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1977 Reggae Awards

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This page has been created from an article written by Snoopy for Black Echoes, published on the 15th April 1978.

SNOOPY

Snoopy was born in Islington, North London in April 1959. He began writing about reggae music for New Musical Express in 1976 when he was just 17 years old and went on to become a regular freelance contributor to the weekly black music newspaper Black Echoes.

Apart from reviewing albums, singles and concerts, he also conducted interviews and wrote articles and news features. He not only wrote about Jamaican artists such as Ruddy Thomas, Burning Spear, Big Youth, Trinity, The In Crowd, Junior Delgado and Tapper Zukie, but also demonstrated a great interest in British reggae, writing about Matumbi, The Blackstones, The Cimarons, Tradition, Steel Pulse and many others. 

In addition to writing for Black Echoes, he also wrote for publications such as Album Tracking, Caraibes, Record Business and Billboard. In addition to writing about reggae he also became involved with the industry itself, working in various capacities for Dennis Brown’s DEB Music, Venture Records in Harlesden and Cavalis Records in Shoreditch. 

BEST SOUND SYSTEM

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WINNER: Sir Coxsone

In all, there were 74 different sound systems who received votes.  Many of them were local sounds, but virtually all received a fair amount of support from their followers. 

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But - the reputable sir coxsone led the way from the very start, with only Fat Man and Jah Shaka to rival him.  Finally, Sir Coxsone won with a majority of 231 votes.

The Award was presented by the Managing Director of DEB Music, the inimatable Castro Brown.  Unfortunately, Lloyd Coxsone was in Jamaica at the time - but Festus was there to receive the Award on his behalf.

BEST REGGAE COMPANY

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WINNER: Third World

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Every company nominated for this category received at least five votes.  But from the start, it was a proverbial battle between Island and Third World - with Count Shelly’s company eventually victorious, with a majority of 54 votes

BEST MUSICIAN - RHYTHM GUITAR

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WINNER: Dennis Bovell

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Chris Gill (Editor of Black Echoes) presented the award to Dennis Bovell.

BEST MUSICIAN - BASS GUITAR

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WINNER: Jah Blake

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Imruh Caesar (Actor / Black Echoes writer) presented the award to Jah Blake.

BEST MUSICIAN - KEYBOARDS

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WINNER: Webster Johnson

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Castro Brown presented the award to Webster Johnson aka Webby J.

BEST MUSICIAN - DRUMS

WINNER: Jah Bunny

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Rupie Edwards (of ‘Irie Feelings/Skanga’ fame) presented the award to Jah Bunny.

BEST MALE SINGER

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WINNER: Delroy Washington

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Alton Ellis led virtually throughought the poll - but the final voting showed a remarkable amount of support for Delroy Washington who finally overtook Alton to win with a majority of a mere 17 votes.

BEST FEMALE SINGER

WINNER: 15 16 17

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Brown Sugar led the way up until the 350 mark, after which the other female threesome 15 16 17 took over - to eventually win the Award with a majority of 167 votes.  The upcoming UK superstar Militant Barry presented them with their Silver Award.

BEST DEEJAY

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WINNER: Tapper Zukie

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From start to finish, just one man led the way, Tapper Zukie was the winner.  His closest opponent was Jah Woosh - who proved a serious threat a good many times.  But Tapper eventually came out tops with a majority of 71 votes.

 

He arrived in the UK from Jamaica on the day of the show, yet still found time to come along and check out the scene.  He was undoubtebly the most surprised winner of all, as he was totally unaware that he’d even been nominated for anything!  He received his award from JA superstar Dennis Brown - and caused much exitement when he went on stage, as the audience  were unaware of his presence.

BEST GROUP

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WINNER: Matumbi

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All of the 26 groups nominated for this Award received at least five votes.  But it soon became clear who were the top runners.  With a majority of 191 votes, Matumbi were in the lead for most of the time - with only Black Slate to rival them.

BEST 12-INCH SINGLE

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WINNER: Easy - Jimmy Lindsay

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Jimmy Lindsay’s classic rendition of The Commodores ‘Easy’ hit, was the outright winner from the very beginning - and won with a final majority of 228 votes.  It’s nearest rivals were ‘Girls Imagination’ by female trio 15 16 17 and the debut disco by Reggae Reggular, the now deleted ‘Black Star Liner’.  The Award was presented on stage by Winston ‘King Tubby Meets The Upsetter’ Edwards.

