Two United Kingdom (UK) based veteran reggae artistes have been honoured for their years in the music industry and their work in promoting reggae music in the UK.
Singers , Owen Gray and Alexander ‘Dimples’ Hinds, received special awards from the British Reggae Artiste Recognition Association at its annual Artiste to Artiste Brawta Awards Ceremony, held recently in North London.
The Artiste to Artiste awards ceremony is in its third year and was founded by musicians King Sounds, Paul Dawkins and Carol Thompson, as a means to celebrate the accomplishments and work of reggae singers and musicians in the UK, many of whom have not had any recognition for their work before.
High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (UK), His Excellency Anthony Johnson presents singer, Alexander ‘Dimples’ Hinds, with an award for his contribution to reggae music, at a recent ceremony in North London.
According to King Sounds, many of the artistes honoured have been in the business for 30 or 40 years and when they moved to the United Kingdom they paved the way for the young generation of reggae and other Jamaican singers and musicians. “We are doing this to keep their fires burning,” he told JIS news.
High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, His Excellency Anthony Johnson, who was a special guest at the awards function, praised the work of pioneering Jamaican musicians and singers in the United Kingdom.
He told the large audience that Jamaican music was a result of the fusion of Arawak, Spanish, European and African blood in the Caribbean, and that the music has produced a new vibrant civilisation that demands respect.
The High Commissioner said artistes like Owen Gray and Dimples Hinds were among those who created a new Jamaican cultural form and took it across the world.
Mr. Gray won his first talent contest at the age of nine. He attended the Alpha Boys School and was one of the first artistes to be produced by Chris Blackwell, in 1960, and his single titled ‘Patricia’ was the first record ever released by Island Records.
He moved to Britain in 1962, toured Europe extensively in the 1960s and became well known as a soul singer as well as for his Ska songs.
Alexander ‘Dimples’ Hinds was the lead singer of The Marvels which he formed in 1964 with Nell Hinds and Eddie Smith. After releasing such titles as Come to the Wedding, Don’t Cry My Love and Sonia, they were joined for a while by Hazel McCauley and Jackie Edwards, at which point they toured Europe and the Far East as a cabaret-type act.