Marcia Griffiths

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Marcia Griffiths
Ruhr Reggae Summer Muelheim 2016 Marcia Griffiths 05.jpg
Marcia Griffiths at Ruhr Reggae Summer 2016
Background information
Birth name Marcia Llyneth Griffiths
Born (1949-11-23) 23 November 1949 (age 67)
Kingston, Jamaica
Genres Reggae
Roots reggae
Occupation(s) Vocalist
Years active 1964–present
Associated acts The Wailers
I Threes
Bob and Marcia
Marcia Griffiths (right) with the I Threes

Marcia Llyneth Griffiths (born 23 November 1949)[1][2] is a Jamaican singer. One reviewer described her by noting "she is known primarily for her strong, smooth-as-mousse love songs and captivating live performances".[1]

Biography[edit]

Born in West Kingston, Jamaica, Griffiths started her career in 1964, performing on stage with Byron Lee and the Dragonaires at the behest of Phillip James of The Blues Busters, who had heard her singing in her home neighbourhood.[3][4] Her performance was sufficiently impressive that the following day Ronnie Nasralla and Clement Dodd both offered her recording contracts.[4] She chose to record for Dodd's Studio One label, where she recorded a series of duets with male singers such as Tony Gregory ("You're Mine"), Bob Marley ("Oh My Darling"), Jeff Dixon ("Words"), and Bob Andy ("Always Together"), with whom she would have a relationship lasting several years.[4] In 1968 she had her first success as a solo artist, with "Feel Like Jumping", which like her other early Studio One solo hits (including "Truly" and "Melody Life"), were written by Andy.[3][4]

From 1970 to 1974 she worked together with Bob Andy as a duo (Bob and Marcia), on the Harry J label.[4] She also recorded for Lloyd Charmers.[4]

Between 1974 and 1981 she was a member of the I Threes, a trio of backing singers, which supported Bob Marley & the Wailers.[1] She continued to record as a solo artist throughout the 1970s, working with producers such as Sonia Pottinger, and Joseph Hoo Kim.[3]

In 1983, she released her re-recording of the Bunny Wailer song "Electric Boogie", originally recorded and released by Wailer in 1976. Although the 1983 version became a minor hit for Griffiths, the song was remixed in 1989, and it was this version that made the Electric Slide, a line dance, an international dance craze.[3][4] It reached number 51 on the US Billboard Hot 100, making it her most successful single.[1] It remains the highest-selling single by a female reggae singer of all time.[5] She has more recently had further hits with producer Donovan Germain.[3]

She had two children with JBC disc jockey Errol Thompson, and raised them alone after his death in 1983.[3]

Griffiths was featured on the album True Love by Toots and the Maytals, which won the Grammy Award in 2004 for Best Reggae Album, and showcased many notable musicians including Willie Nelson, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Trey Anastasio, Gwen Stefani / No Doubt, Ben Harper, Bonnie Raitt, Manu Chao, The Roots, Ryan Adams, Keith Richards, Toots Hibbert, Paul Douglas, Jackie Jackson, Ken Boothe, and The Skatalites.[6]

A Brazilian documentary film about Griffiths, Reggae Meets Samba, was in production as of December 2013.[7]

In January 2014 she announced that as part of her fifitieth year in the music business she would be releasing an album of cover versions, Songs That Inspire Me, Songs I Love to Sing, recorded with Germain.[8]

In August 2014 it was announced that Griffiths would received the Jamaican Order of Distinction (Commander class) in October that year.[9]

Discography[edit]

  • Sweet Bitter Love (1974)
  • Naturally (1978)
  • Steppin (1979)
  • Rock My Soul (1984)
  • Marcia (1988)
  • Carousel (1990)
  • Indomitable (1995)
  • Land Of Love (1997)
  • Collectors Series (1998)
  • Truly (1998)
  • Certified (1999)
  • Reggae Max (2003)
  • Shining Time (2005)
  • Melody Life (2007)
  • Marcia Griffiths & Friends (2012)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Biography by Roger Steffens". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 29 July 2011. 
  2. ^ Other sources, e.g. Campbell-Livingston (2012), state that she was 61 in 2012, while the Gleaner article from January 2014 states that she was aged nine in 1964.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Campbell-Livingston, Cecelia (2012), "Truly outstanding: Looking at the amazing career of Marcia Griffiths", Jamaica Observer, 3 October 2012. Retrieved 11 October 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Marcia Griffiths Enjoys 50 Of The Best", Jamaica Gleaner, 26 January 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2014
  5. ^ Richard Burnett, "Reggae queen Marcia Griffiths on Bob Marley and the role of women in reggae", Montreal Gazette, 16 May 2013.
  6. ^ Toots and the Maytals. tootsandthemaytals.net. Web. “True Love - Linear Notes". Retrieved 9 November 2016.
  7. ^ Campbell-Livingston, Cecelia (2013), "Marcia Griffiths's musical journey for docu-film", Jamaica Observer, 12 December 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  8. ^ Morgan, Simone (2014), "Marcia hails heroes", Jamaica Observer, 28 January 2014. Retrieved 31 January 2014.
  9. ^ Campbell, Howard (2014), "Marcia Griffiths to receive Order of Distinction", Jamaica Observer, 7 August 2014. Retrieved 10 August 2014.

External links[edit]