Respect to the Max!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

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YESTERDAY was special for Max Romeo. The singer celebrated his 70th birthday and his 50th year in the music business.

Romeo's generation is considered the most influential in reggae music. He figured in the roots revolution of the 1970s, belting out spiritual songs like Let The Power Fall and revolutionary anthems such as War Ina Babylon.

That generation transcended music. Romeo was part of the musical bandwagon assembled by singer/producer Clancy Eccles that helped make the transformative Michael Manley prime minister in 1972.

Let The Power Fall and War Ina Babylon also established reggae as a force in Europe and earned Max Romeo a faithful following throughout that continent. Indeed, when he called time on his touring days five years ago, he was among the top touring reggae acts in that region.

Romeo took a bow on his own terms, something not many of his contemporaries could afford to do. Some died destitute; others have fallen on hard times.

Today, the St Ann-born Romeo mentors young acts including his sons and daughter on his Charmax label out of Linstead, St Catherine.

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