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» BREAKING NEWS, Featured » LIVING LEGEND ERNIE SMITH, OFFERS TO PAY THE YEARLY UNION FEES OF SIX OF HIS COLLEAGUES!

LIVING LEGEND ERNIE SMITH, OFFERS TO PAY THE YEARLY UNION FEES OF SIX OF HIS COLLEAGUES!

BY BRIAN BONITTO
Associate Editor —

 Ernie Smith —

FRANKIE Campbell, chairman of Jamaica Association of Vintage Artists & Affiliates (JAVAA), is lauding singer Ernie Smith for offering to pay the yearly subscription dues for six of its members.

The dues — $12,000 per person — covers the individual’s life insurance and running of the organization.

“It’s an excellent move and we, the executives of JAVAA, applaud it. We wish other musicians would make similar gestures, not necessarily to JAVAA, but to other organizations. It’s a good move coming from a fellow entertainer,” Campbell told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith

“In music, we don’t tend to give back to the music and musicians.”

Smith made the announcement at a recent media launch for his Ernie Smith Celebrates 50 concert. It marks his 50th year in show business and is scheduled to take place on September 29 at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.

Smith is also a member of JAVAA which was in discussion with him and his wife, Janet, prior to the announcement.

“We had given him and his wife a list of about a dozen names of members who had fallen on hard times to choose from. In the next week or two they’ll make their decision. They’re currently in Barbados for Carifesta… but as soon as they come back, we’ll know the names,” said Campbell.

Frankie Campbell

Frankie Campbell

Several entertainers have fallen on hard times. The families of some have sought Government assistance to foot funeral expenses.

At Frankie Paul’s funeral in June, Entertainment and Culture Minister Olivia “Babsy” Grange urged members of the entertainment fraternity to “get their act together”.

Smith made his mark on Jamaican music during the 1970’s. His breakthrough song, I Can’t Take It Any More, was covered by Johnny Nash as Tears On My Pillow.

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith

His other songs include Duppy Gunman, Hail The Man, Bend Down, Ride On Sammy, Pitta Patta, and One Dream.

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