Shabba Ranks, Bobby Digital...a winning teamFriday, May 29, 2020
BY KEVIN JACKSON
Grammy-winning deejay Shabba Ranks says his relationship with the late producer Robert “Bobby Digital” Dixon earned him two major accolades that he will always remember.
“Bobby gave me a hit song with Peenie Peenie which was di song that gave me di opportunity to travel overseas. He also produced Who She Love, a song I did with Cocoa Tea and Home T, which was my first number one song in Jamaica,” said Shabba Ranks.
He made the comments during a half-hour interview on Sound Chat, the popular radio show hosted by Garfield “Chin” Bourne of Irish and Chin, which airs on 93.5 FM in New York City.
The chemistry between Shabba and Dixon was good from the start. It yielded several hit songs including Dem Bow, Love Me Truly (with Cocoa Tea), Pay Down Pon It, Best Baby Father, Gal Yuh Good, Just Reality, and Live Blanket.
“When Bobby drop di beat, him know mi naw sleep. Him know mi a come wid it,” said Shabba.
He continued “working with Bobby in di studio, he never had to tell me what to say, an' I never told him what to do. Where Bobby was concerned, I was a great listener. Him put in a portion a work, an' he was like an institution”.
Dixon was in-house engineer at King Jammy's studio in Waterhouse during the mid-1980s when Shabba first met him.
“Di journey started around 1985 when me, Clement Irie, an' Kibba Ranks use to chat pon di mic on a Thursday night on a sound system called Roots Melody. At di time, I went by the name Co-Pilot. A yute who was producing some songs booked some studio time at Jammy's studio an' Bobby was di engineer,” Shabba recalled.
He added that, “Di song was recorded in one take. Bobby asked me to voice some chunes for him, but dis had to be done outside of Jammy's normal studio time. Di first song I did for him at Jammy's was Get Up Stand Up and Rock. Bobby later created his own label, Digital B, and he wanted me to record for him.”
Digital B erupted like a volcano during the 1990s, spewing one hit after the other.
“Di synergy was a great help for both me an' Bobby. As him mek di riddim dem, mi jump pon dem,” said Shabba.
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