BREAKING NEWS BY HOWARD CAMPBELL

Farewell Richie Mac of the Chosen Few  

 

Singer Richard "Richie Mac" McDonald, former member of The Chosen Few, died at the Kingston Public Hospital in Jamaica on October 28. He was 68 years-old. 

Francine McDonald, his wife of 24 years, confirmed his death from lung cancer. She said he had been diagnosed with the disease last year and it had since spread to his brain. 

McDonald got involved in music during the late 1960s and joined The Chosen Few early in the next decade. At the time, his colleagues in the group were Franklyn Spence, Noel "Bunny" Brown and David "Scotty" Scott. 

Brown died last year in Atlanta from bone cancer while Scott died in Kingston in 2003 from prostate cancer. 

Like Scotty, McDonald left the Chosen Few in the early 1970s and went solo. In 1972, he had a big hit for producer Glen Brown with "Realise" on the popular Dirty Harry rhythm. 

In the 1980s, McDonald recorded two albums --- "Jah is I Light" and "Missions Are Possible" He last performed on stage at the Red Rose For Gregory show in Kingston in February.

Written By Howard Campbell

Dalton Browne recuperating  

 

Guitarist Dalton Browne is recuperating after undergoing quadruple bypass surgery at the University Hospital of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica Thursday evening. 

Singer Freddie McGregor, Browne's friend of 50 years, said the surgery was successful and the veteran musician is resting. 

The 64 year-old Browne suffered a massive heart attack four days earlier while at home in Kingston. 

His family requested donations of blood to help with the surgery. 

Dalton Browne, 64, is the second of five brothers all of whom are musicians. Glen (bass), Noel (keyboards), Cleveland (keyboards) and guitarist Danny are his siblings. 

He and McGregor first met as members of the Generation Gap band in the early 1970s. Since the early 1980s, Dalton Browne has been musical director of McGregor's band. 

He has also played on many of McGregor's hit songs including "Big Ship", "Push Come to Shove" and "All in The Same Boat". 

Both are members of the 12 Tribes of Israel. 

The Browne brothers performed together as The Browne Bunch, also during the early 1970s. They have established themselves as session/touring musicians and producers. 

Glen has toured with Jimmy Cliff, Tarrus Riley and Ziggy Marley and The Melody Makers. Cleveland is best known as half of Steely and Clevie, while Danny operated Main Street Records before becoming a Christian and concentrating on gospel music.

Written By Howard Campbell

 

Guitarist Dalton Browne is recovering in a Kingston hospital after suffering a heart attack last weekend.  

 

His brother, Cleveland Browne, disclosed that Dalton is expected to undergo quadruple heart bypass surgery this weekend at the University Hospital of the West Indies in Kingston. 

He said the Browne family are asking for blood donations to assist with the surgery. 

Dalton Browne, 64, is the second of five brothers all of whom are musicians. Glen (bass), Noel (keyboards), Cleveland (keyboards) and guitarist Danny are his siblings. 

Dalton, a member of the 12 Tribes of Israel, is the longtime musical director for Freddie McGregor's band. He has played on the singer's biggest hit songs including "Big Ship", "Push Come to Shove" and "Prophecy". 

Glen has toured with Jimmy Cliff, Tarrus Riley and Ziggy Marley and The Melody Makers. Cleveland is best known as half of Steely and Clevie, while Danny operated Main Street Records before becoming a Christian and concentrating on gospel music. 

The brothers were once known as The Browne Bunch which formed during the early 1970s.

Written By Howard Campbell

Johnny Nash, the American soul singer with a love for Jamaican music, died in Houston, Texas on October 6 at age 80.  

 

To many fans, Nash was best known for I Can See Clearly Now, the 1972 reggae ballad that topped the Billboard pop chart for four weeks. 

The album of the same name was recorded in Jamaica with the Fabulous Five Band. 

He also befriended a little-known singer/songwriter named Bob Marley while living in Jamaica during the 1960s. 

Nash recorded several of Marley's songs including "Guava Jelly" and "Stir it Up" which helped introduce the Jamaican to a global audience. 

"Johnny Nash happens to be one of the first international stars who took a very keen interest in Jamaican music in the mid to late '60s. He lived in Jamaica for a little while and recorded several rock steady hits like 'Hold me Tight' which made the international charts, 'Cupid' and 'You Got Soul'; and he took a personal interest in the songwriting skills of Bob Marley," said musicologist/broadcaster Michael Barnett of Kool 97 FM in Jamaica. 

Barnett described Nash as a "passion singer" in the class of Ben E. King and Gene Chandler and a "true music legend". 

Nash never lost his passion for the Jamaican sound. He had two popular songs in the late 1970s with the reggae-flavoured "Rock me Baby" and "Mr. Sea".

https://youtu.be/0cw6ZGNl128

Written By Howard Campbell

Music producer Edward "Bunny" Lee died on October 6 in Kingston, Jamaica at age 79. He had been ailing for some time.  

 

Lee was instrumental in launching the careers of singers Max Romeo and Johnny Clarke, as well as putting the music from his hometown of Greenwich Farm on the map. 

His Striker label released a number of hit songs including "My Conversation" by The Uniques, "Let The Power Fall on I" by Romeo, "Stick by Me" from John Holt, "Better Must Come" and "Smooth Operator" from Delroy Wilson, "The Gorgon" by Cornel Campbell and "None Shall Escape The Judgement" and "Rock With me Baby" by Johnny Clarke. 

Lee was also a pioneer in terms of music distribution in the United Kingdom. His productions saturated that market through deals with Trojan Records and Pama Records, making him a household name in the UK reggae community. 

"You can't walk around London and talk about reggae and not hear people talk about Bunny Lee. He was gigantic; the paramount of reggae development in the UK," said Anthony "Chips" Richards, a former marketing executive at Trojan. 

Lee was from Greenwich Farm, a fishing community in Kingston that was frequented by artists such as Slim Smith (of The Uniques), Wilson, Holt, Romeo and the Soul Syndicate Band which played on many of his recording sessions. 

The flamboyant Lee was awarded the Order of Distinction by the Jamaican government in 2008 for his contribution to development of the country's music. 

He told his story in the book/compact disc, "Reggae Going International 1967-1976: The Bunny 'Striker' Lee Story", and a documentary, "I Am The Gorgon -- Bunny 'Striker' Lee and the Roots of Reggae" which were released in 2015.

Written By Howard Campbell