|volume 3 * issue 9 * July 1999|
OPEN THE GATE- Just as we were about to go to "press," we heard the news that the legendary and one-of-a-kind Dennis Brown had passed away at the age of 42 on July 1st. This truly sad news continues the recent deaths of numerous reggae musicians. If you don't know who Dennis Brown was, it's time that you went out and picked up nearly anything by him. Dennis Brown started his career at a very early age with Coxson Dodd at Studio One and worked his way through nearly every great producer, including Derrick Harriott, Joe Gibbs, Niney The Observer, among many others.
Even though Dennis passed away at a relatively young age, he in fact had been in the music business for over 30 years, beginning when he was just 10 years old. Dennis made some of the finest Jamaican music ever created, including classics like: "Sitting and Watching," "Here I Come," "Westbound Train," "Money In My Pocket," "Wolf And Leopards," "Silhouettes," as well as his numerous collaborations with Gregory Isaacs, such as "Blood Brothers."
You can read more about Dennis Brown in a short news story that the Jamaica Daily Gleaner printed and also listen to sound clips from Dennis Brown's four most recent releases at the Reggae Source website.
Dennis Brown, nicknamed "The Crown Prince of Reggae," but more like one of its Kings, will certainly be greatly missed.
JUNIOR BRAITHWAITE REMEMBERED- Sadly, there is yet another death to report as on June 2nd the music world once again lost another of its own, but this time it was an original member of The Wailers. Junior Braithwaite, a founding member of the Wailers, was murdered at the age of 50. Junior was a member of The Wailers until August 1964 when he departed Jamaica for Chicago, Illinois. He sang lead on only four songs during his stint with The Wailers, including "Straight And Narrow Way," "It Hurts To Be Alone," and "Habits."
Junior sang background harmony on only 17 other songs, which included some of The Wailers' earliest biggest hits such as "Simmer Down" and "Maga Dog."
For more information about the life and musical career of Junior Braithwaite, check out the tribute site that we've created with the help of Roger Steffens, entitled "Junior Braithwaite Remembered." You can read Junior's biography, an interview conducted by Roger Steffens in 1985, a complete songography of everything that Junior sang on, and even hear Junior himself and some songs that he sang on, by visiting the site.
Junior becomes yet another Wailers' member to have their lives cut short tragically. Junior's body of work may be small but his voice will surely live on in the music forever.
There is even another passing to the reggae world as producer Henry "Junjo" Lawes was also murdered in June. The name might not be familiar but the songs that he worked on should be, including Barrington Levy's "Prison Oval Rock," Eek A Mouse's "Wa Do Dem" Frankie Paul's "Pass The Tu Sheng Peng," and other artists ranging from Cornell Campbell, Yellowman, The Wailing Souls, and Hugh Mundell. There's a tribute page created by the Reggae Vibes site, that is very informative and includes a lengthy discography and biography on Junjo, so pay it a visit HERE!
BUNNY CALLS IN- Bunny Wailer gave a rare phone interview on June 12th to a local Colorado radio station during the weekly "Reggae Bloodlines" show. Bunny, calling all the way from Jamaica, touched on quite a few topics, including the murder of Junior Braithwaite, saying that it wasn't a robbery, but rather Junior was in the wrong place with the wrong company.
Bunny also discussed the historic meaning of the name "Wailers" including its links back to the Wailing Walls in Jerusalem. Finally, Bunny talked about his upcoming Labor Day appearance at the One World Music Festival in Crested Butte, Colorado, and how much he is looking forward to it, adding that, "I'm looking forward to seeing all of the good reggae people, the reggae population, the reggae family."
CRACKING THE STUDIO ONE VAULTS...AGAIN- Following up last months story, there's more rare Wailers material about to be released, again on the Heartbeat Records album "Wailers and Friends." This disc is due out on July 13th and will feature The Wailers not on lead vocals, but rather acting as backing singers to some of Jamaican music's greats.
The disc features 18 collaborations and here's the tracklisting as well as the cover of the disc:
1. I've Got To Go Back Home - Bob Andy & The Wailers 2. Jerk All Night - Delroy Wilson & The Wailers 3. That Ain't Right - Rita Marley & The Wailers 4. One More Chance - Rita Marley & The Wailers 5. Friends And Lovers - Rita Marley & The Wailers 6. A Deh Pon Dem - Rita Marley & The Wailers 7. The Train Is Coming - Ken Boothe & The Wailers 8. Oh My Darling - Bob Marley & Marcia Griffiths 9. Tell Them Lord - Bob Marley & the Wailers 10. Rude Boy - Bob Marley & The Wailers 11. Where's Sammy Gone - Lord Brynner & The Wailers 12. Ice Water - Jack Sparrow & The Wailers 13. Pussy Galore - Lee "Scratch" Perry & The Wailers 14. Bless You - Bunny Livingston & Rita Marley 15. A Time To Cry - Jackie Opel & The Wailers 16. The Mill Man - Jackie Opel & The Wailers 17. I Want Justice - Delroy Wilson & The Wailers 18. Don't Cry Over Me - Joanne Dennis & The Wailers
For the majority of these songs, this is the first time in over 30 years that they have been released. This release features several songs with the lesser known Wailers lending their voices, including Constantine "Vision" Walker and Junior Braithwaite. With last month's release of "Destiny: Rare Ska Sides From Studio One," combined with this release, these collections present a side of The Wailers that has been rarely heard, so this is definitely a disc to pick up, as we certainly will!
