Saluting A True Legend…Prince Buster

The sad news of Prince Buster’s death has truly shocked us here at MusicalHeatWave.We knew he had suffered a stroke not long ago and was wheelchair bound. Prince Buster is without doubt one of the most important figure of our music, from SKA TO ROCK STEADY and beyond, his influence on the late 70’s UK music scene which saw the resurgence of Ska/rocksteady is well documented and celebrated.

Prince Buster is highly regarded as the Father of Ska. Daddy Ranks and I Norman Gentles became friends with the legendary singer in the early 80’s when we sought him out after one of his early albums was re-release without his permission and we brought this to his attention, it seems he was deeply appreciative of us looking out for his interest.

Since then Ranks and I would always be welcomed by Prince Buster just to chill and hear him talk about the early days of the business and how as ‘a bwoy to them other big men in the business’ he was able to hold his own, The one time body guard and boxer and self confessed rude boy got his break by providing protection for Coxsone’s sound system Coxsone’s Downbeat.

Not one for bragging about his exploits and run-ins with rival rudeboys and the ability to take and give beatings.

Prince from time to time would ask myself or Ranks to feel the indentation in the back of his head as he talked about being ‘tough like iron’ as he defended himself and his people ‘Prince often referred to as THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE defended his people from oppression and poverty through his music.

“My music was about informing and bringing attention to the living condition that we were going through”Ihave always been a servant of the people,that’s why i am respected by them as i also respect the people”.

Prince Buster was one of the first sound system operator to play Jamaican Produced Recordings,The young prince Buster took on the might of Coxsone and Duke Reid whom he regular talked to us about’they would send rude boys to come an mash up my dance but i wasn’t easily intimidated and i had to show them say i no ‘fraid a dem’ In Judge Dread, Prince plays the role of a magistrate sentencing rude boys for “shooting black people”.

As a producer Prince was quite creative,he talked about not having the funds to hire horn players for a session and not one to give up used his mouth to simulate the the brass sounds (Burkes’Law)and using Hand Claps and bottles as percussion.

The Prince was one of the first producer to record rastafarians drumming.Awarded the Order Of Distinction by The Jamaican Government in 2001 for his contribution to music.

Muscalheatwave’s Daddy Ranks/Norman Gentles proud to say it’s a privilege and honour to have known Cecil Bustamante Campbell a proud Black Man.


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