Veteran artiste talks Festival song, Studio One and more
THIS year marks Freddie McGregor's 52nd year in the music business. The Clarendon-born singer started at the legendary Studio One as a protege/ward of the label's founder, producer Clement 'Coxson' Dodd. McGregor performs at the Grand Gala tomorrow at the National Stadium, to celebrate Jamaica's 52nd year of independence from Britain. He spoke to the Jamaica Observer about the Festival Song Contest, Studio One and his career.
Jamaica Observer (JO): What is your favourite Festival song and why?
Freddie McGregor (FM): Toots and The Maytals' Bam Bam. For me, it's the most cultural, and the only Nyahbinghi song to have entered and won.
JO: What's your favourite song that never won.
FM: Jacob Miller, All Night Till Daylight.
JO: What is your greatest memory of Studio One?
FM: My greatest memory is of The Skatalites. Watching Don Drummond, Lester Sterling, Roland Alphonso, johnny 'Dizzy' (Moore) arranging and scoring parts for a recording session; still amazes me today. True talents.
JO: Name your all-star backing band.
FM: Drums, Cleveland Browne; bass Lloyd Brevett; keyboards, Robbie Lyn and Jackie Mittoo; guitars, Dalton Browne and Jerome 'jah Jerry' Haynes; horns, Roland Alphonso, Don Drummond, Dean Fraser, Everald Wray, Nambo Robinson and David Madden; percussion, Bongo Herman.
JO: If you were to select three must-do songs for an acoustic album, which would they be?
FM: It would be Big Ship, Push Comes to Shove and So I'll Wait For You.
JO: Clement Dodd was like a father to you. What do you remember most about him?
FM: My fondest memories of Mr Dodd, my daddy, is the way he danced when him hear a hit song. He had a special dance and would say, 'This is a hit song, Jackson'!"