The Incredible Career of Johnny Osbourne

September 11, 2012

Tuesday’s Reggae University session welcomed two important figures in Jamaican music who both came to prominence around the start of the 1970s – Clive Chin and Johnny Osbourne.

Osbourne, all in white and in blue tinted sunglasses, was joined by his manager Neil Robertson, although he didn’t participate in the discussion. As ever, the panel was formed of Ellen Koehlings and Pete Lilly from Riddim magazine, as well as journalists Pier Tosi and David Katz – who led the discussion. The session began fifteen minutes late due to “technical difficulties”.

Johnny Osbourne

Johnny began singing in church and studied music at Kingston’s famous Alpha School for Boys – where his mother sent him because “she was poor she couldn’t watch me and work”. He learned the trumpet under the great Lenny Hibbert but became discouraged. “He had a weird way of teaching. Every mistake he’d hit you with drumstick. If it wasn’t for his drumstick perhaps I wouldn’t be a great singer today!”

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