Singer/percussionist ‘Scully’ Simms dies

BY HOWARD CAMPBELL Observer senior writer

Sunday, February 05, 2017

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NOEL ‘Scully’ Simms, the pioneer singer/percussionist, died Saturday at his Kingston home. He was 82.

His daughter, Andrea Simms, said he had suffered from lung cancer for the past two years.

Along with lifelong friend, Arthur ‘Bunny’ Robinson, Simms was part of the vocal duo Bunny and Scully. They were a Rhythm And Blues-inspired act who emerged from Trench Town and first competed in the Vere Johns Opportunity Hour talent contest in 1951.

Initially known as Simms and Robinson, they were the first artistes from Trench Town to record.

Among their contemporaries were singers Laurel Aitken and Lascelles Perkins. In Trench Town, they led a talented group of performers that included Alton Ellis, Higgs and Wilson, The Wailers and Delroy Wilson.

Inspired by the teachings of Rastafarian leader Mortimo Planno, Simms became socially aware during the 1960s when his outlook and music became more Afrocentric.

He was also a respected percussionist who played on numerous songs by Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, The Heptones and Jimmy Cliff.

In 2004, he and Robinson were awarded the Badge of Honour by the Jamaican government for their contribution to the country’s music.

Noel ‘Scully’ Simms is survived by six children, eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild.


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