INDEPENDENT company Shanachie Records will release a multi-track album celebrating the work of roots visionary Yabby You this year.
Randall Grass, head of Shanachie, told the Jamaica Observer that no date or title has been confirmed for the set but says the project will do justice to one of roots-reggae's unheralded artistes.
"We believe Yabby You is under-appreciated and should be mentioned in the same breath as Augustus Pablo, Lee Perry, Culture and Burning Spear," said Grass.
He disclosed that the proposed album will be a diverse one. It is likely to comprise two compact discs, extensive liner notes from persons who knew and worked with the singer/producer as well as a DVD.
Yabby You (given name Vivian Jackson) died in early 2010 in Clarendon at age 63. A protégé of master engineer Osbourne 'King Tubby' Ruddock, he began recording in the early 1970s as founder of The Prophets, a group that included guitarist Earl 'Chinna' Smith, Wailers bassist Aston 'Family Man' Barrett and drummer Leroy 'Horsemouth' Wallace.
With Ruddock as producer, Yabby You and The Prophets cut a series of inspirational songs including Conquering Lion, Love Of Jah and Warn The Nation.
Though he was a Rastafarian, Yabby You rejected the group's popular belief that Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I is God. His acceptance of Jesus Christ's divinity earned him another moniker, Jesus Dread.
Typical of roots-reggae performers from the 1970s, Yabby You established a cult following throughout Europe where he toured frequently. Like Ruddock and Augustus Pablo, he also mentored a number of underground reggae artistes such as singers Michael Prophet, Wayne Wade and Patrick Andy.
Based in New York City, Shanachie Records boasts one of the music industry's largest catalogue of roots music including Gaelic and gospel. They have a 30-year history with reggae, distributing albums from Augustus Pablo, Culture, the Wailing Souls and Third World.