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Roy Samuel Reid
I Roy
November 27, 1999
Age 55
 
Heart Failure 
 
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OBITUARY 
       
 
    
  Veteran deejay I Roy dead at 57
(American reggae singer also passes on)  
 

                BY BASIL WALTERS       JA Observer staff reporter  

                Old school deejay, I Roy, became the ninth Jamaican 
                entertainer to die this year. Last Saturday, the once 
                popular toaster took his final breath at the Spanish 
                Town Hospital after a long illness. He was 57. 

                Born Roy Samuel Reid, the veteran recording artiste 
                was, in the late 1960s, a leading exponent of what is 
                now known as "counter action" records ("tracing" 
                match). 

                One of the wittiest and perhaps the most intelligent of 
                the mike-chanters, I Roy will best be remembered for 
                his intense name-calling exchanges with rival deejay, 
                Prince Jazzbo. 

                However, in recent times, as was reported in a July 
                edition of our sister paper, ExcesS, the once 
                flambouyant entertainer virtually lived out the title of 
                his 1973 Gussie Clarke/Trojan album, Hell &  
                Sorrow. 

                In fact, his last days also epitomised the title of 
                another of his over two dozen albums, Crisis Time, 
                which he recorded for Caroline/Virgin in 1976. 

                Imagine sleeping on the streets of Spanish Town sick 
                and penniless with his only care-giver being a 
                mentally-challenged son. Add to that predicament, the 
                violent death of another son in the St Catherine 
                District Prison a mere four weeks ago, and what you 
                will get is a tale of woe. 

                Producer Gussie Clarke with whom I Roy enjoyed his 
                halcyon years, described I Roy's story as "tragic". 
                Clarke, for whom the crafty story-teller also recorded 
                Blackman Time, Tripe Girl and Magnificent 
                Seven, said: "For me he was too much of a 
                gentleman for the game he was in. And this perhaps, 
                in a way, led to his demise. (He was) One of the 
                proudest human beings who would never 
                compromise his principles." 

                And speaking from Miami, this is how veteran 
                producer, Harry Mudie remembered I Roy: "I was the 
                first producer for whom he recorded. His first tune 
                was Musical Pleasure, I would say he was one of 
                the more intelligent deejays that come out of 
                Jamaica. Very witty, he also recorded Drifter in 
                combination with Dennis Walks, Heart Don't Leap 
                and It May Sound Silly." 

                While I Roy was making his exit from this life, around 
                the same time in California, Tynsi Lyons-Tariq also 
                died, from cancer. 

                Born in Cleveland, Ohio, she was not as well known 
                as I Roy, but spent years here making a contribution 
                to Jamaica's music. 

                For 13 years, Tynsi, the name she is known by, had 
                been a regular back-up singer at studio sessions 
                providing harmony for numerous artistes. 

                She appeared with the Mutual Life Jazz Players, Jon 
                Williams and Friends. She also performed with Bunny 
                Wailer and Andrew Tosh; worked on recording 
                projects with Bunny Wailer, Black Uhuru, Mutabaruka, 
                Sly and Robbie and Julian Marley, among others. 

                She had to her credit the single Spread Selassie I 
                Teachings written by veteran percussionist Harry T 
                and the album, Do Unto Others. Also, Tynsi 
                combined her talent with deejay Natty Pablo on 
                Natural Woman, a take off from Selassie I 
                Teachings.

    
  
 
NY TIMES
        
 
 
 
 
       
 

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BIOGRAPHY
 
 
All-Music Guide
 
 Born: 28th June 1944
 
 In order to get to the origins of contemporary rap and hip-hop, one must pay attention to the permutation of reggae known as toasting. Popularized in Jamaica in the late-60s by the deejays that ran mobile sound system parties, toasting was, conceptually speaking, very simple: an existing song (preferably a popular one) was remixed, the vocal track removed and the "deejay" (a word that eventually became the all-purpose description for toasters) would improvise spoken word segments over the backing tracks. If well executed the deejay version could become as popular (sometimes more popular) than the original vocal track. The deejay often credited with inventing toasting is the great U-Roy. However, the deejay seen as his equal is the remarkable Roy Reid, a.k.a. I-Roy.  

 Born in St. Thomas, Jamaica in 1944, I-Roy's career began in his late-teens as a toaster for the sound system called Son's Junior. Under the spell of U-Roy, I-Roy (whose taken name was a tribute to the great originator of toasting) became a major figure in toasting in the early 70s along with such estimable deejays as Dennis Alcapone. It wasn't long before the success of his sound system parties convinced I-Roy to jack in his civil service job for full-time deejaying. It wasn't until 1972, after being encouraged by U-Roy, that I-Roy entered the studio to cut his own sides. The first few records weren't big hits, but over the next four years, I-Roy worked with every big name producer in Jamaica, and quickly became one of the hottest toasters to follow in the U-Roy's footsteps.  

 In 1973 I-Roy made his first trip to England and had his first few records, Presenting I-Roy and Hell & Sorrow, released in Britain to enthusiastic response. Upon returning to Jamaica he spent the rest of the 70s as a house producer at the much revered studio Channel One, while continuing to release records and deejay at dancehalls. Only recently has I-Roy's seminal 70s work been made available on compact disc, offering proof of his formidable toasting skills. And although he records infrequently these days, and his records are harder to find, I-Roy remains a reggae legend. -- John Dougan, All Music Guide 
 

 
 
  
 
 

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