As usual with new releases, the Jammin' Reggae Archives website has sound clips from this album for all to hear, so that you can try before you buy.
INTRODUCING KY-MANI- A breath of fresh air from the Marley family is about to hit stores on July 27th, with Ky-mani Marley's first legitimate release, "The Journey." A few months ago we picked up a sampler tape for Ky-mani's album and were quite impressed with the original sounds, so hearing the entire album should be a treat. Here's the setlist and the cover of the album:
1. Rude Boy 2. Fell In Love 3. Country Journey 4. Dear Dad 5. Return Of A King 6. Emperor 7. Party's On 8. Hi-Way 9. Tom Drunk 10. No Faith 11. Your Love 12. Fire, Fire 13. Warriors 14. Lord Is My Shepherd
Ky-mani also has an official website as part of BMG's Peeps network. Most of the page is still under construction, but the site already looks really nice, so visit it HERE!
If you can't wait until the end of the month until the album is released, there is the disc's first single "Rude Boy" which is out now and coming July 6th, the album's second single "Warriors" will drop.
THE RETURN OF THE MELODY MAKERS- Another Wailers family album is about to be released on July 13th, this time it's Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers with their new album "Spirit Of Music" on Elektra Records. This will be the groups first album in over two years but has a somewhat different sound than what fans are normally accustomed to. The album is produced by Don Was, who is the Melody Makers' first outside producer in several years and from the songs we've heard already, gives the album more of an acoustic rock sound and less of a reggae sound.
Blues legend Taj Mahal guests on "Keep My Faith," one of the 15 tracks on the new album. Here's the cover and tracklisting:
1. Keep My Faith 2. We Are One 3. Beautiful Day 4. Gone Away 5. You Got My Love (All Day All Night) 6. Higher Vibration 7. All I Need 8. One Good Spliff 9. Let It Go 10. 13 Months Of Sunshine 11. Many Waters 12. High Tide Or Low Tide 13. Won't Let You Down 14. Let Jah Will Be Down 15. Too Much Waters (hidden bonus track)
As with most of the Melody Makers' albums, there are the Bob Marley & The Wailers' covers, this time it's "All Day All Night" and "High Tide Or Low Tide." There are a few sites to check out to get more information on the album, including hearing sound clips. The first is the Melody Makers' official page and the other is Elektra Records' spot for the band.
If your in the mood for chatting about the Melody Makers with other fans, then head over to the Melody Makers Yahoo! Club. It was created by Julian Schmidt, and while you're on the site, check out his numerous excellent pictures of the Melody Makers, like the one of Stephen Marley at the right, but you'll have to join the club first (don't worry it's free).
BRAND NEW SECOND HAND- There are even more new releases to talk about, this time three "new" Peter Tosh discs. The first two are re-releases of Peter Tosh's 1976 "Legalize It" and 1977 "Equal Rights" albums. The re-releases feature new liner notes by Roger Steffens and one or two bonus tracks on each disc. The discs will be available on Columbia Records on July 6th and are budget priced. Here's the setlists for these discs:
The third Peter Tosh release is a greatest hits collection on Columbia Records due out the same day as the above, entitled "Scrolls Of The Prophet: The Best Of Peter Tosh." The disc combines some of Peter's well known hits as well as a previously unreleased song "Mystery Babylon." Here's the cover and tracklist for the disc:
1. Get Up, Stand Up 2. Stepping Razor 3. Downpressor Man 4. Equal Rights 5. Gonna Walk, Don't Look Back (with Mick Jagger) 6. African 7. Legalize It 8. Bush Doctor 9. Igziabeher (Let Jah Be Praised) 10. Fools Die 11. Mystery Babylon (previously unreleased) 12. Ketchy Shuby 13. Till Your Well Runs Dry 14. One Love (The Wailers) 15. Get Up, Stand Up (acoustic)
(return to this month's features)
"HIT ME WITH MUSIC - NEW RELEASES"- There's a new Bob Marley book soon to be on shelves and it sounds quite interesting. The title is "Bob Marley The Wailing Soul (The Stories Behind Every Song)" published by Thunder's Mouth Press. It's author Chris Welch discusses the significance behind Bob Marley & The Wailers' songs from the early days until the last recordings.
The 144 page book features 90 photographs to accompany the text. If you can't find this book in your local book store and would like to order it, click on the picture of its cover at the left and help support The Wailers News in the process.
If you can't find this issue on newstands, you can order a subscription by e-mailing GETTHEBEAT@aol.com. We're sure you won't be disappointed.
(return to this month's features)
WAILERS SHORTS- Only one brief this month and that is that hopefully by next month there should be an all new look for the site and much more!
(return to this month's features)
GOT THE NEWS FROM A WHISPERING TREE- Have you joined The Wailers Reporter yet? If not, you've already missed 29 e-mailings, packed full with reggae news, new reggae web pages, tour dates, and much more! But it's never too late to join, so fill in your name and e-mail address below to become one of an irie list of people! It's 100% free, and we won't give/sell/trade your name to anyone else!
(return to this month's features)