Q finds inspiration in Trojan

Saturday, October 20, 2018

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As Trojan Records marched to breaking Jamaican music in the United Kingdom, one of the first Jamaican producers the fledgling label worked with was Bunny “Striker” Lee. Fitting then, that he was on stage at the Q Awards in London Wednesday evening, where Trojan received the Inspiration Award.

Lee attended the event at Camden's Roundhouse along with Anthony “Chips” Richards, former marketing executive at Trojan, Locksley Gichie of The Cimarons, Dave Barker of Double Barrel and fame and punk/reggae stalwart Don Letts.

“Trojan was there from the start an' did a lot for reggae not only in England, but Europe an' Japan. They did great work an' are still doing great work,” the 77-year-old Lee told the Jamaica Observer.

Co-founded in 1967 by Jamaican Lee Gopthal and Island Records' Chris Blackwell, Trojan Records is currently observing its 50th anniversary with a series of events including a documentary that premiered on October 12 at the London Film Festival, release of a book and multi-song album.

Many of Lee's hit songs in Jamaica were distributed in the UK by Trojan. They include Slim Smith's Everybody Needs Love, Stick By Me (John Holt), Better Must Come (Delroy Wilson) and Move Outa Babylon by Johnny Clarke.

Barker did the funky rap on Double Barrel, the 1970 song he recorded with keyboardist Ansel Collins. It went to number one on the British national chart in May 1971 and remains one of Trojan's biggest hits.

Richards joined Trojan in 1972 and two years later, his aggressive promotion of Ken Boothe's Everything I Own helped make it number one on the national chart, giving Trojan its second chart-topper.

The Q Awards is one of Britain's premier pop shows. First held in 1990, it is staged annually by the trendy Q Magazine.

Other noted awards went to Noel Gallagher for Best Solo Artiste; Paul Weller (Best Act In The World Today); and Nile Rodgers who received the Legend Award.

—Howard Campbell

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