CLaudius Linton aka Kingman has passed away.

A few days after the news of Sugar Minott's untimely death had shocked the reggae world, more sad news reached the reggae massive. Claudius Linton, an underrated but nevertheless respected Jamaican roots artist, has trodded into Zion on 15th July 2010. Bob Marley's old Trenchtown friend was known around the Kingston recording studios for his soulful voice and his knack for a killer melody. After disappearing from the music scene in the mid-80s, but through an accidental meeting on the beaches of Negril he returned in 2007 with the compilation "Roots Master : The Vintage Roots Reggae Singles", which was followed by a brand new album entitled "Sign Time" in 2008. Early 2010 it was reported that he was homeless and living on the streets of Long Beach CA and that someone was helping him to get medical help for his diabetes and high blood pressure.

THE ROOTS MASTER.

Claudius Linton and singing partner Cecil Hemmings, known first as the Angelic Brothers and later the Hofner Brothers, rose with Trenchtown's other reggae greats from early 1960's ska singles to the crest of reggae's '70's heyday. The Hofner Brothers popularity soared when their single "Kingman Is Back" competed in the finals of the 1972 Jamaican Festival Song Competition against the tunes from Junior Byles and Toots & the Maytals. Toots won the contest, but the crowd roared for more of Claudius' powerful vocals and electrifying stage show.

Linton and Hemmings parted ways after recording a half-dozen singles, and Claudius Linton went out on his own, releasing his catchy songs and strong messages of unity and peace during key moments of Jamaica's violent election cycles. In 1976, Claudius hit the top of the charts with the Rasta consciousness anthem "Crying Time", and followed it up with another 10 years of classic roots reggae tracks which are included on the reisssue CD Roots Master. Today, the original 45s can trade hands for hundreds of dollars.

Claudius Linton was the living history of reggae. Singing lessons with "father of reggae" Joe Higgs along with fellow future stars Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. After recording "Reduce The Arms Race"/"Chun Pon Nanie" with famed reggae producer Jack Ruby in 1984, Claudius disappeared from the scene. A chance meeting on the beach in Negril, JA, led to him teaming up with American producer/musician Ian "Jonah" Jones. They began recording new material right away, and Jones began the worldwide hunt for Claudius' old singles. With the revival of his recording career the future was looking bright for Claudius Linton, but unfortunaly it turned into a nightmare for one of reggae's unsung heroes.




Sources: Claudius Linton's myspace page and reggae forums such as Chatty Mouth and SNWMF.
Claudius Linton
1942-2010




    SELECTIVE DISCOGRAPHY:

    Albums:

  • Roots Master : The Vintage Roots Reggae Singles (Sun King Records)
  • Sign Time (with Jonah) (Sun King Records)