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T BOOTS HARRIS…UNFORGETTABLE!

By Basil Waters–

Musician Grub Cooper pays tribute the late T Boots Harris—

AMID tributes at the thanksgiving service for veteran entertainment journalist Trevor ‘T Boots’ Harris Saturday, his long-time friend and singer Boris Gardner captured the essence of the sombre occasion with his rendition of Nat King Cole’s Unforgettable.

It was a perfect summary that left a lasting impression on the congregation at the First Baptist Church on Sandringham Avenue in St Andrew. Family, journalists and entertainment figures turned out to pay respect to Harris, who died August 16 from a heart attack.

Gospel artist Sarah Walker, who said Harris left an indelible mark on her life, performed the inspirational Great is Thy Faithfulness. She recalled Harris once telling her: “If I should pass away before you, I want you to do this song for me.”

There were other musical tributes from the vocal quartet Natty Baldhead, Oliver ‘Alva’ Black, Karlene ‘Nina Karle’ Levy, Bishop Delroy Willis, guitarist Junior Bailey (who did an instrumental version of Satta Massa Gana) and poet Fikre Selassie. A moving tribute came from Baldwin Howe, who said Harris helped steer him from substance abuse.

Boris Gardiner

Boris Gardiner

“I have to take this opportunity to speak about what ‘T Boots’ had done for me. He was an inspiration and he encouraged me when I was on a path that was not good,” said Howe. “I was on drugs and he spoke to me about it, and I went to rehab and now I am out. Thanks to ‘T Boots’.”

The Fabulous Five’s Frankie Campbell, who gave the remembrance, shared some amusing anecdotes about Harris who was once the band’s road and public relations manager. Another Fab Five member, drummer Astley ‘Grub’ Cooper, gave a splendid vocal performance of Jerusalem.

Veteran music insider John Alexander, Harris’ children Che and Kari-Ann Harris-Rueben and grandchildren Nya Ramsay Brice Harris and Jonhoi Harris, also paid tribute.

The Fabulous Five

The Fabulous Five

So too Harris’ former colleagues Milverton Wallace (read by Harris’ son Francisco), Demario McDowell and Rohan Powell who represented the Press Association of Jamaica.

Harris was a stalwart in entertainment journalism. He founded and operated the Roots News magazine and worked at the Jamaica Record newspaper, helping to produce its afternoon tabloid, the National Enquirer. At the time of his death at age 70, Harris worked at the Bess FM radio station.

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