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UNHERALDED MUSIC PERSONALITIES PRAISED FOR THEIR CONTRIBUTIONS!

the late Stephen Hill

the late Stephen Hill

THE 16th staging of Tribute to the Greats took place at Curphey Place in St Andrew last Saturday evening, with some well-known and unheralded music personalities sharing the limelight.

For the first time, a local music awards show paid homage to the influence American soul has had on Jamaican pop culture. United States Ambassador to Jamaica, Pamela Bridgewater, accepted the award on behalf of these soul pioneers of the 1960s whose style had a direct impact on rock steady singers like Alton Ellis, Pat Kelly and Ken Boothe.

Robert Hill (centre), son of late concert promoter Stephen Hill, displays an award in recognition of his father’s contribution to entertainment at Tributes to the Greats at Curphey Place in St Andrew on Saturday. At left is Kingsley Goodison, organiser of the event, and Omar Davies, minister of transport, works and housing. (PHOTO: JERRY SMALL)

 

Posthumous recognition was given to show promoter Stephen Hill, whose son Robert Hill accepted the award. Hill promoted numerous concerts in Jamaica for almost 40 years, bringing major acts like Ray Charles, Jackie Wilson and Chubby Checker to venues such as The Carib and The Regal in Kingston.

Dance promoter and close friend of reggae legend Bob Marley, Joseph ‘Bragga’ Russell, who was assisted to the podium, was also honoured along with Nyabinghi trailblazer Ras Michael. So too, veteran studio engineer Keith ‘Sticky’ Parke, broadcaster Alan Magnus of Radio Jamaica fame, acclaimed drummer/producer Joe Isaacs and singer Carlene Davis.

Chubby Checker & Stephen Hill

Chubby Checker & Stephen Hill

Davis gave a spirited performance with songs such as Forever Friend, It’s All About Love, Make It Together, and a tribute to anti-apartheid champions Nelson Mandela and Winnie Mandela with Welcome Home and Winnie Mandela.

Carlene Davis

Carlene Davis

Other noteworthy performances came from Ras Michael Jr who represented his father well on the classics Jah Jah Children, Birds in the Tree Top, and New Name. Singer Bunny Brown paid homage to the American-Jamaican connection with the standards A Change Is Gonna Come, Love You Forever, and Stand By Me.

RasMichael:80s

Percussionist Scully Simms, performing without longtime singing partner Bunny, was energetic with Mi Nah Run.

Jimmy Riley, affected by hoarseness, could not do songs like Conversation Justice.

— Basil Walters

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