Its now the 5th of July 2007. The first anniversary of Reggie’s transition from this earthly plane.
One year on.
Gone, but never forgotten.
Remembered fondly as our son, brother, nephew, cousin, father, friend and companion. All of these and much more. A wonderfully talented young man and a caring and generous human being. Musician, entertainer, vocalist, arranger, producer, ex tempo artiste, not to mention his skills as a Radio Broadcaster and News Writer !
Thank you Reggie for the happy memories !
So many god-given talents to be wrapped up into one person. No wonder he did not survive to a ripe old age. In a sense he always remains with us.
Can you imagine David Rudder, Boogsie Sharpe and Leston Paul rolled into one person ? Wow! This was the best way to describe Reggie, the Musician/Entertainer in a nutshell.
The legacy he leaves behind in the B.V.I. can be found in the bandstands of practically every hotel-restaurant-bar in these British Virgin Islands. He virtually combed the territory for opportunities to ply his musical wares wherever tourists or locals may be dining. Check the list of venues at which he played over the years and you’ll find that practically all the islands have been covered from seam to seam.
His legacy is also to be found in the recordings which he made of his music over the years, most of which were privately produced and personally sold by Reggie to his fans while playing gigs at various venues or to his internet customers. Reggie’s productions were composed, arranged and produced by him in his home studio, with Reggie being responsible for the graphics and liner notes for the covers and labels as well.
His legacy is also to be found in the hearts of the many musicians, young and old, whom he influenced, taught, inspired and encouraged to go out and play their music for others to enjoy.
His legacy is to be found too among the Youth Steelbands on Tortola and Virgin Gorda, in which he had a hand either at organizing, arranging, tutoring, playing, purchasing instruments and supplies and otherwise promoting and supporting.( All on a gratis basis!)
Sought out, loved and appreciated alike by locals and tourists, he has been sorely missed on the entertainment scene this year.
Posthumous tributes were awarded to him by three organizations:
- in October 2006, the Committee to combat Domestic Violence paid a tribute to him in observing October as Domestic Violence Month. His song “Domestic Violence” which had previously been awarded by Governor Savage and the Family Support Network for its strong anti-domestic violence message, once more was recognized for its impact.
- In December 2006, the Christmas on Main Street Committee paid tribute to Reggie for his contribution as a founding member of the Committee and perennial entertainer at each Christmas on Main Street up to the time of his passing.
- In June 2007, the Virgin Islands Party also paid tribute to Reggie for the tremendous impact that his song composed for their last election campaign “Rally round the VIP” had on party supporters and the electorate. The song continues to be used during the current campaign as a war cry or rallying call for the VIP.
“The One Man Steelband”; “The Caribbean Horizon”, “The Long Time Band”; are some of the names under which he performed over the years.
A number of special attributes enabled him to stand out among entertainers on the B.V.I scene. His dynamic voice coupled with his ability to use it effectively whether singing, calypsos, ballads, reggae, latin or other genres. His virtuoso skill as a pan-player enabled him to use the sound of the Caribbean always as accompaniment. His ability to improvise freely on his instrument always kept his music fresh and appealing. His skill as a composer and arranger enabled him to develop a large repertoire which he could call up quickly and easily through the use of the “drum machine” or “midi “ technology. Whatever his moods or challenges, time and again he would prove that once placed in front of his instruments and a receptive audience, he would be total charm and professionalism all the way. Many repeat visitors at his favourite venues would look forward to being entertained by him, since, once he knew something about them, he would “ex tempo” and sing a ditty relating to their own experience.
Thanks again Reggie for the happy memories. You are sorely missed.
July 5, 2007