By Baldwin S. A. Howe




There is now a sculptured bust of the late pioneering record producer and Reggae music icon, the late, Hon. Clement “Sir Coxson” Dodd, O.D.; on display on the grounds of the Studio One Recoding Studio Complex, based on recently renamed Studio One Blvd., (formerly Retirement Road).


The bust, was commissioned at a cost of $1 million, in 2007, and was created by artist, Kay Sullivan, it now looks out over the grounds of the Studio One complex, from a specially selected position under a tree which, “Sir Coxson Dodd”, while alive, would sit and contemplate his next move.


The Hon. Clement “Sir Coxson” Dodd’s bust was unveiled on Saturday afternoon, October 25.  The actual unveiling ceremony got underway and the swath of white fabric was tugged away from over the bronze statue after CHASE Fund CEO, Billy Heaven informed the gathering on the cost of commissioning the bust.  He also credited the Member of Parliament of the South St. Andrew constituency, Dr. Omar Davies for being at the forefront of the move to immortalize Clement “Sir Coxson” Dodd for his sterling contribution in the part he played in helping to create and immortalize Reggae music. The unveiling signalled the immortalization of a name already carved in ‘gold’ in the annals of recorded music history,


Mr. Heaven told the gathering that. “We have celebrated the exploits of our athletes in Beijing.  We have honoured our national heroes.  Over 100 persons had recently been awarded national honours.  And today, we are here to do this honour to this great man as well.


Mr. Heaven mentioned the fact that the artist has also done bust of Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton, Fidel Castro and Noel Nethersole, and expressed the hope that those present would not lose sight of the significance of the event.


Dr. Omar Davies, in bringing greetings included those from the former Prime Minister, the Hon. P.J. Patterson, who was once the manager of the legendary Studio One Band, The Skatalites.  During the delivery of Dr. Davies he mentioned that, “We need to bring the music to the students, so they can understand that it is not about the recent past but there is a rich history.”


The Minister of Culture, Information, Youth and Sports, the Hon. Olivia “Babsy” Grange, in addressing the gathering said in part that, “No praise can be too high for those early musicians and pioneers, including, ‘Sir Coxson” and Arthur “Duke” Reid. We may not be getting all the money we should get from all the funds generated by the music worldwide, but we are certainly getting the recognition.”


Minister Grange spoke at length about the late Alton Ellis and her personal experience during the early days of Jamaica’s recording music industry.  She commented on the fact that Roy Shirley, passed away in July, Dizzy “Johnny” Moore, in August and Alton Ellis in October.  She stated that, “It is a sign that we are at the end of an era and the beginning of a new one.”


Babsy went on to stress that it is time we all address the corrosive effects of the twin threats to the national music industry, she said: “We will all have to work towards eliminating ‘payola” and curtailing “piracy”.


The daughter of Sir Coxson Dodd, Carol, gave thanks all around while Bunny Goodison, chairman of the Studio One Foundation reminded all present of a promise made to rename Bond Street after Arthur “Duke” Reid, another pioneering record producer who was the rival of Sir Coxson Dodd and who was the owner of the once famous Treasure Isle record label.


In commenting on Sir Dodd, Mr Goodison said, Mr. Dodd was not a vain person.  Proud, but not vain.  He was aware of what he had to achieve and he knew that he had produced something imperishable, something that generations to come would cherish.”                                                                



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