Bunny Rugs

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Bunny Rugs
BunnyRugs.jpg
Pictured in 2009
Background information
Birth name William Alexander Anthony Clarke
Also known as Bunny Scott
Born (1948-02-06)6 February 1948
Mandeville, Jamaica
Origin Kingston, Jamaica
Died 2 February 2014(2014-02-02) (aged 65)
Orlando, Florida, United States
Genres Reggae
Years active Mid-1960s–2014
Associated acts Charlie Hackett and the Souvenirs
Inner Circle
Hugh Hendricks and the Buccaneers
The Bluegrass Experience
Bunny & Ricky
Third World

William Alexander Anthony "Bunny Rugs" Clarke (6 February 1948 – 2 February 2014), also known as Bunny Scott, was the lead singer of Jamaican reggae band Third World as well as recording as a solo artist. He began his career in the mid-1960s and was also at one time a member of Inner Circle and half of the duo Bunny & Ricky.

Biography[edit]

Born in Mandeville and raised on John's Lane in Kingston, Clarke's father was an Anglican preacher.[1] He joined Charlie Hackett and the Souvenirs, the resident band at the Kittymat Club on Maxfield Avenue, in the mid-1960s before leading the early line-up of Inner Circle in 1969.[2] A spell living in New York City followed from 1971 where he was a member of the dance band Hugh Hendricks and the Buccaneers, and later the Bluegrass Experience with Glen Adams, Eric Frater and Sparrow Martin.[1][3] He returned to Jamaica in 1974 and recorded with Lee "Scratch" Perry at the Black Ark, initially as a backing singer, then with Leslie Kong's nephew Ricky Grant as the duo Bunny & Ricky, releasing singles such as "Freedom Fighter" and "Bushweed Corntrash", and also recording the solo album To Love Somebody (1975, credited as Bunny Scott).[1] He was also a member of The Wild Bunch before returning to New York and taking over as lead singer of Third World from Milton "Prilly" Hamilton in 1976.[3] With Third World he recorded the successful 96° in the Shade album, and was with the band until his death in early 2014[3] He returned to the Black Ark in 1977, contributing backing vocals (with Earl 16) to Yabby You's "Chant Down Babylon Kingdom".[1]

As well as performing and recording with Third World, he continued to record as a solo artist, releasing the Jack Scorpio-produced Talking to You album in 1995, with guest contributions from Papa San, Cobra and General Trees.[3][4]

His planned 2008 album Thinking Bout You was due to be released on 6 February, to coincide with Bob Marley Day celebrations, the date also being Clarke's birthday.[5] He contributed to the Easy Star's Lonely Hearts Dub Band album in 2009, contributing a version of "Lovely Rita" recorded with U-Roy.

In 2012 he released the single "Land We Love", with profits going to the charities the Jamaican Children's Heart Fund (the charity for which he was a spokesman) and Chain of Hope.[6] The single was taken from the album Time, released in September 2012.[6][7] Later that year he received a Caribbean American Heritage Award for Outstanding Contribution to Reggae.[8]

Health problems forced him to miss some of the shows on Third World's fortieth anniversary tour in 2013, and he confirmed that he had been diagnosed with cancer.[9] In early 2014 he was hospitalised in Orlando, Florida, where he was treated for leukaemia, and died on 2 February at the age of 65.[9][10][11] A memorial service later that month included tributes from Minister of Youth and Culture Lisa Hanna, opposition culture spokesperson Olivia Grange, and former Prime Minister P.J. Patterson.[12] He is survived by his wife and eight children.[13]

Clarke explained that his 'Bunny Rugs' nickname came from his grandmother calling him 'Bunny' as a child because he would "jump around the house like a rabbit" and from a member of the Third World road crew calling him 'Rugs' because of his liking for sleeping on the floor.[14]

Discography[edit]

See also Third World

Albums[edit]

  • To Love Somebody (1975), Klik – as Bunny Scott
  • Talking to You (1995), Greensleeves/Shanachie
  • Bunny Rugs on Soul (2000), DFP Music
  • What a World (2006), Elite Music Group
  • I'm Sure (2007), CED
  • Time (2012), VPAL
Compilations
  • Timeless Classics (2011)

Singles[edit]

