Gregory Anthony Isaacs
Born July 15, 1950, Fletchers Land, Kingston, Jamaica
Died October 25, 2010, London, UK
Isaacs became a veteran of talent contests in Jamaica during his teenage years. Winston Sinclair made his recording debut in 1968 with the single “Another Heartache”, for producer Byron Lee. With poor sales, Isaacs teamed up with Errol Dunkley to launch the African Museum record label and shop, and soon had a massive hit with “My Only Lover”, credited as the first lovers rock record ever. In the three years that followed, he scored a string of hits, ranging from ballads to roots reggae, including “All I Have Is Love”, “Lonely Soldier”, “Black a Kill Black”, “Extra Classic,” and a cover of “Loving Pauper.”. In 1974, he began working with producer Alvin Ranglin, and that year he landed his first Jamaican no. 1 single with “Love Is Overdue.”.
Isaacs recorded for many of Jamaica’s top producers during the 1970s, including Winston “Niney” Holness, Gussie Clarke(“My Time”), Lloyd Campbell (“Slavemaster”), Glen Brown (“One One Coco”), Harry Mudie, Roy Cousins, Sydney Crooks and Lee “Scratch” Perry (“Mr. Cop”). By the late-1970s, Isaacs was one of the biggest reggae performers in the world, regularly touring the US and the UK, and only challenged by Dennis Brown and Bob Marley. Between 1977 and 1978, Isaacs again teamed up with Alvin Ranglin, recording a string of hits including “Border” and “Number One” for Ranglin’s GG’s label.
He opened the Cash and Carry shop at 118 Orange Street, later moving to no. 125, next door to Prince Buster‘s Record Shack, which was also the base for the Cash and Carry record label that he ran with Trevor “Leggo” Douglas.