Ranking Trevor has died.

Ranking Trevor's death follows that of dancehall singer, Sluggy Ranks, who was killed a week ago in a car crash in Stony Hill, Kingston, Jamaica. Ranking Trevor, highly underrated by the reggae world, died Tuesday morning August 7, 2012, after a car hit him off his motorcycle on Olympic Way in Kingston, and then another car ran over him.

Ranking Trevor (born Maxwell Barrington Grant on January 20, 1960), who grew up in the Waterhouse community of Kingston, where he attended St Patrick's Primary and Tarrant Secondary, went into the music business in the early 1970s. He got his start as a deejay on the Gold Soul sound system, but his career really took off when he hooked up with the rival Soul Attorney. Soul Attorney later changed its name to King Attorney and then Papa Roots Hi-Fi, in the process becoming one of the outstanding sound systems of the 1970s. He was all of 15 when Jo Jo Hookim from Channel One took him into the studio to do his first recording called "Caveman Skank", which reportedly sold 500 copies in its first week of release. Over the next few years the U Roy disciple recorded a steady stream of singles for Hookim, all backed by the Revolutionaries. These included "Natty A Roots Man", "Ital Stew", "Penny A Look", "Three Piece Chicken & Chips", "Answer Me Question" to name only five. Ranking Trevor never completely shook off the Originator's influence, but no matter, for the deejay had an equally sharp sense of timing and relaxed delivery that never went out of fashion in this period.

By 1977, the teen star was shaking up the British reggae chart with "Cave Man Skank," "Three Piece Chicken & Chips" (a humorous riposte to Trinity's "Three Piece Suit"), and "Anti-Lulu", all hitting the Top Ten. "Pure & Clean" and "Rub A Dub Style" followed them up the chart in 1978. In that same year he signed a deal with Virgin's Frontline imprint, which resulted in the releae of the "In Fine Style album". Meanwhile, back in Jamaica, Hookim also unleashed the "Three Piece Chicken & Chips" split set, which set Ranking Trevor head to head with Trinity himself.

In 1979, he linked up with singing producer Linval Thompson, resulting in the following year's "Repatriation Time", a set again recorded at Channel One and backed by the Revolutionaries. The following year, Prince Jammy remixed a clutch of Thompson, Wayne Jarrett, and Ranking Trevor recordings for the simmering "Train To Zion Dub" set. For "Repatriation Time", Ranking Trevor took on a new moniker, Ranking Superstar, which explains why producer Sugar Minott titled the deejay's excellent next set "Presenting Ranking Trevor". Both Sugar Minott and Linval Thompson were featured alongside the deejay on the "Roots Of All Roots" album released by Micron later in the decade. Ranking Trevor's successful appearance at the Brixton Ace in 1983 prompted his relocation to London, and his career suffered accordingly. Little emerged in the aftermath, although in recent years the deejay again began making live appearances.

Most of Ranking Trevor's recordings remained infuriatingly out of print, and his singles and albums, now with hefty price tags attached, are much sought after by collectors. Early 2012 Ranking Trevor recorded some "fresh songs" including "Producer Rob Me", "Dem Cyaan Get Me Out" and "Recession".

Sources: Jamaica Observer, chatychaty.com and answers.com,
Ranking Trevor
1960-2012




SELECTIVE DISCOGRAPHY:

Albums:

  • In Fine Style
  • Three Piece Chicken & Chips (with Trinity)
  • Repatriation Time
  • Train To Zion Dub (with Linval Thompson & Wayne Jarrett)
  • Presenting Ranking Trevor
  • Roots Of All Roots (with Sugar Minott, Linval Thompson & Micron All-Stars)
Singles:

  • Caveman Skank (Well Charge 7")
  • Penny A Look (Channel One 7")
  • War / Jah Give Us Life - Don't Feel No Way (with Wailing Souls) (Channel One 12")
  • Ital Stew (Hitbound 7")
  • The Murderer (Channel One 7")
  • Hotter Fire (Channel One 7")
  • Three Piece Chicken & Chips (Hit Bound 7")
  • Repatration (with Carl Malcolm) (Grove Music 12")
  • Back Whe Baldhead (Flames Records 7")
  • Anti Lulu (Channel One 7")
  • Truly (with The Jays) (Channel One 12")
  • You Make Me Happy (with Alton Ellis) (Sky Note 12")
  • Answer Me Question (Channel One 7")
  • Savana-la-ma Special (Socialist Roots 7")
  • Savalamar Rock (Socialist Roots 7")
  • Jah Vengeance (Vivian Jackson 7")
  • They Hold Us Down (with The Morwells) (Greensleeves 12")
  • Pass The Chalice (Wild Flower 7")
  • A Little Bit More Loving (with Dennis Brown) (Joe Gibbs Music 12")
  • Blood Shed (SKD 12")
  • Careless Company (Well Charge 7")
  • Rubber Dub Style (Hit Bound 7")
  • Hang On (Morwell Esq 7")
  • Man A Ras (RTM 7")