O'Hare hailed among Jamaica's best

O'Hare hailed among Jamaica's best

Associate Editor —
Auto & Entertainment

Monday, September 28, 2020

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LATE music and audio engineer Barry O'Hare is being hailed as the consummate professional by his colleagues in the entertainment fraternity.

O'Hare, 56, passed away in the University Hospital of the West Indies in St Andrew on September 19. He had tested positive for COVID-19 earlier that week.

Veteran music producer Mikey Bennett remembers him as one of the best in the business.

“He was top-class; top shelf; one of the very best. He was one of the ones you would love to have,” Bennett told the Jamaica Observer.

“He was right up there with the Errol Browns... You can look who people worked with and know how good they are. Anybody who works with Beres [Hammond] on the road is usually among the top people. He was really top shelf. Really humble but know his stuff and easy to work with; very professional,” Bennett continued.

Brown — nephew of music pioneer Duke Reid — recorded artistes including Alton Ellis, Marcia Griffiths, Judy Mowatt, Peter Tosh, U-Roy, Gregory Isaacs, Culture, and Rebelution. He recorded and mixed albums with Bob Marley and The Wailers, Rita Marley, Burning Spear and Third World.

Bennett, principal of Grafton Studios, co-wrote and produced Shabba Ranks's mega hits Mr Loverman and House Call. He worked with O'Hare on projects by Steel Pulse and Judy Mowatt.

Producer Donovan Germain, head of Penthouse Records, also had the privilege of working with O'Hare.

“I met Barry from in di '80s, when I came back to Jamaica [from the United States]. In fact, yuh see di Buju [Banton] song, Oh God of My Salvation? Ah Barry mek di rhythm for me,” Germain told the Observer.

“He was a decent, decent, decent human being. He's one of di most decent human beings I ever came across,” he continued.

Germain — who is credited as penning Buju Banton's recent winning Festival song, I Am A Jamaican — called for people to adhere to the COVID-19 protocols issued by the Ministry of Health.

“Wear yuh mask and protect yourself. With him [O'Hare] and Toots [Hibbert] dying it's really an eye-opener to the industry to say: Follow the protocols,” he added.

Hibbert, legendary frontman for Toots and The Maytals. died in the University Hospital of the West Indies on September 11. He was battling respiratory challenges brought on by COVID-19. He was 77.

O'Hare worked with the who's who of reggae, including Third World and Burning Spear. He was engineer for Spear's Grammy-winning album Calling Rastafari in 2000.

Also benefiting from his talents were Tanya Stephens, Diana King, Yami Bolo, Jack Radics, Prezident Brown, Mikey Spice, and Jahmali.

O'Hare worked on sound for film and television projects, including the Disney movie Sebastian and the ABC series Going to Extremes, which was shot in Jamaica. On the road, O'Hare was engineer for Shaggy for 10 years; he also worked in that capacity for Sean Paul and Beres Hammond.

Barry O'Hare is survived by his wife and two children.

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