Entertainment

Castro Brown dies of heart attack

By Howard Campbell
Observer senior writer

Monday, May 13, 2019

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Castro Brown, a respected figure in British reggae, died on Saturday in London from complications of a heart attack. He was 68 yearsold.

Brown suffered a heart attack at home four days earlier and was admitted to Croydon University Hospital in south London, his daughter Theresa Brown told the Jamaica Observer.

Born in Port Antonio, Portland, Brown was part of a close-knit Jamaican reggae community in the United Kingdom. He migrated there in 1961 and started his music career working with the influential Coxsone sound system, owned by fellow Jamaican, Lloyd “Lloydie Coxsone” Blackford.

Later, he founded Morpheus Records which produced songs by a number of artistes including his brother Jackie Brown, deejay I-Roy, Dennis Brown and Gregory Isaacs.

Dennis Brown, who settled in the UK during the mid-1970s, was a close friend of Brown. Together, they operated the singer's DEB Music label which produced a flurry of songs by artistes based in the UK and Jamaica, including Alton Ellis, Al Campbell, Junior Delgado, Errol Dunkley, Leroy Sibbles and The Tamlins.

Marcia Simpson of Ajang Productions in Kingston, first met Brown as a teenager living in London during the early 1970s.

“As Jamaicans, we used to hang out, a whole lot of us. Castro was a in-the-streets person who promoted good shows in London,” Simpson told the Jamaica Observer.

Brown returned to Jamaica in the late 1980s and launched New Name label and recording studio in Kingston. There, he worked with artistes like Lady Saw, Mikey Spice and Luciano.

Castro Brown was also well-known in boxing circles as a mentor, manager, and trainer. Fans of the popular Contender series were familiar with him in those roles for Sakima Mullings and Kemahl Russell, winners of the 2014 and 2015 middleweight titles, respectively.

Theresa Brown remembers her father as “a kind, caring person who liked to give jokes. Everybody took on to him”.

Castro Brown is survived by 17 children, over 30 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.


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