Anti-drug campaign among events to mark anniversary of Gregory Isaacs’s death

(Jamaica Observer) Tuesday, October 25, 2010 will be forever etched in the memory of the fans of late reggae singer Gregory Isaacs.

It’s the day when they lost the man who had dished out some memorable numbers such as Hard Drugs, Love Is Overdue, Night Nurse and Meet Me At The Border.


But for widow June Isaacs, it is more than that, she lost the love of her life. One year later, she says “It has been a hard year, he is gone but never forgotten. He left a void that will never be filled, but he has left a legacy that will live from generation to generation.

To commemorate his passing, June Isaacs will be teaming up with music producer Tad Dawkins to launch a drug awareness campaign in memory of her late husband who himself battled drugs throughout his career.

Commenting on her reasoning behind this, she acknowledged that it was an established fact that Gregory was using drugs.

“Everyone knew he was a user and with this message coming directly from him to the youths in a genuine way. I thought I would highlight it and especially at this time when we are looking towards drug awareness month in November,” she said.

June’s strategy to get Gregory’s message across will be to edit some audio and video comments from her late husband about his own drug abuse to use in her campaign. This, she hopes, will encourage both adults and kids to stay off drugs.

That will not be the only activity taking place on Isaacs’s memorial as Tad’s Records — a label he has recorded many numbers on will be officially releasing the double disc album — a partnership between his and Isaac’s African Museum album entitled Gregory Isaacs — The African Museum & Tad’s Collection Vol II.

This a two-disc collector’s item features over 40 singles from Isaacs’s impressive catalogue including My Number One, Front Door, Tune In, Slavemaster and his 1982 international hit Night Nurse.

In memory of Isaacs, who died of lung cancer on October 25 last year, Tad’s and African Museum will donate a portion of the album’s sales to the Gregory Isaacs Foundation, founded on July 15 of this year, which would have been Isaacs’ 60th birthday. The foundation will support basic education and children’s charities in Jamaica.

“The foundation will be offering assistance to the St Barnabas Basic School in Fletcher’s Land, the first school Gregory attended. We will be donating two toilets and a basin for the bathroom,” says June Isaacs, adding that the foundation will also be “donating school supplies and maybe a computer to Black Harmony Basic School in St Catherine, and clothes and groceries to the Walkers Place of Safety in Kingston, which were institutions that Gregory assisted in his lifetime.”

Also celebrating Isaacs’s life through recording is VP Records, who teamed up with Dean Frazer for the compilation album We Remember Gregory which sees various artistes singing specially selected Gregory tunes by Fraser.

“I selected those songs I thought were classics,” said Fraser about his choice which sees artistes such as Tarrus Riley, Alaine, Natel, Hezron, Chevaughn, Etana, Cherine Anderson, Jah Cure and Gyptian adding their voices to the project.

Among the songs that will be featured on We Remember Gregory are Night Nurse, Love Is Overdue, Mr Brown and Tune In.

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