BEST SINGLE

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WINNER: Man In Me - Matumbi

Man In MeMatumbi
00:00 / 03:42
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Out of all the categories, this one was the most unpredictable.  The first single to lead the way was ‘Sticks Man’ by Black Slate, which was soon usurped by ‘Black Skin Boy’ by 15 16 17, which took the lead for most of the time.  However, towards the end ‘Man In Me’ by Matumbi leapt in front - followed very closely by ‘Where Is Jah’ by the Reggae Regulars (Which was No. 1 in the Echoes chart at the time).  Matumbi eventually won by the skin ot their teeth - by a slight majority.

SPECIAL AWARDS

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Reggae Regular

A Special award was given to Reggae Regular for; Where Is Jah’, because the voting was so close for the Best Single Award.

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A Very Special “Top Ranking” Award was presented to Dennis Brown (voted Best Male Singer by Echoes readers in the Annual Poll) - by Sounds’ very own Reggae writer-upper, the inimitable Vivien Goldman.

PRODUCER: Lloyd Charmers

Special Awards were also designated for JA producer Lloyd Charmers, for making the outstanding ‘Sarge’ album with Delroy Wilson; and also, to Ras Elroy for the ultimate classic ‘Sticks Man’.

VIDEOS

Matumbi - Point Of View

Black Slate - Amigo

Jimmy Lindsay - Easy

Ras Elroy Bailey - Sticks Man

The Blackstones - One More Time

Dennis Brown - Money In My Pocket

Lloyd Coxsone Interview

Reggae Regular @ Jazz Café 2019

Jah Shaka Interview 1991

Delroy Washington Interview

Dennis Brown Interview

The Junior English Story

R.I.E.P

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Delroy Wilson

Singer / Songwriter

Sunrise: 5 October 1948

Sunset: 6 March 1995 (Age 46)

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Dennis Brown

Singer / Songwriter

Sunrise: 1 February 1957

Sunset: 1 July 1999

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Lannie Glenmore Fagan (Bevin)

Matumbi - Singer / Songwriter

Sunrise: 11 May 1953

Sunset: 3 April 2008

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Alton Ellis

Singer / Songwriter

Sunrise: 1 September 1938

Sunset: 10 October 2008

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Louisa Mark

Singer

Sunrise: 11 January 1960

Sunset: 17 October 2009

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Ras Elroy Bailey

Black Slate - Bass, Percussion, Vocals

Sunrise: 5 September 1958

Sunset: May 2018

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Castro Brown

Producer, Label Owner, Promoter 

Sunrise: 

Sunset: 11 May 2019

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Webster 'Webby J' Johnson

Matumbi - Keyboardist

Sunrise: 

Sunset: 17 August 2020

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Delroy washington

Singer / Songwriter

Sunrise: 5 November 1952

Sunset: 27 March 2020

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Angus 'Drummie Zeb' Gaye

Aswad - Singer, Drummer, Producer

Sunrise: 24 September 1959

Sunset: 2 September 2022

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George 'Ras' Oban

Bass Guitarist

Sunrise: 11 June 1954

Sunset: 18 January 2022

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Leslie McNeil

Tradition - Singer

Sunrise: 8 December 1952

Sunset: 13 June 2023

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Junior English

Male Singer 

Sunrise: 26 July 1951

Sunset: 10 March 2023

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Jah Shaka (Zulu Warrior)

Sound System Operator, Producer 

Sunrise: 1948

Sunset: 12 April 2023

BLACK ECHOES HISTORY

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The first issue of Black Echoes was published on 30 January 1976. It was a weekly 24-page tabloid newspaper covering several genres of black music – at the time mostly soul, funk, reggae, northern soul and some blues. It took in the rise of hip-hop and R&B during the 1980s, and added jazz to its repertoire.

Publishers were John Thompson, former boss of IPC (where he was publisher of Melody Maker, Sounds, Disc and Music Echo – later to become Record Mirror/Disc and then Record Mirror), and Alan Walsh, co-founder of Sounds and former jazz journalist with Melody Maker.

Black Echoes was the only weekly read for black music fans across the genres.  The paper's first editor was Peter Harvey, with Alan Walsh as Editor-in-Chief. 

BLACK ECHOES WEBSITE EXTRACT

We have now added a dynamic website to our portfolio.  The website and magazine are intended to be complementary: The print mag will continue to stand alone as the essential, in-your-hands glossy monthly, with exclusive features, reviews and other content essential to the modern black music lover. The site, meanwhile, will be packed with non-print exclusives special ‘online only’ features and news. You can, of course, subscribe to the print mag online, or simply order it through your local newsagent. Stay in touch with all our doings via Twitter, Facebook and our regular newsletters.

REFERENCES & LINKS

REFERENCES​

  • Snoopy - 1977 Reggae Awards Show - Black Echoes 15 April 1978

  • Kwaku - Delroy Washington Interview - Brent Black Music History Project 2007

LINKS

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