JIS News

Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange has expressed regret at the passing of veteran radio disc jockey and record producer Michael ‘Mikey Dread’ Campbell, who died on Saturday.
Minister Grange recalled Mikey Dread’s bravery in challenging the status quo of Jamaican radio in the 1970s by playing the music of emerging producers, who were introducing reggae to the mainstream. She noted that it was the programme ‘Dread at the Controls’ that first led to local radio broadcasting beyond 12 midnight.
Minister Grange hailed Mikey Dread as one of the few local disc jockeys at that time, who believed enough in the local music to help it gain pride of place on the international music stage.
She noted that Mikey Dread’s work is known and respected all over the world, as he took Jamaican music to diverse places while he lived in the United Kingdom and the United States.
She said: “We often pay tribute to our performers without taking a keen look at those ‘behind the controls’. Our disc jockeys have also played an important role in defining our culture.
Without them, we would never have been exposed to much of the music and talent that have spawned our cultural evolution. The legacy of people like Mikey Dread is tremendous.
“I wish for his family, strength in this hour of need. I ask them to take comfort in the fact that his work remains testimony to the individual he was and the contribution he made to nation building.”
Mikey Dread died in Connecticut, in the United States after a six-month battle with a brain tumour.
His radio show, ‘Dread at the Controls’ aired for two years from 1977 on the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (JBC) radio station.

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