DANNY Sims, the American impresario who once managed Bob Marley and The Wailers, died last Wednesday in Los Angeles at age 72.
Allan 'Skill' Cole, Sims' close friend, told the Jamaica Observer that Sims succumbed to a long fight with colon cancer. Sims had been helping Cole shop his Marley biography, The Bob Marley I Know.
Cole said he last spoke to Sims two months ago from Los Angeles where the latter was receiving treatment.
"He was very jovial, you couldn't tell he was sick," said Cole, who described Sims as an "unusual character".
Sims was in Jamaica in April for the premiere of director Kevin MacDonald's documentary, Marley, which took place at Emancipation Park in Kingston.
Cole says he first met Sims in 1970 through Marley. At the time, Sims was managing The Wailers, of which Marley was a member, as well as American soul singer Johnny Nash.
"He was a very strong personality who knew what he wanted. Danny was a great organiser, disciplined businessman," said Cole.
Reggae historian Roger Steffens worked on several projects with Sims' JAD Records, including the well-received The Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers: 1967-1972.
The comprehensive set covered recordings Marley and the Wailers did for Sims and Nash while they lived in Kingston.
Steffens credits Sims and Nash for transforming the Wailers from 'rude bwoys' to professionals.
"Their training brought Bob and Peter (Tosh) up to high international standards in both studio and stage craft. Bob received his first serious money from publishing royalties for songs of his that Johnny Nash turned into international hit records," Steffens told the Observer.
Born in Mississippi but raised in Chicago and New York City, Sims entered the entertainment business in the late 1950s. He brought several soul artistes to Jamaica in the early 1960s, including Nash who recorded with local producers such as Vincent 'Randy' Chin.
Sims and Nash eventually settled in Jamaica and met the Wailers which at the time comprised Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Livingston. He produced many songs with the group for his and Nash's JAD Records label and signed them to his Cayman Publishing company.