Greats lauded

BY BASIL WALTERS Observer writer

Monday, July 30, 2012

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IT was an emotional evening of nostalgia last Saturday at the Tribute to the Greats show at Curphey Place in St Andrew.

The event — now in its 15th year — recognises the contributions of pioneers of Jamaican popular music.

Basking in their moment of glory, some awardees brought back memories of their glory days. Among them, Beverley Kelso of the Wailing Wailers and members of the 'Australian Connection'.

Kelso was moved to tears while she was being presented with her award and had to be consoled by Lisa Hanna, Minister of Youth and Culture. She stirred the well-attended affair with her performance of It Hurts To Be Alone, the Wailers hit.

But it was the performance of the Australian Connection featuring former members of the Caribs band, guitarist/vocalist Dennis Sindrey and keyboardist Peter Stoddart, that revived memories of the ska era.

They did an entertaining suite including Hard Man Fi Dead, Carry Go Bring Come, You Know You Were Wrong, and Georgie and the Old Shoe.

The Jays (not among the honourees) paid tribute to awardee, Jamaican-born producer/songwriter Thom Bell who was unavoidably absent.

They did a bold attempt of You Make Me Feel Brand New, the 1974 hit song by Philadelphia soul group, The Stylistics. The song was written by Bell and Linda Creed.

The veteran trio also did You Are Everything, another song Bell wrote for the Stylistics.

Singer Tony Gregory, who is also celebrating 50 years in the music business, battled technical challenges to give a satisfying performance of Rhythm and Blues standards like Don't Play That Song For Me, This Magic Moment, Save The Last Dance For Me and his own Gypsy.

Recipient Big Youth was his usual energetic self, while the Rhythm Masters, including ace saxophonist Dean Fraser and percussionist Bongo Herman, could do no wrong.

The following is the 2012 honour roll for Tribute to the Greats: Thom Bell, The Caribs (Dennis Sindrey, Peter Stoddart and Lowell Morris), sound engineer Graeme Goodall, manager/producer Ronnie Nasralla, Big Youth keyboardist/arranger/

producer Gladstone Anderson, Beverley Kelso, singer Jackie Estick, Dexter Campbell, Ska Professor of Echo Vibrations sound system, dance promoter Ronald Dougall, and cinematographer Jose Walton.

The event's founder/promoter Kingsley Goodison was not to be left out. He received a plague of appreciation from family members presented by his niece Anya Gloudon.

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