Jah Itagaki's REGGAE LIFE
Front Page > English | Japanese

7 Chief News of 1997

         Selected by: Jah Itagaki

Apple quits Islael Vibration

In April, RAS Records announced that Albert 'Apple' Craig had chosen to pursue solo ventures. Skelly and Wiss had decided to continue recording and performing together as Israel Vibration.

Tony Johnson passes away

Reggae Sunsplash co-founder Tony Johnson died in California in May.

Devon Russel passes away

Devon Russel died of brain tumor on June 18.

Japanese 'Reggae Magazine' has discontinued

It had published for 14 years. The last issue (No.59) featured articles on Sly & Robbie.

Lauryn and Steve Marley have a baby boy

Lauryn of Fugees and Stephen Marley aka Steve, the second son of Bob Marley, had a baby boy on August 3.

Reggae Sunsplash moves to winter season

The competition between Jamaica's two premier summer reggae festivals, Reggae Sumfest and Reggae Sunsplash, had ended. Both companies had come to an agreement to have Sumfest during the summer season and Sunsplash during the winter season.

But already, a new summer festival had bobbed up on the horizon. "Super Reggaefest '97", organized by Tommy Cowan, was held at Wynter's Park, Kitson Town, St. Catherine.

Reggae Sumfest '97 kicked off on August 4. As part of it's 'Vintage Night' package on August 6, special tribute was paid to the late Tony Johnson, co-founder of Reggae Sunsplash, died in California in May.

Reggae Sunsplash '98, combined with celebrations of Bob Marley Week, will kick off on February 5, 1998 and will run until Sunday, February 8 in Ocho Rios.

Chris Blackwell leaves his Island label

Island Records founder Chris Blackwell was ousted from PolyGram after clashing with the Dutch conglomerate which bought his music label in 1989 for $300 million.


  • "Dancehall Queen" premiered

  • Jimmy Cliff is awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters by UWI

  • Michael Manley, formar Prime Minister of Jamaica and formar leader of PNP, passed away

  • The Jamaica national football team Reggae Boyz qualified themselves to play in FIFA's World Cup finals in France