Weh dem up to? - The Lone Ranger roams abroad

July 20, 2018
Lone Ranger (left) and Mary Isaacs at Monday's launch of Tribute to the Greats at 2A Strathaim Avenue, St. Andrew. They are among the honorees at the 21st ataging of the event.
Lone Ranger

Deejay Lone Ranger has spent much of his life outside Jamaica, but has still managed to have enduring hits such as 'Barnabas Collins' (1979), 'Love Bump' (1980) and 'Rosemarie' (1981). On Saturday, July 28, he will be among the awardees at the 21st Tribute to the Greats, and Lone Ranger remarks that it will be held at Curphey Place in Swallowfield the same place he was named DJ of the Year at the El Suzie Awards almost 40 years ago.

September 18 is significant at two points in his life. on that date in 1971, he returned to Jamaica from England with his mother, a nurse, who was weary of racism there. The trip from Southampton to Kingston where he was born as Anthony Waldron, before being reborn as a standout microphone performer took six weeks, and Lone Ranger still remembers the stops in Venezuela and Trinidad.

Then, a decade later, on September 18, Lone Ranger was among a number of entertainers who stayed in the US after a show at Madison Square Garden, New York.

"It was a big move out from the dancehall," said Lone Ranger, naming Louis Lepkie, Triston Palma, Tony Tuff and Sammy Dread among those who also decided not to return to Jamaica. Music continued, as Lone Ranger told THE WEEKEND STAR: "Yeah man, mi do mi show dem same way, dance all over." He lived in the USA for 16 and a half years, returning to Jamaica on January 6, 1998.

In 2018, doing events "all over" still applies, although on a different continent. Lone Ranger said that from April to June, he did a European tour, which included stops in Italy, France and Portugal, before returning to Jamaica on June 20. Since then, he has been to Japan, and the intense tour schedule resumes in 2019, although there will be one-off events between now and then.

After hitting with Barnabas Collins in 1979, Lone Ranger performed in France, and since 2000, he has had a stable French connection with Soul Stereo sound system. "They are from France, and we take the sound and go all over," Lone Ranger said.

When he returned to Jamaica from the US, Lone Ranger encountered a "different, different" dancehall scene, not all of it positive in his estimation. It was in the latter part of the 1990s, and "it was Bounty and Beenie and them people. I made sure find my original producers, Donovan Germaine and Winston Riley. Everything went well, and then Coxsone (on whose Studio One label Love Bump was recorded) returned from the US and send for me. We recorded Top of the Class album."

Now, Lone Ranger does not do much recording in Jamaica. His studio time is racked up mostly in between shows, while on the road in Europe, although sometimes vocals are recorded in Jamaica. Among his recent recordings is Music Is A Healing, done with Guive from France, which Lone Ranger is optimistic will make a strong impression.

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