In the know with Linton HindsThursday, April 15, 2021
BY HOWARD CAMPBELL
The reggae flag has flown at half-mast many times in the last five years, with the deaths of pioneers including Prince Buster, Bunny and Scully, Toots Hibbert, Bunny Lee, Bob Andy, U Roy, and Bunny Wailer. It is often said their legacy is more documented abroad than in Jamaica.
Linton Hinds Jr, an American whose parents are Jamaican, has assembled an archive of interviews with several of these legends for I Never Knew TV, his New Jersey-based company. To date, over 30 comprehensive chats have been aired on the channel and its YouTube platform.
“It is extremely important to capture the stories of those who contributed to reggae. Unfortunately, people of African descent do not cherish their rich cultures. This neglect will have dire consequences in the future if not changed,” Hinds told the Jamaica Observer.
He added that, “This documentation is not just important to Jamaican culture but world culture. The creativity of Jamaicans has led to the creation to many profitable musical genres across the world, specifically EDM, disco, hip hop and reggaeton.”
Since launching I Never Knew TV in 2017, Hinds has interviewed U Roy, Edi Fitzroy, Bob Andy, Big Youth, Yellowman, Sly Dunbar, Mutabaruka, Errol Dunkley, Leroy Sibbles, Robbie Lyn, Max Romeo, Johnny Clarke, Cedric Myton of The Congos, Fred Locks, Johnny Osbourne, Kiddus I, Earl “Chinna” Smith, Half Pint, Brigadier Jerry, Carlton Livingston, Admiral Tibet, Sister Carol, Grub Cooper and Frankie Campbell of the Fabulous Five Inc, Roger Lewis of Inner Circle, Cat Coore and Richard Daley of Third World, Winston “Pipe” Matthews of The Wailing Souls, David Hinds of Steel Pulse, Maxi Priest, Carlton “Santa” Davis, Dean Fraser, Father Down Beat, Andy Bassford, Josey Wales, and broadcaster Jeff Sarge.
His latest subjects are bassist Jackie Jackson and drummer Leroy “Horsemouth” Wallace.
Born in New Jersey, Hinds was a teenager in the 1990s, which many pundits consider the golden age of dancehall and hip hop. He developed an appreciation for Jamaican music early through his father's large collection of roots-reggae music, and watching shows like Rockers TV, hosted by Earl Chin.
With the assistance of Jeff Sarge and Emmy-winning producer Guerlain Paul, Hinds started I Never Knew TV to focus on Jamaican culture.
“I felt I could capture the stories of the artiste in a different context, focusing not just on the music but the social, political, financial and theological climate that influenced their musical careers. We also document the history of Rastafari because one cannot understand the history of reggae without understanding the history of Rastafari,” he said.
I Never Knew TV has also produced two documentaries — Chanting Rastafari, which looks at the Ugandan roots of Nyahbinghi, and Roots Tonic: Jamaica's Cure All Drink.
An educator by profession, Linton Hinds teaches American history at Thomas Mastery High School in Philadelphia.
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