'Merritone story must be written'

Basil Walters

Sunday, September 16, 2012

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BROTHERS Monte and Winston Blake — directors of Merritone Music — have been challenged to document the movement started by their late father, Val, in St Thomas 62 years ago.

The call was made by Derrick Smith, Member of Parliament for North West St Andrew, at the launch of the 2012 Merritone Family Reunion and Homecoming at the Waterfalls nightclub, St Andrew, on Thursday.

"It's full time for the Merritone story over the decades to be written," said Smith. "The Merritone brand is a musical institution and must continue the legacy. Merritone must continue to provide a place for boys to meet girls. And I stand by that," Smith said.

Smith said he became aware of the Merritone Music in the early 1950s, while growing up in St Thomas. He said it moved to the next level when the brothers established the Turntable Club on Red Hills Road, St Andrew in 1973.

"It became the place to be not only in Jamaica, but for visiting dignitaries. Politicians, whomever... it was the best place to take them for proper entertainment, good music and a nice evening. It's interesting, that when I entered politics, years after in the mid '80s, the only place I could find to rent at that time for my office was on Red Hills Road. The floor above Merritone."

He also highlighted the establishment of the Merritone Record Label that produced outstanding artistes such as Hopeton Lewis, Beres Hammond, and Cynthia Schloss, the late wife of Winston Blake.

This year's theme 'Tyrone, This One is For You', is dedicated Tyrone Blake, one of the four brothers who died in April of this year.

Events start with a service at the Christ Church in Vineyard Town, St Andrew on Sunday, September 23.

This will be followed by the Touch of Class at Curphey Place on Friday, October 5. Meet and Greet at the Chaser's Cafe on Belmont Road, St Andrew is scheduled for Wednesday, October 10. Turntable Thursday on Thursday, October 11, at the Waterfalls then the Sunset Beach Resort in Montego Bay from October 12 to 14. Merritone 'Las Lik' is scheduled for The Deck on Trafalgar Road on Monday, October 15.




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