JaRia lauds trailblazer Hedley Jones

Sunday, January 12, 2014

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HEDLEY Jones, who impacted Jamaican music as an engineer, musician and administrator, will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) next month.

The 96-year-old Jones is scheduled to receive the accolade at JaRIA's Honour Awards which takes place during its Reggae Month activities.

"Hedley Jones is one of the pillars on which Jamaican music has evolved. From designing the first Jamaican electric guitar, to building amplifiers, to president of the Jamaica Federation of Musicians (JFM), his contribution is immense," said Charles Campbell, a director of JaRIA.

Jones, who lives in Montego Bay, told the Jamaica Observer he is humbled by the recognition.

"I take it in stride. If they think I'm worthy I'll take it," he said.

After serving as a radar engineer with the Royal Air Force in World War II, St Catherine-born Jones returned to Jamaica in the late-1940s and opened Bop City, a radio service store on King's Street in downtown Kingston.

He also built amplifiers for the early sound systems including Thomas Wong's The Great Sebastian. In 1962, he helped build producer Clement 'Coxson' Dodd's Studio One studio and did recording sessions there as a guitarist.

Jones served as vice-president of the JFM from 1968-85 and president from 1985-95. He was awarded the Order of Distinction in 1993 by the Jamaican Government for his contribution to the country's music.

Hedley Jones is among 25 persons and entities who will be honoured by the JaRIA this year. The others are:

Winston 'Sparrow' Martin

— Mentorship

Joe Higgs, Don Drummond

— Posthumous

Osbourne 'King Tubby' Ruddock, Mervyn Williams

— Engineers

Lowell 'Sly' Dunbar, Robbie Shakespeare and Paul Henton

— Producers

Stone Love, Bass Odyssey

— Sound Systems

Mikey Chung, Herman 'Bongo Herman' Davis

— Musicians


— Johnny Clarke


— Carlene Davis

Duo/Group Vocals

— The Heptones

Zap Pow — Band

Asley 'Grub' Cooper

— Songwriter

Grace Thrillers, Adina Edwards — Gospel Artistes

Alphonso Walker

— Outstanding Contribution Media

Reggae Sumfest

— Promoter.

Special awards will be given to veteran acts Marcia Griffiths and Freddie McGregor for their contribution to the development of Jamaica's music. Both are celebrating 50 years in the business. While season five winner of the NBC talent competition, The Voice, Tessanne Chin will be lauded for the outpouring of patriotism her achievement brought out in the Jamaican people.

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