Monday, November 17, 2014

Count Ossie

Count Ossie
18" x 9", oil on wood, 2014
Not long before he died Count Ossie, with his band The Mystic Revelation of Rastafari, produced with the three-record-set Grounation his magnum opus.  He was 50 when he died in 1976 in a car accident. He had lived a storied life. As a rastafari in the early fifties he had problems finding work in the music business. It was Marguerita Mahfood who gave him his first break, and his first record was produced by Prince Buster in 1959. Oh Carolina is by some critics considered to be the very first ska record made. In the early fifties Ossie (Oswald Williams) had started a rastafari community in Kingston near Wareika Hill, introducing it to many of the Kingston musicians. The painting illustrates Ethiopian Serenade from Grounation.

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