2017 Entertainment Highlights: RONNIE DAVIS


Saturday, December 16, 2017

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The Jamaica Observer continues its daily look back at people, events and works that made an impact during the year.

THERE was no shortage of roots singers in the 1970s. Rasta was not just a word, but a way of life for many of them, including Ronnie Davis of The Itals.

Davis died on January 25 at the Savanna-la-Mar Hospital in his native Westmoreland. He was 66 years-old.

He had suffered a massive stroke two days earlier and never recovered.

Davis was best known for his work with The Itals, a roots reggae trio that cut a number of quality songs during the 1970s. In A Dis Ya Time is arguablytheir biggest hit song.

Prior to joining The Itals, Davis recorded with The Tennors, who had a big hit with Pressure And Slide for Studio One.

Davis also recorded as a solo act and had five albums to his credit. His last project was Iyahcoustic, which was released in August 2016 by Skinny Bwoy Records, a Chicago independent company operated by Henry Buckley Jnr.

Buckley was also producer of the album Iyahcoustic, an unplugged set which contained several of Davis's songs such as No Weak Heart, False Leaders and Got To Go Home.

“What made working with Ronnie so special was his willingness to make himself available. If there was a way to get it done, Ronnie Davis would get it done. It didn't matter if he played the role of the teacher or the student,” Buckley told the Jamaica Observer.

He continues to promote Iyahcoustic as a tribute to Davis.

“The promotion of Ronnie's music has taken on a life of its own. I think he has gained a whole new fan base and expanded the one he had up to the time of his passing. It proves that he planted good seeds,” said Buckley.

— Howard Campbell




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