Marcia hails heroes

Simone Morgan

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

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AS part of celebrations marking her 50th year in the music business, Marcia Griffiths will record an album of cover songs paying homage to her biggest influences.

Songs That Inspire Me, Songs I Love to Sing is the name of the set which is being produced by Donovan Germain of Penthouse Records.

Griffiths did not name the songs she is covering, but said soul singer Carla Thomas' No Time to Lose will be included. She sang that hit when she made her debut on Easter Monday, 1964, at the Carib cinema
in Kingston.

She cites Dionne Warwick, Aretha Franklin and Nancy Wilson, who emerged during the 1960s, as major influences.

"Those days we were influenced by American music because that is all we could hear. Germain and I decided that we should put this album together, so we are currently working on it," Griffiths said during the Jamaica Observer's Monday Exchange at the newspaper's Beechwood Avenue headquarters.

Griffiths -- a former member of Bob Marley's harmony trio, I-Three -- said her album will be released this year. Her only hope is it will appeal to disc jocks.

"You can't get a record played on radio these days without giving disc jocks a coil of money. Their policy is 'No Pay, No Play'. And I'm not paying!" she told the Jamaica Observer. "That's the number one setback to the industry."

The Electric Boogie singer explained that if any of her record does get played, it is one from her early years, which is a complaint from her contemporaries.

"Like that is all that I'm known for," she said.

She said that, despite the obstacles, she has no difficulty in staying current.

"Most of the young artistes want to do collabs, and being at Penthouse is a plus, as they're many young artistes there," she said.

Penthouse helped nurture the career of Buju Banton and Wayne Wonder, and currently has Romain Virgo on its roster.

Griffiths said Thursday's performance at Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival at the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium will cover her enduring career -- from the 1960s rocksteady era to the roots-reggae period a decade later to her current work.

"We will be touching on each decade and, of course, I am going to have a few friends who will be sharing the stage with me. Persons who I have not seen in a long time," she said.


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