Stitt's wake tomorrow

Friday, February 24, 2012

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A musical wake for King Stitt takes place today at Studio One complex on Brentford Road, St Andrew, ahead of his thanksgiving service tomorrow at the Holy Trinity Cathedral on North Street, Kingston at 2 pm.


The trailblazing toaster/deejay/selector (whose given name is Winston Spark) died Tuesday, January 31, at his home in Nannyville, St Andrew. He was 71.


The wake, scheduled to start at 4 pm, is expected to be a vintage farewell party on the premises of the famous recording complex where King Stitt spent most of his life.


The evening will feature a number of old school sound system selectors among whom is his close associate, musicologist/broadcaster Bunny Goodison on Coxsone's Downbeat, the legendary set on which the King established his musical domain.


Born on September 17, 1940, the veteran toaster was influenced by Count Machuki, the original Jamaican deejay. And, by the late 1950s, King Stitt began deejaying on Sir Coxsone's Downbeat Sound System.


His first record releases came from producer Clancy Eccles with classic deejay tracks like Fire Corner, Lee Van Cleef, Herbman Shuffle, Vigorton 2, and Dance Beat.


King Stitt's best known work for Sir Coxsone is the ska album featuring trombonist Don Drummond titled Paradise Plum. Another outstanding album is Dancehall '63 released in the late '90s of King Stitt deejaying over old-school rhythms.


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