Wycliffe Johnson, Boisterous Reggae Producer and Musician, Dies at 47

September 6, 2009


Wycliffe Johnson, an innovative composer and producer known as Steely, who held sway over two decades of reggae music, died on Tuesday in East Patchogue, N.Y. He was 47 and lived in Kingston, Jamaica.

The cause was a heart attack following pneumonia, said his daughter Kerry Johnson. He had moved to Brooklyn this summer for treatment of kidney problems related to hypertension and diabetes, she said, and died at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital several weeks after surgery for a blood clot in the brain.

The reggae world knew Mr. Johnson as Steely, a boisterous producer with a larger-than-life personality and a belly to match. Best known for his role in the team Steely & Clevie, he was equally influential in his early work as a sideman, and helped to transform reggae at several stages, from roots to dancehall to digital.

An expert keyboardist who worked with Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer, Mr. Johnson worked at seminal Jamaican recording studios like Coxsone Dodd’s Studio One, Lee (Scratch) Perry’s Black Ark and Sugar Minott’s Youth Promotion. By some estimates he participated in more sessions than anyone else in the history of reggae.

This Obituary continues at  THE NEW YORK TIMES.

Published in: on September 6, 2009 at 11:19 am  Leave a Comment  
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Comments are temporaily closed

Happy Holiday weekend OSMLers!

I have already exported this blog’s data, comments, links, etc to the new domain. If your comment made in the last five days and has not shown up it is because the comments were closed and/or in transit.

Your participation/comments are very important to me so I ask you ever so kindly to please resumbit your comment when you check in on Tuesday or Wednesday (if not sooner) and are directed to the new OSML location.

Again my sincere thanks for your patience and cooperation during this move.


Published in: on September 5, 2009 at 4:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Marie Knight, Rich-Voiced Gospel Singer, Dies at 89

Published September 2, 2009

Marie Knight, whose rich, room-filling contralto voice provided the ideal counterweight to Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s more penetrating higher register on some of the most popular gospel records of the 1940s, died Sunday in Manhattan. She was 89.

The cause was complications of pneumonia, said Mark Carpentieri, her manager and the owner of M.C. Records.

Mrs. Knight, began singing gospel music as a child in the Church of God in Christ, a Pentecostal denomination that produced some of the most potent voices in gospel music, including that of Rosetta Tharpe, who died in 1973.

Obituary continues at THE NEW YORK TIMES.

Published in: on September 3, 2009 at 12:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Patriarch of the musical DeBarge Family has passed

A young Robert Louis DeBarge, Sr.

A young Robert Louis DeBarge, Sr.

I  just opened my first email of the day to find this sad news …

A message to all members of The DeBarge Network

The DeBarge Network sorrowfully  announces the passing of Robert Louis DeBarge Sr.  He was the Patriarch of the world reknown DeBarge family that we love.
To the the family, You are in our prayers today.  We ask that God send his blessings to you during this difficult time. Please know that our loving thoughts are with you; may the peace which comes from the cherished memories of your father comfort you.  Words alone can not express enough our heartfelt sorrow at your loss. We pray that the peace of God be with you during your time of sorrow and that somehow  it help to comfort you to know that we deeply share your sorrow,
and are thinking of you and praying for you.

The DeBarge Network family

Visit The DeBarge Network at: http://www.debargenetwork.com

Published in: on August 30, 2009 at 12:03 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Important Administrative News

Hope this note find all readers well.

One of my file storage hosts has been hacked and so when you click on a music player to play a song it may or may not play. I will be spending this weekend re-digitizing and uploading literally hundreds of songs that were on the paid storage facility to my own domain so I would like to take this opportunity to thank you in advance for your patience during this conversion.

Of course I was, and still am,  in the midst of moving both music blogs to their own domain so comments will be suspended temporarily here at OSML from Midnight Eastern Time (USA)  Saturday 8/29 until the transfer is complete. Of course you can always use the Contact page to email me directly if needed.

When you go to the “Contact Page” you will see that the “About” text has been updated today.

Please feel free to read through the posts you may have missed out on before and have a wonderful rest of the summer.

Published in: on August 28, 2009 at 9:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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‘Soul Train’ coming to the big screen

Posted: Tue., Aug. 25, 2009, 8:00pm PT @ http://www.VARIETY.com

WB taps Spellman to write film based on showDon C Hosting Soul Train


Warner Bros. has hired Malcolm Spellman to write a feature based on the classic TV show “Soul Train.”

Darryl Porter and Aaron Geller of Porter/Geller Prods. will produce with Don Cornelius, the host and producer of the famed show, which ran from 1971-2006.

Spellman said that he’s writing a film set in the 1980s.

See the VARIETY article in its entirety here.

I sure wish this was going to be set in the 1970s … but I’ll take what I can get 😉

Published in: on August 28, 2009 at 2:37 am  Leave a Comment  
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Ellie Greenwich, ‘Chapel of Love’ co-writer, dies

56 mins ago

NEW YORK – Ellie Greenwich, who co-wrote some of pop music’s most enduring songs, including “Chapel of Love,” “Be My Baby” and “Leader of the Pack,” died Wednesday, according to her niece. She was 68.

Greenwich died of a heart attack at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital, where she had been admitted a few days earlier for treatment of pneumonia, according to her niece, Jessica Weiner.

Greenwich, a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, was considered one of pop’s most successful songwriters. She had a rich musical partnership with the legendary Phil Spector, whose “wall of sound” technique changed rock music. With Spector, she wrote some of pop’s most memorable songs, including “Da Doo Ron Ron” and “River Deep, Mountain High.” But Spector wasn’t her only collaborator.

She also had key hits with her ex-husband Jeff Barry, including the dynamic song “Leader of the Pack” (years later, Broadway would stage a Tony-nominated musical with the same name based on her life).

“He was the first male I could actually harmonize with,” she once said.

The AP Obit Continues here at Yahoo news.

Gosh! How many more icons can we possibly say goodbye to like this? This has just been much too much this entire year! One musical and/or political and/or pop cultural icon leaves us just far too often of late.

Published in: on August 26, 2009 at 3:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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