Reggae producer dies in Brazil

BY BASIL WALTERS Observer staff reporter

Thursday, October 13, 2011

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THE Jamaica music fraternity has lost another valuable contributor in producer and manager Chester Synmoie, who passed away last Wednesday in a men's room at a airport in Brazil.


Synmoie who was accompanying veteran deejay King Stitt on a series of engagements in that South American country, died five days short of his birthday. He would have been 53 on Monday, according his longstanding friend and colleague Anthonyae Waldron, the old school deejay better known as Lone Ranger.


The Observer understands that the touring party was intransit at an airport after a show. Synmoie reportedly complained of stomach pains earlier and went to the pharmacy and got some medication. Arriving at the airport he went to the bathroom. After not seeing him return, a check was made and he was found lying on the floor.


It is believed that he died of heart failure. A source said that on Saturday, during his performance, King Stitt did a tribute to his departed colleague.


Lone Ranger is one of Jamaica's most influential early dancehall deejays for whom Synmoie produced his first major hit. "My first hit Barbabas Collins was produced by Chester (Synmoie) on he and his brother Leon's label Thrill Seekers. It was distributed by GG (Records label), and everybody feel sey a GG put out Barnabas Collins, but a nuh GG put out nutten. A Chester tune and Leon," recalled Lone Ranger whose Barnabas Collins was the number one song in 1979.


The association between Synmoie and Lone Ranger began as members of the group High-Fenders with Synmoie the leader, Lone Ranger, lead singer and Ransford Rogers. It was Synmoie who also hooked up Lone Ranger with producer Clement 'Coxsone' Dodd, for whom Lone Ranger cut his debut album on the Studio One label. "Remember sey him carry me to Coxsone and the Barnabas Collins album came out...when weh deh a Coxsone we have other hits like Love Bump. Him (Chester) carry me to Channel One where mi have nuff hits again, M16 and Fist to Fist, you understand," Lone Ranger reminisced.


As a producer Synmoie also worked with numerous other artistes for his own Chester Record label as well as the Thrill Seekers label. He worked with a number of artistes including Yellowman, Bobby Brown, Wilton Irie, Carlton Livingston and Lady Ann.


Both of Synmoie's daughters, Wallete and Juneil remember their father as a very jovial person. "He was very humble and got along with everyone," Wallete opined, while Juneil expressed similar sentiments. "My father was always laughing, always makes me smile. That's what I remember most about him. I remember him being driven by and caught up in his music."


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