Mikey Dread performing at the 2006 Winnipeg Ska and Reggae Festival.
|Birth name||Michael George Campbell|
|Born||4 June 1954|
Port Antonio, Jamaica
|Died||15 March 2008 53) (aged|
Stamford, Connecticut, United States
|Occupation(s)||Singer, author, composer, record producer, and broadcaster|
|Associated acts||The Clash|
Michael George Campbell (4 June 1954 – 15 March 2008), better known as Mikey Dread, was a Jamaican singer, producer, and broadcaster. He was one of the most influential performers and innovators in reggae music.
Reggae is a music genre that originated in Jamaica in the late 1960s. The term also denotes the modern popular music of Jamaica and its diaspora. A 1968 single by Toots and the Maytals, "Do the Reggay" was the first popular song to use the word "reggae", effectively naming the genre and introducing it to a global audience. While sometimes used in a broad sense to refer to most types of popular Jamaican dance music, the term reggae more properly denotes a particular music style that was strongly influenced by traditional mento as well as American jazz and rhythm and blues, especially the New Orleans R&B practiced by Fats Domino and Allen Toussaint, and evolved out of the earlier genres ska and rocksteady. Reggae usually relates news, social gossip, and political comment. Reggae spread into a commercialized jazz field, being known first as "Rudie Blues", then "Ska", later "Blue Beat", and "Rock Steady". It is instantly recognizable from the counterpoint between the bass and drum downbeat, and the offbeat rhythm section. The immediate origins of reggae were in ska and rocksteady; from the latter, reggae took over the use of the bass as a percussion instrument.
Born in Port Antonio,one of five children, from an early age, Campbell showed a natural aptitude for engineering and electronics. As a teenager he performed with the Safari and Sound of Music sound systems, and worked on his high school's radio station.
Port Antonio is the capital of the parish of Portland on the northeastern coast of Jamaica, about 60 miles (100 km) from Kingston. It had a population of 12,285 in 1982 and 13,246 in 1991. It is the island's third largest port, famous as a shipping point for bananas and coconuts, as well as one of its most important tourist attractions, tourism being a major contributor to the town’s economy.
Electronics comprises the physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control of electrons in vacuum and matter.
In Jamaican popular culture, a sound system is a group of disc jockeys, engineers and MCs playing ska, rocksteady or reggae music. The sound system is an important part of Jamaican culture and history.
He studied electrical engineering at the College of Arts, Science and Technology, and in 1976, started out as an engineer with the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (JBC).Campbell wasn't impressed that the JBC's playlists mainly consisted of bland, foreign pop music at a time when some of the most potent reggae was being recorded in Jamaica. He convinced his JBC bosses to give him his own radio program called Dread at the Controls, where he played almost exclusively reggae. Before long, Campbell (now using the DJ name Mikey Dread) had the most popular program on the JBC. Well known for its fun and adventurous sonic style, Dread at the Controls became a hit all over Jamaica. Examples of Mikey Dread's distinctive radio chatter can be heard on the US release of the RAS label LP African Anthem Dubwise.
The Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (JBC) was a public broadcasting company in Jamaica founded in 1959 by premier Norman Manley with the aim of emulating the success of other national broadcasting companies such as the BBC and CBC.
He also began working as a recording artist, Lee "Scratch" Perry producing his signature tune "Dread at the Controls", also recording for Sonia Pottinger and Joe Gibbs, and performing with the Socialist Roots sound system.Inevitably, JBC's conservative management and Campbell clashed, and he quit in protest in 1978, becoming an engineer at the Treasure Isle studio, where he began an association with producer Carlton Patterson. They co-produced Dread's own work (e.g. "Barber Saloon") and that of others.
Lee "Scratch" Perry OD is a Jamaican music producer, inventor and singer noted for his innovative studio techniques and production style. Perry was a pioneer in the 1970s development of dub music with his early adoption of remixing and studio effects to create new instrumental or vocal versions of existing reggae tracks. He has worked with and produced for a wide variety of artists, including Bob Marley and the Wailers, Junior Murvin, the Congos, Max Romeo, Adrian Sherwood, the Beastie Boys, Ari Up, The Clash, The Orb and many others.
Sonia Eloise Pottinger OD was a Jamaican reggae record producer.
By the late 1970s he had started his own DATC label, working with artists such as Edi Fitzroy, Sugar Minott, and Earl Sixteen, as well as producing his own work.The label released Dread's albums Evolutionary Rockers (released in the UK as Dread at the Controls), and World War III.
Fitzroy Edwards, better known by his stage name Edi Fitzroy, was a Jamaican reggae singer, active from 1975 but best known for his work during the dancehall era.
Lincoln Barrington "Sugar" Minott was a Jamaican reggae singer, producer and sound-system operator.
Earl Sixteen is a reggae singer whose career began in the mid-1970s.
