Wednesday, May 05, 2004

REGGAEOBIT: Clement ‘Coxsone’ Dodd, reggae producer and label owner, has died at the age of 72. Dodd started out as a DJ before starting out recording the sounds in Kingston. In 1963, he hooked up with Lee Perry to found the Studio One label.

In the first year of the label, Alvin ‘Seeco’ Patterson encouraged a young Bob Marley to audition for him. Coxsone snapped up the Wailers on the spot, giving them a five year contract and a guarantee of twenty pounds a side. Since then, an impressive list of artists have made their way through the doors: Toots and the Maytals, The Heptones, The Skatalites, John Holt, Bob Andy, Marcia Griffiths, Alton Ellis, Dawn Penn, Jackie Mittoo, Don Drummond, Roland Alphanso, Tommy McCook and Monte Alexander. Studio One released over 10,000 singles and 700 albums, and to a certain extent was the Jamaican music industry.

Coxsone is sometimes described as the root of reggae; certainly, he provided the ground in which it was able to grow. In the mid-80s Coxsone had moved to Brooklyn, but was back at his Kingston studio on Tuesday when he had his fatal heart attack.

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