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Veteran producer Glen Brown is dead

By Howard Campbell
Observer senior writer

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

GLEN Brown, a visionary music producer who worked with like-minded artistes during the 1970s, died on October 4 in New York City. Ansel Cridland of roots-reggae group The Meditations, who knew Brown for over 40 years, confirmed his death, at age 75.

Brown had suffered in recent years from renal failure and diabetes. In a 2013 interview with the Jamaica Observer, his daughter Rosemarie Macklin said he also had heart complications, dementia, and loss of vision.

“He has no pension, no savings and no residual income although his music is all over the Internet. His Rhythm Master album is still actively being sold worldwide and yet this man is penniless,” Macklin said at the time.

Raised in the Southside area of Central Kingston, Brown began his career as a singer in the late 1960s as Glenmore Brown. He cut several songs with artistes such as Lloyd Robinson, Hopeton Lewis, and Dave Barker, but gradually moved into production by the early 1970s.

Some of his early success as a producer came with Slaving, a hit for Lloyd Parks, and Merry Up, an instrumental attributed to God Sons. Throughout the 1970s, Brown worked with artistes and producers who went against the grain, including Yabby You, Sylford Walker, Keith Hudson, and Osbourne “King Tubby” Ruddock.

Wicked Can't Run Away, an eerie song by singer Glenroy Richards, is another masterpiece from the Glen Brown catalogue. Richards was also from Southside but had a history of run-ins with the law; Wicked Can't Run Away was released shortly after he and three other men were killed by soldiers at Green Bay shooting range, St Catherine, in January 1978.

Glen Brown migrated to the United States in the 1980s. Like most of his contemporaries, his productions lost favour in the dancehall computer age, though his work was revered by collectors in Europe and the United States.

Funeral arrangements for Glen Brown have not yet been announced.