PASSAGE - Larry Marshall

2017 Entertainment Highlights

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

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The Jamaica Observer's Entertainment Desk continues its daily year in review of people who made an impact during 2017.


Though he recorded a string of songs in a 50-year career, Larry Marshall will best be remembered for Nanny Goat, the 1968 rocker many persons consider the first reggae song. He died from complications of Alzheimer's disease in August, in Miami, at age 76.

Produced by Clement “Coxson” Dodd, Nanny Goat was cut by Marshall and Alvin Leslie as Larry and Alvin. Somehow, Marshall became associated with the song as its lone singer.

Marshall's wife, Mary, told the Jamaica Observer that he had suffered from Alzheimer's for 10 years.

Born Fitzroy Marshall in St Ann, he moved to Kingston during the late 1950s and began recording for several producers such as Phillip Yap at Top Deck Records and Prince Buster's Voice Of The People, in the early 1960s.

His next stop was Dodd's Studio One where Marshall also worked as an assistant engineer. According to popular lore, a teenaged Jacob Miller was supposed to sing Nanny Goat, but Dodd showed preference for the team of Marshall and Leslie who created magic on the single which was an instant hit.

Marshall continued to record throughout the 1970s. As a solo act, he hit the mark with T hrow Me Corn, Your Love and I Admire You which remain popular with hardcore dancehall fans.

— Howard Campbell




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