Treasure found at Hope Gardens

Entertainment

Treasure found at Hope Gardens

BY HOWARD CAMPBELL
Observer senior writer

Thursday, December 05, 2019

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The songs that made Treasure Isle one of reggae's greatest labels rocked Hope Gardens on November 25, during a tribute to four of the musicians who played on the many hits produced by Arthur “Duke” Reid, its founder.

Bass player Jackie Jackson, guitarists Lenford “Hux” Brown and Rad “Dougie” Bryan and drummer Paul Douglas, were honoured at the Duke Reid Rocksteady Revue by radio station Kool FM, which is celebrating the fifth anniversary of its Live Tuesday show.

The musicians were members of Treasure Isle's Supersonics Band that backed rocksteady acts such as Alton Ellis, Phyllis Dillon, Joy Landis, The Techniques, The Melodians, The Paragons and The Sensations. Each received a plaque for their contribution to Jamaican music.

Disc jockey Mikey Thompson of Kool FM conceptualised the event after a discussion last year with Jackson. It finally took shape last week, with Thompson and Diane Thomas, co-host of Live Tuesday, also recognised by Kool FM.

Douglas, who lives in Florida, expressed gratitude.

“Funny as it may sound, as much I've achieved, for the very first time I felt like a part of history. I've never paid much attention to a lot of the stuff I participated in, just love and respect what I do,” he said.

The Supersonics were a crack band that also included saxophonist Tommy McCook, keyboardists Aubrey Adams and Gladstone Anderson, and organist Winston Wright. They played on numerous hit songs including Ellis' Girl I've Got A Date, Dillon's Perfidia, Moonlight Lover by Landis, Queen Majesty (The Techniques), Little Nut Tree (The Melodians), Wear You to The Ball (The Paragons) and I Will Never Fall in Love Again by The Sensations.

Jackson, Douglas, Brown and Bryan have been members of Toots and The Maytals band since the mid-1970s. Along with keyboardist Robbie Lyn, trombonist Romeo Gray, saxophonist Everton Gayle, trumpeter Vivian Scott and percussionist John Campbell, they backed Natty Baldhead, Pinky Ellis, Karen Smith and Courtni Jackson, who respectively performed songs by the vocal groups, Alton Ellis, Landis and Dillon.

Reid, a former policeman, started in the music business in the 1950s as a sound system operator. In the 1960s, Treasure Isle and fierce rivals Studio One were leading producers of ska and rocksteady music. Reid died in 1975 at age 59.


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