12 Oct Born a winner… Freddie McGregor
Do you remember what you did at age 7?
Most likely not much more than going to school, doing homework, spend time with your friends and hoping for your favourite meal for dinner.
Well, I know exactly what Freddie McGregor was doing – He started his career in music singing backing vocals for The Clarendonians and Clement “Coxsone” Dodd at Studio One in the early 60s!
Freddie subsequently teamed up with Ernest “Fitzroy” Wilson, one of the former members of The Clarendonians and formed the duo “Freddie & Fitzroy” before kicking off his solo career.
He developed a very unique Philly-Soul vocal style and started writing his own songs like “Go Away Pretty Woman”, “Tomorrow Is Like Today”, and “What Difference Does It Make”.
His outstanding single “Big Ship” and the following LP with the same title from 1982 was not only a big success but assured his place in the Reggae scene among other icons like Dennis Brown and Gregory Isaacs.
Freddie soon gained the attention of international audiences in the UK and America with his album “Come On Over” and later on with the approachable “Across The Border”.
When Dancehall was emerging in the 80s Freddie could show once more that he is multi-facetted and that he has come to stay. His hit “Push Comes To Shove” of the album “All In The Same Boat” entered the UK charts by storm in ’86.
The hits continued with “That Girl” and a cover of The Main Ingredient’s “Just Don’t Want to Be Lonely”.
Next up for “Di Captain” was his latest adventure – his own record label – Big Ship.
Freddie continued to deliver album after album, including a series of cover versions called “Jamaican Classics”.
He collaborated with Dennis Brown and Cocoa Tea for “Legit” and produced Luciano’s acclaimed album “After All”.
Freddie’s soulful voice and mix of Lover’s Rock and Roots with touches of Dancehall on “Anything For You” resulted in a Grammy nomination in 2002.
His passion and talent for music fell on fertile ground with his children. His son Stephen “Di Genius” (himself now a Grammy winning producer) was working with him on “Di Captain”.
And 55 years after his first studio session at Studio One he is still in the game.
We are honoured to have Freddie performing as part of Bass2018 all the way from Jamaica. Don’t miss this very unique acoustic set at The Jam House in Birmingham on the 24th of this month!
Written by Rebecca Raum