Uziah Thompson

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Uziah "Sticky" Thompson
Also known as Cool Sticky
Born (1936-08-01)1 August 1936
Mannings Mountain, Jamaica
Died 25 August 2014(2014-08-25) (aged 78)
Miami, Florida, United States
Genres Ska, rocksteady, reggae
Occupation(s) Deejay, musician, record producer
Instruments Percussion, drums
Years active Late 1950s–2014
Associated acts The Revolutionaries, Jimmy Cliff, Black Uhuru

Uziah "Sticky" Thompson (1 August 1936 – 25 August 2014) was a Jamaican percussionist, vocalist and deejay active from the late 1950s. He worked with some of the best known performers of Jamaican music and played on hundreds of albums.

Biography[edit]

Thompson was born the third of five children in rural Mannings Mountain, Jamaica on 1 August 1936.[1] Due to his family's poverty he was unable to complete his education and moved to Kingston at the age of 15 in search of work.[1]

Thompson found employment with Clement "Coxsone" Dodd, assisting him with running his sound system, in time becoming a deejay with the system under the name "Cool Sticky". He became one of the earliest men to record in the new deejay style, using his mouth to make clicks and other percussive sounds. As a deejay he recorded with The Skatalites and can be heard on the tracks "Ball of Fire", "El Pussy Cat Ska", "Guns of Navarone", as well as others. While working for Dodd he became friends with Lee "Scratch" Perry, and Thompson recorded as a deejay for Perry, and for Joe Gibbs in the late 1960s, on tracks such as "Train to Soulsville".[1]

Thompson rose to prominence as an instrumentalist in the early 1970s, beginning with a session by The Wailers for Perry in 1970,[1] soon becoming one of Jamaica's top percussionists.[2] He became a regular session musician in several studios, including playing as a member of Gibbs' house band The Revolutionaries,[3] recording prolifically throughout the 1970s and 1980s, and appearing on recordings by artists including Big Youth, Dennis Brown, The Congos, Culture (including Two Sevens Clash), Peter Tosh, Burning Spear (Dry and Heavy), Yabby You (Beware Dub), and The Wailing Souls.[2][4][5] He performed as part of the live bands of several artists including Jimmy Cliff (playing on the 1976 album In Concert and playing in his Oneness band).[2][6] In the 1980s, Thompson was a regular member of Black Uhuru, playing on their early 1980s albums Sinsemilla, Red, Chill Out, and Dub Factor.[2]

Thompson continued to play regularly on studio sessions for artists such as Bunny Wailer, Grace Jones (as a member of the Compass Point All Stars),[7] The Tom Tom Club, Gregory Isaacs, and Ziggy Marley throughout the 1980s and 1990s.[8] More recently he recorded with Stephen Marley (the Grammy-winning Mind Control),[9] Sinéad O'Connor,[10] and Michael Franti.[11]

Thompson remained active in the Jamaican music industry. In the 2000s he moved into production,[2] and toured the world with Ziggy Marley's band. He died on 25 August 2014, aged 78, at his Miami, Florida home after suffering a heart attack.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Katz, David (2000) People Funny Boy: The Genius of Lee "Scratch" Perry, Payback Press; ISBN 0-86241-854-2, pp. 54, 113.
  2. ^ a b c d e Moskowitz, David V. (2006) Caribbean Popular Music: an Encyclopedia of Reggae, Mento, Ska, Rock Steady, and Dancehall, Greenwood Press; ISBN 0-313-33158-8, pp. 294–95.
  3. ^ Bradley, Lloyd (2000) This Is Reggae Music, Grove Press; ISBN 0-8021-3828-4, p. 358.
  4. ^ Campbell, Howard (2009) "Hand drummers take centre stage", Jamaica Gleaner, 29 September 2009; retrieved 21 March 2010.
  5. ^ Grass, Randall (2009) Great Spirits: Portraits of Life-changing World Music Artists, University Press of Mississippi; ISBN 978-1-60473-240-5, p. 193.
  6. ^ Thompson, Dave (2002) Reggae & Caribbean Music, Backbeat Books; ISBN 0-87930-655-6, p. 78.
  7. ^ O'Brien, Glenn (1987) "Platter du Jour: Grace Jones – Inside Story", SPIN, January 1987; retrieved 21 March 2010.
  8. ^ Campbell, Howard (2014) "Life after 'Sticky': Remembering percussionist 'Sticky' Thompson", Jamaica Observer, 31 August 2014. Retrieved 31 August 2014
  9. ^ "Tuff Gong celebrates Ziggy, Stephen Grammy wins", Jamaica Observer, 13 March 2010; retrieved 21 March 2010.
  10. ^ Cooke, Mel (2005) "Sinead presents 'Rasta record'", Jamaica Gleaner, 10 August 2005, retrieved 21 March 2010.
  11. ^ Campbell, Howard (2009) "Journeyman Michael Franti finds right formula in Kingston", Jamaica Gleaner, 22 November 2009; retrieved 21 March 2010.
  12. ^ Campbell, Howard (2014) ""Uzziah 'Sticky' Thompson dies", Jamaica Observer, 27 August 2014; retrieved 28 August 2014.

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