Musicians make case for Lynn


Musicians make case for Lynn

Observer senior writer

Monday, August 10, 2020

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A group of veteran musicians have formalised a petition with the objective of gaining national recognition for Lynn Taitt, the Trinidadian guitarist whose distinctive sound helped shape rocksteady music.

To date, over 30 musicians and music industry insiders have signed the document which was initiated by Roger Lewis of the Inner Circle Band.

According to Lewis, Taitt was “a man who with his guitar arguably revolutionised the sound of reggae and rocksteady. All these musicians in our fraternity cannot remain silent”.

Lewis, his brother Ian, Bernard “Touter” Harvey, Boris Gardiner, Pluto Shervington, Stephen “Cat” Coore, Earl “Chinna” Smith, and Tommy Cowan are some of the signatories to date.

Taitt died in Montreal, Canada, in January 2010 at age 75.

Born Nerlin Taitt in the San Fernando region of Trinidad, he came to Jamaica in 1962 to play in a band celebrating the country's Independence from Great Britain. The first hit song he played on was Chang Kai Shek, an instrumental by Brooks' band that has driven numerous hits.

Taitt also recorded with The Skatalites, playing on several of their outstanding songs, including Guns of Navarone, Confucius and Gun Fever.

His signature riffs can also be heard on Johnny Nash's Hold Me Tight, Alton Ellis's Girl I've Got A Date, Desmond Dekker's Israelites and 007 (Shantytown), The Melodians' You Have Caught Me, and Keith and Tex's Stop That Train.

Taitt migrated to Canada in the early 1970s.

Kool 97 FM disc jockey Michael Barnett is critical of the indifferent treatment given to music pioneers by persons in charge of the annual National Honours and Awards.

“Unquestionably, any panel that is established to nationally honour and award individuals within any industry should have extensive knowledge of the industry and the participants and exponents, especially of the period being considered for national honours and awards,” he said.

Recipients of annual awards events like the Jamaica Reggae Association (JaRIA) and Tribute to The Greats are selected by persons with an extensive background in Jamaican popular music.

Recipients of the 2020 National Honours and Awards were announced on August 6, Independence Day. The ceremony takes place October 19 at King's House in St Andrew.

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