Jamaica Gleaner - - ENTERTAINMENT - Mel Cooke Gleaner Writer

AS A mar­tial artist, Chuck Nor­ris has loomed large in the movies and on tele­vi­sion. There are those who would re­mem­ber him from clas­sic mar­tial arts flick, Way of the Dragon, di­rected by and star­ring Bruce Lee. It was re­leased in 1972, a year af­ter Ja­maican stand­out movie, The Harder They Come.

In an­other decade, Nor­ris was in army fa­tigues res­cu­ing US prison­ers of war left be­hind in Viet­nam. Nor­ris, played Colonel James Brad­dock in the Miss­ing in Ac­tion tril­ogy, the first of which came out in 1984.

When he ran out of POWs to take back home, Nor­ris went on the warpath against crim­i­nals in the Amer­i­can South as Walker, Texas Ranger. The tele­vi­sion se­ries ran from 1993 to 2001, and in the eight years Nor­ris, as Cordell Walker, de­feated all com­ers. He was part­ner with Triv­ette and in ad­di­tion to the mar­tial arts moves, Nor­ris was also be­hind the mi­cro­phone do­ing the theme song.

As the se­ries was car­ried on free-toair tele­vi­sion in Ja­maica, many would have heard Nor­ris singing: “In the eyes of a ranger, The un­sus­pected stranger Had bet­ter know the truth of wrong from right, ’Cause the eyes of a ranger are upon you Any wrong you do he’s gonna see When you’re in Texas look be­hind you ’Cause that’s where the rangers are gonna be”

Be­ing the en­dur­ing ac­tion hero that he is and how Ja­maican pop­u­lar mu­sic reg­u­larly ref­er­ences film, Nor­ris has also been in­cluded in the lyrics of two dance­hall en­ter­tain­ers from dif­fer­ent eras. Mer­ci­less name-checks Nor­ris in Mavis, from the early 1990s, and Damian ‘Jr Gong’ Mar­ley has his name in Wel­come to Jam­rock.

In Mavis, Mer­ci­less uses Nor­ris as a point of ref­er­ence for what the women do not want in the bed­room. He has the lady com­ing in from some­where that Nor­ris is not in film, but he has no prob­lem plac­ing the mar­tial artist there as it suits the lyri­cal pur­pose. Mer­ci­less dee­jays: “Gal a fly all de way from Paris An a tell me how she fraid a Chuck Nor­ris She want no man dat tump an box an kick Mavis want a man dat is ro­man­tic Well well.”

An­other ac­tion movie star who made it big in the 1970s and 1980s is also in­cluded in Mavis. Im­me­di­ately fol­low­ing the sec­tion about Chuck Nor­ris, Mer­ci­less calls the name of a man who was a boxer and war­rior on the big screen. He dee­jays: “Gal a fly all the way from Rome An a tell me say she fraid a Sylvester Stal­lone She re­ally want a man to make she moan an’ groan Si­mone no want no man fi come bruk up har bone.”

Stal­lone hit the big screen with the Rocky box­ing se­ries start­ing in the 1970s, then the Rambo Viet­nam-based movies as a very tough fel­low.

In Wel­come to Jam­rock, Junior Gong uses Chuck Nor­ris as the bad man who wanna-be gang­sters try to im­i­tate. He dis­misses them as peo­ple who “... pose like dem name Chuck Nor­ris/And don’t know the real hard­core”.

For, as he re­minds all, “San­dals a no Back-To.”



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