Lee "Scratch" Perry

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Lee "Scratch" Perry
Background information
Birth nameRainford Hugh Perry
Also known asPipecock Jackxon
The Upsetter
Born(1936-03-20)20 March 1936
Kendal, Jamaica
Died29 August 2021(2021-08-29) (aged 85)
Lucea, Jamaica
GenresReggae, dub, ska, rocksteady, drum and bass
Years active1958–2021

Lee "Scratch" Perry (born Rainford Hugh Perry, 20 March 1936 – 29 August 2021)[1] is a musician, who was influential in the movement and acceptance of reggae and dub music in Jamaica and overseas. He had many pseudonyms, such as Pipecock Jackxon and The Upsetter.

Career[change | change source]

Perry's musical life began in the late 1950s as a record seller for Clement Coxsone Dodd's sound system. As his sometimes bad relationship with Dodd developed, he found himself doing a variety of important tasks at Dodd's Studio One hit factory, going on to record nearly thirty songs for the label.[1] Disagreements between the pair due to personality and financial problems, a now normal theme throughout Perry's career, led him to leave the studio and seek new musical outlets. He soon found a new home at Joe Gibbs's Amalgamated Records.[1]

Working with Gibbs, Perry carried on his recording career but, once again, financial problems caused problems. Perry broke ranks with Gibbs and formed his own label, Upsetter, in 1968. His first single "People Funny Boy", which was an insult directed at Gibbs, sold well with 60,000 copies sold in Jamaica alone. It is notable for its innovative use of a sample (a crying baby) as well as a fast, chugging beat that would soon become identifiable as "reggae" (the new kind of sound which was given the name "Steppers"). From 1968 until 1972 he worked with his studio band The Upsetters. During the 1970s, Perry released many recordings on a variety of record labels that he founded, and many of his songs were popular in both Jamaica and the UK. He soon became known for his unique production types as well as his mad character.[1]

Death[change | change source]

Perry died at a hospital in Lucea, Jamaica on 29 August 2021, aged 85.[2]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. pp. 738–741. ISBN 1-84195-017-3.
  2. "Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, visionary master of reggae, dies aged 85", The Guardian, 29 August 2021. Retrieved 29 August 2021.

Other websites[change | change source]