By Baldwin S. A. Howe
Reggae Times regrets to have to report that veteran musician and bandleader, Byron Lee is dead. He died yesterday at the
Byron Lee, considered a shrewd and astute businessperson, is the pioneering bandleader of the popular, Byron Lee and Dragonaires band, which he formed in 1956. Mr. Lee who was 73, has been, over the years, fighting transitional cell cancer and has received treatment in
Byron Lee and the Dragonaires came together officially in 1956, and from then went on to become one of the island’s top musical aggregations. The Dragonaires became one of
Byron Lee was actually in the contest for the title of leading the longest surviving band. , (the current titleholder on record is the Mick Jagger led Rolling Stones, sprouted in the 1960s.). Lee and his band are among the first set of leading Jamaican musicians who have assisted in making Jamaican music a major phenomenon worldwide. In the 1960s, Byron Lee and the Dragonaires along with a team of Jamaicans, including dancers, made the trip to the
Some of Byron Lee’s chart-topping hit songs from the Ska genre are, “Dumplings”, “Jamaica Ska”, and “Soul Ska.” Some later hits done in the Soca genre are, “Tiney-Winey”, “Tatie”, “Soca Butterfly”, “What A Feeling”, “Whine Down”, and “Soca Bogle” among many others.
Byron Lee was recently the receipient of the, “Order of Jamaica” honour during a special ceremony held at his bedside at
Byron Lee is survived by his wife, Sheila; his sons. Byron Jr., and Edward John; his daughters, Deanna, Judith, Julianne, and Danielle; as well as his grandchildren, Amelia, Alexander,
Reggae Times would like to join the many people worldwide in extending our condolences to Byron Lee’s immediate family and to express that all music loving people will sadly miss him.