Thursday, February 13, 2014

Bunny Rugs:The Voice of Enduring Reggae Music

It has been 40 years since the quintessential reggae band Third World, graced the globe with its smooth and spirited rhythms. Debuting  live as the opening act on Bob Marley's 1974 European tour, they have maintained an international presence ever since. One of the most enduring and popular reggae acts in the world, they spread the music as Jamaica's official reggae ambassadors. A genre-defining musical mix of cultural lyrics and contagious melodies laced with funk and soul,  the Third World sound was personified by Bunny Rug's rich and commanding vocals. I have been very lucky to have experienced the magic of Third World many times, the most recent at Jamaica's Jazz and Blues Fest last year. A third World concert always features thrilling musicianship and lots of  high energy. I watched as Bunny, also known as William Clarke, pushed the dancing crowd into a frenzy, belting out hits like "Try Jah Love," "Reggae Ambassador" and "1865 (96 degrees in the Shade)".  Hailing from the mountains of Mandeville, one of my favorite cities in Jamaica, Bunny represented the island's pride and culture well.  He was stricken by leukemia at only 65 years old. I'm heartbroken that I'll never see him prance and sing across a stage again. But the music lives on. "As sure as the sun shines way up in the sky/today I stand here a victim the truth is I'll never die." RIP Dear Bunny.


A Cuban In London said...

Yes, Bunny, man! :-)

You've taken me back years now.

Greetings from London.

Fly Girl said...

Cubano, Third World was the soundtrack for many people during the 80s.