52 years of Freddie McGregor

BY KEVIN JACKSON Observer writer

Sunday, June 15, 2014

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IN recognition of his 52 years in the music business, singer Freddie McGregor will be honoured by Summerfest Productions at next month's Reggae Sumfest in Montego Bay.

McGregor's career started in 1962 at Studio One where he was mentored by producer Clement 'Coxson' Dodd.

A decade later, he earned an underground following with songs like Bobby Babylon and Bandulu for Studio One.

In the 1980s, McGregor hit his stride with a string of hits, including Big Ship, Push Come to Shove, So I'll Wait for You, Just Don't Want to be Lonely, That Girl, Prophecy and I Was Born a Winner.

Here are some facts about
Freddie McGregor.

— First song recorded and released was Why Did You Do It featuring Ernest Wilson in 1963.

— Was a member of the Generation Gap band.

— Is a respected drummer who played on hit songs by Sugar Minott and Judy Mowatt.

— Along with Sugar Minott, Willie Williams and Lone Ranger sparked a Studio One revival in the 1970s.

— Established the Big Ship label in 1983. Among its early recording artistes were Papa San, Stitchie, and Tiger.

— Tours Japan annually. Considered his biggest market.

— His two biggest hits in the United Kingdom are covers of Just Don't Want to be Lonely (number nine) and That Girl (Groovy Situation) which went to number 47.

— Just Don't Want to be Lonely is McGregor's biggest seller. It has reportedly sold 500,000 copies.

— Has released 40 albums to date. His most recent was Di Captain, released in 2013.

— Has one Grammy nomination to date, for 2002's Anything For You which was nominated for Best Reggae Album.

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