lunes, 13 de abril de 2009


After a long month with my friend Linval Thompson and after investigating a bit on the web we find this wonderful video in which it is possible to see the Jamaican singer Roman Stewart. Linval still has me surprised to see his great friend live singing a topic that they had compound, "Rice and Peas". No doubt one of the 12 " more looked between the collectors and lovers of the Jamaican "roots" music.

Roman was the younger brother of Tinga Stewart, and recorded his first single, "Walking Down The Street" in 1968. He recorded further singles in the early 1970's for producers Derrick Harriott ("Changing Times") and Glen Brown ("Never Too Young"). In 1975 he won the Festival Song Contest with "Hooray Festival", written by Tinga and Willie Lindo, this success leading to the brothers initially being labelled as 'festival singers'. He had a big hit in Jamaica in 1976 with "Hit Song" (aka "Natty Sings Hit Songs"), a song about the desire to have a hit record in order to escape poverty, the same year in which he relocated to New York. He continued to visit Jamaica and went on to work with Phil Pratt and Linval Thompson, having another big hit in 1979 with "Rice and Peas".

Roman recorded two albums of duets with his brother Tinga, Brother to Brother and Break Down the Barrier, and released a solo album, Wisdom of Solomon, produced by Gussie P, in 2001, which included re-recordings of some of his earlier hits such as "Peace in the City" and "Rice and Peas".

On 24 January 2004, Stewart attended a concert by his long time friend Freddie McGregor in Brooklyn and performed at a party later that night. After two songs, he cut short his performance, complaining of chest pains, and died from heart failure the next day at Long Island Jewish Hospital in New Hyde Park, Long Island.