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» GUEST RUNDOWNS » THIS YEAR’S “MERRITONE FAMILY FUN DAY U.S.A” IS CANCELED, WHILE THE JAMAICAN LEG IS ON OCTOBER 13-20!

THIS YEAR’S “MERRITONE FAMILY FUN DAY U.S.A” IS CANCELED, WHILE THE JAMAICAN LEG IS ON OCTOBER 13-20!

 

Winston ‘Merritone’ Blake (right) with fellow selector Craig Ross—

THIS year’s staging of the US leg of the annual Merritone Family Fun Day is off.

The Jamaican leg, however, is set for Kingston, Portland, and St Ann, from October 13 to 20.

Event organiser Conroy Allison told the Jamaica Observer it was not an easy decision.

“A great deal of careful, and at times, agonising thought went into whether or not to produce our event this year,” he said.

Last year’s ‘Sweet Sixteen’ staging featured acts including Hopeton Lewis and Althea Hewitt.

“We’ve staged the Family Fun Day for 16 consecutive years with much success. But recent issues with our venue [Lake Quassy] remain unresolved. This could compromise the quality of our product. Our biggest commitment is to the thousands of loyal friends and supporters who have come to expect the absolute best,” he continued.

Allison expects a return of the festival in the States next year.

Conroy Allison

Conroy Allison

“On behalf of Winston (Merritone) Blake, Monte Blake, and myself, see you at the 17th Merritone Family Fun Day,” he concluded.

Last year, Merritone family led a clean-up of Montego Bay singing duo Blues Busters’ graves in the Pye River Cemetery in St James.

The Blues Busters, comprising Lloyd Campbell and Phillip James, was popular on the local and international circuits from the early 1960s to the 1970s.

Their hit songs included Wings Of a Dove, Behold and Soon You’ll Be Gone, which were done for the Byron Lee-owned Dynamic Records that recorded mainly for a middle-class audience. Thinking and Privilege were minor hits.

The duo died in New York City. James passed away in 1989 and Campbell three years later.

— By Cecelia Campbell-Livingston

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