Jamaican music pioneer Clement "Sir Coxsone" Dodd has passed away....

Legendary music pioneer and founder of Studio One, Sir Clement 'Coxsone' Dodd, passed away in Kingston from heart complications on Tuesday May 4, 2004. Sir Coxsone was in the studio with Jennifer Lara and Bunny Brown when it appeared that he didn't feel well.

Close friend Bunny Goodison admitted to being in shock upon hearing the news of Dodd's passing.
"I left him there at Brentford Road at midday, he wasn't complaining of chest pains or anything, then someone just called me at 4:30 p.m. to tell me he was dead. Apparently, he had complained of feeling pains in his chest, and while they were driving him to Medical Associates, he died," Mr. Goodison said.
"Earlier in the day, he wasn't in such good spirits but he was calm, lucid and he didn't appear to be sick. On Friday night April 30, after they changed the name of the street to Studio One Boulevard, we were there toasting and laughing, but he was extremely quiet during the whole occasion... I don't know if he was overwhelmed by the whole thing," Mr. Goodison added.
He continued: "At least he lived to receive the various accolades for his exceptional body of work, which will live forever. He was truly a great man."

Singer Ken Booth, with whom Dodd had well-publicised differences over royalties for several songs such as "The Train Is Coming Baby" appeared to be deeply saddened by the loss.
"What a loss! This is a great loss, I know Coxsone and I had our differences, but it is sad to see him go like this. This is a sad day for me and my family," Mr. Boothe said.

Derrick Harriott, with whom Dodd scored a number one hit in 1961, "Over the River" had fond memories of the producer.
"He was a jovial man, he will be sadly missed. It is a shock to the entire music fraternity that he went so suddenly," Mr. Harriott said.

The name Clement Seymour "Sir Coxsone" Dodd is synonymous with the development of Jamaican music. A legendary producer, sound system pioneer, musical entrepreneur and founder of Studio One, Jamaica's most influential record label, Mr. Dodd's tireless endeavors, which span six decades, have set an imposing standard of artistic excellence and played a pivotal role in molding Reggae into a globally embraced musical force.

Clement Seymour Dodd was born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1932, the son of Benjamin Dodd, a local building contractor, and Doris Darlington. While at All Saints School he was given the nickname Coxsone, due to his prowess as a batsman and all-round cricketer (the original Coxon being star batsman for the famous Yorkshire cricket team of the 1940s).
,br> As a late teen, Coxsone Dodd left Jamaica for America where he worked as a cane cutter for a brief spell in Florida. During this time he discovered the grooving R&B rhythms which were very popular at various parties and outdoor dances. Dodd then returned to Jamaica with his own professional audio equipment, turntable and box of records. " Sir Coxsone The Downbeat" set up his first sound system around 1954, playing boogie-woogie, jazz and R&B records from New Orleans and Miami. As competition between the Jamaican sound systems grew with such rivals as Duke Reid, Dodd would travel throughout the US to cities such as New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and Cincinnati, to find more exclusive tunes. This intense rivalry between the sound systems even led to the practice of scratching out the title and artist details from the label of the most sought after records. These records were also often renamed to preserve their exclusivity so that other sounds could not go abroad and purchase them as well. At the height of the sound system craze Coxsone had as many as five different outfits operating each night, run by such luminaries as Prince Buster, King Stitt and Lee Perry.

When the supply of new R&B records began to diminish due to the influx of rock 'n' roll in America, Coxsone and other sound system operators were forced to begin recording Jamaican artists to satisfy the local fans. These earliest recordings were at first retained for the sole use of the sound system, but soon it became apparent that there was a growing market for Jamaican productions. Coxsone then formed his first record company called "World Disc". Clue J and the Blues Basters' "Shuffling Jug", which was recorded at Federal Studios in 1959, is reputed to be the first true C.S. Dodd production.

Coxsone's Muzik City opened in East Queen Street, Kingston shortly after in 1959, and began distributing C.S. Dodd productions on such labels as Studio One, World Disc, Musik City, Supreme, D. Darling and Coxsone. In 1963 Dodd opened the first black-owned Jamaican Recording and Publishing Studio at 13 Brentford Road, Kingston. It was built by Hedley Jones, and the one-track facilities were installed by Coxsone's cousin, Sid Bucknor. The studio wa converted to two-track in 1965, and later extended to eight-track. Throughout the 1960s, Studio One was considered the University of Jamaican music. Studio One is where the majority of Jamaica's most esteemed musical artists got their start. It’s enrollment comprised of Jamaica’s finest singers and musicians whose collective talent and innovations, under the guidance of the Studio One founder, resulted in the development of Jamaica’s globally embraced signature sound.

Dodd successfully captured the sound of young Jamaica with artists such as Marcia Griffiths and Bob Andy, Delroy Wilson, Alton Ellis, Ken Boothe and The Maytals among many others. He also worked with the teenaged sensations The Wailers (featuring Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer) and was immediately impressed with the group's vocal capabilities. Among the classic Wailers tunes "Sir Coxsone" produced are "It Hurts To Be Alone", "One Love" and the rude boy anthem "Simmer Down".

Throughout the transformation of Jamaican music from the quick pace of Ska to the slower Rock Steady beat of the mid-60s to the emergence of Reggae in late 1967, Dodd’s recordings are characterized by outstanding arrangements and irresistible rhythms played by the island’s finest musicians including the late Roland Alphonso and the late Tommy McCook on tenor sax, Leonard Dillon and Baba Brooks on trumpet, Ernest Ranglin on guitar, the late Don Drummond and Rico Rodriguez on trombone, Lloyd Brevett on bass and the late great Jackie Mittoo playing keyboards.

Coxsone eventually moved his studio and record shop to the US at Coxsone's Music City 3135 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, New York, 11208; where it is to this day. Many of his albums (200+) are still being reissued on CD, by his own company, but also under license by companies like Heartbeat (US) and Soul Jazz Records (UK). The impact to reggae music of Clement ‘Sir Coxsone’ Dodd and his Studio One recordings cannot be fully fathomed. Even to this day the tracks & riddims he produced from his early work are still used heavily in the reggae and dancehall music of today. In 1991 he was awarded the Order of Distinction, Jamaica's third highest honour, for his contribution to the Island's musical heritage.

During all those years in the music business Coxsone has worked with a basic 'who’s who' in reggae music, including - besides the aforementioned names - recording artists such as Dennis Brown, Burning Spear, Sugar Minott, The Skatalites, The Paragons, The Cables, The Heptones, John Holt, Freddie McGregor, Lone Ranger, Prince Jazzbo, The Viceroys, Bunny Brown, Glen Washington, The Silvertones, Willie Williams, The Gaylads, Errol Dunkley, Winston Jarrett, Johnny Osbourne, The Wailing Souls, Culture, and many, many more.

For the past three weeks (sessions ended on Sunday May 2nd) he had been recording 20 tracks with the Blackstones. It has been his last production work and also the first ever album he recorded with an UK reggae group. Coxsone Dodd, 72, is survived by his wife and six children.

Sources : Jamaica Gleaner, Atlantareggae.com, Rob Chapman's "Never Grow Old" and International Reggae Day.

Article : Teacher & Mr. T.

Coxsone crowned King Of The Dancehall.

The first album released in 1961.

Coxsone Dodd & Roland Alphonso.

Coxsone Dodd at Studio One, JA.

Coxsone Dodd in Brooklyn, NY.
Photographer : David Corio.

Coxsone Dodd at Studio One, Brooklyn, NY.
Photographer : David Corio.

Coxsone Dodd. 1996.

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