STRIKING the right chords

BY HOWARD CAMPBELL Observer senior writer

Sunday, January 13, 2013

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ALTHOUGH he is only 26-years-old, Edward Lee Jnr boasts he knows everything about the music business. He learned at the feet of one of the best — his father, legendary music producer Edward 'Bunny' Lee.

Little Striker, as Lee Jnr is called, is head of Gorgan Entertainment Group, a multi-media company with headquarters in Duhaney Park. It is the same location his father once ran a recording studio and office.

Gorgan Entertainment will, among other things, oversee the Bunny Lee catalogue which is one of the largest in reggae. It is primarily a record company with a slant toward roots-reggae.

"We've gone all out to set up the studio the right way an' plan to release proper music to the public," the younger Lee told the Jamaica Observer. "We are open to all types of music but we are really looking at the roots artistes."

Some of the artistes his father produced in the 1970s, including roots singers Johnny Clarke and Cornel Campbell, have already recorded for Gorgan. So, too, old school deejays Trinity and Dillinger.

Lee points out that the company is not just about older acts. Younger artistes on the Gorgan roster include Kim Nain, JJ Staynless and Ras Penco, all of whom he plans to record on some of Lee senior's hit rhythms of the 1960s and 1970s.

"We are going to be doing artiste development, make music videos. We plan to do everything," he said.

The younger Lee was born in Kingston and attended Jamaica College. He also spent several years in Florida where he attended Lynn University, majoring in political science.

While he considered a political career, he said the lure of reviving his old man's label was more attractive. The Bunny Lee catalogue has over 3,000 albums and countless songs by some of the biggest names in reggae including The Wailers, Slim Smith, John Holt, Delroy Wilson, Roy Shirley, Pat Kelly, Clarke and Campbell.

Born in Greenwich Town, Edward 'Bunny' Lee was an auto parts salesman who developed strong ties to the music business in the mid-1960s. His reputation as a producer grew later that decade and by the early 1970s he was one of Jamaica's biggest producers, releasing songs like Let Me Go Girl by The Uniques featuring Slim Smith; Wilson's Better Must Come and Cool Operator; Stick By Me (John Holt); and How Long by Kelly.

His son is aware of that legacy and plans to showcase it through a mini-museum at the Gorgan complex. So far, its mementos include a chair from master engineer Osbourne 'King Tubbys' Ruddock's studio; a pair of Wilson's glasses and Smith's shoes as well as rare photos of pioneer music producer Arthur 'Duke' Reid.





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