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A SALUTE TO THE “BRITISH CONNECTION” IN KINGSTON, AUGUST 1!

 By Howard Campbell—
 (From left) Keith Goodison; producer Sonny Roberts; Dandy Livingstone, singer/producer; emcee and radio personality Norma Brown-Bell; and organizer Kingsley Goodison at the launch of Tribute To The Greats at Cuddy’z in New Kingston, on Thursday evening.—

MEMORIES of Swinging Sixties London filled Cuddy’z in New Kingston Thursday evening, where the 18th Tribute To The Greats was launched.

Set for August 1 at the Chinese Benevolent Association’s headquarters in St Andrew, this year’s event is dubbed ‘The British Connection’.

It recognizes Jamaican artists, music producers, sound system operators and record company owners who made their mark in the United Kingdom.

DandyLivingston1

Three of the awardees were at the function: producer Sonny Roberts, who operated Planetone and Orbitone Records, singer/producer Dandy Livingstone and singer Pam Hall.

Guest speaker Clyde McKenzie told the gathering that the Jamaican impact on British culture must never be overlooked.

“For many great Jamaican songs, Britain was a launching pad, from Millie Small’s My Boy Lollipop to Omi’s Cheerleader. So much of what is considered British is really Jamaican,” he said.

Millie Small

Millie Small

Many of the Jamaicans who made a name in British music, went to the UK in the 1950s when there was a wave of West Indian migration to the then Mother Country.

Most of them including Roberts, Livingstone, sound system pioneers Vincent ‘Duke Vin’ Forbes and Wilbert ‘Count Suckle’ Campbell, settled in London and thrived in their respective areas.

Forbes and Campbell will be posthumously honoured by Tribute To The Greats. So too singer/songwriter Wilfred ‘Jackie’ Edwards and Lee Gopthal, founder of Trojan Records.

Chris Blackwell

Chris Blackwell

Island Records founder Chris Blackwell, deejay Dennis ‘Dennis AlCapone’ Smith, singers BB Seaton, Winston Francis, Barry Biggs and Pam Hall, and musician/publisher Steve Golding, are also inductees in the ‘Class of 2015’.

WinstonFrancis

Eighty-three-year-old Roberts was in good spirits. His wife, Monica, is pleased his work as a pioneer is being lauded in Jamaica.

“It’s a good thing, this recognition for the hard work. It’s only been happening recently, but things are moving in that direction, from the Caribbean to Africa,” she told the Sunday Observer.

Livingstone, 71, was also gratified.

“This is great, I’m very humbled,” he said.

Tribute To The Greats is the brainchild of Kingsley Goodison who has produced the event annually since 1998.

It has saluted the contributions of stalwarts to the development of Jamaican music.

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