SMART SOUNDS by Colin Bell reviewing Johnny Nash Stir It Up: The Anthology 1965-1979

JOHNNY-NASH

STIR IT UP – THE ANTHOLOGY 1965-1979 Johnny Nash

This is a welcome release, the first decent anthology of the excellent Johnny Nash, 2CD’s 46 tracks in pristine remastered sound. Annoyingly these days if you hear any JN on the radio its 9 out of 10 times going to be ‘I Can See Clearly Now’, I’m sure all the programme controllers are all about 15! Anyway, Houston born Johnnys career goes back to the late 50’s, but as the title of this compilation says we kick off here in 1965 with the opening track ‘Lets Move And Groove Together, a deep soul outing that would sit perfectly on an Otis Redding album showcasing Johnnys soulful vocal prowess. However after visiting Jamaica it was his fusing of soul and reggae that was to bring him to international recognition. 1968’s ‘You Got Soul’ is a personal favourite and a perfect example. As I said earlier radio sticks with ICSCN, but remember ‘Hold Me Tight’ ‘Cupid’ (best cover of a Sam Cooke song), ‘Stir It Up’, ‘There Are More Questions Than Answers’, ‘Tears On My Pillow’ ‘Dream Lover’? all great single hits. Lets not forget that ‘Stir It Up’ these days probably linked indelibly with Bob Marley was first recorded by Johnny and it was Johnny who took the struggling songwriter to London and the rest was history for Bob. Johnnys own songwriting, producing, arranging, playing talents are far ranging, read the excellent sleevenotes that accompany this set quite incredible. As well as the hits already mentioned there are great covers to enjoy ‘Groovin’ (originally Young Rascals) is a stellar example. There are also tracks released for the first time from two later 70’s albums ‘What A Wonderful World’ and ‘Lets Go Dancing’.
Although these days no longer active musically since basically ‘retiring’ in 1988 Johhny is still successful in other activities. I saw him perform live back in the 70’s along with the late Desmond Dekker and I’m so glad I did. His legacy of recorded music and his contribution to the global awareness(along with DD I might add) of Jamaican reggae cannot be overstated. On a sunny day like today as I write these words Johnny just adds to that sunshine. To sum up a great, and in my opinion, essential compilation to grace your collection.

For more information go to https://www.cherryred.co.ukcolin-head-111x150-111x150-1

Happy Easter to all, til next time…..

 

Bob Marley’s first gig in the UK 1972 was at De La Warr Pavilion Bexhill by Mike Curtis.

Bob-Marley CFdbAL-WoAEsWTm

live in concert in Dalymount Park on 6 July 1980. source: Eddie Mallin

cutting Bexhill Observer 8th July 1972 source: Bexhill Museum https://twitter.com/bexhillmuseum/status/601049135161171968

Mike Curtis… A bit of local music history.
1. Bob Marley and the Wailers’ first ever UK gig was at the De La Warr Pavilion.
2. Paul Simon played DLWP 30/8/1965, with Shirley Collins.
3. Paul also played at The New Inn in Sidley at around the same time.
4. Paul Robeson played at DLWP, pronouncing it to be be the best venue, acoustically, he had ever played.

Anyone lucky enough to go to any of these gigs?

Yvonne Cleland… I thought Bob Marley and the Wailers’ first ever UK gig was in Nottingham. When are you claiming they played the DLWP? Do you have any documentary or pictorial evidence please? Oh no, hang on, he toured as support for Johnny Nash first, with Wailers as backing band. Spring-Summer 1972. However, did 2 shows at Bexhill and Bexleyheath without Johnny Nash (I think). All info gratefully received plus any documentary evidence. This needs to be in Bexhill Museum archives!

Pete Fisher… Here’s the link about Bob Marley with autographed programme

http://www.bobmarleymagazine.com/2012/11/bob-marley-at-the-de-la-warr-pavillon-1972/

Yvonne Cleland… The first ever Bob Marley gig in the UK – at the DLWP: Found out more from an old newspaper at Bexhill Museum. On the bill were:- Bob Marley and the Wailers, The Equals and Johnny Nash. It was a charity event.