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Ernie Smith

b. Glenroy Ernest Smith, c.1948, Jamaica, West Indies. Smith initially enjoyed notoriety when his single ‘Pitta Patta’, backed with ‘Lichfield Gardens’, topped the Jamaican charts in 1973, utilizing Lee Perry’s ‘musical transplant’ rhythm. The song was voted as the best song of the year in Jamaica by Swing magazine. The lyrics were also adapted by Lloyd Charmers for his lewd ‘Big Eight’, marketed as the reggae alternative to Judge Dread’s hit. An album followed, with Smith covering ‘I Love You To Want Me’ and ‘Help Me Make It Through The Night’, both successfully recorded by John Holt. In 1974 Smith followed the hit with ‘Duppy Or A Gunman’ and the equally popular ‘Key Card’, echoing the patois style made popular by Pluto. ‘Duppy Or A Gunman’ was successfully covered by Inner Circle and interest in the original was regenerated 10 years later with Yellowman. Smith became involved in the Wildflower collective, known as XYZ productions, alongside Lloyd Charmers, where they released a number of chart-topping hits including Ken Boothe’s interpretation of ‘Everything I Own’, which was an international bestseller. In addition to his own recording, Smith was also responsible for Tinga Stewart’s Jamaican Song Festival winner, ‘Play De Music’. Johnny Nash had recorded the disdained Celebrate Life which led the singer on a trip to Jamaica seeking inspiration. The result was Smith’s composition ‘Tears On My Pillow (I Can’t Stand It)’ which topped the UK chart in June 1975. By 1976 Smith’s style was no longer in vogue, although he continued to enjoy popularity with more mature listeners, releasing a number of middle-of-the-road and gospel-influenced albums. In 1980 he recorded a version of Bob Marley’s ‘Bend Down Low’, produced with Lloyd Charmers.
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: After 30 Years Life Is Just For Living

Disc 1

1. I Can't Take It

2. Bend Down

3. Ride On Sammy

4. Girl

5. One Dream

6. Sunday Morning Coming Down

7. Pitta Patta

8. Life Is Just For Living

9. Bad Woman

10. Footprints On The Ceiling

11. Hail The Man

12. Duppy Gunman

13. Play De Music

14. Elsaida

15. All For Jesus

Disc 2

1. Rebel Music

2. We Do People / The Power And The Glory

3. Don't Down Me Now

4. To Behold Jah

5. Time

6. Stay Awhile With Me

7. Let The Children Play

8. Singer Man

9. Mr. Music

10. New York, You're Going Crazy

11. I'm On Your Side

12. Ghetto Monday

13. Didn't Know We Were Poor

14. Don't Worry Mama

15. Sister

16. Didn't Know We Were Poor (Acapella) (feat. Word)

Comments

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Belizeane childhood days
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Bailey ' s Beach Yallahs St Thomas back in the day Ernie was the man.Thanks my friend & brother.
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pfletcher48
Still going strong. Playing in Galveston on April 13
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mikepetersi
Ernie Smith. Wow. My pa used to play these songs every Sunday afternoon on the record player. Good olé days living in Belize .
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got me skanking off me feet lol
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Reminds me of those good old days when every house would play .l love village life
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THIS NICE OLD MUSIC
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Jamaican oldies singer...
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does anyone know anything about this guy? his vocals sound a little like Lou Rawls!

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