Reggae artiste Marcia Griffiths is celebrating 50 years in the music business. Marcia guested Wednesday night on “Cutting Edge” hosted by Mutabaruka on IRIE FM. Marcia sat for whole duration of “Cutting Edge” which runs from 10pm to 2am each Wednesday.
Marcia discussed her early career as a kid at Coxsone Dodd’s Studio One (during the 1960s) through to the present day. She also provided stories on her collaborations at Studio One with the likes of Tony Gregory, Bob Andy and Jeff “Free I” Dixon.
Marcia expanded on the numerous hits she achieved at Studio One (incl. “Truly“, “Feel Like Jumping“). But lamented that due to her naivety of the music business then she never received any royalties. Just patties for lunch.
She also elaborated on her developing career in the 1970s at various Jamaican studios including Harry Js, Lloyd Chalmers and Sonia Pottinger’s High Note label where Marcia made the albums “Steppin” and “Dreamland”
There was some much love, warmth, cake and laughter during Muta’s interview with Marcia. When Marcia sang a few lines of one of her love songs Muta said to her “mi never know you luv mi so”.
Marcia described how the I Threes (with Rita Marley & Judy Mowatt) was formed and why she gave the group its official name. She mentioned how in those early tours the I Threes did with Bob Marley and the Wailers in Europe; that she was the more recognisable figure to the audiences than Bob Marley due to her earlier hit (with Bob Andy) ” Young, Gifted and Black“.
Marcia said she learnt from Bob Marley importance of taking the music business seriously. As she had admired Marley’s attention to detail on record productions and contract/publishing negotiations.
Muta did mention to Marcia that it was Bob Andy that first took him to a recording studio which catapulted his career as a poet. Muta also felt that Bob Andy was the best songwriter to come out of Jamaica.
Marcia explained that while touring North America she was down to her last $800 and she bought a rhythm box in Toronto. She showed the rhythm box to Bunny Wailer who was so impressed with the kit that the two collaborated to produce her most successful song to date – Electric Boogie”. The stories from Marcia kept coming at breakneck speed during the 4 hour interview.
Marcia talked about a time during the 1970s, when she was going through some rough patches, she met the man who became her partner and soulmate- the disc jockey Errol “E T” Thompson. Hard to believe its over 30 years since ET was killed.
It was such an excellent and informative interview. Thanks to the mutual love, humour, and honesty between Marcia and Muta.
Marcia Griffiths longevity and versatility has been one of the great chapters in reggae. The full interview is worth a listen. Knowing IRIE FM the podcast of the show may come at a small cost. Hope not.