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The aristocracy is out and proud, basking in fawning popularity, and Rastafarianism is back, in the form of a TV mouse puppet
An upcoming BBC documentary tells the story of reggae in Britain, from its ska roots to UB40. Elisa Bray goes uptown top ranking
The notoriously cutthroat Jamaican music business of the Sixties and early Seventies was dominated by male producers like Clement “Coxsone” Dodd, Leslie Kong and Arthur “Duke” Reid, whose fierce rivalry mirrored theirbackground as sharp sound-system operators. They undercut each other, paid artists one-off fees and no royalties. The only woman producer operating in this competitive environment, Sonia Pottinger, not only survived but thrived through a combination of business practices as shrewd as the men’s, and old-fashioned charm that earned her the nickname “the first lady of reggae”.
Bob Marley preached inner peace and serenity to the masses, but was so racked by angst over his race that he used shoe polish to blacken his hair, according to a new book.
Burning Spear's Marcus Garvey was one of the founding texts of 1970s roots reggae, an album which confirmed to the growing crossover British market that Bob Marley may just be the tip of a huge wave of talent about to break out of Jamaica.
Given she released her fifth album last month, it seems unfair to call Macy Gray a one-hit-wonder. Still, nothing she has produced has come close to breaking into the public consciousness the way "I Try" did when it was released back in 1999, and although she has kept on making music, it is not too much of a surprise that tonight this intimate venue is not completely full.
Despite never making the UK charts, "Redemption Song" remains one of Bob Marley's defining songs. The closing track on his final studio album, 1980's 'Uprising', it's the sound of the reggae star signing off with special poignancy. It was written and rehearsed by Marley and the Wailers in the closing months of 1979, during the band's live shows for the 'Survival' album, but kept in the can. When Marley presented Island Records' Chris Blackwell with the tapes for 'Uprising', the following year, Blackwell nodded with pursed lips. Good as it was, he thought it lacked something. Marley took his point and the following day he returned with the outstanding "Redemption Song" which duly completed the album's running order.
It is fair to say that Matisyahu is the world's premier Hasidic reggae artist. Admittedly, he doesn't have a lot of competition for that title, but the Brooklynite is no pretender.
Bootleggers have made a fortune out of the reggae star's image since his death. Now his family are planning to cash in with their own merchandising deal. David Usborne reports
Six hours that gave the Astoria a fine farewell
Jonathan Demme has done his best to avoid Tinseltown since 'The Silence of the Lambs'. So why has a wedding flick lured this renegade film-maker back to the fold?
I'm as old as the moon and the stars, and as young as the trees and the lakes. My style comes from looking at what came before me, and from visiting a lot of places. I'm fanatical about movies: African, European, Viking, Roman. I got into witchcraft and magic from watching Bewitched and The Wizard of Oz, which shows in some of my outfits. I dress to reflect the whole spectrum of the universe.