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Back Issues of the Wailers News

May 1998

"Freedom Sounds - The Passing Of A Legend" - 
Tommy McCook ŠThe Wailers News Some very sad news, legendary musician and music pioneer, Tommy McCook, died on May 4th. McCook, a founding member of the Skatalites, was instrumental in making such groups as The Wailers, The Maytals, Lee Perry, Ken Boothe, Desmond Dekker, Alton Ellis, and so many more, sound the way they did in their ska periods. McCook played tenor sax most of the time, but also occasionally played flute.

 McCook was born on March 3rd in 1927, and started playing music professionally around 1943. McCook's first ska tune was released in November of 1963, which was entitled "Exodus". Also in 1963 he was band leader with a group of musicians, which included Lester Sterling, Don Drummond, Roland Alphonso, Jackie Mitoo, Lloyd Brevette, Lloyd Knibbs, Jah Jerry, and Johnny Moore. In 1964, this group of musicians became known as the Skatalites.

 Together with McCook and the Skatalites, they backed nearly every Jamaican group at the time, such as The Wailers with "Simmer Down", The Maytals with "Never You Change", and "Broadway Jungle". They also released their own tunes, such as "Fidel Castro", "Guns Of Navarone", "Man In The Street", "Eastern Standard Time", and countless others.

 McCook's musical influences included jazz legends Charlie Parker, alto sax; Miles Davis, trumpet; John Coltrane, tenor sax; and Sonny Rollins, tenor sax. To say that McCook and the Skatalites influenced some of today's musicians is an understatement! Not only did he gracefully play tenor sax, but McCook was a superb producer, both with the Skatalites, and also when he went solo, with such groups as Tommy McCook and the Supersonics, and others.

 More recently McCook had still been recording and touring with the Skatalites, even being nominated for the prestigious Grammy award several times with his band mates, for albums such as "Hi-Bop Ska" and "Ball of Fire".

 If you haven't ever heard McCook's music, then pick up almost anything under the Skatalites, and give it a listen! Even though he may no longer be creating new music, his repertoire of nearly 50 years of work will last forever. His music will surely continue to prosper both in the music of new and old artists all around the world.

"Around The World In 100 Shows" - 
World Wide Bunny ŠThe Wailers News Bunny Wailer is continuing his scheduled, 100 date tour of the world. Some more dates of the tour have already been announced, including a stop at the Maritime Hall in San Francisco, California on May 29th. Other dates include a performance at the German Reggae Sunsplash on August 29th, and also a stop at the huge IRIE '98 festival in Dortmund, Germany on September 5th. Other dates are surely to be announced soon, and always check out the bottom of this page for all dates relating to the Wailers, including children, family members, and much more!

 Bunny's recent performances have been getting great reviews, and it's definitely not a show to miss if he comes to a town near you!

"The Complete Wailers Part 3" - 
Complete Wailers Part 3 Last month, we failed to include a picture of the cover of The Complete Wailers Part 3, due to be released in France on May 15th. So here it is (at the right)! For the track listing, go to last months issue, by clicking on the "April 1998" link found at the bottom of this page.

 Also, Part 1 of The Complete Wailers set is number 7 on the Billboard Reggae Charts. Even though Billboard gave a completely unfair review of the set last month, this great set is still high on their charts, and has been on their Top 10 Reggae Albums for 4 weeks! But don't just go by chart success, pick Part 1 up for yourself, because you'll surely enjoy it!

"New Releases" - 
- new release #1-
 Trojan Records has just released a new compilation entitled "Joe Gibbs Mood: The Amalgamated Label 1968-1971". Among many other gems, the set features songs by The Hippy Boys, who later became The Wailers (ie. bassist Aston "Family Man" Barrett, drummer Carlton Barrett, keyboardist Glen Adams, and guitarist Alva Lewis). Here's the track list for this crucial disc:
1. Errol Dunkley - The Scorcher
2. Lee Perry - Thank You Baby
3. Overtakers - That's The Way You Like It
4. Pioneers - People Grudgeful
5. Versatiles - Time Has Come
6. Pioneers - Sweet Dreams
7. Royals - Never See Come See
8. Cannonball Bryan Trio - Jumping Jack
9. Intruders - Hurry Come Up
10. Reggay Boys - Mama Look Deh
11. Blenders - Decimal Currency
12. Soulmates - Them A Laugh And Kiki
13. Hippy Boys - The Hippy Boys Are Here
14. Soul Sisters - Wreck A Buddy
15. Reggay Boys - Me No Born Ya
16. Count Matchuki - It Is I (Matchuki's Cooking)
17. The Cobbs - One Love
18. Johnny Moore - Reflections Of Don D
19. Pioneers - Alli Button
20. Slickers - Man Beware
21. Ansell Collins - Joe Gibbs Mood
22. Versatiles - Long Long Time
23. Johnny Lover - Nevada Joe
24. Nicky Thomas - Danzella
25. Count Matchuki - Movements (The Joe Gibbs Way)
26. Caly Gibbs - Seeing Is Believing
Joe Gibbs Mood

Joe Gibbs Mood:
The Amalgamated Label 1968-1971
TRCD 394

- new release #2-
 WAR? Records (What Are Records?) out of Boulder, Colorado, will release on May 26th, a live album from last years Reggae On The Rocks XI concert, entitled "Reggae On The Rocks: Live & Direct". The disc will feature some live tracks from The Wailers Band, and also feature Toots and the Maytals, Culture, Michael Rose's "Cookie Jar", and Pato Banton. You can order the disc straight from WAR? Records, at their web site: www.war.com.

"Got The News From A Whispering Tree" - 
 Have you joined The Wailers Reporter yet? If not, you've already missed 8 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!

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Tour Dates: Wailin' All Over The World - 
Bunny Wailer & The Solomonic Reggaestra

The Wailers Band

***Extra special thanks to Maxine Music, Mark Miller, and Peter Beckhaus for the help with the above dates!***

Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers

Julian and Damian Marley w/The Uprising Band

***Extra special thanks to Peter Beckhaus for the German dates!***

Bob Marley Festival

We Remember Bob Marley Tour '98 (w/Bass Culture, Doktor Kixx, Natty Dread, and Pearl Livingston Marley) ***Extra special thanks to Peter Beckhaus for the above We Remember dates!***

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