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Gregory Isaacs

Fletchers Land, Kingston, Jamaica (15 July 1951 – 25 October 2010)

Gregory Isaacs (born on 15 July 1951 in Fletchers Land, Kingston, Jamaica and died on 25 October 2010 in London) was a Reggae singer and songwriter. Gregory Anthony Isaacs is known as “The Cool Ruler” for his seductive crooning vocal style. Gregory attributed his greatest musical influences to R&B greats Sam Cooke and Percy Sledge, in addition to Delroy Wilson, Alton Ellis and Ken Boothe.

In the late 1960s, Gregory first performed in a vocal trio called The Concords, after being encouraged by Byron Lee. By 1970 the group had split up. He subsequently formed his own label, African Museum.

In the late 1970s he emerged as one of the most prolific and popular recording artists in Jamaica. He released a number of self-produced singles on his own African Museum (JA) label with Errol Dunkley. Much of Isaacs’ output reflected the ‘conscious’ themes of Roots Reggae, but Isaacs was equally adept at interpreting more mainstream Lovers Rock material. Early hits include “My Only Lover”, “Sinner Man” and “Mr. Cop”, recorded at Lee Perry’s Black Ark Studio.

A period in the 1970s with the GG’s label and its producer Alvin Ranglin produced hits like “Border” and “Number One”.

Personal problems affected him, particularly battles with a cocaine addiction and a possession charge, which prevented him from touring in North America for a significant part of his career, until a pardon could eventually be secured.


After a long battle with lung cancer, Isaacs died on 25 October 2010 at his home in south London. A memorial service was held on 20 November at Kingston's National Indoor Sports Centre, including a musical tribute from artists including Lloyd Parks and We the People Band, Ken Boothe, Freddie McGregor, Shaggy, Judy Mowatt, Mavado, The Tamlins and Bongo Herman, before his remains were interred at the Dovecot Cemetery.

The Gregory Isaacs Foundation was set up on 15 July 2011 (Isaacs' birthday) by his wife June, with the intention of continuing Isaacs' charitable work. A year later a free concert was staged featuring artists such as U-Roy, Big Youth, and The Mighty Diamonds, to raise funds for two schools.


Gregory Anthony Isaacs (15 July 1951 – 25 October 2010) was a Jamaican reggae musician. Milo Miles, writing in The New York Times, described Isaacs as "the most exquisite vocalist in reggae". His nickname was the Cool Ruler.

In his teens, Isaacs became a veteran of the talent contests that regularly took place in Jamaica. In 1968, he made his recording debut with a duet with Winston Sinclair, "Another Heartache", recorded for producer Byron Lee. The single sold poorly and Isaacs went on to team up with two other vocalists (Penroe and Bramwell) in the short-lived trio The Concords, recording for Rupie Edwards and Prince Buster. The trio split up in 1970 and Isaacs launched his solo career, initially self-producing recordings and also recording further for Edwards. In 1973 he teamed up with another young singer, Errol Dunkley to start the African Museum record label and shop, and soon had a massive hit with "My Only Lover", credited as the first lovers rock record ever made. He recorded for other producers to finance further African Museum recordings, having a string of hits in the three years that followed, ranging from ballads to roots reggae, including "All I Have Is Love", "Lonely Soldier", "Black a Kill Black", "Extra Classic" and his cover version of Dobby Dobson's "Loving Pauper". In 1974 he began working with producer Alvin Ranglin, and that year he had his first Jamaican number one single with "Love Is Overdue". Isaacs recorded for many of Jamaica's top producers during the 1970s, including Winston "Niney" Holness, Gussie Clarke ("My Time"), Lloyd Campbell ("Slavemaster"), Glen Brown ("One One Cocoa Fill Basket"), Harry Mudie, Roy Cousins, Sydney Crooks and Lee "Scratch" Perry ("Mr. Cop"). By the late 1970s, Isaacs was one of the biggest reggae performers in the world, regularly touring the US and the UK, and only challenged by Dennis Brown and Bob Marley. Between 1977 and 1978, Isaacs again teamed up with Alvin Ranglin, recording a string of hits including "Border" and "Number One" for Ranglin's GG's label.

Reggae

Confirm Reservation
Cool Down The Pace
Hush Darling
If I Don't Have You
Material Man
Night Nurse
Not The Way
Objection Overruled
Oh What A Feeling
Out Deh
Rumours
Wailing Rudie

Members of this Group


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Goldenboy

EuroGirl


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