Jamaica Gleaner - - ENTERTAINMENT - En­ter­tain­ment@glean­erjm.com

If you look back on my track record with songs for the fight against apartheid like Win­nie Man­dela, Rise Up, and Santa Claus You Ever Come to the Ghetto, I was con­sid­ered as the woman who sang the songs of free­dom.

VER THE years, Tommy would keep hav­ing con­ver­sa­tions with me about Bob and – even con­ver­sa­tions as to how Bob re­acted to­wards a par­tic­u­lar thing. And out of that, we did a sin­gle called Hey Brother Bob,” said Car­lene Davis, who re­cently vis­ited The Gleaner’s North Street of­fices to talk about her lat­est pro­mo­tional ef­forts. She spoke the words as she re­called them. ‘Hey Brother Bob, I wanna talk to you. Hey Brother Bob, I know the things you say are true. They cru­ci­fied Mar­cus Gar­vey. It’s been over 100 years, shot Martin Luther King. They had no fear. They never taught Mar­cus Gar­vey in our schools; Christo­pher Colum­bus was the golden rule. But there’s a fire burn­ing in my souland we’re gonna dance, dance, dance ‘til the morn­ing light,” she spoke the lyrics of her long writ­ten song.

Though she has been a pow­er­ful fig­ure in the Ja­maican gospel mu­sic fra­ter­nity for the bet­ter part of the last decade, Davis holds no reser­va­tions in singing the songs of her Rasta­far­ian fam­ily friend.

“I’ve al­ways did Re­demp­tion Song when I did a live per­for­mance,” she told The Sun­day Gleaner. The ac­com­plished gospel vo­cal­ist also said that while she is a war­rior for Christ, her per­for­mance and the val­ues re­flected in her work is not lim­ited to re­li­gious faith, but also serve as so­cial com­men­tary and ac­tion.


“If you look back on my track record with songs for the fight against apartheid like Win­nie Man­dela, Rise Up, and Santa Claus You Ever Come to the Ghetto, I was con­sid­ered as the woman who sang the songs of free­dom,” she said with a laugh. “I was one of those artistes.”

“We did Hey Brother Bob, and we went and recorded Re­demp­tion Song”, she told The Sun­day Gleaner, while spend­ing some time in Eng­land. Ac­cord­ing to Davis, these record­ings took place in 1992, around the same time that Nel­son Man­dela was freed from prison.

“We came back to Ja­maica and Tommy said, ‘I re­ally think you need to go in the stu­dio and let’s do a col­lec­tion of the songs’, and that’s how it hap­pened.”

“We first recorded and re­leased it in 1993 on the Eko Tal­ent Cor­po­ra­tion Dis­tri­bu­tion Com­pany,” Davis told The Sun­day Gleaner.

Tommy Cowan was a very close friend of the leg­endary Bob Mar­ley. Cowan worked with Mar­ley on and off the stage, as the mar­ket­ing man­ager of Tuff Gong In­ter­na­tional at 56 Hope Road, while the singer was still alive. Cowan him­self has gained his own no­to­ri­ety in the mu­sic in­dus­try as one of the key pro­duc­ers of the fa­mous Zim­babwe In­de­pen­dence Con­cert in 1980, where he was the only for­eign per­former and the one who in­cited a riot. Cowan was also the producer of the his­tor­i­cal One Love Peace Con­cert in 1978.

Davis told The Sun­day Gleaner, that it was with the bless­ing of the ‘younger gen­er­a­tion’ of Mar­leys that she has de­cided to reis­sue the 1993 cover al­bum.

“Just a cou­ple years ago, there were con­ver­sa­tions be­tween us and the Mar­ley fam­ily be­cause they do their an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion of Bob and Tommy would be asked to come and be part of it. We re­minded them that we have this al­bum, and they got ex­cited!”


“To be re­sus­ci­tated at this point in time of my ca­reer, it’s an in­spi­ra­tion for me to even be singing the songs of our great song writer, icon – some­one who has in­spired the world, some­one who con­tin­ues to in­spire the world. For me, it’s an hon­our.”

The Tuff Gong Masters Vault se­ries has seen the re­lease of the col­lec­tion of Ty­rone Wil­liams en­ti­tled To­tally Ty­rone, Rub-A-Dub Xmas, fea­tur­ing var­i­ous artistes and now sees the reis­sue of Car­lene Davis’ cover al­bum ti­tled, Songs of Bob Mar­ley.

“Noth­ing hap­pens be­fore the right time – but it is quite timely. The al­bum came out on July 29th – we’re now in the nick of pro­mo­tion.”

Re­gard­ing pro­mo­tion of the re-re­lease, Davis told The Sun­day Gleaner, that they were do­ing what they could as they go along. The songstress took a rest and restora­tive trip to the United States, where she de­cided to cap­i­talise on the op­por­tu­nity to pro­mote this lat­est re­lease and en­gaged in in­ter­views with var­i­ous ra­dio sta­tions across the US

“We went into Florida, we thought it was a great time now to just kick off the pro­mo­tion. We’ve been do­ing stuff on­line, but I think it’s time for Ja­maica and the rest of the world.”

Songs of Bob Mar­ley, in­cludes in the re­mas­tered record­ings of Sat­isfy My Soul, Three Lit­tle Birds, Time Will Tell, Love and Af­fec­tion, So Much Trou­ble, Wait­ing In Vain, Soul Rebel, Re­demp­tion Song and oth­ers.



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