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Author Topic: A music icon passes  (Read 3775 times)

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A music icon passes
« on: May 06, 2004, 08:25:24 AM »

published: Thursday | May 6, 2004

THE SUDDEN passing of Clement Dodd, the man celebrated in the music industry as 'Sir Coxsone' of Studio One, has left a vacuum in the Jamaican cultural scene which will not be filled easily. Half a century ago, Dodd invested his earnings in a sound system and gave it the grandiloquent title: 'Sir Coxsone's Downbeat'. It was a simpler time, when rivalries in the forerunner of today's dance hall, were settled not with guns but with musical mastery.

It was the need to keep ahead of his rivals in the field which led to Coxsone to use his earnings from farm work in fruit orchards of the USA to build his record stock with imported recordings, mainly rhythm and blues. In time, however, he came to the realisation that there was a wealth of music and accompanying talent right here in Jamaica. So, in 1963, Studio One was born. In succeeding years, it would record and bring before the world a range of instrumentalists, vocalists and composers, many of whom would go on to become icons of the uniquely Jamaican genre of music, notably the ska, rock steady and reggae. Studio One became synonymous with names like Bob Marley and the Wailers, Monty Alexander, The Skatalites, Burning Spear, Marcia Griffiths, to name but a few of the iconic performers who came out of Brentford Road, where Studio One had its headquarters.

Under the Studio One label, compelling and distinctive sounds poured out across the land and over the wider world. The Studio One catalogue became 'a national treasure', accessed by researchers and scholars of music around the globe, especially revered in many European countries. In Japan today, imitators of the Studio One sound proliferate and serve to increase interest in Jamaica as a preferred spot for tourism. It was not always smooth sailing, for Dodd. There were legal battles over contentious issues including copyright, but in the end, there remained the respect and the gratitude of the music fraternity and the wider public for a man of simple origins who gave himself the title of a knight and set his own 'royal expectations'. He was honoured by the nation with the Order of Distinction (Officer). He received the Institute of Jamaica's highest honour, the Gold Musgrave Medal as well as numerous other tributes from organisations at home and abroad.

Less than a week ago, 'Sir Coxsone' had the honour of unveiling the sign denoting the change by the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation of the name Brentford Road, in midtown Kingston, to Studio One Boulevard in acknowledgement of his music centre which had operated in the area for decades. Who among the enthusiastic crowd which gathered for the unveiling ceremony last Friday afternoon could've known that it would be Sir Coxsone's last public engagement? Only four days after, (on Tuesday afternoon) while in office at Studio One, he succumbed to what is believed to be a heart attack. 'Sir Coxsone' had been anticipating celebrating this year the 50th anniversary of Studio One.

Instead, it is his life and work which are being memorialised now, not only at home but throughout the Jamaican Diaspora New York, Toronto, London, wherever Jamaicans gather to celebrate the spirit of home and where Studio One's output is a staple for the music-loving sons and daughters of this land. The international scene is expressing its condolences too, for 'Sir Clement' Dodd who, through his commitment to the music of his land, became a citizen of the world and took his people's culture along with him. There can be no greater epitaph.




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Re: A music icon passes
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2004, 03:57:18 AM »

he was a great man indeed
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Re: A music icon passes
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2017, 08:20:13 PM »

His University is stil, open. I advise all to go there and study.

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