero and Cornel Campbell, and the chanter Prince Allah.

Greenwich Farm was also the base for the prolific Soul Syndicate band which played on numerous hit songs in the 1970s.

Lee was later joined by the Channel One studio at nearby Maxfield Avenue, home of The Revolutionaries band and hot acts such as the Mighty Diamonds, Leroy Smart and the Meditations.

It was in Greenwich Farm that producer Bertram Brown also established his Freedom Sounds, helping to launch the careers of roots singers like Rod Taylor.

The Greenwich Farm area is still one of the best places in Kingston for seafood. Music is not as pronounced as 30 years ago, but there are always the songs and the memories.

 

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