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Remembering Reggae Pops, ‘the soul of the L.A. dance floor


L.A. fixture Reggae Pops dances with singer Lianne Le Havas in her video “Age” on YouTube

The Facebook page of the dancer known as Reggae Pops has been filled with memories over the past hours as longtime club-goers pay honor to a smooth-moving fixture on the city’s night-life scene. Pops, born Nemencio Jose Andujar, died earlier this week, leaving a huge hole on the city’s dance floor. Read more

Bob Marley’s Grandson Under The Gun While Legal Wrangling Over Reggae Star’s Legacy Continues

Bob Marley’s grandson, Matthew Prendergast, has found himself on the wrong side of Jamaican law after facing off with a security guard at the Bob Marley Museum, located in St Andrew on Hope Road.

The descendant of Bob and Rita Marley, the King and Queen of Reggae Music, is a 25 year-old musician himself, who reportedly resides in both Jamaica and Miami. Read more

Reggae & pop icons Beres Hammond, Air Supply to share stage in NYC

Reggae’s hit machine Beres Hammond will join Australian soft pop duo Air Supply as headline acts at the annual Groovin’ In The Park Concert at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, NY on Sunday, June 29, 2014.

Hammond, who ignited New York City with musical flames when he last appeared on Groovin’ Concert at Roy Wilkins Park in 2012 is expected to again have his way with music lovers when he belts out favorites like “Rockaway,” “In Love With You,” “What One Dance Can Do,” “She Loves Me Now,” “Step Aside” “Double Trouble” and “Putting Up Resistance.”

Hammond’s stellar career was launched in the 70′s with the release of “One Step Ahead,” a blockbuster single which stayed at number one on the charts for 14 weeks. In the 80′s he cemented his name with the smash “Tempted to Touch,” and subsequent albums “Love Affair,” “Full Attention” (1993), “In Control” (1994), “Love From a Distance” (1996), “A Day In The Life” (1998), “Music is Life” (2011) and “One Love One Life” (2012), which topped the Billboard reggae chart.

Whenever pop duo Air Supply is mentioned, it is always in superlative, A-list tones. In 2011, they mesmerized music fans at the annual Jamaica Jazz & Blues festival, and left music lovers begging for more and more.

“This is history for us tonight!” declared Russell Hitchcock, lead singer of Air Supply, moments after the group hit the stage to rapturous applauds. With the crowd in tow, Hitchcock belted out “Even The Nights Are Better,” “Just As I Am,” “Chances Are,” “Power Of Love,” “Lost In Love” and “Here I Am,” much to the delight of fans who sang along word for word.

“We are excited about signing the group to perform in Roy Wilkins Park for the very first time” an elated Andrea Bullens, co-producer and executive of Groovin’ Inc. said.

“Air Supply is a powerful group. Their catalogue of hit songs are impressive. To have a group of their stature share the stage with reggae icon Beres Hammond will be a musical treat for fans. I am confident it will be a fantastic presentation” she stated.

After being signed by music mogul Clive Davis to Arista Records in the mid 80′s, Air Supply went on to score eight Top Ten hits in the United States, including “Making Love Out Of Nothing At All,” “Good Bye,” “Its Never Too Late” and “Lost In Love,” which was named “Song Of The Year” in 1980.

Hammond and Air Supply will be joined by Chronixx, Reggae Queen Marcia Griffiths and her friends John Holt, Judy Mowatt and Bob Andy.

Sponsors supporting Groovin’ In The Park 2014 include Grace Foods, TD Bank, SQPA, Nutrament, Money Gram, The Smoke House, The Door Restaurant, BullZii Marketing, Groovin’ Radio, VP Records and Western Union.

Freddie takes vintage reggae to Los Angeles

Having started his career as a six-year-old at producer Clement Dodd’s Studio One over 50 years ago, singer Freddie McGregor has an enduring respect for reggae’s elders.

His latest venture, the Long Beach Reggae Music Jerk and Food Festival, is scheduled for September in Long Beach, California.

The event features artistes that McGregor has rubbed shoulders with during his long career, including the Abyssinians, the Tamlins, Admiral Tibet, Everton Blender and British deejay Pato Banton.

“Long Beach is the reggae central of LA (Los Angeles), it’s where the Bob Marley Festival was held, so in a way we’re trying to fill that slot,” McGregor pointed out.

While he describes the event as a “family fun day that caters to all”, McGregor says the Long Beach Reggae Music Jerk and Food Festival, is a showcase of acts who do not get much respect in their homeland.

“They don’t get the attention ’cause of all the foolishness in Jamaica. But there is a big market for these artistes in Europe and North America. Long Beach is just one of those places,” he explained.

This is not McGregor’s first major live show as a promoter in the United States. Several years ago, he produced the popular Rock Steady Meets Reggae event in South Florida.

The Long Beach show is not all about music. Its ‘menu’ is built around jerked food, a spicy delicacy introduced to major US cities like New York, by Jamaican immigrants.

With its diverse, liberal demographic, Long Beach has had a love affair with Jamaican music and culture going back to the 1970s when Bob Marley and roots-reggae were the rage.

Freddie McGregor’s career took off during that era with songs like Bobby Babylon and Bandulu. He had a hit-laden run in the 1980s; Big Ship, Prophecy, Push Come to Shove, Just Don’t Wanna be Lonely and And So I Will Wait For You were some of his chart-toppers.

His upcoming album, an acoustic set, will be released in the summer.

Howard Campbell