U Roy the Original Don Gorgon
After pouring all the accolades on Cliff, Dekker, Marley and Toots, Holt and Andy, there is still another star in the reggae heavens: U Roy. The bringing of the whole sub-genre of dancehall to Jamaica and the world belongs only to Daddy U Roy.
In 1969, U Roy had four of the top six spots on the charts of Jamaica’s two radio stations. He had woken the town and told the people who had not previously heard, the real way music was enjoyed in the dance halls of the other Jamaica.
If the fabled Count Machouki had been the sound system John the Baptist, preparing the way in the wilderness for a new day, Daddy Roy was he on whom the dove descended. He took the Paragon’s music and became a paragon himself.
The world had been hearing snatches of Reggae, now it was hearing how reggae was enjoyed in its parlours.
Dancehall, reggaeton, hip-hop, without U Roy there’d be not a drop.
Ride on Daddy, ride on; Blaze away with fire…
Ewart ‘U Roy’ Beckford OD (Order of Distinction), Sept 21, 1942 to Feb 17, 2021 and beyond.
Editor, author and writer with career spanning print, radio, television and new media.