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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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|
David Nesta "Ziggy" Marley is a Jamaican musician and philanthropist. He is the son of reggae icon Bob Marley and Rita Marley. He led the family band Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, with whom he released eight studio albums. He has also released seven solo albums.
Horace Swaby, known as Augustus Pablo, was a Jamaican roots reggae and dub record producer, melodica player and keyboardist, active from the 1970s until his death.
Lincoln Barrington "Sugar" Minott was a Jamaican reggae singer, producer and sound-system operator.
Dub is a genre of electronic music that grew out of reggae in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and is commonly considered a subgenre, though it has developed to extend beyond the scope of reggae. The style consists predominantly of partly or completely instrumental remixes of existing recordings and is achieved by significantly manipulating and reshaping the recordings, usually through the removal of some or all of the 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.
Linton Kwesi Johnson, also known as LKJ, is a Jamaican dub poet and activist 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.
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.
Rastaman Vibration is the eighth studio album by the reggae band Bob Marley and the Wailers, released in April 1976.
Joe Gibbs born Joel Arthur Gibson was a Jamaican reggae producer.
Morgan Heritage is a Grammy-nominated Jamaican reggae band formed in 1994 by five children of reggae artist Denroy Morgan, namely Peter "Peetah" Morgan, Una Morgan, Roy "Gramps" Morgan, Nakhamyah "Lukes" Morgan, and Memmalatel "Mr. Mojo" Morgan. They have toured internationally and released a number of reggae albums.
Lloyd James, who is better known as Prince Jammy or King Jammy, is a dub mixer and record producer. He began his musical career as a dub master at King Tubby's recording studio. His dubs were known for their clear sound and use of effects.
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.
Jepther McClymont OD, better known as Luciano, is a Jamaican second-generation roots reggae artist.
Earl "Chinna" Smith, a.k.a. Earl Flute and Melchezidek the High Priest, is a Jamaican guitarist active since the late 1960s. He is most well known for his work with the Soul Syndicate band and has recorded with many reggae artists, appearing on more than 500 albums.
"Bankrobber" is a song by English punk rock band 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.
Rolando Ephraim McLean, better known as Yami Bolo, is a Jamaican reggae singer.
Earl Sixteen is a reggae singer whose career began in the mid-1970s.
Herman Davis, better known as Bongo Herman, is a Jamaican hand-drummer, percussionist and singer who has had a successful career stretching back to the early 1960s.
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.
Freddie McGregor has been variously a Jamaican singer, musician and record 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.
The Dread meets the Punk rockers uptown Clash open the Roxy (Jan 1977)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mikey Dread .|