Kingston 1 May 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, is paying tribute to the Jamaican-born Canadian media boss, Fitzroy Gordon, who passed away on Tuesday.
Minister Grange said Gordon — who founded Canada’s only Black and Caribbean owned and operated radio station, G98.7FM — was an “outstanding promoter of Jamaican and Caribbean culture and a hero of the Black community in Toronto.”
Minister Grange said:
“Fitzroy Gordon achieved so much and made such a remarkable difference in the lives of so many people. I was always impressed by the way he dedicated his life to helping people, especially expatriates from Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean, promoting our culture and traditions, and giving a real voice to Black issues through G98.7fm.”
Minister Grange has extended condolences to Gordon’s family, friends and the Caribbean community in Canada “who will mourn this great loss.”
Kingston 7 January 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange has expressed shock and sadness at the death of entertainment entrepreneur Walt Crooks.
Minister’s Statement follows:
“Walt Crooks was part of a special team that believed that Montego Bay as a tourist destination should benefit from high class entertainment. Even while there were major annual events that took the spotlight, he offered year-round entertainment at his club, Disco Inferno, and hosted almost all of the big names in Reggae music as well as foreign acts. Disco Inferno helped to set the standard for night time club entertainment and also did very well as a live music venue.
Walt was part of the team that started Reggae Sumfest and was very committed to its growth and development.
I must pay tribute to him for his visionary approach to the music industry and his desire to see music evolve from just an art form into an economic commodity that has benefitted so many people in Western Jamaica and beyond.
He will be sorely missed.”
Mr Crooks died on Friday. He was 69.
Kingston, September 25 – Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has extended condolences to the family and close friends of iconic record producer of Channel One fame – Joseph “Joe Joe” Hoo Kim.
“He was one of a kind,” said Grange.
Hoo Kim died peacefully in the arms of his wife Joyce at his Long Island New York home last week Thursday, September 20, 2018, after a lengthy battle with cancer.
Grange said the loss of Hoo Kim signals the departure of another of our pioneers in the creation of this great art form we gave to the world called Reggae Music.
Born on Maxfield Avenue to parents of Chinese and Chinese-Jewish descent, Joe Joe went into the music business in the early 70s. He founded the Channel One Sound System before building a studio with the same name in 1972, along with younger brothers Paul, Kenneth and Ernest.
The studio worked closely with the legendary Sly Dunbar, a collaboration which was responsible for the creation of the rhythm for the Mighty Diamonds mega hit “when the right time come”. It was unique in many ways, including the introduction of a new drumming style with emphasis on the rim shots. Robbie Shakespeare later teamed up with Sly, to signal the start of perhaps Reggae’s best known and celebrated rhythm duo.
The studio band at Channel One in the 1970s was The Revolutionaries, one of the most sought-after backing bands of the time.
The label was to achieve more success with many other well-known artistes including Leroy Smart, Freddy McKay, Wailing Souls, Black Uhuru, Horace Andy, and Delroy Wilson.
Joe Joe produced the first Jamaican 12-inch single which was a mix that combined versions of “Truly” by The Jays and Ranking Trevor, sung or deejayed by a slew of recording artistes. This is a clear prototype for the modern dancehall song as it evolved over time.
Joe Joe's footprints extended to New York where he, along with wife Joyce, operated HIT BOUND, a pressing plant for vinyl records and later CDs.
Minister Grange said, “Joe Joe Hoo Kim was without question one of Jamaica’s greats of the music business. He has left behind a lasting legacy, particularly the rich Channel One catalogue, for which generations of musicians will be eternally grateful. Walk good my friend”.
The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has announced Recording Artiste Etana as the first female recipient of financial support from the Ministry’s Artiste Ambassador and Tour Support Programme.
The Honourable Olivia Grange Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport today announced Fort Rocky in Port Royal as Jamaica’s first Entertainment Zone.