Reggae MUSIC: Marcia Griffiths Sings ‘Gypsy Man’
Marcia Griffiths began performing live in Kingston, Jamaica as an early teenager in the 1960s, and her inspirational shows quickly incited a music industry feeding frenzy to sign her.
At the age of fifteen, her father struck a deal for her with famed Record Producer Clement ‘Coxsone’ Dodd from Studio One. Coxsone immediately arranged for her to record duets with both Tony Gregory and Bob Marley, but the first of her future hits wouldn’t come until several years later.
One of Studio One’s top singers/songwriters/producers, Bob Andy, took an interest in her, and the two recorded and performed many songs together, spawning hits that enjoyed great commercial success in Jamaica. In 1970, the two released Nina Simone’s ‘Young, Gifted and Black‘, and it topped the Jamaican charts, and also spent twelve weeks in the UK’s Top 5.
In 1974, she recorded a rendition of Curtis Mayfield’s ‘Gypsy Woman’, entitled ‘Gypsy Man’, for her Sweet Bitter Love album. This album would be her last solo effort for some time to come. She and her two female vocalists, Rita Marley — wife of Bob Marley — and Judy Mowatt, performed in New Kingston that summer, and Bob Marley was so blown away by the performance that he invited the three to sing harmonies for him as members of the Wailers.
Marcia, Rita and Judy became known as Bob Marley’s ‘I Threes’, and Marcia would continue recording and performing with Marley from 1974 until his tragic death in 1981.
From child sensation, to a successful adult recording artist, to a member of Bob Marley’s ‘I Threes’, to pursuing a successful solo career afterwards, Marcia Griffiths is often dubbed as the ‘Queen of Reggae’.
Gypsy Man is a song that not only illustrates her beautiful voice, but exemplifies the amazing reggae renditions of American soul music being recorded in Jamaica at that time.
Music VIDEO: Stephen Marley feat. Damian Marley & Buju Banton Perform ‘Jah Army’ (DJ Res-Q Edit)
This is a fabulous reggae song by singer/producer/songwriter/and multi-instrumentalist Stephen Marley. Stephen has been a member of the Marley-sibling band The Melody Makers since 1979, when he was just seven years old. Before then, he and his older siblings Ziggy and Cedella used to dance and sing onstage with their father, Bob Marley and the Wailers.
Often considered to be one of the key creative forces behind the music of many of his brothers, Stephen has won 7 Grammy awards — more than any other reggae artist in music history, including his father.
‘Jah Army’ is the single from Stephen’s 2010 album, The Revelation Pt. 1: The Root Of Life.
He is joined here by his 3-time Grammy award winning half-brother (and Bob Marley’s youngest son) Damian Marley, and dancehall musician (and Grammy award winner) Buju Banton.
MUSIC: Ziggy Marley, Chuck D, And Linda Perry Release Catchy Occupy-Inspired Reggae Tune
Inspired by the Occupy movement, Ziggy Marley, 4 Non-Blondes’ Linda Perry, and Public Enemy’s Chuck D recently collaborated in the studio, producing a very catchy reggae song, entitled “Can You Feel It?”
Inspirational political songs, these days, seem few and far between. Too often the lyrics come off as preachy and amateurish, and fail to provoke any passion or soul. Marley, Perry, and Chuck D managed to pull it off with this track. The political verses work, and the soulful Perry-led chorus will leave you humming the song long after it ends.
“Can You Feel It?” was released in June as a download to “enjoy, and share around the world freely.” You can visit Marley’s site for the FREE DOWNLOAD, or you can just listen to it here:
In the latest issue of SubMerge Magazine, James Barone interviews Marley, asking him about writing “Can You Feel It?” and what inspired him about the Occupy movement?:
Marley: … I was just happy to see people standing up for something at that level where it’s not about a student or religious thing, or even a politic per se, it was just a people thing … and how the economic structure of America seems to have been manipulated by those who have this inside knowledge or inside track. The common people don’t have that inside thing …
I want to see more of that. What I knew America for was that, really, people standing up in the streets and protesting things, and changing things… During the Gulf War and even after that, I was wondering how so many things were being put over on the American people. How are all these things being done, and the American people seem to not be involved in it?
I was just happy to see the people up and about and giving the system a run for its money. That song was a part of that.
The interview is only a couple pages long and delves further into Marley’s impressions of the Occupy movement and his opinions on the American political system. For those interested, the interview can be read in full here.
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Music Video: Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers Perform Their Hit ‘Look Who’s Dancing’ Live
I’d long forgotten about this amazing upbeat reggae tune from Bob Marley’s eldest son’s 1989 album, One Bright Day. A wake amidst a torrential downpour couldn’t bring you down with this song playing in the background. What a melody! What a performance! Recorded live on “Sessions At West 54th” in 1999, here is Ziggy Marley & the Melody […]
LISTEN: Reggae Great Delroy Wilson Sings ‘This Life Makes Me Wonder’
In 1961, a thirteen year old Delroy Wilson began his music career in Kingston, Jamaica, recording ska hits penned by Lee “scratch” Perry, Coxsone Dodd, amongst others. His music evolved with the sounds of 60’s Jamaica from ska to rocksteady and eventually to reggae. By the late-60s/early-70s he was one of the most influential reggae recording stars on the […]