  • "Let Love Touch Us Now"/"I Am I Said" (1982), Black Ark International – 12-inch, credited as 'Bunny Rags'
  • "Be Thank Full" (19??), Belleville International
  • "War, War, War" (198?), Black Scorpio
  • "Bridges Instead" (1990), Two Friends – 12-inch, Shabba Ranks featuring Bunny Rugs
  • "Here Comes Rudie" (1991), Exterminator – Gregory Isaacs & Bunny Rugs
  • "Rude Boy" (1991), Xterminator – Tony Rebel, Gregory Isaacs, and Bunny Rugs
  • "If I Follow My Heart" (1993), Tuff Gong
  • "I'm The Ghetto" (1993), Leggo
  • "Stand By Me" (1994), Shanachie – Bunny Rugs & Papa San
  • "Stand By Me" (1994), Black Scorpio – Papa San & Bunny Rugs, B-side of Papa San's "Girls Every Day"
  • "Now That We've Found Love" (1995), Greensleeves – 12-inch
  • "Now That We Found Love" (1995), Black Scorpio – featuring Sean Paul
  • "Now That We Found Love" (1995), Shanachie
  • "Apartheid No!"
  • "I'll Be There" (2002), Joe Frasier
  • "What a World" (2004), Raw Edge
  • "Marcus Garvey" (2004), Mister Tipsy
  • "Writings on the Wall" (2005), Elogic Music Group – Wayne Marshall & Bunny Rugs
  • "Now That We've Found Love" (2006), CED – CD maxi single
  • "World Today" (2007), Hyper-Active Entertainment
  • "Down in the Ghetto" (2007), TaxiBounty Killer & Bunny Rugs
  • "Satamassagana" (20??), Coptic Lion – featuring Tappa Zukie
  • Excerpts from the album Time EP (2011)
  • "Big May" (2012), Black Swan/Trojan
  • "Land We Love" (2012)
With Bunny & Ricky
  • "Freedom Fighter" (1974), Black Art
  • "Bushweed Corntrash" (1975), Black Art
With Marcia Griffiths
  • "Really Together" (2010), Marcia Griffiths and Friends
  • "Sense Of Purpose" (2010), Marcia Griffiths and Friends
  • "It's Not Funny" (2010), Marcia Griffiths and Friends

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Katz, David (2006) People Funny Boy: The Genius of Lee "Scratch" Perry, Omnibus Press, ISBN 978-1846094439, p. 217, 218
  2. ^ "Bunny Rugs: Third World frontman became reggae superstar", Sydney Morning Herald, 14 February 2014. Retrieved 15 February 2014
  3. ^ a b c d Moskowitz, David V. (2006) Caribbean Popular Music: an Encyclopedia of Reggae, Mento, Ska, Rock Steady, and Dancehall, Greenwood Press, ISBN 0-313-33158-8, p. 44-5
  4. ^ Barrow, Steve & Dalton, Peter (2004) The Rough Guide to Reggae, 3rd edn., Rough Guides, ISBN 1-84353-329-4, p. 323
  5. ^ Cooke, Mel (2008) "Bunny Rugs to release new 'birthday' album", Jamaica Gleaner, 15 January 2008, retrieved 7 September 2012
  6. ^ a b Walters, Hasani (2012) "Singing For Charity – Bunny Rugs' Charity Effort Released Yesterday", Jamaica Gleaner, 29 August 2012, retrieved 7 September 2012
  7. ^ Repynolds, Athaliah (2008) "Open heart surgeries save six 'little' lives", Jamaica Gleaner, 8 November 2008, retrieved 7 September 2012
  8. ^ Walters, Basil (2012) "Bunny Rugs to get US award", Jamaica Observer, 14 November 2012. Retrieved 17 November 2012
  9. ^ a b Walters, Basil (2014) "Bunny Rugs on the mend", Jamaica Observer, 30 January 2014. Retrieved 31 January 2014
  10. ^ Silvera, Janet (2014) "Third World Lead Singer Bunny Rugs Is Dead", Jamaica Gleaner, 3 February 2014. Retrieved 3 February 2014
  11. ^ Campbell, Howard (2014) "Death of a Reggae Ambassador", Jamaica Observer, 4 February 2014. Retrieved 5 February 2014
  12. ^ Brooks, Sadeke (2014) "Heart-Felt Tributes For Bunny Rugs Farewell", Jamaica Gleaner, 25 February 2014. Retrieved 25 February 2014
  13. ^ "William 'Bunny Rugs' Clarke, Reggae Ambassador, Dead at 65 | SPIN | Newswire". SPIN. Retrieved 8 February 2014. 
  14. ^ "Third World (Bunny Rugs) – Couleur Cafe 07/2005", Rebel Base, retrieved 7 September 2012