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Johnny Nash

Posted by rooschrock on May 21, 2009

Johnny Nash picJohn Lester Nash, Jr, was born, August 19, 1940, in Houston Texas, was the first non-Jamaican to record reggae music in Jamaica. Nash is a pop singer/songwriter, who is best known for his 1972 hit, “I Can See Clearly Now”. Nash began his career as a pop singer in the 1950’s as well as doing some acting in the screen version of “Take a Giant Step”. He won a Silver Sail Award for his performance, presented to him, by the Locarno International Film Festival.

Nash recorded several hits in Jamaica, in early 1968, as his girlfriend at the time, had links to local television and radio host, Neville Willoughby. Nash planned on breaking the local rock steady sound in the United States. Willoughby introduced him to a local struggling vocal group, The Wailers, Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh helped Nash transition to the local music scene. Nash signed all three to an exclusive publishing and recording contract with his JAD label and financed some of their recordings, some with Byron Lee’s Dragonaires and some with other local musicians such as Jackie Jackson and Lynn Taitt. None of the Marley and Tosh songs he produced were successful. Only two singles were released at the time: “Bend Down Low” and “Reggae on Broadway”, which was recorded in London on the same sessions that produced “I Can See Clearly Now.”

Nash was also an active composer in the Swedish romance Vill så gärna tro in which he portrayed Robert. The film soundtrack, partly instrumental reggae with strings, was co-composed by Bob Marley and arranged by Fred Jordan.

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