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» BREAKING NEWS, Featured » SINGER CORNEL CAMPBELL, “THE GORGON” IS STILL GOING STRONG AFTER ALL THESE YEARS!

SINGER CORNEL CAMPBELL, “THE GORGON” IS STILL GOING STRONG AFTER ALL THESE YEARS!

By Howard Campbell

Observer senior writer—

 

 Cornel Campbell —

 

Having started his career in 1956, singer Cornel Campbell has seen and worked with reggae’s greats, including producers Clement “Coxsone” Dodd and Arthur “Duke” Reid, and legendary band The Skatalites.

Now 72 years old, he is still breaking new ground. This summer he is scheduled to make his first appearances in South America, with dates booked for Brazil.

“I’m aware I have a following down there but I’ve never been to Brazil. It’s always a good thing to perform in different countries and for different cultures,” he said.

On May 5 Campbell will perform in a familiar setting. He is one of the acts billed for Startime at Mas Camp in east Kingston.

The dreadlocked artiste, who performed on the previous Startime event in Clarendon in July 2016, wishes he did more shows in Jamaica.

 CornelCampbell5

“That would be good yuh nuh, but to tell yuh the truth the money being offered is not all that wonderful. And sometimes it’s not even the money. I do a lotta shows in Europe an’ people want to know about yuh an’ the history of the music, but in Jamaica it’s not like that,” said a frustrated Campbell.

In the last 10 years Campbell has feverishly worked the European live show scene, performing on major festivals such as Rototom Sunsplash in Spain. Promoters have also engaged him in the United States, particularly on the west coast where there is demand for classic reggae.

Based in St Elizabeth, the Kingston-born Campbell is looking forward to next month’s show as well as his Brazilian debut. He took a break from touring because of the hectic schedule but is eager to hit the stage again.

CornelCampbell1

While he began recording in the mid-1960’s for Reid’s Treasure Isle label, Campbell had to wait until the early 1970s for his breakthrough. It came at Dodd’s Studio One as lead singer of The Eternals, who had successive hit songs in Queen Of The Minstrel and Stars.

Going solo in the mid-1970’s, he hit a purple patch with producer Bunny “Striker” Lee. His hit songs there included Gorgon and Natty Dread In A Greenwich Farm.

Campbell’s last big hit song was Boxing, done in 1981 for producer Joe Gibbs.

Leroy Sibbles, Horace Andy, Marcia Griffiths, Ernie Smith, U Roy, Boris Gardiner, Sanchez and Xylophone are the other acts on Startime, which ends its run after 30 years.

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