jimmy cliff

"Fullest portrait yet of one of reggae's icons."
—Amazon customer review

Jimmy Cliff

An Unauthorised Biography

David Katz

One of Jamaica’s most prolific and innovative performers and a recent inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Jimmy Cliff has been hailed as the first true superstar of Jamaican music. As a uniquely talented singer-songwriter, he is one of the first artists responsible for disseminating reggae music to a global audience. With over 25 studio albums to his name, Cliff is the only living musician to hold the Order of Merit for his contributions to Jamaican culture. But the road to international acclaim has not been a straightforward one. Born James Chambers into an underdeveloped country town near Jamaica’s north coast, Cliff has battled poverty, controversy and prejudice indeed, his starring role as Ivan in the ground-breaking film The Harder They Come drew on aspects of Jimmy’s own youthful experiences. In this unauthorised biography, David Katz draws on extensive interviews conducted with the artist and his peers, as well as press archives and other sources, to give a unique insight into the maturing of a man, a talent and a nation.

Born in San Francisco but long resident in London, David Katz is author of People Funny Boy: The Genius of Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and Solid Foundation: An Oral History of Reggae. He also contributed to the Rough Guide to Reggae, A Tapestry of Jamaica, and Keep On Running: The Story of Island Records. Over the last 25 years, Katz’s writing and photographs have appeared in many international periodicals and music books, and he has co-ordinated and annotated over 100 retrospective collections of Jamaican music. He has also co-hosted reggae radio programmes on three continents, released original records in the UK and France, and contributed to various radio and television documentaries and feature films, while his Dub Me Always deejay nights continue to be a regular feature of London’s musical nightlife.

Caribbean Lives Series

£9.99 paperback

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2011
272 pages
ISBN: 9781904955962