It is sad but true that with each passing year we continue to lose the foundation artists of Jamaican music at an alarming rate. What is even more concerning is that so many many of them are dying in poverty, with neither much-needed medical care or the very basic sustenance of food and shelter. We should not forget that it is first and foremost the beautiful and bountiful indigenous reggae music – evolved over generations by these same singers and players – that is the principal tourist attraction to the island, and that tourism is the very life-blood of the Jamaican economy. Considering that the influx of foreign monetary exchange is in no small part directly due to the efforts of our ageing and often unsung heroes of the music industry, who often received little or no financial recompense or recognition at the time for their important work, mainly due to ignorance of business practices, we call on the Jamaican government and those with political influence within the Jamaican music industry - of which there are many - to establish a care home with medical and musical facilities to ensure that the foundation artists are able to live out their lives with some much-deserved respect and dignity.
Posted: 17 September 2014 (Updated: 14 April 2015)