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“GOOD SONGWRITERS WANTED” THE THEME OF RECENT FORUM IN NEW YORK CITY!

By Cecelia Campbell-Livingston—-

ONE of the leading songwriters from the rock steady era believes the days of composing good songs all but lost to Jamaican pop music.

Renford Cogle, who wrote several classic songs for The Melodians, was one of the speakers at the Coalition for the Preservation of Reggae (CPR) forum recently in New York City.

Renford Cogle makes a point at the CPR songwriting forum recently held in New York City.

He bemoaned the lack of good songs coming out of Jamaica.

“No one is taking the time to sit down and write beautiful songs anymore. You jump on someone’s rhythm, say two words and that’s a song,” he noted.

Cogle penned songs such as Sweet Sensation and Everybody Bawling for The Melodians, one of reggae’s great harmony groups. He has also written for American soul artistes The Platters and Eddie Lovett.

He believes Jamaican songwriters from the 1960s and 1970s have not got their due at home.

“They put names of artists and producers in the record credits but songwriters are hardly recognised,” he said.

TheMelodians

Cogle rose to prominence in the late 1960s when the Jamaican songwriter came of age. Bob Andy, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Desmond Dekker and Leroy Sibbles of The Heptones wrote numerous hit songs during that period.

Many of their songs have been covered by major artists.

Cogle points out that reggae music has never been just about making charts.

“It is about decent lyrics, beautiful voice; everything calibrated. Not someone telling me what to do and what not to do,” he said.

Dancehall music, he added, has no shelf life: “You forget it after you hear it.”

 

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