Music insiders remember Byron Murray


Music insiders remember Byron Murray

Observer writer

Friday, September 13, 2019

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Music industry insiders have expressed shock at the death of music producer and artiste manager Byron Murray. Founder of In The Streetz Records, he died on Wednesday at age 54.

His sister, Patricia Murray Pennicott, confirmed his death in an interview with the Jamaica Observer's Splash.

“He had been ailing for some time. Right now we are trying to cope, while moving ahead with the funeral arrangements,” she said.

Murray worked in the financial sector before he got into music. His sister said he was employed to National Commercial Bank, then at Scotiabank and CIBC.

His music career started at the Danny Browne-owned Main Street Records as road manager for that label's acts, including Hawkeye, Chrissy D, General Degree, Goofy (now known as Mr G) and Red Rat.

“I was with Main Street and after Danny became a Christian, Murray invited me to join In The Streetz. He was really our road manager at Main Street before he hit di jackpot with Mr Vegas an' started managing him, an' then he formed In The Streetz,” recalled Hawkeye.

He added, “Murray was responsible for my first number one song, Go Rachel. He contributed a lot to my success as an artiste. I had not spoken to him for a while because I didn't have his number. My condolences to his family and friends.”

Sharon Scott, former press and promotions manager at London-based Greensleeves Records, spoke about working with Murray.

“Well Murray's number was on speed dial as he was the middle man for a lot of the rhythms and/or albums licensed from various producers. I spoke with him a lot as I worked closely with our boss Chris Cracknell. I would always check him when I went Jamaica as well. He was a very hard-working professional in the business with a pleasant nature. May he rest in power,” she said.

In addition to flagship artiste Mr Vegas, In The Streetz Records also worked with Buccaneer, Lady G, Kiprich, Kid Kurrupt, Chico, Alozade and Jack-A-Diamond.

Among the hit songs Murray produced were Lock Up by Capleton, Street Dreams (Alozade), S he's A Ho (Mr Vegas) and Red Red Red by Beenie Man.

Mr Vegas made a post on social media reflecting on his relationship with Murray.

“Walk in peace Byron Murray. You taught me so much! You were a brother and a great, honest manager. None compares to you.”

In The Streetz Records also distributed for several producers, including Donovan Bennett's Don Corleon label ( Mad Ants and Drop Leaf rhythms), Marlon Cooke's Pyrana Music and the late Daniel “Blaxx” Lewis ( Blackout and Egyptian rhythms).

“Byron Murray was a great man and I am sad to hear of his passing. This is a shock to many. He was always a strategic man in his moves and anything he set his mind to, he always end up executing. He never took nothing less than he demanded for his artistes, because he always believed in them,” said deejay Alozade.

Ralston Barrett was an in-house publicist at In The Streetz Records.

“He was the first person to hire me as a publicist and I will never forget what he has done for me. Even after I stopped working for him, we kept in touch over the years and he would visit me when I was living in Negril. He called me a few times earlier this week and I was unable to speak to him. To me, he is one of the unsung heroes of the music business,” said Barrett.

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