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Pon Di Wire: Randy’s Anniversary, Reggae Sumfest Announced, Junior Reid Album

Thirty years ago, on April 22, 1978, the historic One Love peace concert, headlined by Bob Marley & The Wailers, took place in Jamaica. The concert’s apex was when Marley, back in Jamaica after a two year exile, brought the country’s two political leaders–the PNP’s Michael Manley and JLP’s Edward Seaga – onstage to shake hands.

Randy’s Records, the influential record store and later studio started at 17 North Parade road in Kingston, Jamaica by Vincent “Randy” Chin, will celebrate 50 years of music this October with a three-CD set. The store and studio were the precursor to VP Records, founded when the Chin family left Jamaica for New York in the late '70s. VP is now the world’s largest reggae music label and distribution business.

Veteran singer Ken Booth celebrated his 60th birthday in New York this week. Two-thousand people packed in to the Mangoville venue to hear Booth sing and be joined by greats like John Holt, Leroy “Heptones” Sibbles, and Ed Robinson.

Junior Reid, whose new single with Jah Cure, “Hot Long Time,” has been creeping up the charts and being hammered by club DJs, has linked with Cure’s Danger Zone Music Group to release his new album, The Living Legend. One876 reports that Reid will soon release his next single, “Don't Play Me Dirty.”

The forthcoming Lee “Scratch” Perry documentary film, The Upsetter: The Life & Music of Lee Scratch Perry, will have its NYC premiere at Brooklyn Academy of Music on Saturday, July 5. The 72-year old Perry will be in attendance for the screening.

United Reggae has a nice profile of reggae indie label Dill-Ox. The label has issues a quartet of new roots riddims, including Tribute To Bim, Leading, Vet Law, and Sweet Serenade, featuring artists like Natural Black, Chezidek, Sizzla, and Al Campbell.

The Sierra Nevada World Music Festival celebrates its 15th installment this June 20-22 in Boonville, California, at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds. Headliners include Buju Banton, Wailing Souls, Mighty Diamond, Midnite, Sister Carol, U-Roy, Cornel Campbell, Yami Bolo, and more.

The 10th Annual Reggae Carifest takes place Sunday, July 6 at the USTA National Tennis Center: Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows Park, Queens, NY. Confirmed performers include Lee “Scratch” Perry, Groundation, Eek A Mouse, Midnite, and more.

The 14th annual Reggae Sumfest 2008 takes Place July 13-19 in Montego Bay. The festival line-up so far includes Beres Hammond, Buju Banton, Beenie Man, Tarrus Riley, Jah Cure, Etana, Busy Signal, Erup, Morgan Heritage, and more to be added.

Check out Duane Stephenson’s song “August Town,” currently number five on BBC 1Xtra’s reggae charts. The song rides Bob Marley’s “Jah Live” riddim and is a reflective tale about the singer’s trials and pathways in life. Big tune!

Jamaica’s Top Ten Dancehall Singles
1. Beenie Man "Wine Gal" TJ Records
2. Mavado "Gangsta Life" John John
3. Busy Signal "Pon Di Edge" Star Kutt
4. Junior Gong/Steven Marley ‘Mission’ (Warfare) Baby G
5. Mavado ‘On The Rock’
6. Mykal Rose "Shoot Out" John John
7. Demarco "Duppy Know Who Fi Frighten" John John
8. D"Angel ‘Blaze’ Arrif Cooper
9. Erup "Click My Finger" Truck Back
10. Queen I-Frica ‘Daddy Don’t Touch Me There’ No Doubt Records

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