Sweet and Dandy OD for Jackie

Howard Campbell

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

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DURING a 2002 interview with the Jamaica Observer, bass player Clifton 'Jackie' Jackson spoke about his anonymity outside music circles, despite playing on some of reggae's biggest hits.

"Me know what me do, the Lord know what me do, nobody need fi know. That's how me see it," he said.

On Monday, the government announced that the 65-year-old Jackson will receive the Order of Distinction (Commander class) for his contribution to the development of Jamaican music.

He will receive his award at the National Honours and Awards ceremony in October.

The national recognition comes 45 years after Jackson played on his first hit song, Girl I've got a Date by Alton Ellis.

That song was produced by Arthur 'Duke' Reid. The backing band was the Supersonics which played on numerous rock steady classics for Reid's Treasure Isle label.

Jackson can be heard on songs like Ba Ba Boom by the Jamaicans, Wear You to the Ball (The Paragons), I Wish it Would Rain (The Techniques) and Little Nut Tree by The Melodians.

Outside of Treasure Isle, he played on hits by The Wailers (Small Axe, Thank You Lord), Toots and the Maytals (Sweet and Dandy, Funky Kingston), Paul Simon (Mother and Child Reunion) and Ken Boothe (Lady with the Starlight).

Jackson, who is originally from central Kingston, started out as a pianist before switching to bass.

After leaving the Supersonics, he joined the Caribs. Jackson has been a member of Toots' touring band for over 30 years.

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