Daddy U Roy Has Died

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“He was an original.”

That is how veteran music producer and sound system selector Lloyd “King Jammys” James described his friend, colleague and iconic Jamaican artiste Daddy U Roy, who died of diabetes and hypertension-related complications at the University Hospital of the West Indies in St Andrew on Wednesday night. He was 79.

Both men developed a friendship which spanned over 50 years and James was clearly shaken over the passing of his close friend.

“We go way back,” James told the Jamaica Observer. “It’s from the time when he was just going to Tubby’s. I used to pick him up on my bike and take him to the studio to reason with Tubby’s about what he was doing on the sound. That time nobody was doing that kinda style on the rhythms, he is the originator. It’s U Roy bring in that style and it became the future.”

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For James, U Roy’s legacy is a lesson to the people coming into the music industry.

“Bring something original when you are coming. Try to make a difference with your musical style and sound rather than just be one of the others. U Roy originate something that lasts, and now that he is gone it is something that we are going to talk about for years to come. Be original,” he encouraged.

That sense of originality was a a trademark of the late toaster born Ewart Beckford and who started his professional career as a DJ in 1961 on the sound system Dickies Dynamic moving later to the Sir George the Atomic sound system, then Sir Coxsone Dodd’s sound system where he ran the number two set while King Stitt “The Ugly One” ran the main set.

This was followed by a period with Sir Percy before he moved to King Tubby’s Hometown Hi-Fi sound system

In 1970, Jamaican singer John Holt (lead vocalist of the Paragons) heard Beckford toasting over a Duke Reid track at a dance

. Holt told Reid about the performance and on his recommendation, Reid asked Beckford to come and see him and an informal recording deal was arranged.

Beckford’s first two singles released on Duke Reid’s Treasure Isle label, Wake the Town and Wear You to the Ball, were Jamaican hits and established his reputation as one of Jamaica’s most popular toasters.

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.


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