Sunday, April 03, 2016
PURPLE and white were the dominant colours at the celebration for the life of Winston ‘Merritone’ Blake held at The Pavillion, Hope Botanical Gardens in St Andrew, yesterday.
The tents, the table cloths, were contrasting to the lush greenery of the gardens. “He was a true purple heart... Winston was passionate about his alma mater, Kingston College (KC), and would give his fulsome support to whatever cause he deemed beneficial to the great institution.
He embodied the KC values of courage and resilience,” said Clyde McKenzie, music industry insider and friend, in his tribute. Blake, 75, a musicologist and ‘elder’ of the sound system movement, died on February 27 at the University Hospital of the West Indies. He was 75.
“One of the lasting legacies of Winston and the Merritone clan is their role in the nationalisation of Jamaican music. In the early days of modern Jamaican music, the creative expressions of those from downton were largely excluded from uptown. Those who lived above Cross Roads consumed their music mainly through live bands — which offered largely foreign fare — while those from what is called the inner city would access their entertainment through sound systems playing recorded music.
“Merritone brought the sound system uptown under the guise of a disco.This semantic distinction might seem insignificant today; however, to have been called a sound system would have consigned it to a purely downtown existence.
It’s almost akin to the case of the violin and the fiddle. The rich play the violin and poor play the fiddle,” said McKenzie. The music industry insider said Merritone was instrumental in the careers of several musicians.
“It should be noted that the legendary Bob Marley would pay regular visits to Merritone to hand his music to Winston. more