Jamaica music pioneer Graeme Goodall dies in Atlanta

Friday, December 12, 2014

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KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Australian Graeme Goodall, a key figure in the early years of Jamaican pop music, died on December 3 at age 82 in Atlanta, Georgia.

His wife, Fay, said he died at home of natural causes.

Born in Melbourne, Goodall first came to Jamaica in 1955 and worked at Radio Jamaica. He later went to the rival Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation as chief engineer.

Goodall got into music as studio engineer for pioneer producer Ken Khouri, helping to direct some of his early sessions. Later, he worked in a similar capacity with Chris Blackwell, Leslie Kong (his brother-in-law), Clement Dodd and Duke Reid.

After moving to the United Kingdom in 1965, Goodall established his Doctor Bird and Pyramid labels which released songs by a number of Jamaican artistes including The Ethiopians and Desmond Dekker.

In 1969, Pyramid released Dekker's The Israelites (originally produced by Kong as Poor Mi Israelite) in the UK. It topped that country's national chart.

Goodall was part of a small Aussie contingent that settled in Jamaica during the 1950s. Three others, Peter Stoddart, Dennis Sindrey and Lowell Morris, were members of The Caribs band.

They were honoured for their contribution to Jamaican music at the Tribute to the Greats show in Kingston in 2012.

A thanksgiving service for the life of Goodall was held in Atlanta on December 9. He was cremated.

He is survived by his wife, two children and four grandchildren.

Howard Campbell


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