Campbell's music attracted the attention of British punk rockers The Clash, who invited him over to England to tour with them in 1980, going on to produce some of their music.Although initially suspicious of the strangers, Campbell soon became the best of friends with the band, producing their famous "Bankrobber" single and performing on several songs on their 1980 album Sandinista! . Campbell also toured with The Clash across Britain, Europe, and the US, gaining many new fans along the way. He studied at the National Broadcasting School in London in 1980 and in 1984 studied advanced recording technology at the North London Polytechnic.
The Clash were an English rock band formed in London in 1976 as a key player in the original wave of British punk rock. They have also contributed to the post-punk and new wave movements that emerged in the wake of punk and employed elements of a variety of genres including reggae, dub, funk, ska, and rockabilly. For most of their recording career, the Clash consisted of lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Joe Strummer, lead guitarist and lead vocalist Mick Jones, bassist Paul Simonon, and drummer Nicky "Topper" Headon. Headon left the group in 1982 and internal friction led to Jones' departure the following year. The group continued with new members, but finally disbanded in early 1986.
"Bankrobber" is a song by The Clash. The song was not released on any of their studio albums, instead appearing on their compilation Black Market Clash. Upon its 1980 release as a single it peaked at number 12 on the UK Singles Chart, and at number 14 on both the Irish Singles Chart and the New Zealand Singles Chart.
Sandinista! is the fourth studio album by English punk rock band The Clash. It was released on 12 December 1980 as a triple album containing 36 tracks, with 6 songs on each side. Anticipating the world music trend of the 1980s, it features funk, reggae, jazz, gospel, rockabilly, folk, dub, rhythm and blues, calypso, disco, and rap. For the first time, the band's traditional songwriting credits of Strummer and Jones were replaced by a generic credit to the Clash, and the band agreed to a decrease in album royalties in order to release the 3-LP at a low price.
During the early 1980s he provided vocals with the reggae collective Singers And Players on Adrian Sherwood's On-U Sound record label.Dread produced ten dub tracks for UB40 and toured Europe and Scandinavia as their support artist.
Some of his works in the United Kingdom include hosting series such as Rockers Roadshow and narrating the six-part Channel 4 reggae documentary series Deep Roots Music.He later recorded "The Source (Of Your Divorce)" for Warner Brothers Records US, which obtained regularly rotated video airplay.
In 1991, Dread recorded Profile and African Anthem Revisited. He also toured in Europe and the US with Freddie McGregor, Lloyd Parks, We The People Band, and the Roots Radics Band.
In 1992, he collaborated with former Guns N' Roses guitarist Izzy Stradlin on a duet entitled "Can't Hear 'Em".He was nominated for a NAIRD award, an award from the Billboard Magazine, for his work on his 1990 compilation album Mikey Dread's Best Sellers.
In 1993, Mikey Dread was involved in several projects, including his tour supporting the album Obsession and working in TV with the Caribbean Satellite Network (CSN) where he was Program Director and on Air personality as well as Producer of various shows.
In 1994 he presented The Culture Award of Honor in the Martin's International Reggae Music Awards in Chicago. In 1995, he worked as a Radio DJ for WAVS 1170 AM and WAXY-AM 790 in Miami, Florida. In 1996 he participated in the Essential Music Festival as a performer in Brighton, UK.
Mikey furthered his knowledge of TV/Video Production at the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale, where he graduated in 1996 with Honors and at Lynn University in Boca Raton / Florida where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Communications, with Magna Cum Laude honours.
He performed live with The Clash, UB40, Bob Dylan, Carlos Santana, Macka B, and many other bands and artists. He also produced artists such as Sugar Minott, Junior Murvin, Earl Sixteen, Wally Bucker, Sunshine, Jah Grundy and Rod Taylor. He also worked closely with producer Trevor Elliot to launch musical career of singer Edi Fitzroy. Mikey Dread was the featured artist on "Lips Like Sugar" with Seal for the soundtrack of the 2004 film, 50 First Dates .
After many years working as a producer and singer, Campbell withdrew from the business and moved to Miami where he furthered his college education with courses in electronics and business, and ran the Caribbean Satellite Network TV station in Miami.Campbell shrewdly waited until all of his existing contracts expired and then regained control over his entire catalogue; He began re-releasing much of it on his own Dread at the Controls record label.
He performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2002 and at Glastonbury Festival in 2004, and toured the UK in 2006.
Dread, together with The Blizzard of 78, featured on The Sandinista! Project, a tribute to the 1980 Clash album Sandinista!, with the song "Silicone on Sapphire". The tribute album, recorded in 2004, was released on 15 May 2007 by the 00:02:59 Records (a label named after a lyric from the Sandinista! song "Hitsville UK").
