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» GUEST RUNDOWNS » LEGENDARY PRODUCER WINSTON “NINEY THE OBSERVER” HOLNESS TO RECEIVE NATIONAL HONORS!

LEGENDARY PRODUCER WINSTON “NINEY THE OBSERVER” HOLNESS TO RECEIVE NATIONAL HONORS!

 Winston "Niney The Observer" Holness

Winston “Niney The Observer” Holness

 WHILE he has earned a reputation as being one of reggae’s top producers by nurturing the careers of artists like Dennis Brown, Winston ‘Niney’ Holness is also known for his sense of humor.

He addressed news of him being awarded the Order of Distinction (OD) in typical deadpan fashion.

“Ah don’t know much ’bout dem things, but ah hear is something good. An’ once is something good I have no problem accepting it,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

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Holness will receive Jamaica’s sixth highest honor for his contribution to the development of Jamaican music in October at King’s House, where the annual investiture of National Awards and Honors take place.

The jocular producer has been in the music business for 50 years. He is best known for producing some of Brown’s most potent songs, including Westbound Train, No More Shall I Roam and Wolf and Leopard.

Dennis Brown at 16 years old.

Dennis Brown at 16 years old.

He also produced Sugar Minott’s No Vacancy and Roots With Quality by Third World for his Observer label.

A protégé of producers Joe Gibbs, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, and Bunny Lee, Holness (given name George Boswell) also had success as an artist with the song “Blood And Fire” which made the British national chart in 1970.

“Is a lotta work mi put in, yuh nuh. Mi si man weh mi bring inna di business get award before mi, so dis thing overdue,” he said.

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Born in Montego Bay, Holness, like Gibbs, Perry and Lee, has amassed a formidable catalogue which is distributed throughout Europe and North America by various independent record companies.

Two years ago, he resumed producing in Jamaica with the opening of his Observer Soundbox studio in Kingston.

Fellow producer Donovan Germain, Reggae Sunsplash co-founder Ronnie Burke, musician/composers Harold Butler and Marjorie Whylie, and Nyahbinghi drummer Ras Michael have also been honoured with the OD.

— By Howard Campbell

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