Jamaica Gleaner) Yesterday Gregory Anthony Isaacs, who succumbed to lung cancer on October 25 last year, would have been 61. A number of activities have been planned to commemorate the occasion, his widow June told The Gleaner.
One of those was a memorial service at his gravesite at Dovecot, St Catherine, where a headstone was laid.
Clergy from the Ethiopian Orthodox Church presided and master percussionist Bongo Herman paid tribute in a one-hour drumming session.
The official launch of the Gregory Isaacs Foundation took place at the late singer’s home at 15A Sunrise Crescent, St Andrew.
Mrs. Isaacs explained that the foundation would carry on the charity work done by the ‘Cool Ruler’ over the years.
She also disclosed that demand for the late entertainer’s music has prompted a number of compilation albums, including a double CD titled All I Have Is Love, which was put out by Tad’s International and covers music recorded by Isaacs between 1968 and 1995.
Another anthology slated to be done by VP Records will take up where that one left off, from 1995 to the present, and will include a bonus DVD of the singer performing in London.
In addition, saxophonist extraordinaire Dean Fraser also has an album in the works on which various contemporary artistes cover Isaacs’s music.
Meanwhile, Isaacs, along with Beres Hammond and Errol ‘E.T.’ Webster, will be honoured at Reggae Sumfest slated forMontego Bayfrom July 17-23. According to Wayne Armond, guitarist/vocalist for the band Chalice, the tribute was long overdue since to date the depth of his skills as singer/songwriter had been overlooked.
“He was one of the those guys who was a spontaneous songwriter. He wrote a lot for his songs on the spot and that’s what made him special,” Armond said in an earlier interview.
The Gregory Isaacs Foundation will carry on, in a more structured way, the wide-ranging charity work done by the Cool Ruler over the years, with children in particular benefiting from the kindness of the father of 12.