In October 2007, it was announced that Campbell was being treated for a brain tumour.He died on 15 March 2008, surrounded by his family, at the home of his sister in Stamford, Connecticut. He left seven children, three daughters and four sons, the youngest of whom was 4 months old when he died and who he had with his wife Monica .
|Dread at the Controls|
|1980||World War III|
|1981||Beyond World War III|
|1982||Dub Catalogue Volume 1|
|Pave the Way|
|African Anthem Revisited|
|1995||Come to Mikey Dread's Dub Party|
|2002||Rasta in Control|
|2007||Life Is a stage|
|1989||African Anthem / Happy Family|
|S.W.A.L.K. / Rockers Vibrations|
|1998||The Prime of Mikey Dread: Massive Dub Cuts from 1978–1992|
|2006||Best Sellers II|
|Dread at the Controls / Evolutionary Rockers|
Horace Swaby, known as Augustus Pablo, was a Jamaican roots reggae and dub record producer, melodica player and keyboardist, active from the 1970s till his death.
Osbourne Ruddock, better known as King Tubby, was a Jamaican sound engineer who greatly influenced the development of dub in the 1960s and 1970s.
Dub is a genre of electronic music that grew out of reggae in the 1960s, and is commonly considered a subgenre, though it has developed to extend beyond the scope of reggae. The style consists predominantly of instrumental remixes of existing recordings and is achieved by significantly manipulating and reshaping the recordings, usually through the removal of vocals, emphasis of the rhythm section, the application of studio effects such as echo and reverb, and the occasional dubbing of vocal or instrumental snippets from the original version or other works. It was an early form of popular electronic music.
Cecil Bustamente Campbell OD, known professionally as Prince Buster, was a Jamaican singer-songwriter and producer. The records he released in the 1960s influenced and shaped the course of Jamaican contemporary music and created a legacy of work that would be drawn upon later by reggae and ska artists.
Linton Kwesi Johnson is a Jamaican dub poet who has been based in the United Kingdom since 1963. In 2002 he became the second living poet, and the only black poet, to be published in the Penguin Modern Classics series. His performance poetry involves the recitation of his own verse in Jamaican Patois over dub-reggae, usually written in collaboration with renowned British reggae producer/artist Dennis Bovell. Johnson's middle name, "Kwesi", is a Ghanaian name that is given to boys who, like Johnson, are born on a Sunday.
Gregory Anthony Isaacs OD was a Jamaican reggae musician. Milo Miles, writing in The New York Times, described Isaacs as "the most exquisite vocalist in reggae".
Judith Veronica Mowatt, OD is a Jamaican reggae artist. As well as being a solo artist, as from 1974 she was also a member of the I Three, trio of backing vocalists for Bob Marley & The Wailers after Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer left.
Donovan Letts is a British film director, DJ and musician. Letts first came to prominence as the videographer for The Clash, directing several of their music videos. In 1984, Letts co-founded the band Big Audio Dynamite with Clash guitarist Mick Jones, acting as the group's sampler and videographer before departing the band in 1990.
Junior Murvin was a Jamaican reggae musician. He is best known for the single "Police and Thieves", produced by Lee "Scratch" Perry in 1976.
Jepther McClymont OD, better known as Luciano, is a Jamaican second-generation roots reggae artist.
Willi Williams is a Jamaican reggae and dub musician and producer. He is known as the "Armagideon Man" after his hit, "Armagideon Time", first recorded in 1977 at Studio One in Kingston. The song was covered by The Clash as the flipside of their "London Calling" single.
Noel Bartholomew Simms, better known by his nickname and artistic name Scully, was a Jamaican ska, rocksteady and reggae percussionist.
Freddie McGregor has been variously a singer, musician and producer. His music career began when he was seven years old.
Richard Patrick Bennett OD, better known by the stage name Charlie Chaplin, is a Jamaican dancehall and ragga deejay and singer. It was common for Jamaican deejays of the era to name themselves after film stars or characters. Bennett, however, had been nicknamed after the comedian since his youth. His career began in 1980 when he began working with U-Roy's Stur-Gav Hi-Fi collective. He became extremely popular throughout Jamaica, memorable for his focus on cultural and social themes instead of the "slack" lyrics that were popular at the time. His popularity as a live performer prompted Roy Cousins to produce some recording sessions with the young DJ. Chaplin's debut album was the Cousins-produced Presenting Charlie Chaplin in 1982, with several albums following for the producer over the next three years.
Earl “Paul” Douglas is a Jamaician Grammy Award-winning drummer and percussionist, best known for his work as the drummer, percussionist and bandleader of Toots and the Maytals. His career spans more than five decades as one of reggae's most recorded drummers. Music journalist and reggae historian David Katz wrote, “dependable drummer Paul Douglas played on countless reggae hits."
The Dread meets the Punk rockers uptown Clash open the Roxy (Jan 1977)
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