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Joe Higgs

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Joe Higgs (June 3, 1940 – December 18, 1999) was a musician from Jamaica. In the 1960s he was part of the duo Higgs and Wilson together with Roy Wilson.

Higgs knew Bob Marley from the early 1960s. In fact, Marley acknowledged later on that he had been an influential figure for him. Most people interested in classical reggae do not recognize his name, however Higgs has been regarded as the “Father of Reggae’ by Jimmy Cliff. For a while Higgs toured with Cliff as well as The Wailers when Bunny Wailer refused to go on the tour in mid 1970s while The Wailers were having disputes.

A majority of Higgs’ songs were connected to his impoverished life in Trenchtown where he grew up. Higgs considered that it was out of the poverty and violence of Kingston’s shantytowns such as Trenchtown and Johnstown that the reggae music had grown. Before reggae hit big on the western music scene with Bob Marley, it was understood as a “ghetto music”. Higgs was the very first artist out the ghetto music scene to have lyrics which primarily dealt with every day troubles.

Higgs died of throat cancer on 18 Dec’ 1999.

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