Reg­gae’s Bad Boys call for Hall of Fame

The Star (St. Lucia) - - ENTERTAINMENT - By BRIAN BONITTO As­so­ciate Editor Ja­maica Ob­server

Broth­ers Ian and Roger Lewis, found­ing mem­bers of the In­ner Cir­cle band, be­lieve Ja­maica could re­al­ize ben­e­fits from its mu­sic with the cre­ation of a multi-pur­pose Reg­gae Hall of Fame.

“Reg­gae mu­sic is a uni­ver­sal thing. So the Hall of Fame would have to be self-suf­fi­cient that peo­ple from all over the world can come,” bassist Ian Lewis told the Ja­maica Ob­server.

The sib­lings, who are on a break from a three-month tour of Europe, said the north coast would be an ideal lo­ca­tion for the ‘Hall’.

“It would have to be some­where scenic like Ocho Rios (in St Ann). It could be a place where peo­ple learn about the history of the mu­sic ... learn ‘bout wicked singers like Brent Dowe from The Melo­di­ans, who was an in­no­va­tor,” Lewis said. “Peo­ple nuh know about di har­mony groups. Peo­ple can learn ‘bout Don Drum­mond who was a mod­ern-day Miles Davis. The Skatal­ites mu­sic came outa Don’s head,” he added. “Tommy McCook, a great mu­si­cian, nuh get his due ei­ther. The younger youth dem fi know these men who were the pioneers.”

Dowe, who, along with Trevor Brevett and Trevor McNaughton com­prised The Melo­di­ans, died of a heart at­tack in 2006. He was 59. The group, which formed in the early 1960s, is known for stan­dards in­clud­ing Rivers of Baby­lon, Sweet Sen­sa­tion and Lit­tle Nut Tree.

Trom­bon­ist Drum­mond and sax­o­phon­ist McCook were found­ing mem­bers of the Skatal­ites, known for tracks in­clud­ing Con­fu­cius, Guns of Navarone and Free­dom Sounds.

Drum­mond and McCook died in 1969 and 1998, re­spec­tively.

“The Reg­gae Hall of Fame would op­er­ate as an in­for­ma­tion/tal­ent agency that does artiste book­ing. It would have to have a stu­dio on the com­pound. It could also serve as a place where you could do press con­fer­ences ... Ev­ery­thing un­der one roof,” said Ian Lewis.

Money to con­struct the Hall of Fame could be sourced from the di­as­pora.

“You could ask ev­ery­body to send US$10. But you have to have trans­parency and de­cent peo­ple han­dling the money and get an ar­chi­tect to de­sign a nice place,” sug­gested Lewis.

Formed in 1968, In­ner Cir­cle achieved suc­cess with singer Ja­cob Miller in the 1970s. Af­ter his death in 1980, the group dis­banded and the Lewis broth­ers mi­grated to Florida. The band re­formed in 1986 and is known glob­ally for the hit songs Bad Boys and Sweat (A La La La La Long).

Broth­ers Roger (left) and Ian Lewis of the reg­gae

band In­ner Cir­cle.

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